MSc Sociology

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Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
Two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places 18
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

This programme gives you the opportunity to extend your core sociological knowledge and understanding. It will also consolidate familiarity with the discipline for those with a background in a related subject, but without specialised knowledge of sociology.

The key learning goals are to develop critical use and comprehension of social theory, gain a grounding in methodologies and techniques of enquiry, and focus on distinctive, substantive sociological topics, such as ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, sexuality, religion and culture.

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to pursue a sociological project of your choice in greater depth, while still providing close academic supervision.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2017/18

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The MSc programme comprises six 12-week taught units and six assessed essays, followed by a dissertation.

Core units

  • Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Dissertation
  • And one of:
    • Qualitative Social Research or
    • Quantitative Social Research

Optional units

You may choose four units from the list of sociology options. Options vary each year but may include: 

  • Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Theories of Ethnicity and Racism
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
  • Philosophy and Research Design
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • Understanding Culture
  • Narrating the Self
  • The Theory and Politics of Multiculturalism
  • Interpreting Gender
  • Advanced Qualitative Research
  • Advanced Quantitative Research
  • Popular Music and Society
  • Nations and Nationalism
  • Care, Labour and Gender
  • Religion and Politics in the West
  • Understanding Risk

You will also study a maximum of one unit from the remaining optional units that are offered by the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies in the academic year.  

Third term

Independent study for dissertation.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant subject. 

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Students of our MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.

Many sectors - such as the civil service, NGOs and charity work - require an MSc and some volunteer/internship experience. Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for Refugee UK, Shelter, Barnardos, Oxfam, Amnesty International, government departments and the European Parliament, among others. For further information, see our careers and alumni website.

How to apply
Application deadline:

31 July 2017

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 32% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 44% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 23% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 7577 Email:

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
University of Bristol
11 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TY


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