MA in Sociology by Research

The York Sociology Department is the ideal place for those who wish to undertake their own sociological research. It is ranked 1st in the UK for research quality by the recent major Research Excellence Framework review (REF2014). It is renowned for its expertise in all elements of scholarship and research and provides the ideal environment to stimulate research in the social sciences.



In addition to the Department's taught course route, it is also possible for students to undertake their MA in Sociology by Research Dissertation. Students taking this route would be expected to undertake a rigorous piece of independent research working closely with their supervisor (meeting at least twice per term).

Departmental areas of expertise

Supervision can be drawn from the Department's expanding range of expertise in:

  • Criminology,
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Social Media
  • Sociology of Health and the Body
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Gender
  • Anomalous Experience
  • Culture and Consumption

Although this is not a taught course students do have the option of taking modules and research methods training where appropriate, although this is not compulsory.

The thesis

The 25,000 word thesis must be completed within a 12 month period (Full time) and demonstrate good evidence of the candidate's ability to critically investigate a specific field of study, using solid and appropriate research methodology, written to a high standard of presentation.

Course length

Full time - 1 year
Part time - 2 years


Entry requirements

This is particularly appropriate for students with a focussed interest in a particular area of sociology, who have already developed a firm basis for their chosen research topic.

Those who have, or are soon to complete, a degree in Sociology or a similar discipline, or whose degree major contained a significant proportion of Sociology units, are eligible to apply.

Graduate Students with English as a second language

For applicants whose native language is not English, the Department sets an English language proficiency level of 7.0 in the British Council's IELTS test with at least IELTS 6.0 in writing.  We do accept other English Language Tests. Information on these is available at We also strongly recommend that applicants attend the University's Intensive Summer Courses organised by the EFL Unit.

Students who have successfully completed a recent undergraduate degree at a UK University are exempt from the English Language requirement.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want to enquire informally about the suitability of the course for your interests and purposes, please contact us.


Application procedures

If you wish to apply for an MA in Sociology by Research you can apply online and send all your documentation electronically. It is possible to save your application half way through the process and come back to it at a later stage.

Guidance and application forms 


Information on fees for entry in October 2015 is available on the Registry Services fees website.

Student Writing in Lecture

Who to contact