Masters (MSc): Successful completion of all 4 modules (120 credits) plus dissertation (60 credits); 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time. Diploma (PgDip): Successful completion of 4 modules (120 credits) with no dissertation. Certificate (PgCert): Successful completion of 2 modules (60 credits) with no dissertation
The increased integration of Europe and its rise as a world power has meant that it has become increasingly important to understand European societies. This degree programme will consider the ways in which European societies have been shaped and changed by various factors, such as migration, social policy, citizenship, work and family.
The course will critically assess key theories and concepts in looking at Europe, such as ideas of modernisation, social cohesion, identity and whether or not Europe can be studied as a series of types of societies or as one society. Participants will be encouraged to think about relevant contemporary issues such as population decline and xenophobia. It will look at some of the main social divisions and social relationships in Europe using a range of contemporary sources.
The course is therefore a timely and appropriate way to provide an overview of European developments through the study of key concepts and issues. It will provide participants with an up-to-date knowledge of these developments, the tools and concepts for analysing them and introduce them to the new frontiers of knowledge in these developments.
The course is based upon research projects and consultancies for the European Commission and other funding bodies carried out by the teaching team and is linked to the research centre “The New Europe Centre” Aberdeen.
The degree will appeal to those who need the relevant resources to pursue a career at a European or national level and be informed of European developments and debates, whether it is in the NGO sector, business, academia or the public sector. It will help furnish participants with practical research and analytical skills that they can use in a variety of jobs.
The learning outcomes of the course are to:
Equip students to understand social patterns and divisions in Europe
Enable students to understand basic concepts and theories relating to the comparative study of Europe
Provide students with the ability to assess and use data sources on European society
Equip students with the intellectual skills to understand key European debates.
To develop the necessary skills to sustain life-long learning
To develop the ability to undertake independent investigation
Alyson Millar Postgraduate Secretary School of Social Science
In the full-time mode the programme is taken over one year as follows:
First Half-Session • Advanced Social Theory (30 credits) • Social Research Methods (30 credits)
Second Half-Session • Comparative Study of European Societies (30 credits) • Elective option (30 credits)
Summer Session • Dissertation (60 credits)
Portfolio of Modules
Comparative Study of European Societies The core course will look at Europe as a society as well as by comparing different nations and regions within it. It will look not just at the European Union, but also countries that are also in the broadest sense “European” stretching to the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.
It will address key contemporary issues such as citizenship and belonging, identities in a European context, work, family and the demographic challenge as well as work-life balance. The quality of life in Europe and social capital may also be addressed as well as issues of social stratification.
The course will look at contemporary phenomena such as xenophobia and racism from a sociological perspective. Hence it will consider problems and challenges in considering Europe as a society. In addition to considering these key issues, the course will take a research perspective by looking at the evidence for these trends and patterns, enabling students to be able to seek out information and assess it for themselves.
Advanced Social Theory This course aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of social theory, covering the period from the classical theorists through to present-day thinkers. It covers broad range of schools of thought, including critical theory, conflict theory, structuralism, post-structuralism, post-modernism, feminist theory, and accounts of late modernity, risk society, and others. Links to substantive areas such as globalization, European society, religion, cultural change, and the body and gender are made throughout the course.
Emphasis is placed on how theoretical ideas can be related to empirical contexts, and how social theory is crucial for carrying out social scientific investigations in a range of substantive areas.
Social Research Methods module Research methods training is designed to assist students to complete their dissertation. The methods course chosen will be from amongst he portfolio of modules available on the School of Social Sciences Masters of Social Research or in the discipline-specific methods modules taught by the Department of Sociology as best fits the background, experience and needs of individual students.
The choice of methods module will be made with the advice of the Programme Director. The portfolio of methods modules available is described under the Masters of Social Research (MRes) entry.
Elective module The elective module will be chosen from amongst the portfolio of modules available on other MSc degrees in the Department of Sociology, the School of Social Sciences and the College of Arts and Social Sciences, depending upon the modules available at the time, the interests of the students and their background.
The choice of elective module will be made with the advice of the Programme Director.
Examination is exclusively by means of course work and continuous assessment. Students will be permitted one resubmission of failed work but no resubmission of the dissertation. For the award of the MSc in both full and part time modules, there is a requirement also to complete a 15,000 word dissertation under supervision from the research team.
The programme is led by Claire Wallace, Professor of Sociology and Director of the New Europe Centre Aberdeen. She has worked for a range of international organisations as well as the European Commission itself and has specialised in comparative studies of Europe looking at issues such as work and care, flexibilisation, migration, xenophobia, quality of life and social capital. She is author of many books and articles and was formerly Editor of the international journal “European Societies” official journal of the European Sociological Association.
Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with at least 2(i) standard from a recognised university or body. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience, appropriate to the field of study.
References are not required in order for applicants to submit an application. They are not usually required in order for a decision to be made but in certain cases applicants may be asked to provide a single academic reference at the request of the academic selector.
The English Language Requirement for all College of Arts and Social Sciences Masters programmes is an IELTS of 6.5 with 6.0 in the writing and reading (or equivalent TOEFL iBT or PTE). For more information see www.abdn.ac.uk/international/english-requirements
The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More Information can be found here.