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Course summary

The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2022). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via The MSc in Sociology is an intensive one-year master’s degree (two years for part-time students). Students are given high-quality research training in sociology, which includes knowledge of relevant theoretical approaches, an understanding of their application to substantive problems and skills in the use of major research techniques. There is also a significant element of self-directed study, including further reading and research, that will complement the hours of teaching. The time spent on further research will be determined partly by your academic background so far, and partly by your own interest in and curiosity for the subject. The MSc in Sociology is offered on both a full-time (one-year) and part-time (two-year) basis. The degree and expectations for both modes of study are equally rigorous: part-time students take their classes with the full time students, but spread their study over two years to accommodate work and personal circumstances. Regardless of whether you choose to apply for the part-time or full-time course, you will be part of a close knit cohort of students from diverse backgrounds. As a part-time MSc Sociology student, you will be required to attend all seminars and lectures and meetings with your supervisor in Oxford. Teaching is typically scheduled for 3 days per week in the first and second terms of each year of study, and 1 day per week in the third term of each year. There is no flexibility in the pattern of attendance for scheduled teaching events. Supervisor meetings typically take place at least twice per term on dates determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor. Attendance at supervisor meetings may be required outside of term-time, particularly over the long vacation during which you will be expected to write your thesis. Course structure The MSc Sociology consists of the following four elements. Sociological analysis In Michaelmas term, the course consists of eight lectures (one hour each) followed by two seminars (also one hour each) where the class is split into groups. Part-time students take this course in the first term of their second year of study. It examines the nature of different sociological explanations, their potentials and methodological implications and their relationship with concepts from other disciplines. It also examines the interrelationships between description and explanation, theory and empirical data. Research methods This course comprises three sections: research design, qualitative methods and statistics. The statistics section consists of eight statistics lectures and eight computer-based sessions in the IT Laboratory (Michaelmas term). The qualitative methods section (Michaelmas term) consists of eight lectures. The research design section (Hilary term) consists of eight lectures and classes. Part-time students take the three sections of the research methods course in the listed term of the first year of study. Option papers In Hilary term, you will prepare for two option papers. You should note that the options available may vary from year to year; a typical offering is listed below:

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • Sociology of Mafias
  • Social Movements
  • Political Sociology
  • Causality
  • Social Stratification
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Sociology of Latin America
  • Sociology of China
  • Police Violence and Racial Oppression
  • Sociology of Cybersecurity.
There are normally eight weekly classes for each paper. Part-time students take one option paper in the second term of each year of study. Dissertation You will write an MSc dissertation which you will carry out under the guidance of your supervisor.

Entry requirements

For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Sociology at University of Oxford - UCAS