Taught course

Sociology (Political and Economic Sociology)

University of Cambridge · Department of Sociology

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High 2:1 Honours Degree.

We require a previous academic background in sociology or related subject areas such as politics and economics. This course is not suitable for people new to the discipline of sociology.

Months of entry


Course content

This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates in political and economic sociology. There are eight core lectures that students are expected to attend during Michaelmas term. The topics may vary from year to year and include all or some of the following - capitalist development, democracy and capitalism, nationalism and gender, populism, empire and post-colonial states, and environmental catastrophe, among others. Prospective students are therefore encouraged to check if they are concerned about the coverage of specific topics in the year of entry.

Other substantive modules may also have an economic sociology component, and these would complement the core modules well. In addition, all students must attend the module on comparative historical research methods as well as one other methods module to be decided in consultation with their supervisor.

The seminar-style teaching aims at developing an understanding of core concepts in the field and sub-fields, to identify an overarching understanding of the field(s), key debates, theoretical developments, and methodological advances, and to develop skills of exposition and communication in these areas.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

  • an advanced understanding of current sociological research on selected topics;
  • skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
  • an ability to apply and develop key concepts and theories with respect to empirical topics;
  • a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research; and
  • the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details