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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

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

This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates in political and economic sociology. There are four core substantive modules on political and economic sociology that students are expected to attend, taught by Dr Manali Desai, Dr Teije Donker, Dr Stuart Hogarth and Dr Jeff Miley.

Other substantive modules may also have an economic sociology component, and these would complement the core modules well. In addition, all students must attend the module on comparative historical research methods taught by Dr Miley as well as one other methods module to be decided in consultation with their supervisor.

Students have the option of doing one of their coursework essays on a topic taught on any sociology MPhil module (for instance, media, culture, globalisation or reproduction); all of the rest of the coursework essays and the dissertation (based on original research) must relate to the political and economic sociology options.

Topics to be covered include the Marxist critique of capitalism; Weber’s theory of legitimacy; the transition from feudalism to capitalism; the emergence of the modern state; theories of the capitalist state; class structure and class formation under capitalism; the rise of democracy and dictatorship; theories of revolution; the rise of the welfare state; social movement theory; theories of imperialism; theories of development and underdevelopment; gender and ethnicity in post-colonial states; nationalisms; war and militarism, and state violence and genocide.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

  • an advanced understanding of current sociological research on selected topics;
  • skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
  • an ability to apply and develop modern social theory with respect to empirical topics;
  • a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research; and
  • the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.


Students are encouraged to proceed to the department's PhD programme, provided they reach a high level of achievement in all parts of the course. MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD would normally need to have a final mark of at least 70 per cent overall and 70 per cent on the dissertation.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Sociology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2017
Application deadline
April 26, 2018
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2018

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 6, 2017
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2017