The MA Sociology at NTU has a distinctive and specialist focus on Public Sociology. This is a course that enables you to link theory, research and practice, develop in-depth knowledge and insights as well as gain the practical experience needed to build your skills as a Public Sociologist.
Why choose MA Sociology?
- Work with local, national and international organisations to gain hands-on experience of using sociology to identify and address the big social challenges.
- Explore historical and contemporary issues and debates with a focus on social inequalities and social issues and develop an understanding of a range of global issues.
- Build your expertise as Public Sociologist through public engagement activities, projects, creative assessments and the dissertation.
- Be part of a lively and creative research culture with staff who have specialist interests in the study of disaster, youth, race, gender, crime and social class.
- Choose to study full-time or part-time.
Public Sociology awakens and empowers your sociological imagination by connecting what you study with the social issues and challenges faced by contemporary civil society. It not only gives you the opportunity to develop advanced and specialist knowledge of sociological theory and research: it supports and challenges you to use this knowledge in ways that directly benefits others. The course is designed and delivered by academic professionals with expertise in carrying out research for and with many different clients, groups and communities.
Public Sociology reaches beyond the university, creating the spaces where academics, students and diverse publics can interrogate and apply sociological research and methods to real world situations. From day one of the course, you will take what you learn in the classroom to the various 'publics' of Nottingham and beyond, gaining valuable experience through modules that emphasise working with communities, engaging with local and national policy makers and contributing to debates that ignite public interest.
The course embodies not only the pursuit of understanding, critique and argument essential to advanced sociology, but also a call to action. Through a course design that emphasises the continuous interplay between theory and practice, you will develop both your in-depth knowledge and your practical skills in being a Public Sociologist.
Fellowship of the RSA
As a result of an exciting partnership with the national policy organisation, the RSA, students will also be automatically enrolled as Honorary Fellows. The RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today's social challenges. Honorary Fellowship will open up a number of opportunities for students to engage with this important national organisation.
Contact us for further information
Find out more information by requesting a course brochure. If you would like to speak with a member of the team, you can contact us using the details below.
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
Visit the School of Social Sciences website
We aim to:
- build richness, depth and criticality in our understanding of the world we live in, the communities we are part of, and the institutions that impact upon all our lives.
- use theory and research to underpin questions about what could be changed and how that change might come about.
- make an active contribution to change by demonstrating public sociology.
This course has been designed to provide a challenging contemporary curriculum, which reflects the specific features of public sociology as an area of specialised advanced study.
The MA Sociology consists of 180 credit points, consisting of four taught modules (30 credit points each) and a dissertation (60 credit points). All modules are compulsory.
- Theorising Public Sociology
- Researching in and with Society
- Service Learning
- Contemporary Approaches to Public Sociology
Download a detailed module list .
The first two of these four modules are designed to provide you with a firm grounding in a theoretically informed analysis of a publicly engaged sociology, and a solid preparation for carrying out both academic and participatory forms of sociological research. Together they provide you with a firm foundation to become a critical, creative, and engaged sociologist. You will also be familiar with the enduring concerns of professional sociology and the problems and challenges of the social world it seeks to study.
The other two taught modules, Service Learning and Contemporary Approaches to Public Sociology, provide a carefully structured exploration of the huge variety of ways in which public sociology can be, and are, practiced. The Service Learning module seeks to integrate the worlds of sociological scholarship and its application to the lived experience of community groups and citizens, to strengthen and transform them both. Through dedicated service learning placements you will apply your sociological imagination in work with practitioners, academics and community members to propose and test solutions to some of the challenges those groups face. The Contemporary Approaches to Public Sociology module consists of four 'mini modules' in which practicing sociologists from the course team introduce you to their research and various aspects of public engagement associated with it.
The dissertation is intended to be a crystallisation of all your learning and development of the theoretical, methodological and substantive knowledge, understanding and skills covered in the course. It gives you a structured, supported opportunity to display your knowledge, creativity and imagination in the design and execution of a research project. As such, you will be able to display specialist skills of design and project management, critical, analytic and synthesising skills that would be transferable to further postgraduate studies or to working in other professional settings. Academic staff across the Division of Sociology will be available to supervise dissertations in their area of specialism, and where possible we could allow a dissertation to be supervised by another colleague from the wider School of Social Sciences.
Assessment will be through a variety of written forms, for example: traditional academic essays, a personal manifesto, reports, and through a presentation, as well as your dissertation.
Study and support
The teaching and learning for the programme will involve a mixture of lectures, workshops, enquiry based learning, blended learning, and individual dissertation / project support to ensure that all students' develop a critical and in-depth understanding of key themes, issues and topics in a supportive environment.
View the full course specification
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
Visit the School of Social Sciences website
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
You'll also have easy access to a great combination of facilities, including:
- the £13 million Boots Library has a wide range of both print and online resources, as well as 24-7 IT facilities, group and individual study spaces
- the redeveloped Newton and Arkwright buildings which will provide you with an inspiring place to learn
- our virtual learning environment (NOW) which allows you to learn online at any time
- 3,000 student open access PC's and 300 secure wireless access points
- a new City site Students' Union building giving you an exceptional array of social, leisure and well-being facilities.
It is envisaged that you might be entering the course because at a later date you will seek employment within the fields of community development, charity and voluntary sectors, social entrepreneurship, or public service.
Graduates will also be well placed to pursue careers and training in a wide variety of professions such as teaching, politics, public administration, the social and health services, journalism, other areas of the media, law, publishing, accounting, marketing, human resources, and management.
Graduates may consider progressing on to a MPhil / PhD program to continue the intellectual curiosity and imagination the MA will have fostered.
As a MA Sociology graduate you will have had the opportunity to reflect on the subject and transferable skills that you develop during the course. These include expertise in writing complex yet concise analytical pieces, developing and implementing a research project, and the ability to present in-depth ideas. You will also have been helped and encouraged to articulate those skills in relation to the pursuit of your career development plans.
The course further develops and enhances the qualities and skills desired by prospective employers operating in the ‘third sector’, as well as the academy. Above all, these include independent critical thought, analysis and evaluation, partnership working and organisational skills, and self-directed learning. Furthermore, this course offers the opportunity to develop the following skills: communication, time-management, team-working, and IT and modern technologies.
Careers and job application advice is available to all our postgraduate students and is provided on a one-to-one basis by our School employability team, supported by the university-wide careers service.
Through dedicated service learning placements you will apply your sociological imagination in work with practitioners, academics and community members to propose and test solutions to some of the challenges those groups face.
- You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally a 2.2 or above).
- Applicants without formal qualifications will be considered but will be required to outline their motivation for study in their personal statement as well as demonstrate an ability to study at postgraduate level.
- No references are required when applying for this course.
Equivalent international qualifications
If you are unsure about the equivalency of your international qualifications, you can check it on our International Students entry requirements page.
English language entry requirements
See the English language entry requirements for courses at the School of Social Sciences and a full list of all English language qualifications accepted by the University.
The School of Social Sciences' Scholarship scheme provides a number of awards to students on taught Masters programmes. For further information visit our fees, funding and scholarships section.
The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School. To find out more about these events visit the School of Social Sciences website.
How to apply
Click the 'Apply online' button at the top of the page to complete your application.
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
School of Social Sciences website