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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

Sociology (The Sociology of Marginality and Exclusion) is no longer accepting new applications.


The course offers teaching on social theory, substantive modules and research methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop.

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

Marginality and Exclusion: four modules of 6 hours.

Research methods: two modules of 12 hours.


Social theory: eight hours per year. Students are also entitled to attend any lectures offered by the University.


Dissertation workshop: ten hours per year.

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 research.


The department runs a dissertation workshop in the second 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 per cent of the final mark.


Students write:

  • Two research essays (these do not count towards the final mark)
    • Research essay one (formative; diagnostic) of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words
    • Research essay two (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. 3, 2018
Application deadline
April 26, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 5, 2018
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018