Introduction

The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore for programmes with a January 2021 start date the programme structure and delivery method may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about January 2021 study with us .

MSc Sociology provides you with theoretical and methodological concepts in sociology to think critically about issues affecting society.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen

Sociology is the study of people and societies, with particular emphasis on modern urban settings. The subject overlaps with other related disciplines such as politics, international relations, anthropology, economics, history, human geography and psychology. The subject brings understanding from analysis to understand cause and effect across law, religion, migration, prejudice and discrimination, gender, love, family, war, peace. This broad focus is also reflected in the research interests of Aberdeen Sociology staff who specialise in areas as diverse as global conflict and peace studies, religion and secularisation, global political economy, identities and well-being and the relationship between humans and other animals.

The MSc Sociology is designed for you if you have a background in sociology or if you wish to extend your knowledge of the subject into the postgraduate level. It will also work well as a conversion degree for you with little or no previous experience of Sociology. The programme covers the core theoretical and methodological concepts and debates in sociology and offers a series of elective courses that reflect the department’s expertise and current research.


You will gain an advanced understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches to contemporary sociology. You will develop an awareness of the key empirical areas of research in sociology and their implications for social policy and social change.

Available Programmes of Study

Sociology

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Optional Courses

You can choose two from the below:

and:

SO5514: Religious Belief and Practice in the Modern World (30 credit points)

SO5526: Global Conflict and Peace Processes (30 credit points)

Dimensions of Globalization (SO5512)

30 Credit Points

This interdisciplinary course focuses on substantive dimensions of globalization by considering recent changes occurring in the economic, political, social, and cultural realms of society. These themes are analysed by considering recent empirical studies, which seek to clarify our theoretical understanding of globalization through advanced social scientific research. The substantive themes covered include global capitalism, the global division of labour, global governance, the changing role of the nation state, transnational social change, and cultural homogenization and heterogenization. Interconnections between these aspects of globalization are highlighted.

View detailed information about this course
The Comparative Study of European Societies (SO5515)

30 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course
Sex, Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches (SO5519)

30 Credit Points

This course investigates the ways people think about, understand, and respond to violence. How do we know what counts as violence or a violence act? Why does legislation against violence often seem inadequate, perhaps especially in the case of gendered and sexual violence?

View detailed information about this course
Peace and Conflict Studies (SO5529)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with a review of some of the central concepts and processes central to conflict resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding. As such, the course is designed both to introduce the theoretical foundations of particular approaches to conflict resolution (or “peacemaking”) and peacebuilding, and to describe how those theoretical underpinnings give rise to specific mechanisms or processes within given contexts. In the area of peacemaking the course will cover topics such as negotiation, mediation, and intergroup dialogue processes, while in the area of peacebuilding the course will discuss more recent innovations such as Truth-Telling mechanisms, Criminal Tribunals, and both individual and collection reparations programmes. The course is particularly designed to inspire students to consider the complicated nature of both peacemaking and peacebuilding through a number of different case studies and perspectives.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Dissertation: Sociology (SO5904)

60 Credit Points

This is a compulsory element on the MSc Sociology programme.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Social Theory (SO5014)

30 Credit Points

Karl Popper argued, wisely, at least this time, that all languages are theory-laden. In other words, if we are doing social science, it is impossible not to do theory, but we have a choice to do it well or poorly, informed by the thinking of others who have gone before us, or in ignorance of it. In this course we learn to reflect explicitly about that which may otherwise simply remain implicit in empirical sociological examination. In this project, we are assisted by important thinkers who have developed distinctive and influential ways of considering the social. We begin with classical sociological theory before moving on to the work of more recent social thought, giving students an advanced working knowledge of the most important theoretical tools available to jobbing social scientists.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011)

30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative social science research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Social Theory (SO5014)

30 Credit Points

Karl Popper argued, wisely, at least this time, that ‘all languages are theory-impregnated’. In this course we learn to reflect explicitly about that which may otherwise simply remain implicit in empirical sociological examination. In this project, we are assisted by important thinkers who have developed distinctive and influential ways of considering the social. We begin with classical sociological theory (Marx, Weber, Nietzsche) before moving on to the work of more recent social thought (including, Actor Network Theory and Dorothy Smith), giving students an advanced working knowledge of the most important theoretical tools available to jobbing social scientists.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011)

30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative sociological research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Candidates must choose two of the following:

SO5512, SO5515, SO5519 or


SO5529 - Peace and Conflict Studies (30 credit points)

Dimensions of Globalization (SO5512)

30 Credit Points

This interdisciplinary course focuses on substantive dimensions of globalization by considering recent changes occurring in the economic, political, social, and cultural realms of society. These themes are analysed by considering recent empirical studies, which seek to clarify our theoretical understanding of globalization through advanced social scientific research. The substantive themes covered include global capitalism, the global division of labour, global governance, the changing role of the nation‐state, transnational social change, and cultural homogenization and heterogenization. Interconnections between these aspects of globalization are highlighted.

View detailed information about this course
The Comparative Study of European Societies (SO5515)

30 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course
Sex, Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches (SO5519)

30 Credit Points

This course investigates the ways people think about, understand, and respond to violence. How do we know what counts as violence or a violence act? Why does legislation against violence often seem inadequate, perhaps especially in the case of gendered and sexual violence?

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Dissertation in Sociology (SO5904)

60 Credit Points

This is a compulsory element on the MSc Sociology programme.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

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 modes, there is a requirement also to complete a 15,000 word dissertation under supervision from the course team.

Why Study Sociology?

  • MSc Sociology at Aberdeen is taught by published researchers with international experience.
  • Sociology is taught by one of the leading centres for the study of sociology in the UK with teaching quality judged as 'Excellent'.
  • The MSc in Sociology provides you with the ability to research, analyse, think and debate as a very effective communicator both independently and working for an organisation.
  • You will learn with an international team of lecturing staff and with an international cohort in a cosmopolitan city which offers an intimate city life, wide ranging activities, beach and mountains in close proximity to the campus.
  • The MSc Sociology at Aberdeen is taught by published researchers with international experience in the sociology of religion, gender studies, and conflict and peace studies.
  • You will gain a strong understanding of the practical application of social science research methods.
  • You will be immersed in a rigorous discursive environment and gain an in-depth understanding of sociological theory and its relevance in contemporary society.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body.

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. Also taken into careful consideration is the trajectory of results, an applicant without an overall 2.1 but with 2.1 results in their final two years of study may be admitted.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

On Tuesday 18th May, The University of Aberdeen will hold a Postgraduate Virtual Open Day.

It is open to everyone who is interested in Postgraduate Taught and Research study.

Find out more

Careers

Non government organisations
Charities
Private and public sectors
Research
Academia
Consultancy

Our Experts

Programme Leader
Dr Luisa Gandolfo

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Features

MSc Sociology

The Department of Sociology is held within the School of Social Science. All of our degrees provide thorough advanced level training in the principles of social science with a wide choice of specialised subjects.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Social Science
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen
AB24 3QY