MSc Sociology

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc Sociology programme provides a broad range of cutting-edge analytical and research skills to better understand significant social issues and problems in contemporary society, and how to act to change them. 

The MSc in Sociology offers students unique theoretical training and methodological expertise to understand our social world.  The MSc provides a complete methodological toolkit with every graduate trained in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to sociological inquiry.  Students can enroll as either full-time (one-year) or part-time (two-year).  As a member of a tight-knit community in the School of sociology, students benefit from a wide variety of optional modules availing of the unique substantive and methodological faculty expertise.  Covering topics ranging from nationalism to migration to violence to social networks, the MSc in Sociology culminates with the completion of a comprehensive research project benefitting from individual supervision and the time/space to apply a year’s worth of training.  Professionally or as part of a longer academic pathway, students in the MSc graduate with unique methodological competency offering the advantage of being able to engage with any substantive domain in social science. 

The School of Sociology offers both a MA and MSc in Sociology.  Both programmes share many modules and are equal contributors to the close-knit community of scholars in the School of Sociology.  The core difference is the additional methodological breadth of the MSc in that students graduate trained in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociological inquiry.  The MA offers qualitative training and an additional optional module in place of the quantitative requirement found in the MSc.

Careers & Employability

The UCD School of Sociology Masters programmes are highly regarded by a range of public and private sector employers, national, EU and international institutions and civil society organisations.

The cross-disciplinary content of these programme means there are exciting opportunities for students in a wide and dynamic range of professions including careers in: Media and Public Relations; Policy Analysis and Service Provision; Social, Community and Youth Development; Politics and Civil Society; and in Cultural and Creative Industries.

Past Graduates have taken the following career and development  destinations:

  • Radio Presenter, Dublin
  • English Language Teacher, Japan
  • Senior Officer, Public Sector, Dublin
  • University Lecturers, Dublin, Belfast, United States
  • Community Workers, Belfast, Dublin
  • Writer & Editor, Humanitarian Organisation, Wicklow
  • International Writer, Producer and Film Maker, Dublin
  • Research Analyst, ESRI, Dublin
  • Researcher, Royal College of Surgeons
  • Founder, Independent Community-Based Research Company, Ireland
A large number of our Graduates continue through to PhD level.  Some professions require further training, qualifications or certification

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This Programme is suitable for graduates with a primary degree in Sociology or Social Science or a closely related discipline, such as psychology, philosophy, human geography, history, politics, and economics, who want to develop their social analysis skills. It is designed for national and international students, both recent graduates as well as people who want to take time out from employment or who wish to study on a part-time basis.

Students will develop a range of conceptual, analytical and methodological skills that will enable them to identify, describe and analyse a wide range of social phenomena, drawing on advanced knowledge of current debates, problems and issues at the forefront of sociology.

Teaching, learning and assessment are structured around critical engagement with sociological topics. Students are encouraged to be active participants in seminar discussions and presentations, and to enhance their critical reading, thinking and writing skills.

Students also develop their independent research skills through an individually supervised thesis based on a substantive topic aligned to their interests, needs and goals.   

This academic programme is suitable for full or part-time students who want to pursue a social scientific academic or research career, for professionals or practitioners in the social sciences in the public and private sectors and civil society organisations, and for those who want to develop a broader understanding of everyday life in society, and their place within it. The values underlying the programme are intended to encourage students to be active, independent learners who are critical and reflective about society, and who ideally seek to engage in social change to improve society for all. The learning environment is based on modules in small-group settings designed to encourage and facilitate in-depth discussion about current debates, problems and issues in the field of sociology and related social sciences, and provides students with a range of options to suit their individual interests, training needs and career goals. Teaching, learning and assessment are structured around critical engagement with the material in which students are encouraged to be active participants in seminar discussions and presentations, to enhance their critical reading, thinking and writing skills in written assessments, and to develop their independent research skills through an individually supervised thesis based on a substantive topic aligned to their interests, needs and goals.

View All Modules Here

90 credits taught masters -  60 credits taught modules and 30 credit Dissertation 

Core Modules

• Social Theories & Applications

• Sociological Research: Theoretical and Applied Issues

• Dissertation

• Qualitative Research

• Quantitative Data Analytics & Applications

Option Modules

• Economic Globalisation & Social Change

• Global Migration

• Organised Violence and Society

• Dynamic Social Networks

• Critical Race & Decolonial Theory

• Art, Knowledge & Social Change

• Nationalism & Social Change

• Social Simulation: Methods and Models

• Policing & Social Conflict

• Health, Illness and Society

Please note the modules offered may be subject to change

MSc Sociology (W436) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7610
nonEU    fee per year - € 20500

MSc Sociology (W437) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4950
nonEU    fee per year - € 10250

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of Masters scholarships for full­time international students, who have been offered a place on a UCD Masters degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

The Mary Kelly Bursary comprises an award of €2,000 towards university fees to EU students who have been accepted to one of the School of Sociology’s taught masters programmes as a full-time student. For more informatoin please see Mary Kelly Bursary

Application Deadlines  
Students who require Visas March 25th
All other Applicants June 30th

Applicants should normally have a primary degree in sociology or social science, or a closely related discipline. A Second Class Honours Grade One (2:1) or higher is required but Second Class Honours Grade Two (2:2) standard or equivalent may be considered. Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements but can confirm professional qualifications and/or experience will be considered. Applicants may be called for an interview.

All candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit evidence of a certificate of proficiency (such as TOEFL, Cambridge or IELTS). Test results must be less than two years old.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 


Supporting documentation must be submitted by all students.  Applications will not be considered unless all documents are submitted immediately and received by UCD before the closing date. Documents must be uploaded to the Online Applications system.

Anita Tuesley

Student 2017-2018

I took a Joint Major in Sociology and Social Policy as a mature student, finishing in 2017.  I was so fascinated with the discipline of Sociology and impressed with the teaching at UCD that I decided to go straight on to the taught masters in Sociology. This was one of a range of options in the field, with others being more specialised.  There are many modules to choose from that can sculpt the masters into one that would suit a preferred path or career, and there is a focus on research skills.  Classes are small, so that learning takes place in a seminar type setting with strong support from the lecturers, and full participation expected.  This has been a very rewarding experience, living up to expectations and more. 

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Sociology FT (W436)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Sociology PT (W437)
2 Years
Part Time