UCC Postgraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2021

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    Applicants possessing a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in Sociology, Social Science or a cognate discipline will be eligible to apply for this course. Applicants with a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Closed for applications: we will reopen in November.

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Extended until 31 July 2021

  • Start Date

    13 September 2021

Course Outline

Sociology is concerned with the study of the modern world, how it came into being, and the challenges and crises that it faces at local, national and global levels. 

The MA in Sociology in UCC will provide you with an opportunity to study advanced Sociological Concepts and Methods, and put your research interests into practice by enabling you to conduct your own sustained research project. 

The course is divided into two main components. The first component focuses on cutting-edge Sociology modules which are completed in Semesters 1 and 2. All students must take the following two compulsory modules: 

  • SC6608 Social and Sociological Theory
  • SC6614 Sociological Methodology

Additionally, students take three additional modules from a list including: 

  • CR6000: Governmentality: Disciplines, Institutions and Critiques
  • SC6626: Sociology of the Public Sphere
  • SC6627: Social Pathologies and Civic Health
  • SC6631: Sociology of Sustainable Development
  • SC6638: Rethinking Borders: Sovereignty, Rights and Justice
  • SC6639: Feminist Epistemologies:  Feminisms, Sexuality and Society
  • SC6641: Gender and Catastrophe

    and (please note- the Summer school may not run every year).  
  • SC6001 Economy and Society Summer School
  • SC6002 Economicy and Society Summer School - 2

A number of themes cut across all of the modules that we teach, reflecting the interests of staff members in the Dept. One is a strong focus on power, the powerful, powerlessness and marginalization. Another is on human rights and violence, whether that violence is self-directed, directed at others or directed at the natural world. A third strand is seeking to understand the negative and often unanticipated costs that our economic and technological systems are now having on our world and societies.  And a fourth is an examination of where, or in fact if, there are grounds for hope and optimism to be found in the massive Sociological shifts of the 21s century.

Finally, in addition to these advanced level MA modules, students on the MA in Sociology are also free to audit (attend without credit) any undergraduate in Sociology modules that they find interesting or relevant. MA students are furthermore eligible to attend the Economy and Society Summer School, which is a week long Summer School that the Dept. runs for advanced Sociology students (please note- the Summer school may not run every year).  

The second component of the course is a 20,000 word dissertation, or advanced research project, that students can undertake on a topic of their own choosing. One of the advantages of the MA in Sociology is that students have a wide degree of latitude to pursue their own research interests and goals in their dissertation. In their dissertations students put into practice the knowledge that they have developed in their modules. All students will be assigned an academic supervisor who will work closely with them on developing their ideas and their projects. Over the past few years students have conducted MA dissertation research on topics ranging from the computer gaming industry to sexual violence and the metoo movement to animal-human relationships, amongst a wide variety of other projects. We would encourage students who undertake strong dissertation research to publish their work in academic journals.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

In teaching periods 1 and 2, you will have a mandatory two-hour graduate seminar on theory/methodology. Mandatory seminars are generally timetabled on Tuesday afternoons after 4 pm. The timetabling of optional seminars changes from year to year but most are scheduled between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday. Some seminars are run on a weekly basis while others are run using a one-day workshop format.


Assessment is conducted through the grading of five graduate module papers. The word limit for the Social Theory paper is 5,000. The word limit for all other papers including Methodology is 5,000. These marks are combined with the student’s grades on their final thesis (PART B) in order to determine an overall result.

Who teaches this course

This course is taught by Lecturers and Professors in the Dept. of Sociology. The Dept. is highly ranked for the quality of its research and teaching and our staff have won national teaching awards. All staff are research active and our modules are constantly being revised and updated to incorporate the latest research in their areas. We are a small unit that places a strong emphasis on academic rigour, and also on approachability and friendliness. 

Broadly speaking, Sociology staff members research interests fall into the following areas:

  • Sociology of Deviance and Violence
  • Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change
  • Gender, Sexuality, Identity and Feminism
  • Health/Medical Sociology, Social Media and Technology
  • Human Rights, Borders and Migration
  • Sociological Theory and Methods, Historical Sociology

For more information about staff in the Department of Sociology see: Sociology Staff

Why Choose This Course

Students who achieve a strong result (2.1.) in the MA in Sociology will be eligible to continue on to pursue Ph.D. research if they wish. 

The course will be of interest to students who wish to explore and understand societies in the 21st century, through a focus on the themes outlined above. 

Additionally, students will acquire a range of subject-specific and transferrable skills. In terms of subject-specific skills, students will develop detailed knowledge on contemporary Sociological theories and concepts. They will also develop knowledge of how to put research methods, particularly qualitative methods, into practice in order to generate data and evidence to inform policy and research. Students will also furthermore develop skills in public speaking in seminar presentations and seminar contributions; in time management; in being able to articulate their ideas clearly and with precision in their writing and research; and in terms of personal effectiveness and innovation, being able to design, implement and analyse a large scale research project in a defined amount of time. 

Students who have taken this MA have gone on to a wide variety of careers, including research, banking, business, social media and technology companies, the civil service, charities/advocacy, and civil society organizations such as those working on environmental or housing issues. Most careers these days involve research and data acquisition and management in some form, and the research and transferrable skills that you acquire will be of use in many employment situations.

What students say about this MA

Student feedback on the MA in Sociology has been very positive. Feedback generally emphasizes the positive nature of the class discussions, the comprehensive and in-depth nature of the lecture content and the friendliness and engagement of the lecturing staff: 

 “The discussions generated in class were highly engaging and the atmosphere created in the class by both lecturers was relaxed and open and thus encouraged people to get involved.”

  • “Excellent, both lecturers' warm and open style made the class a pleasure to attend which made the class one of the best this year as it encouraged people to get involved in discussions. The material used was really engaging and fresh. The tone set by lecturers is extremely important to the success of a class and both lecturers exemplified how it should be done.”

  • “Very effective lecturer, extremely knowledgeable, and great with bringing up an interactive discussion to get everyone involved”


Applicants must have obtained a minimum of a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, in sociology, law, politics, psychology, history, applied social studies, anthropology, geography, economics, study of religions, media studies, communication, government, public policy, criminal justice, environment and planning, criminology, European studies, women studies, early childhood studies, cultural studies, political studies, international relations or another subject relevant to the study of Sociology. Candidates who hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) will also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) subject to a written expression of interest and/or interview acceptable to the department selection committee.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6,130.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,080.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Briefly describe a research proposal which may form the basis of your thesis.
  • Please submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.)

The closing date for non-EU applications is Extended until 31 July 2021

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact