Sociology and Social Policy at University of Southampton - UCAS

Course summary

"On this master’s in Sociology and Social Policy, you’ll take a research-first approach, with a thorough methods education, to understand the social theories on which sociology and social policy are based. You’ll join a community of academics at the forefront of research in Social Sciences.

  • Our Social Work and Social Policy research is ranked 5th nationally for impact (Latest, Research Excellence Framework, 2021)
We are strongly committed to providing the very best learning experience for all our students in a friendly, stimulating and research-led environment. You’ll be supported to gain the tools you need to critically examine sociological concepts, such as interest, modernity, inequality, globalisation, class, and gender. You can choose from three pathways, allowing you to fit your studies to your interests or career plans:
  • Substantive pathway - Focussing on fundamental concepts of sociology and social policy and on how these relate to contemporary policy issues.
  • International Social Policy - Focussing on understanding global social inequality and policy responses with a grounding in governance.
  • Research methods pathway - Students who wish to obtain thorough quantitative and qualitative methods training should enrol in the Research methods pathway.
We keep a global perspective; using social theory and concepts to understand societies around the globe, comparing richer and poorer regions. On this UK master’s course, you’ll gain an in-depth knowledge of:
  • the main themes and debates in sociology and how to use them to analyse social issues
  • the main issues in the philosophy of social science
  • conceptual debates in social policy
  • qualitative and quantitative research methods, and data analysis techniques
  • designing and conducting independent research in sociology or social policy
You’ll join a close-knit and diverse learning community, we offer an exceptional academic experience, with small-group teaching that allows you to explore topics in depth and plenty of support to ensure you achieve your potential. You’ll graduate well placed to pursue careers in social research, public administration, or public policy in the public, private or voluntary sector. You will have also taken the first step towards a PhD in sociology and/or social policy."


Modules will be determined by pathway choice. You must study the following modules in year 1: International Social Policy, Philosophy of Social Science Research, Research Design and Practice, Understanding Modernity, Understanding Social Change. You must also choose from the following modules in year 1: Ageing, Health and Well-being, Comparative Public Administration, Criminal Behaviour - Applied Perspectives, Criminal Justice: Policy and Practice, Critical Issues in Global Health: Concepts and Case Studies, Demographic Change, Ageing & Globalisation, Perspectives in Gerontology, Qualitative Methods 1, Qualitative Methods 2, Quantitative Methods 1, Survey Design, Understanding Population Change.

Assessment method

We’ll assess you through: • essays • oral presentations • group projects • a dissertation

How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate your English ability by meeting our Band C requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in all components. For information on other accepted English language tests, please see our website.

Entry requirements

First- or upper second-class degree or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in a relevant discipline such as Sociology, Social Policy, Citizenship, Politics, Political Economy or other Social Science subjects.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Sponsorship information

A variety of scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations. Please check the website for more information.

Sociology and Social Policy at University of Southampton - UCAS