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.

Structure

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 paper taught in the first year through lectures and seminars, assessed by an unseen examination;
  • Demographic Analysis paper taught in the first year through lectures, seminars and computer labs, assessed through a combination of examination and assignments;
  • Life Course Research paper taught in the first year through lectures, seminars and computer labs, assessed through a combination of methods;
  • Statistical Methods paper taught in the first year through lectures and computer labs, assessed through a combination of a test and assignments;
  • Research Design paper taught in the first year through lectures, assessed via a combination of methods;
  • two optional papers over both years of the MPhil, normally taught through eight weekly classes/seminars for each paper and assessed by unseen examination or appropriate coursework;
  • Replication project in the second year, comprising a combination of individual and group work and assessed via assignments;
  • MPhil thesis, a new and substantial analysis of up to 30,000 words on a sociological and/or demographic topic, to be submitted by the end of the second year.

Handbook

MPhil in Sociology and Demography

Further Information

 For more information about how to apply to the MSc Sociology (full- or part-time), please visit the course homepage here.

Note: the Examination Regulations, known as the 'Grey Book', are the ultimate authority on all questions relating to courses.