Entry requirements

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. English language requirements for international students can be found at www.ntu.ac.uk/s3postgraduate

Months of entry


Course content

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.

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.

Why choose the 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.

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.

The School of Social Sciences also offer a number of competitive scholarships for our full-time and part-time Master's students on this course which are available to home, EU and international students. Please visit our website for more information.

The MA Sociology consists of four taught modules and a dissertation. All modules are compulsory.

  • Theorising Public Sociology
  • Researching in and with Society
  • Service Learning
  • Contemporary Approaches to Public Sociology
  • Dissertation.

For more information about the modules you may study, please visit our website.

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.

Delivery and assessment
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.

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.Assessment will be carried out through a combination of individual and group presentations, written assessments, workshops and a dissertation.

Career development
It is envisaged that you might be entering the course because at a later date you will seek employment within community development, charity and voluntary sectors, social entrepreneurship or public service fields.

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 continuing on to a MPhil / PhD program to continue the intellectual curiosity/imagination the MA will have fostered.

Information for international students

As an international school, we are committed to enhancing our cultural and intellectual diversity. We therefore like to encourage applications from students across the world who feel we can offer them the educational opportunities they are seeking at postgraduate level.

Fees and funding

The School of Social Sciences is delighted to announce the availability of a number of competitive Scholarships for our full-time and part-time Masters courses. To find out more visit www.ntu.ac.uk/s3scholarships

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Social Sciences
+44 (0)115 848 4460