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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate>Courses>Culture, Society and Globalisation (MA)

Overview Study the ways our modern world connects us across traditional boundaries


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

If you're interested in how societies and cultures across the world are increasingly connected, including how social media impacts our global society and what this means for people's lives and identities, then this masters in sociology is for you. 

You will discover more about the different ways people are shaped by their nationality, gender and ethnicity and the global effects of cultural transformation. You will develop advanced research skills to help you design, interpret and critically evaluate data and findings, culminating in the completion of a research project of your own.

The course helped me to discover a new field of research that I hope to continue with in the future. I am looking to work for an international charity working with people affected in different ways by globalisation.
MA Culture, Society and Globalisation

Course content What you’ll study


 You will learn to investigate social and cultural differences and transformations in the contemporary world and the international world of work, and you will develop an insight into the effect of social media on societies.

You'll be based in a department with a reputation for cutting-edge research, with access to two innovative research centres, CURB (Centre for Urban Research) and ECCE (European Centre for Cultural Exploration), both of which provide opportunities to connect with researchers and students in other parts of the world to share experiences and explore findings.


You will study four core modules:

Culture, Society and Globalisation 1: Theories and Developments 
This module will give you an understanding of the key concepts and theories in sociological and related perspectives on culture, society and globalisation. You will learn to apply these theories, undertake a critical evaluation of perspectives and engage in debates about developments in these areas.

Culture, Society and Globalisation 2: Inequalities and Practices
Building on the knowledge and understanding gained in the previous module, you will engage in sociological and related debates about culture, society and globalisation in specific areas of social practice. You will examine how globalisation processes interact with and produce social and cultural inequalities. You will develop skills in applying concepts and theories using real-life case studies and gain direct experience of the cross-cultural communication of ideas.

Social Research Methods and Management
You will learn how to develop a research project, identifying and managing the different stages involved, from conception to analysis to writing up and disseminating your results. This module will give a general overview of the decisions social researchers have to make when they develop a research project.

Understanding Social Media 
You will learn how to identify key characteristics of new media communications such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and understand the impact that social media has had on organisations and on societies. You will evaluate how social, economic, cultural and political factors have shaped the design of social media and you will examine real-life case studies in order to put what you have learned in context.

Optional Modules

Study your choice of two of three options:

Option 1: Metrics in Society
Explore the social role, significance and consequences of metrics and data. From smartphone apps that measure our sleep and exercise, to the data produced by our transactions or social media profiles, through to the measurement of our performance at work and the financial systems of the global economy, metrics are now an embedded and active part of our everyday lives.  The module looks at how we are measured, how measurement links to power, governance and control and what part measurement plays in defining our everyday experiences.

Option 2: Themes and Issues in Contemporary Sociology 
Taught through real examples from the research of expert staff, you will be introduced to the key themes in contemporary sociological analysis and theory, gaining a solid grounding in theoretical matters in areas such as:

  • Cultural studies
  • Conversation analysis
  • Criminology
  • Political economy
  • Health and healthcare.

Option 3: Approved elective module from another department
For example and subject to availability: 

  • Global and Environmental Crises (Politics)
  • Asylum and Human Trafficking (Politics)
  • Creativity (Philosophy)
  • Women, Citizenship and Conflict (Centre for Women's Studies)
  • Researching Cinema and Television (Theatre, Film and Television)


You will develop, design, implement and manage your own original research project, supervised by a member of staff with the relevant experience for your topic. To complete this masters in sociology degree, you will produce a 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project.

Students will also participate in seminars designed to provide guidance in:

  • Deciding upon and refining their topic and beginning their research (this will include conducting literature reviews, formulating research questions and designing appropriate methodology)
  • Research ethics, further methodological considerations, time planning and working with supervisors
  • Undertaking data analysis and writing up.

Example dissertation titles include:

  • The performance of difference: A critical reading of Lash and Lury’s “The Global Culture Industry” in the context of serial killer counter culture
  • The meaning of Chinatown: A comparative study about the perceptions and attitudes of first- and second-generation Chinese immigrants towards Chinatown
  • Globalisation and Feudalism: 21st century life in a North Yorkshire town
  • Cultural Identity in transnational intimate relationships
  • From reason to treason: The history of hip-hop and its one-dimensional global projection
  • Gender inequality: Highly educated women at work in urban China
  • Redefining Identity: Examining the reconstructions of local belonging in response to global change
  • Communication on wires: From a cross-cultural perspective
  • Can the UK’s geodemographic system be used for commercial purposes in the Far East?
  • Political leadership qualities in celebrity culture: Case study research: Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarznegger.

Study abroad

This course is not associated with a specific Study Abroad programme, but York offers a number of options through international partnering programmes.

Study Abroad with York

Funding opportunities

A range of scholarships and studentships are available for masters students. 

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Social Media and Management MSc

Teaching format

You will be taught through a combination of formal lectures, seminars, practical exercises and workshops. There will be an opportunity to work independently and as part of a group. 

There will also be opportunities to choose option modules from other departments within the University and to engage with other students and researchers from other countries.


Types of assessments used throughout this course include: 

  • Assessment essays of between 3,000 and 5,500 words
  • Group presentation project
  • Outline research proposal
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation (15,000 words).

Careers Where you’ll go from here

This broad-based masters in sociology degree is an ideal grounding for postgraduate students looking to go on to further study such as PhD or for a career in an international organisation, government organisations or the third sector. The communication and cultural knowledge developed will be highly valued by any organisation with international interests.

Our Sociology alumni

Career opportunities

  • Social research organisations and marketing
  • Media
  • Art
  • Heritage and leisure
  • Management and organisations, especially international companies

Transferable skills

  • Data analysis
  • Critical reasoning
  • Social media and social research
  • Awareness of social transformation and cross-cultural difference

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

Eligible applicants have, or are soon to complete, a degree in a relevant social sciences or humanities discipline, but candidates with other backgrounds and relevant experience may be admitted following an interview.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want to enquire informally about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically with our online system, which allows you to save progress and return later to finish. If you're unable to apply online, you can submit a paper application.

Applying for postgraduate study

Start your online application

English language

If your native language is not English, you should meet 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. Students who have successfully completed a recent undergraduate degree at a UK University are exempt from the English Language requirement.

We also strongly recommend that applicants attend the University's Intensive Summer Courses organised by the EFL Unit.

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions

Related courses

  • MA in Social Research

Next steps

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