Taught course


University of Glasgow · School of Social and Political Sciences

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject. International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme will provide you with an advanced introduction to sociology and you will develop a critical understanding of the discipline.

Why Glasgow

  • It will develop your knowledge of the different theoretical and analytical approaches in sociology, together with knowledge of empirical studies in social research, while enabling you to focus in depth upon particular areas of sociology.
  • You will also be given some research methods training.

Programme Structure

The programme has a flexible structure, with over half the taught courses as options. Following from this, you will produce a sustained account of research in a chosen area, and conduct empirical research in that area, through a dissertation project.

Core courses

  • Current issues in social theory
  • Methods of social research.

Optional courses

You will choose three optional courses from the list below. You may choose to take one option from other postgraduate taught courses in the School of Social & Political Sciences.

  • The disabling society
  • Religion in society
  • Sexualities and society
  • Gender and society
  • Racism and modernity
  • Introduction to social theory
  • Class and stratification.

Background and Aims

The teaching of sociology and other social sciences in the University of Glasgow dates back to the 18th Century Scottish Enlightenment. The modern Department (now subject- area) of Sociology dates from the early 1970s when this discipline emerged fully-fledged from its original home in the Department of Politics. It was a pioneer of developments now taken for granted, leading to the autonomy of the social sciences as separate disciplines, with distinctive methodologies and epistemology. At the same time, it has also had productive links with other departments with which Sociology has affinities eg History and English Literature. Its members also played an important part in the formation of the Glasgow University College of Social Sciences and – nationally – in the British Sociological Association. John Eldridge (the founding professor of the Department) was for several years President of the BSA.

Over the years, Glasgow sociology has been strengthened by the addition of anthropology and the removal of the unnecessary barrier between the two disciplines. It has also gained other new areas such as the sociology of sexualities and disability. It has always been a department which has been known for its theoretical interest in modernity and for the strength of its social theory teaching, with expertise in Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel, amongst other thinkers. Indeed, one distinguishing mark of Glasgow sociology has been its concern within each area to link contemporary sociological research to the classical sociological canon and to illustrate how this illuminates current social changes, from bureaucratic organisation to religion and its current revival.

Glasgow has a strong resemblance to another great industrial city: Chicago, the early 20th Century pioneer of urban and industrial research, the site of an often forgotten group of feminist sociologists and the home of the then new American Journal of Sociology. Glasgow – through the 20th Century and now into the 21st Century - is a similarly important site for studies of industrial (or de-industrialised) metropolitan life, where a large population throws up an extraordinarily wide spectrum of the division of labour. It is in this crucible that – amongst other subjects – sociologists can easily study “race” and class, asylum-seekers’ claims for refugee status, and the wider social patterns producing health and disease. Glasgow has always had a celebrated Media group, situated in the Department and which is an ongoing base for critical analysis of media content and imagery. But throughout all the work of the Department’s members a distinctive sociological perspective has been uppermost, characterised by theoretical imagination and empirical rigour. It is these that we aim to pass on to our students.

Information for international students

IELTS: overall score 6.5; no sub-test less than 6.0; ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20. CAE: 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169 CPE: 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169. PTE Academic: 60; no sub-test less than 59

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Ms Clair Clarke