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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

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


The course offers seminar-style teaching on eight core lectures (2 hours each) and additional research methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop. Additional supervisions are provided for two formative Review Essays and the assessed Field Essay.

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

Substantive modules: 8 lecture-seminars of 2 hours each.

Research methods: two modules of 12 hours.


8 lecture-seminars during Michaelmas term. In addition, students are welcome to attend any other relevant lectures offered by the Department or across the university.


Dissertation supervisions: 8 hours.

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.


Students present their dissertation proposals in a workshop held during the Lent 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.


Thesis / Dissertation

Students write a dissertation of not less than 15,000 and not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Sociology Postgraduate Education Committee, falling within the field of the pathway chosen at the beginning of the course. The dissertation counts for 60 percent of the final mark.


Students write:

  • Two research essays (these do not count towards the final mark)
    • Research essay 1 (formative; diagnostic) of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words
    • Research essay 2 (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 Postgraduate 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 – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
April 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 3, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.