MA Sociology

Why choose the MA in Sociology?

A Masters degree in Sociology is one of the most versatile and adaptable Postgraduate qualifications on offer: You can develop as a professional, with skills in theory, critical thinking and social research, and gain an in-depth knowledge of contemporary issues. You can use it as a stepping-stone to a Ph.d and a career in academia, or as a one-year course to decide if scholarship is really your pathway. You can even hone your interests in politics and social justice through the course. If you’re returning to college and re-thinking your career, the MA in Sociology is an excellent starting point.

Whatever your plans or interests, the MA in Sociology offers you an excellent learning experience: Classes are seminar-based discussions rather than broadcast lectures, allowing you to engage directly with your lecturers and peers. Indeed, taking the Masters in Sociology gives you access to a network of scholars – lecturers, researchers, doctoral students – all engaged in on-going research and debates, with plenty of talks, events and activities, a lively, open and inclusive intellectual community. Furthermore, the Department of Sociology at UCC is very interdisciplinary, with connections to anthropology, criminology, literature, philosophy, politics, social policy and more.

There is a great diversity of research interests within the department, but also shared concerns: One is a strong focus on power, the powerful, powerlessness and marginalization, how domination is never complete but always resisted, often justified by entrenched ideas but also criticised. Another focus is on human rights and violence, whether that violence is directed at others or at the natural world, or even self-directed in the self-destructive pathologies of modernity. A third strand is seeking to understand the sources and consequences of the oftentimes negative disruptions and unanticipated costs that our economic and technological systems are now having on our world and societies.  And a fourth is an examination of alternate possibilities and the grounds for hope and optimism in the massive social transformations of the 21s century.

What does it actually involve?

All students take 5 seminar based modules, including core modules in Social Theory and Research Methodology, and choose 3 electives from thematic modules, based on staff interests.

For details on available modules, as well as info on fees and how to apply, please check out the Graduate Studies information page here

All of these modules build towards a 20,000 word Research Dissertation, supervised by staff – a substantial but manageable piece of work, and not insignificant – these dissertations sometimes are the basis of subsequent published work or a Ph.d study. All students are assigned a Research Supervisor in the first semester, who works as a mentor, helping you to focus your interests, formulate your research questions, design a study and carry it through.

If you’re interested in social issues, if you want to develop your research and theory skills, if you need to change direction or if you’re just wondering what’s next – the MA in Sociology is for you.

For further info, drop an email to or to Dr Tom Boland, MA programme director at 

Department of Sociology & Criminology

Socheolaíocht & Coireolaíocht

Askive, Donovan's Road, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, T12 DT02