Sociology and Social Research MA

Study level: Postgraduate
Four students in discussion across a table

In a world of rapid and disruptive social change and pressing social problems, our Sociology and Social Research MA provides intellectual and practical tools to navigate its challenges and opportunities.

Year of entry


Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time
2 years part-time (with professional experience)

Course code


Start date

May 2024

Course overview

This course is designed for students who aspire to be change-makers in the world around them. It provides an opportunity to interrogate the scope and scale of contemporary social issues and transformative social changes.

  • Research-enhanced and practice-focused tuition from subject specialists in gender, sexualities, race and ethnicities, social protest, media and contemporary cultures, disabilities, crime and criminal justice.
  • Advanced training in social research methods in an active and inclusive community of researchers, some of whom have practitioner experience in their field of expertise.
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘professional experience’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See modules for more information.
Hand selecting a user icon in a coloured circle.

Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

Five stars in a speech bubble.

5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

City buildings next to a tree.

Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2023

Why you should study this course

  • We’ll explore natural and anthropogenic catastrophic risks such as climate change, pandemics, terrorism and violence, global population growth and economic recession. This includes socio-economic and political challenges such as the rise of polarising populism, punitive responses to crime and disorder and persistent social injustice linked to legacies of colonialism and widening wealth and generational inequalities. Individual and cultural responses to change including the clash of identity politics in a digitised cultural landscape and the emotional and cultural disruptions wrought by fluid bodies, sexualities and genders occupying real-world and virtual spaces and situations complete these studies of the social complex.
  • A key aim of this flexible programme is to equip graduates of the course with knowledge and skills that are valuable for entering the graduate job market. The course also includes a module on professional skills accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management1.
  • There is a focus on community engagement and developing networks in the public, private and charitable and voluntary sectors, which emphasises collaboration and co-creation in an inclusive learning community. Students will gain an understanding of how far academic ideas and research can travel and transform in social, political, cultural and professional contexts – especially in the form of evidence-based policy and practice.
  • The course is situated in the School of Humanities which has a strong portfolio of academic research. Course delivery is by a team of experienced, active researchers, with a range of expertise in social science, who offer distinctive, research-informed and innovative teaching, including researchers engaged in impactful projects on diversity, equality, and identities.

Collaborations with other organisations

Confucius Institute

The School of Humanities is home to the Confucius Institute. This is a collaboration created through collaboration with Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, which aims to promote an understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

What you'll study

You’ll explore social change and social problems on local and international scales; from terrorism and violence, to social injustice, the commodification of intimacy and more.

The course comprises a suite of eight interconnected modules that explore contemporary social issues in the context of sociological theories and research. The over-arching ethos of the course is that social research is an active process and students on the course are social researchers in training, supported by sociological experts in their fields.


  • This module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of contemporary patterns and debates around intimacy and its relationship to identity. It explores topics such as sexuality, romantic and sexual relationships, the commodification of sex and love, emotion, friendship, family, and the ethics of intimate research. These are interrogated from an intersectional and global perspective.


  • We live in a highly interconnected world, with escalating injustices, apocalyptic risks and uncertainties. This module examines the construction of, and interconnections between the Global North and the Global South, questioning the taken-for-granted universality of Eurocentric ideas. Issues considered include legacies of empire and colonialism, decolonial imaginations, climate change and environmentalism, global workers and the ‘global’ war on terror.


  • Critical approaches to power and resistance are the starting point for this module, including critical race theory, queer theory, governmentality, and bio-power. What can they tell us about the rise of populist politics and nationalism, bodily rights and choices, misogyny and racism and other settings for ‘culture wars’, social divisions and conflict? And what do they tell us about our own beliefs and positionality in relation to key social questions and problems?


  • This module will open up the world of social research to students through engagement with the work of active social researchers in the university. Students will interrogate examples of research practice to unpack the process by which ideas and propositions become concepts and theories that are operationalised in empirical research. Through presentations on work in progress, published literature and stories about researchers' experiences in the field, students will be given an opportunity to learn how research is initiated, commissioned, designed, planned, resourced, undertaken, delivered and received.


  • Through a series of interactive workshops, students will acquire a methodological toolkit, to enable you to become a skilled social researcher. The module will provide you with the theoretical, conceptual, investigative, and practical tools they need to apply in their own independent research, including a final research project.


  • Practitioners in fields such as health and social care, social work, education, policing and criminal justice are familiar with the increasing demand for an evidence base to support strategic and operational goals and practice. Evaluation research has grown in importance for its role in meeting this demand. Students will critically assess the impact of evaluation and evidence-based practice in key areas of social and public policy.


  • This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of the theories and research associated with ‘post-digital’ sociology. This is concerned with the increasing inseparability of digital technologies from every aspect of 21st-century life and the ways in which the ‘digital’ as a social space confronts and converges with ‘real world’ spaces. Issues of interest include digital work and the gig economy, post-digital intimacies and networked selves, digital divides and surveillance capitalism.


  • What does community mean in complex, globalised societies? This module interrogates ideas of community and how these are pursued, realised and contested in social, spatial, political and cultural contexts. A key area of debate is the role of the charitable and voluntary sector in connecting individuals and groups as participants and stakeholders in activities, networks and partnerships. Students have the opportunity to explore this in a bitesize research project or a community-based placement.


