The Department of Sociology welcomes the best graduate students from all over the world. They join a community of about a hundred students who enjoy first-class facilities for studying as well as the opportunity to advance the leading edge of the discipline.
These prepare students for doctoral work in Sociology and provide a stand-alone training for careers in social research.
- MSc in Sociology: three terms of course work and a thesis of up to 10,000 words; 12 months
- MPhil in Sociology: six terms of course work and a thesis of up to 30,000 words; 21 months
In the first year, students in the MSc and MPhil program take core papers on research methods and sociological analysis, and choose an optional paper on a substantive field of the discipline. In their second year, MPhil students take additional optional papers. (Sample thesis topics can be seen here.)
- DPhil in Sociology: original research culminating in a thesis of up to 100,000 words; it is usually completed in three years
Students who intend to progress to doctoral research should begin by taking either the MSc or the MPhil; these degrees provide the theoretical and methodological foundation for original research. Students may sometimes be admitted to the DPhil degree with a recognized Masters degree from a comparable institution.
DPhil research has been published in the top journals in the discipline and has formed the basis of several books. Graduates have been very successful in winning prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, such as those offered by the ESRC and the British Academy. Many have gone on to highly successful careers within academia and beyond. Recently completed theses and destinations of graduates are listed under alumni.
(Note on terminology: In Oxford, the Doctor of Philosophy is abbreviated as DPhil; most universities abbreviate this as PhD. The DPhil thesis is identical to what Americans call a dissertation. The closest equivalent to an American doctoral program is the sequence MPhil + DPhil.)
Information for applicants