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.
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.