  • The culmination of the course is a final research project in a chosen subject area. You may select a topic that is neoteric or disruptive in your discipline, has intrigued you from another part of your learning on the course, that aligns with a professional role or career aspirations or that might simply be an area of interest ready to be turned into a passion project. You will be the lead producer in the design and delivery of your project, with support from experienced staff one-to-one supervision.


  • This module explores the changing world of work which Arts and Humanities students enter after study. New technology and the changing global economy mean that jobs and skills are changing and evolving quickly and will continue to do so. This is an exciting and new world, and this module is designed to empower students to realise their potential in it. This module provides tools for students to develop into changemakers, thrive in a changing world of work and participate in creating a better future for society. Students will be guided through a process of reflection that explores four possible futures for the world of work and how to situate their own professional identity as the future of work changes through their careers. This module is designed in collaboration with The RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), and upon successful completion students will receive RSA digital badging.


With professional experience option

The professional experience opportunity2 enables you the opportunity to apply for optional professional experience in semester 1, which, upon successfully securing an opportunity, will extend the duration of your master’s to either 16, 20 or 24 months. The professional experience provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability. The professional experience supports the development of students’ personal and professional skills, such as communication, team-working, self-management, project working and critical reflection to enhance their future employability. This experience will build up on students’ previous learning and experiences and encourage them to reflect on their work and skill sets prior to undertaking the final sixty credits of M level study.

Please note that the optional professional experience modules incur an additional tuition fee, which for 1 semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for 2 semesters of professional experience is £2,666.67, and for 3 semesters of professional experience is £4,000.

Professional experience may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Professional experience opportunities are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the professional experience option.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

The course aspires to create a flexible and personalised learning journey which will take advantage of opportunities for hybrid delivery. Teaching and learning methods may include campus-based and online lectures, seminars, workshops and one-to-one supervision on student projects.

There will also be opportunities for experiential learning2 and for group and collaborative work as well as self-directed study and supervised research. Digital technologies will be used to innovate course delivery such as using immersive learning technologies and virtual teaching spaces4.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 10 contact hours per week in the first two semesters.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 35 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending on the module.

Assessment methods may include:

  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual Assignments
  • Roadmaps

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

The admissions team seek to recruit individuals who have the ability to complete and benefit from the course.

Applicants should normally, but don’t have to, hold a good undergraduate degree, in a social science or humanities-related subject, or equivalent international grade/qualification (including degrees in other subjects), from a recognised university.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

Chat with us

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with at least 5.5 in each component area. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

Chat with us

Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £9,350 | £13,350 (with professional experience)   Request fee information
EU £9,350 | £13,350 (with professional experience) per year with EU support bursary**
£16,700 | £20,700 (with professional experience) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £16,700 | £20,700 (with professional experience)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is joining two of our school’s completely refurbished Art and Design buildings and adding a range of new facilities4, which is planned to open at the end of 2023. These will include a hyper studio designed for cross-disciplinary projects; immersive studios with cutting-edge virtual reality and mixed-reality technologies. Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities in a dedicated environment.

Delia Derbyshire building

Delia Derbyshire Building

The Delia Derbyshire complex offers more space to learn, design and make, including a hyper-studio for students across all disciplines to collaborate on projects together, a gallery space and an events atrium.

People walking in front of a building which has a big library sign

The Library

You will benefit from our support designed to help you succeed and our industry-relevant teaching and resources. These include our modern library and computing facilities, dedicated careers advice and Your Students’ Union.

Four people sat in a pod looking at a laptop and talking

Confucius Institute

The School of Humanities is home to the Confucius Institute. This is a collaboration created with the Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, which aims to promote an understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of this course, you will have knowledge of: 

  • Employability skills – module content, teaching delivery and modes of assessment will reflect the proposition that students are producers of knowledge obtaining an advanced and distinctive skill-set that can be applied in social contexts including the workplace. For example, the development of social research skills is emphasised through the opportunities students are given to create a digital ethnography, and through the programme’s core research training modules and final research project. Such social research skills - especially when embedded in a decolonised curriculum which does not privilege the research traditions of the Global North - have the benefit of being transferable to a number of national social contexts, both national and international.
  • The course also has a dedicated vocational module with Institute of Leadership Management accreditation and there are multiple opportunities2 to develop all-important digital fluency – for example, through the production of digital portfolios4.
  • Creativity and enterprise - are an important part of the programme and there will be learning opportunities to develop skills in leadership, strategic thinking, planning and problem-solving. You will also be encouraged to be resilient in the face of major social problems and rise to their challenge and to develop your communication skills to creatively disseminate knowledge to a variety of audiences.
  • The course emphasises the importance of co-creation and you will be given the opportunity to become stakeholders in course development and delivery. Creativity and enterprise will be modelled by staff who deliver modules and innovate new ways of teaching and learning.

The Sociology and Social Research MA prepares you for further postgraduate study, as well as entry into a variety of careers. This MA also readies you for the wider world of work in a culturally diverse global marketplace; highly transferable and timely skills enable graduates to capitalise on a job market increasingly defined by flexibility and sociological concerns.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

You may also like

Coventry University (Coventry) Digital image of a large robot walking away from a nighttime cityscape

Post Digital Humanities MA