Study options

man thinking sociology anthropology

Postgraduate study further develops the skills acquired in undergraduate study of Anthropology and Sociology. Going on to individual research projects or higher-level taught courses in Anthropology and Sociology will enhance your transferable knowledge, understanding, and skills, and will allow you to pursue your own areas of academic interest more fully.

Anthropology

Anthropology has been described as 'going to a far place in order to understand a familiar place better'. Students of Anthropology are introduced to the study of culture and society through a study of the ways in which people around the world live.

Explore the full list of courses offered in

Anthropology

Sociology

Sociology's broad research interests provide our undergraduate and honours students with course options unique to UC, including Sociology of the city and of religion. The department also contributes to UC's innovative Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree. We employ multi-media styles of teaching, integrate theoretical analysis and investigative work at all levels of teaching, and encourage research-based learning.

Explore the full list of courses offered in

Sociology

The Honours programme is a year of specialised study after the completion of a BA. It can also be a first step towards an MA or PhD thesis in Anthropology or Sociology. As an Honours student you will deepen your knowledge of your chosen discipline by developing research skills and working one-on-one with teachers and in seminar situations.

Key skills developed by the honours programme include: 

  • Advanced analytical, reasoning and evaluation skills
  • Understanding of research methodologies and frameworks, and their limitations
  • Written, verbal and non-verbal presentation skills
  • Independent and co-operative learning

Other transferable skills developed by the honours programme include ICTS, information management, problem-solving, interpersonal and leadership skills, and self-management.

Course requirements

Sociology Honours: SOCI 402 and SOCI 470, and two other approved courses from SOCI 400 level. One course from a different discipline may be taken with the approval of the Honours programme co-ordinator. All Honours courses are internally assessed by their lecturer. Within each course, total assessable work does not exceed 10,000 words. Admission to Sociology Honours normally requires a B+ average in 60 points in 300-level courses including SOCI 390 (2013)/SOCI 363 (2014), or equivalent course as approved by the Department co-ordinator. 

Talk to a Student Advisor or a department staff member to discuss your study options. 

A Masters in Sociology is a thesis-only degree. Students submit a thesis of about 30,000 words based on independent research completed under the supervision of an academic staff member. 

A thesis-only Master’s degree develops advanced skills through independent and sustained research and demonstrates:

  • advanced learning in research skills and techniques
  • specialist knowledge in your area of research
  • ability to present research findings in publishable form
  • readiness to work towards a PhD
  • ability to apply research skills to other projects
  • understanding of research ethics and code of practice
  • ability to advance sociological research through creative engagement with social theories and research methods.

How long does it take?

Full-time students normally complete an MA thesis within a year of enrolment, and part-time students in two years.
Prospective MA candidates should read the University regulations relating to the degree of Master of Arts.

Am I eligible?

A first class or a second class (division 1) Honours degree is generally required to advance to an MA.

Further information about MA enrolment, supervision and examination are outlined in UC’s Introduction to Masters Study. Candidates should identify and consult a possible supervisor within the department and contact the relevant postgraduate co-ordinator. You can enrol in the MA programme at any time throughout the year.

MA with distinction or merit

If you have an Honours degree your MA thesis is not eligible for honours. Excellence at Master’s level is recognised by the award of Distinction or Merit instead.

Research areas

If you plan to enrol for a MA thesis you will need to identify your personal research interests. Wide-ranging themes have characterised social science research in the school to date, and past and present research topics can be a useful guide.

The current research interests of Sociology staff are also a useful starting point when you are choosing your topic and area of interest, and when you are ready to identify suitable supervisors.

Future prospects with an MA in Sociology

Masters-level study of Sociology strengthens analytical, research, and writing skills. A Sociology degree does not prepare you for a specific type of work or occupation. Rather, it offers a broader range of skills and knowledge that are relevant to many different types of employment that involve problem analysis, research and data management, effective communication, human relations skills, and leadership.

You might use your MA in Sociology as a stepping stone to a PhD, or as a credential for research-related positions in business, government and non-profit organisations. An MA in Sociology can also create opportunities for those already working in the public or private sectors.

The Sociology PhD programme provides the context and guidance for original investigations culminating in the preparation of a thesis which represents an independent and original contribution to knowledge.

Am I eligible for provisional enrolment?

To be eligible you need a good academic record and the agreement of two supervisors. The senior supervisor must be from within the Sociology programme but the co-supervisor can be located in another school or organisation. Once supervision has been arranged, you can apply for enrolment at any time during the year.

Research areas

If you plan to enrol for a PhD thesis you will need to identify your personal research interests. Wide-ranging themes have characterised social science research in the school to date, and past and present research topics can be a useful guide.

The current research interests of relevant staff are also a useful starting point when you are choosing your topic and area of interest, and when you are ready to identify suitable supervisors.

Future prospects with a PhD in Sociology or Anthropology

An advanced Sociology or Anthropology degree can lead to

  • leadership and management roles in business, not-for-profit agencies and government
  • Sociologists with advanced degrees also work as research analysts, survey researchers, gerontologists, statisticians, urban planners, community developers, criminologists and demographers
  • some obtain specialised training to become counsellors, therapists, or programme directors in social service agencies
  • some sociologists move into practice-orientated work in a range of organisations from research foundations to the Arts Council and local government, the arts and culture industries and publishing
  • others work as social researchers in applied areas like heath or urban regeneration
  • Sociologists also teach in colleges and universities, advise students, and conduct and publish their research.

Research areas

If you plan to enrol for a MA or PhD thesis you will need to identify your personal research interests. Wide-ranging themes have characterised social science research in the school to date, and past and present research topics can be a useful guide.

  • MA student profiles - Anthropology
  • PhD student profile - Anthropology
  • MA student profiles - Sociology
  • PhD student profiles - Sociology

The current research interests of Sociology staff are also a useful starting point when you are choosing your topic and area of interest, and when you are ready to identify suitable supervisors.

Planning your studies

Students majoring in Sociology and Anthropology successfully combine courses in Sociology with other courses such as Media and Communication, Political Science and International Relations, Geography, History, Māori and Indigenous Studies, Social Work, Psychology, Computer Science, Management, Economics, and Law.

More information

  • See the Course Information website for more details about studying Anthropology.
  • See the Course Information website for more details about studying Sociology.

Need course or study advice?

Talk to a staff member