About This Course
1 year Full-time
EU Fees 2021
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Non-EU Fees 2021
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.
Open for EU applications, check rounds closing dates under How to Apply
Non-EU Closing Date
13 September 2021
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 Theory: This module will introduce you to key classical and contemporary Sociological concepts and theorists. The module will increase your knowledge of Sociological concepts and your capacity to apply those concepts to major social problems and issues.
- SC6614 Sociological Methods: This module will introduce you to key Sociological methods including interviewing; focus groups; visual methods; and biographical and ethnographic methods; amongst others. The Dept. of Sociology in UCC is a leading centre of excellence for the study and application of qualitative research methods and our aim in particular is to increase your knowledge of and expertise in these methods.
Additionally, students take three additional modules from a list including:
- SC6626: Sociology of the Public Sphere: This module addresses the theory and methodology of the public sphere as the site of democratic public debate. Topics include democratic participation; the impact of social movements; changes in the media and technology; the role of law; and the theory of society. The literature drawn upon covers a wide span across sociology and critical theory and the theory is illustrated through various examples.
- SC6627: Social Pathologies & New Technologies: This module focuses on the Sociology of Health and Technology. Specific topics focus on: Sociological drivers of high-risk health behaviours such as self-harm and anorexia; Sociological drivers of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety; anthropological concepts such as mimesis and pleionexia that are useful for Sociologists of health; social breakdown and disorder under anomic conditions; the Sociology of the technology giants such as Google and Facebook; Sociology of mass surveillance; violence on the internet (self-harm and cyberbullying); social networks and social media.
- SC6631: Sociology of Sustainability: This module examines if, and if so how, humans can come to terms with, manage, and possibly reverse, the destruction that they are now causing to the natural world, and also their own cities and social systems. It also examines the role of social capital; social movements; and social networks in creating or undermining sustainability.
- SC6638: Rethinking Borders: This module focuses on the Sociology of Human Rights and social justice in the context of climate change, international poverty and economic crises in the 21st The module examines topics such as border control; securitization; detention; mass migration, refugees and asylum seekers; and what will happen to citizens of ecologically challenged states in the future.
- SC6639: Sociology of Feminism, Sexuality and Society: This module focuses on the Sociology of identity; sex work; sexual violence and abuse; sex and gender in the media and popular culture; social movements around women’s health and rights; and transgender studies and transactivism.
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.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
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 3,000. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.
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 30 JuneApply Now