MPhil in Sociology and Demography

The MPhil introduces students to contemporary theories and research methods on the intersection of Sociology and Demography. This 21-month course prepares students for doctoral work in Sociology and Demography and research-intense jobs.


The curriculum emphasises 1) population-level analysis and demographic measures; 2) a life course approach; 3) sociological analysis as the key approach to explanation; 4) advanced quantitative methods. This emphasis is reflected in the compulsory papers. Optional papers and the thesis will reflect either a more specialised topical study (e.g., gender, family & fertility; migration & integration of migrants; health & mortality; intergenerational relationships) or methodological work.

The MPHil programme degree will be particularly interesting for students with undergraduate degrees in: Sociology, Human Sciences, PPE, Social Policy, Economics & Management, Social Statistics, Geography, Public Health, and general social science degrees with substantial methods training.

Successful students can either continue with a DPhil in Oxford (or doctoral studies elsewhere) or find placement in research-intensive occupations in the public sector (e.g., ONS and other national statistical offices, government departments and regional/local authorities), in international organisations, think tanks, and in private sector occupations in which quantitative skills are highly valued (consulting, market research, health research, social research, and insurance companies).

The MPhil programme has the following components:

  • Sociological Analysis (year 1)
  • Demographic Analysis (year 1)
  • Life Course Research (year 1)
  • Statistical Methods (year 1)
  • Research Design (year 1)
  • Two Optional Papers (year 1 & 2)
  • Replication Project (year 2)
  • MPhil Thesis, a substantial piece of original research (max 30,000 words) to be submitted by the end of May in year 2.


MPhil in Sociology and Demography