University College Cork


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.

Our MA in Sociology at 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.

Subjects taught

The course is divided into two main components; elective modules and a research project. Modules often cover topics like the environment and climate change, health and technology, gender and sexuality, borders and migration amongst many other important themes of societal interest.

Programme Requirements
The MA Sociology programme comprises 90 credits in total: 20 credits of core modules, 30 credits of elective modules, and a Dissertation in Sociology (SC6615) worth 40 credits.

Core Modules (20 credits)
SC6608 Social and Sociological Theory (10 credits)
SC6614 Sociological Methodology (10 credits)

For a list of the most up-to-date modules, including all the elective modules available this academic year, please follow this link to the Academic Programme Catalogue.

Course Content
You will note that a number of themes cut across all of the modules that we teach, reflecting the interests of staff members in the Department. 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 seeks to understand the negative and often unanticipated costs that our economic and technological systems are now having on our world and societies. 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 21st century.

Finally, in addition to these advanced-level MA modules, our students are also free to audit (attend without credit) any undergraduate 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. 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 encourage students who undertake strong dissertation research to publish their work in academic journals.

Part-time Option (24 months)
In Year 1 students complete two 10-credit core modules and two elective 10-credit modules. In Year 2, students select one optional 10-credit module (not previously taken in year 1) and complete the Dissertation in Sociology (40 Credits).

Entry requirements

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, the 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.

Applicants 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.

Application dates

Closing Date Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.

Assessment Info


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.


1 year Full-time, 2 year Part-time

Enrolment dates

Start Date 9 September 2024

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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