skip to content

Graduate Admissions

In view of the COVID-19 public health emergency we may need to make changes to the course details outlined on these pages. Offers holders will be notified of changes. Please see this page for further information.

Course closed:

Sociology (Political and Economic Sociology) is no longer accepting new applications.


The course offers seminar-style teaching on eight core lectures (2 hours each) and additional research methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop. Additional supervisions are provided for two formative Review Essays and the assessed Field Essay.

One to one supervision

Students will typically receive one supervision on each of the topics they choose to study for the field review essay; these supervisions may be in groups and will be part of the teaching provided in Lent term. In addition, students will typically receive approximately eight hours of supervision on their dissertation, spread across the three terms.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Substantive modules: 8 lecture-seminars of 2 hours each.

Research methods: two modules of 12 hours.


8 lecture-seminars during Michaelmas term. In addition, students are welcome to attend any other relevant lectures offered by the Department or across the university.


Dissertation supervisions: 8 hours.

Journal clubs

Within the Department, various reading groups and clusters are offered.


Written assignments require students to conduct extensive literature reviews in their chosen areas of


Students present their dissertation proposals in a workshop held during the Lent term.


Students receive written feedback on each essay and the dissertation. Feedback is also given during the dissertation workshop on the direction and progress of the dissertation research.



Students write a dissertation of not less than 15,000 and not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Sociology Graduate Education Committee, falling within the field of the pathway chosen at the beginning of the course. The dissertation counts for 60 percent of the final mark.


Students write:

  • Two research essays (these do not count towards the final mark)
    • Research essay 1 (formative; diagnostic) of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words
    • Research essay 2 (formative) of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words
  • Field review essay of not more than 5,000 words on topics approved by the Sociology Graduate Education Committee. This essay counts for 40 per cent of the final mark

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Sociology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
April 30, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2019