MA Sociology

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA 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/MA Sociology programme expands your sociological knowledge and competence to enable you to conduct social research to the standards required in professional settings. You will enjoy small classes organised as seminars and workshops in preparation for carrying out a substantial independent research and writing project under individual supervision.

You will join an international community of postgraduate students and encounter the latest research topics, methods, and styles of enquiry in the distinctive suite of modules provided by the programme. From social simulation to data mining, migration to financialisation, religious revivals to organised crime, pandemics to decolonialism, gender to nationalism - the MSc/MA in Sociology is enjoyable, challenging and exciting. Highly-regarded, it prepares you for roles in any number of professions and careers: from policy analysis to media and public relations, and from community development to the creative industries. Both MSc and MA options are available, with the MSc designed for those wishing to prioritise acquisition of advanced quantitative research skills.


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.

Recent graduates include those who proceed to PhD research as well as those now working as:

  • University Lecturers in Dublin, Belfast, United States
  • Researchers at ESRI and RCSI
  • Journalists and Radio Presenters, RTE
  • Community Workers in Belfast and Dublin
  • Founder, Independent Community-Based Research Company, Ireland
  • Writer and Editor, Humanitarian Organisation, Wicklow
  • International Writer, Producer and Film Maker, Dublin

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 and Political Thought

• Research Design

• Qualitative Research

• Dissertation


Option Modules

• Global Migration

• Organised Violence and Society

• Art, Knowledge and Social Change

• Religion in Comparative Perspective

• Nationalism & Social Change

• Social Simulation: Methods and Models

• Soc Thinking in the Digital Age

• AI and Society

• Queering Global Challenges

• The Industries of Peace

• Exploring Global Solutions

• Developmental Challenges in the Global South

Please note modules offered may be subject to change

MA Sociology (W438) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MA Sociology (W439) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5460
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***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 Applicatants 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.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) based on relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis as an alternative to an undergraduate degree qualification for entry to the program. Link to the RPL policy can be found here

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 


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.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of my plans to work and travel were put on hold. I always knew I wanted to progress with my studies, particularly in the Sociological field and when the MA in Sociology appeared, I knew it was the perfect fit and the right time for me. During the second term of my master's, after completing my dissertation in the summer months, I decided to begin tutoring in the School of Sociology. During my time here not only did I gain academic knowledge but practical hands-on experience. Having completed my undergraduate also in UCD, it was a full circle moment which added greatly to my studies and gave me a greater comprehension of complex concepts. There was a wide variety in the options of modules which allowed me the freedom and ability to zone in on an area of interest for me, migration. The time I spent at UCD has stood to me greatly in my current career which I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to explore. (Emer Hayes, 2020-2022).


I started a Masters of Arts programme in Sociology in 2020. Even though the duration of the programme was during the Covid pandemic and thus entirely remote, I came away with an incredible experience. I was pleased with the varied choice of courses offered in the programme. By pursuing a general sociology degree programme the variety of courses allowed me to explore different areas of research and topics that would prove useful when dissertation season rolled around. The small size of the courses encouraged everyone to engage and participate in the discussion based format of many courses. Overall, the programme was a very rewarding and growing experience and I came away with the knowledge of what it takes to do research. Looking back now, the whole process brought about much personal growth that I've been able to carry with me into building my career and future. (Tiffany Frison 2020-21)


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. (Anita Tuesley, 2017-18)


The following entry routes are available:

MA Sociology FT (W438)
1 Years
Full Time
MA Sociology PT (W439)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised