MA Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Sociology at Manchester is one of the UK's largest and most prestigious centres for the subject, with over 30 academic staff and 60 postgraduate students forming a diverse and rigorous academic community.  

The MA course aims to provide those of you who have an interest in sociology the opportunity to extend and deepen your knowledge of the discipline. Our teaching includes all areas of contemporary sociology but we have particular expertise in the fields of socio-cultural change, gender and sexuality, and consumption and sustainability.  

We are consistently highly rated for our research and were ranked in the top three in the UK for our research environment, research quality, and research power in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our research feeds into all of our postgraduate teaching.  

The Sociology MA is the perfect course to develop your analytical and investigative skills, training you in methods of social investigation in order to equip you with the ability for independent thinking, research and analysis, setting you up perfectly for the world of employment.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time course.

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory course units and then select your optional units to suit your requirements.

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your Course Director.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is normally by a 3,000-word assessed essay for each unit and, for the MA students, a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words.

Course unit details

You will take four compulsory course units: 

  • social theory and cultural identity; 
  • cultural criticism: sources for a public sociology;
  • research design; 
  • research strategy and project management; 
  • Together with four options chosen from a wide range of specialist units. 

Examples of optional course units include:

  • postcolonial theory and method;
  • protest and progress; 
  • Sociology of consumption;  
  • new developments in theories of gender and sexuality; 
  • urban sociology;
  • social capital and social change qualitative research methods; or 
  • philosophical and methodological issues in social research. 

You may also negotiate an independent studies course unit, linked to your particular research interests, subject to a suitable academic supervisor being available. If you have registered for the MA (or upgraded from the PG Diploma), you will need to complete a 12,000-word dissertation, on a research topic of your choice, in addition to the eight taught course units.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation SOCY60000 60 Mandatory
Social Theory: Structure, Relations and Interaction (SRI) SOCY60332 15 Mandatory
Cultural Criticism: Sources for a Public Sociology SOCY60342 15 Mandatory
Research Design SOCY60401 15 Mandatory
Research Strategy and Project Management SOCY60412 15 Mandatory
Protest and Progress: Understanding Movements for Social and Political Change SOCY60142 15 Optional
Critical Theory SOCY60282 15 Optional
Doing research with social network data and visualizations SOCY60292 15 Optional
Mitchell Centre seminar series SOCY60360 15 Optional
Social network analysis: concepts and measures SOCY60361 15 Optional
Philosophical and Methodological Foundations of Social Research SOCY60431 15 Optional
Independent Studies I SOCY60531 15 Optional
Sociology of Consumption SOCY60552 15 Optional
Independent Studies II SOCY60592 15 Optional
Theories of social relations, networks, and social structure SOCY60631 15 Optional
Theories of Gender and Sexuality SOCY60992 15 Optional
Urban Sociology SOCY70061 15 Optional
Postcolonial Theory and Politics SOCY70111 15 Optional
Social Capital and Social Change SOCY71011 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units

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Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk