Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Sociology - MA

2018

The MA in Sociology invites you to think systematically about the social world and how it is changing.

2018

Overview

The programme provides a comprehensive overview of the foundational concerns and current debates in sociology, and offers a range of options for exploring applications in specific areas of research. You learn about current theoretical tools and develop skills in research and data analysis, which can be used in a range of professional fields. The programme is also an excellent basis for pursuing further research in sociology or more specialised or applied subjects.

About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR)

Our School has a long and distinguished history and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe. An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, with 99% of the research submitted judged to be of international quality.

The School supports a large and thriving postgraduate community, and in 2010 distributed to new students in excess of £100,000 in Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quota awards, University and SSPSSR bursaries and scholarships.

Our faculty staff are world authorities in their fields. Members attract large research grants from bodies such as the ESRC, the British Academy, Arts and Humanities Research Council, European Commission, Anglo-German Foundation, NATO, Equal Opportunities Commission, National Probation Service and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. We take part in international symposia and research projects, and act as consultants and advisers to a wide variety of government departments, professional organisations, research funding bodies and learned journals.

Think Kent video series

In this talk, Dr Chris Shilling from the University of Kent highlights how 'body matters' are key to contemporary social trends and problems, explores the potential of classical sociology to aid our understanding of embodiment, and identifies some of the multiple reasons why the body has become a source of conflict in the contemporary era.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research was ranked 2nd for research power in the UK. The School was also placed 3rd for research intensity, 5th for research impact and 5th for research quality.

An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research, gaining the highest possible score of 100%.

In The Times Good University Guide 2016, Sociology was ranked 1st (out of 93) for research quality and 10th overall.

Course structure

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include Credits

This course is designed to provide a guide to the foundations of sociology by exploring the most influential traditions of writing in the discipline and examining how these were forged on the basis of an ongoing dialogue with the legacy of the Enlightenment. After situating sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts, the course analyses how the founders of the discipline developed a series of a competing visions of those processes elementary to social and moral life. Focusing mainly on the French and German traditions of sociology, but also incorporating the British tradition, we progress by examining the tensions that have arisen between collectivist visions of the social whole and competing conceptions of voluntarist inter/action, before focusing on Parsons’s attempt to reconcile these approaches within an overarching conception of ‘the sociological tradition’. The second part of the course moves away from these classical visions of sociology to those post-classical attempts to reconstruct the discipline on the basis of alternative concerns such as conflict, culture and post-modernity. Here we study a number of perspectives that have contributed to a fragmentation of the discipline. Whilst most sessions are concerned with debating the dominant theoretical interests that have defined the discipline, others are devoted to investigating key junctures in the development of methodology and research practice. The course aims to provide students with critical insights into the ways in which sociology has been configured as a discipline in response to key junctures in its history.

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Social theory is a nebulous field of inquiry with fuzzy boundaries. Some of the most significant contributions to it in terms of ideas and concepts have historically originated in the work of thinkers diversely identified with a wide range of disciplines - such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, anthropology, literary and aesthetic theory, historical and cultural studies, as well as with sociology. This module approaches contemporary social theory by exploring a set of themes through close readings and analyses of several texts by 20th and 21st century theorists whose work has been to varying degrees appropriated across the social sciences and the humanities, but yet whose contribution to ‘social theory’ per se is still open to question, in any case far from canonical.

In working through these selected primary texts within a seminar group, the aim is to critically investigate and evaluate what they offer to social theory, and to critically assess their usefulness for understanding various social and political phenomena characteristic of contemporary life and society in a globalised world. During the course of such detailed discussions, we will also, no doubt, reflect on the distinction between modern and postmodern social theory; the ‘linguistic turn’, the ‘cultural turn’, the ‘ethical turn’, the shift from narrative to image based culture, and other general parameters of social theorizing in recent times.

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In summary, ‘social suffering’ calls for a new project of social science. It involves researchers in the attempt to understand how social and cultural conditions moderate the experience of suffering. It also brings a critical focus to the ways in which such experience serves to expose the moral character and structural force of society within people’s lives. Whilst attending to the particular ways in which individuals struggle to make ‘the problem of suffering’ productive for thought and action, it also works to understand how, through to the level of collective experience, this contributes to wider dynamics of social change. This course examines these cross-disciplinary issues and debates with the aim of assessing their sociological significance and political implications.

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This module examines the way work shapes society and in turn how society shapes work. Drawing on the fields of sociology, cultural sociology, social policy as well as other disciplines this module explores work in a variety of competing and complementing ways and in doing so offers students a chance to appreciate different themes, issues, methodologies and approaches. These include work identity and meaning; age, generation and class; visual methods and approaches; the cultures of work; work/life balance and the end of work.

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This module is particularly concerned with the forms and outcomes of the political contention and mobilisation around environmental issues, ranging from pressure groups, formal environmental movement organisations and Green parties to local environmental activism and radical environmental protest. It also considers the relationship between democracy and the environment: is democracy good for the environment? Would more deliberative forms of democracy improve matters? The approach is cross-nationally comparative and will also consider issues of global environmental politics.

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This module focuses on the theory and practice of qualitative research. It explores the various aspects of using and collecting qualitative data. The aim of the module is to illustrate a range of practical techniques while considering related problems of evidence and inference in qualitative analyses.

Students will be versed in a range of techniques and will have the opportunity to practice some of them, this includes:

• the theory and practice of interviewing and different varieties of interview;

• focus groups;

• oral history;

• case study methods;

• ethnographic theory and method;

• action research;

• critical discourse analysis;

• narrative analysis;

• visual methods.

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The module will provide an introduction to the use of Statistical Analysis within the Research Process. It will begin by introducing and discussing different types of measurement and the practical problems of data entry in SPSSW. After discussing basic data description and transformation the focus will shift to Exploratory Data Analysis and the need to examine the data carefully. Simple approaches to summarising data and distributions will then be examined. This will then be followed by methods to test research hypotheses through bi-variate and multivariate methods that are used extensively in the Social Sciences. The final part of the module will look at various issues surrounding the practical issues of quantitative data analysis, such as how to find appropriate data and about presenting research outcomes.

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This module examines how postcommunist, transition and developing countries respond to the liberal democratic political order, critically exploring the economic, social and moral aspects of neoliberalisation in the southern hemisphere. Notions of power, the state, class, agency and morality are central to considerations of social and political change. Several key topics, including gendered politics, state corruption, international aid, global finance and fraud, slums and migration, will be discussed. The module is interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to engage with key ideas and studies from sociology and political science to development studies and ethics. Each week students will explore a broad range of literature, spanning from political sociology to moral economy, so that students gain a deeper appreciation of people' politics and values in emerging and newly liberal societies.

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This module will examine the ways in which violence is understood in social science research, and will provide advanced discussion of the major theoretical and research themes involved in the analysis of violence. It will critically examine data on the prevalence, nature and effects of violent crime, and will consider issues of violence, aggression and masculinity. This will be done with particular reference to examples, such as racist crime, homophobic crime and domestic violence. The module will approach violence from both interpersonal and societal perspectives and will include consideration of collective violence and genocide. It will further examine solutions to solutions to violence and conflict resolution, the effects of intervention strategies and non-juridical responses to violence.

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This course provides students with the understanding and skills necessary to use research, whether within a research career or outside of it. Building on other training in the details of specific methods, it focuses on two sets of broader questions. Firstly, it looks at uncertainty in social research – how confident are we about what we know? In answering this question it looks at issues of quality in qualitative and quantitative research, the difficulties of causal inference and generalisation, coming to conclusions from research reviews, and philosophical issues around ‘truth’ and values. Secondly, it looks at the link between research and action. In doing this, it goes from the very practical (how to ensure that your research is used by policymakers and/or practitioners, and to deal with the political pressures on researchers) to the conceptual (in what ways does evidence get used by wider society?) to the normative (should researchers be ‘critical’, and if so, what are their ethical obligations in doing this?).

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Module Summary:

This module aims to provide students with the skills to develop a research idea and to turn this into a coherent, achievable – and interesting! – research proposal. The course will be particularly useful for those doing empirical research in their MSc or PhD dissertation, or who will use social research after their studies.

In developing these skills, the course also provides an introduction to research methods and methodological debates. It will cover:

1. Key skills in research design – developing a research question; writing a research proposal; and ‘real-world’ considerations like ethics, cost, and feasibility;

2. Qualitative research design – an overview of different types of qualitative methods and the logic of qualitative design; when to apply qualitative methods; and key design issues such as choosing cases and planning qualitative analysis;

3. Quantitative research design – an introduction to the logic of quantitative research, and key issues such as turning the social world into numbers; when to apply quantitative methods; issues surrounding generalisation; how to interpret quantitative analysis results, and an introduction to the most common form of quantitative analysis;

4. Mixed-methods designs, which combine qualitative and quantitative research.

This course is complementary to the specialist courses in doing qualitative (SO817) and quantitative (SO819) research, and the course ‘Using Social Research – Advanced Critical Skills’ (SO832).

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1. Introduction: The Sociology of Risk

2. The Social Semantics of Risk in Historical Perspective

3. Ulrich Beck and the ‘Risk Society’

4. The ‘Cultural Theory’ of Risk

5. Governmentality and Risk

6. Reading / Essay Writing Week

7. The ‘Perception of Risk’ in Sociological Perspective

8. The ‘Management of Risk’ in Sociological Perspective

9. Risk in Mass Media

10. Risk, Subjectivity and ‘the endangered self’

11. Transnational Risks and Civil Society

12. World Risk Society: Retrospect and Prospect

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The aims of this module are twofold:

First, to provide students with the opportunity to independently carry out an in-depth inquiry to investigate a research question(s) of their choice, producing a coherent review of the relevant literature, a logical discussion and a clearly communicated set of conclusions in the form of a dissertation.

Second, to prepare students to become ‘research-minded’ practitioners in order that they have the capacity to undertake research in practice settings and/or take a lead role in supervising others in such work.

The following represents the likely format for curriculum delivery:

In mid-November, there will be a two-hour workshop, which will outline the aims, the structure, the process of the dissertation. During the spring term, the students will finalise their proposal with their chosen supervisor. If the dissertation requires ethical research approval, an application will be submitted to the school research ethics committee by the beginning of the summer term. During the summer term and vacation, students will meet their supervisor every fortnight to discuss the progress of their dissertation. The supervisors will provide feedback on written work and will set monthly work plans and targets for the students. The dissertation topic will relate to a key question, issue and problem within social science.

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with an advanced overview of debates in the history of sociology and contemporary sociological research
  • extend your already-existing knowledge of major approaches within the academic study of sociology
  • develop your skills in research design and data collection
  • familiarise you with using secondary and qualitative data
  • enable you to apply theories and methods of sociology in exploring specialist areas such as the environment, political change, urban development and feminism.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • sociological theory
  • the historical development of sociology as a field of disciplinary inquiry
  • methodological innovations and research design
  • the philosophy of social research
  • the political and policy implications of social research
  • key developments in contemporary sociology.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to gather relevant information and access key sources by electronic or other means
  • the ability to evaluate issues according to their context, relevance and importance
  • the ability to formulate arguments on central issues and areas of controversy, and be able to present a reasoned opinion based upon relevant materials
  • the ability to recognise potential alternative arguments and evidence contrary to your own opinion and present a reasoned justification for your preference
  • the ability to demonstrate an independence of mind and offer critical challenge to received understanding on particular issues
  • the ability to reflect constructively on your learning progression.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to identify and understand key issues in sociological theory and research
  • the ability to research and access the main sources of information relevant to the debate of critical issues in sociology
  • the ability to identify and evaluate the main theoretical perspectives that are applicable to a given area of sociological enquiry
  • the ability to provide a reasoned and justified opinion on specified issues within sociology
  • an awareness of the limitations of present knowledge and matters needing to be resolved by further research.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to undertake research from a diverse range of sources
  • the ability to summarise detailed and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately
  • the ability to formulate arguments in presentations and defend them against opposing views
  • the ability to present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended readership
  • the ability to evaluate personal performance.

Careers

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills. We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation as well as time management and leadership skills. You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of sociology is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

Our graduates go on to work for a range of organisations across the public, private and third sectors, and typically pursue careers which involve specialist research and data analysis skills. Recent graduates have worked for Government, NGOs, charities and think tanks as well as global media organisations.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Our postgraduate students have access to dedicated office space within the department and are able to take advantage of excellent library and computing facilities. Where appropriate, research students are encouraged to expand their experience by teaching part-time in the School.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Theory and Society; Sociology; European Journal of Social Theory; The Sociological Review; and International Sociology.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in sociology or a related social science discipline, or substantial experience in social or political research or a relevant profession.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Academic staff at Kent share a number of interests, grouped here for your guidance. However, there is often a degree of overlap between groups and your research project does not have to fall neatly within any one of them. The School also has several research centres that bring together experts in the field, co-ordinate research, organise talks and offer opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in discussions and research projects.

The Analysis of Social Movements

Social and political changes have stimulated new forms of political participation and mobilisation, including waves of protest, new social movement organisations focused on old as well as new issues, new political parties and global social movements. Staff interests include environmental movements, humanitarian NGOs, elite networks, and the ‘postmodern’ politics of anti-communist movements in Eastern Europe.

The Civil Society

Staff in this research cluster seek to: understand the social forces and cultural interests that move people to take moral responsibility for responding to/caring for the needs of others; document and explain the institutional organisation of charitable behaviour and its social impacts; the socio-cultural dynamics of philanthropic behaviour and its effects on society. They also perform research into contemporary humanitarianism and its powers of influence over social policy and political process; and the character of the social ties and cultural values that structure the interrelationships between humanitarian action, charitable endeavour and philanthropic intervention; as well as the bearing of government policies and governmental processes upon the charitable sector and philanthropic activity.

Crime, Culture and Control

The School has a long-established tradition of conducting criminological research. The group covers a diverse range of topics, employs both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and draws upon different theoretical traditions. We have particular expertise in the following areas: cultural criminology; crime, punishment and social change; drug use; gender, crime and criminal justice; penology and imprisonment (especially of female offenders); policing; quasi-compulsory treatment for drug-using offenders; race, crime and criminal justice; restorative justice and young offenders; crime and the ‘night-time economy’, terrorism and political crime; violence; youth crime and youth justice.

Present and current research has been funded by the ESRC, the Home Office and the Youth Justice Board.

Cross-National and European Social Policy

Using the framework of studying different welfare regimes, academic staff research a wide range of topics, while postgraduate students conduct research projects in every part of the world. Many of these projects involve overseas students making comparative studies involving their own country and European or UK services. The work of academic staff has resulted in a wide range of policy research related to Europe. Recent cross-national work has included projects examining home care services for older people, formal and informal social care systems, institutional change and the future of welfare reform, industrial relations, housing and community activism. Other interests include globalisation and welfare, and subsidiarity and convergence. Current or recent thesis topics include: democratisation and social policy in Korea; youth homelessness in Greece and the UK.

Gender

Research at Kent addresses how gender is constructed and how it operates in a variety of social realms. Some of our recent projects have focused on gender in prisons, on women working as door staff in nightclubs and on how women are addressed in advice on pregnancy. Our research on social policy also includes a focus on gender, examining how men, women and families are affected by legislation and service provision.

Globalisation

At Kent, research in this area includes the role of global civil society, critical analysis of terrorism and responses to it, globalisation and everyday life, migration, the role of communication technologies, and the global expansion of capitalism and responses to it in social movements.

The Individual and the Social

Within this area, staff have worked on the ‘culture of anxiety’ and the ‘therapy culture’, the impact on individual lives and experiences of masculinity, gender, race and ethnicity, parenthood and nationality. Other interests include the social context in which attributions of mental illness are made and managed, the meaning and construction of pain in late modernity, and the sociology of crime and deviance.

Media

Staff share a research interest in the social role of the media, how media are used and how they are changing. Research at Kent has included work on the role of the media in constructing social problems and moral panics, media and crime, new media, media and subcultures, and the role of media in representing space and identity.

Migration and Ethnicity

Though socially and discursively constructed, ‘race’ continues to be a key basis of social division and identification in British society, across Europe, and globally. Not only do many disparate ethnic minority groups continue to identify along ethnic, racial and religious lines, but ethnicity and race continue to shape a variety of outcomes, such as employment, educational attainment and senses of ‘belonging’. In this sense, ‘race’ and the recognition of difference continues to matter and is a key element in the School’s research interests.

Risk and Uncertainty

The critical analysis of risk and perceptions of risk have become central issues in the sociology of the ‘risk society’ and this is an important focus of activity in the School. Staff research includes work on health risks and their management, the implications of attitudes and behaviour concerning risk for the welfare state, the development of a culture of risk and anxiety, moral panics, risk and crime, risk and the life course, suffering, and the perceptions of new communications technology.

Sociological Theory and the Culture of Modernity

Staff working in this cluster study issues such as classical social theory, the impact on social theory of the fall of communism, and the theoretical implications of the changing boundaries of social life. This has further entailed work on the integrity of auto/biography as a form of social information and its impact on diverse disciplines of feminist perspectives.

Sociology of the Body

In this research cluster, staff seek to understand the complex relationships between embodied subjects, and the social and cultural forms, relationships, institutions and structures that shape and are shaped by these actors. This includes research on clothing and fashion, the embodiment of age, and the body in health and social care. Thesis topics within this cluster have included female binge drinking, female body builders, tattooing and piercing, and the embodied sociology of private spaces.

Visual Sociology

Staff share an interest in the visual dimension of social life. How is life seen; how are images created, stored and used? In various research projects, we also explore the use of images in innovative forms of research design and in sharing our findings.

Work and Economic Life

Interest in the issues surrounding work stretches across SSPSSR and current projects focus on work identity and meaning; work/life balance; age, generation and employment; visual representation of work; deindustrialisation; organisational sociology; gender, ethnicity and class at work; historiography of work sociology; moral economy; workplace ethnography and oral histories.

Research centres

The School also has several research centres that bring together experts in the field, co-ordinate research, organise talks and offer opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in discussions and research projects.

Centre for Child Protection

The Centre for Child Protection is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and is the first centre of its kind in Europe. Combining research with distance learning programmes and a range of innovative serious training games, the Centre for Child Protection is leading the way in building knowledge and training opportunities for professionals working in this area.

We aim to:

  • develop innovative techniques for professional training and support
  • translate and apply the latest research and knowledge to inform best practice
  • create diverse and flexible learning programmes
  • address gaps in post-qualification training provision and opportunities
  • facilitate safe and realistic environments in which child protection professionals can develop and enhance their skills and professional practice.

The Centre is led and informed by a team of experts in the field of child protection. With many years of experience in both research and practice, we are committed to improving the provision of continued professional development to enhance the skills of those involved in child protection.

Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS)

The Centre for Health Services Studies has a strong record in attracting research grants from the National Institute for Health Research, European Union Framework Programme, ESRC, Department of Health, as well as local health authorities and trusts. It is a designated NIHR Research Design Support Service. Particular areas of expertise include pragmatic trials, risk assessment and management, care of vulnerable adults including older people, and public health.

Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS)

Based in SSPSSR, the Centre is inter-disciplinary, with associates in other Schools at the University, including Law and Psychology, and at other universities in the UK and internationally.
While CPCS associates have diverse research interests, the common view is that child-rearing as a social activity needs to be distinguished from ‘parenting’ and the culture that surrounds it. The work seeks to show how the role and meaning of parenthood has changed in recent years. The expansion of the child-rearing role has also encouraged the belief that ‘parenting’ is a problematic sphere of social life. Indeed, ‘parenting’ is almost always discussed as a social problem. Many social factors have sought to turn child-rearing into an object of policy making, encouraging the emergence of the activity ‘parenting’. The causes and effects of this policy turn is another central area of the Centre’s research.

Centre for Philanthropy

Dedicated to an understanding of the social processes and cultural experiences by which people acquire moral dispositions to care for others, the Centre for Philanthropy offers a focal point for much of this work. Research is conducted into the ways in which our capacity for feelings are socially cultivated, corporately structured, politically mediated and economically expressed. The School is also linked to the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC), collaborating with the University of Birmingham on third sector theory and policy analysis.

Centre for Social and Political Movements

The Centre was established in 1992 in order to consolidate Kent’s leading position in the study in Britain of social and political movements. The Centre is actively involved in international networks of social movement researchers through its participation in the Erasmus network on ‘Social movements, conflict and political action’ and through its members’ activity in the relevant research committees of the International Sociological Association, the European Sociological Association, and the European Consortium for Political Research.

Centre for Social Science and Risk

The Centre conducts research into the concept of risk and uncertainty: how and why risk is manifested and how it is experienced in today’s society. Staff take an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing upon sociology, law, social psychology, and history. The Centre’s research seeks to understand causal issues from the perspectives of both individuals and organisations while considering the wider political and social context.

Personal Social Services Research Unit

The PSSRU is the largest social services research unit in the UK, and operates at three sites: the University of Kent, the London School of Economics and the University of Manchester. Facilities include the Griffiths Library of Community Care, a reference library of more than 10,000 books, journals and other literature linked to the Unit’s field of study. Research focuses on needs, resources and outcomes in health and social care: major concerns are resourcing, equity and efficiency from the perspective of users, agencies and others. The Unit has developed a distinctive analytical framework called the ‘production of welfare approach’ to illuminate this research.

Q-Step Centre

The University of Kent is one of 15 universities in the UK to have a Q-Step Centre, significantly funded by HEFCE, the Nuffield Foundation and ESRC, to provide students with advanced training in quantitative methods in social sciences.

The Centre is based in SSPSSR and incorporates teaching from Politics and International Relations, Law, Business and Liberal Arts. At its heart is the delivery of quantitative skills training in a subject context, a community-based project and professional placements. Quantitative Methods (QM) training, which greatly enhances employability and provides a deeper and more secure grasp of the quantitative skills needed to evaluate evidence and analyse data within a discipline, is delivered in a practical and engaging manner.

Tizard Centre

The Tizard Centre is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments. The Centre is at the forefront of learning and research in autism, intellectual disability and community care, and in 2013 received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work in these areas.

Our primary aims, through research, teaching and consultancy, are:

  • to find out more about how to effectively support and work with people with learning disabilities
  • to help carers, managers and professionals develop the values, knowledge and skills that enable better services
  • to aid policymakers, planners, managers and practitioners to organise and provide enhanced services.

The Tizard Centre is recognised as leading the field in deinstitutionalisation and community living, challenging behaviour, quality of staff support, sexuality and autism, and has had a significant impact on national policies in these areas. We are committed to addressing issues arising from social inequality.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Ben Baumberg Geiger: Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy

Disability; the workplace; inequality; the benefits system; addictions policy; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); the relationship between evidence and policy; stratification across the lifecourse; new ideas for the welfare state.

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Professor Adam Burgess: Professor of Risk Research

Contemporary understanding of risk in Western societies; the impact of health risks and neuroses upon individuals and society; the spread of generic risk assessment and management to every walk of professional life; precaution and the study of rumours and urban legends.

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Professor Michael Calnan: Professor of Medical Sociology

Diffusion and innovation in health care and technology; trust and health care; dignity and the provision of health and social care for older people. 

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Dr Heejung Chung: Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy

Employment insecurity perceptions; work-family conflict and gender gaps; flexible working time arrangements; support for child care in Europe; youth in the labour market after the crisis; relative importance of social life and the role of the welfare state; gender norm dimensions.

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Dr Robert de Vries: Lecturer in Quantitative Sociology

Social stratification and social comparisons, cultural consumption, health inequalities, social attitudes and stereotypes (particularly with respect to welfare benefit claimants). 

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Professor Frank Furedi: Professor of Sociology

The different manifestations of contemporary risk consciousness; the relationship between the diminishing of cultural authority and society’s capacity to manage risk and change; the sociology of rumour and dissident knowledge; the sociology of fear. 

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Dr David Garbin: Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Transnational religion; African and South Asian diasporas; migration; globalisation; diasporic processes; popular culture; the politics of identity and ethnicity in urban settings.

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Dr Dawn Lyon: Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Sociology of work; migration; visual sociology; gender relations; comparative cultural sociology (especially France and Italy).

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Dr Vince Miller: Reader in Sociology and Cultural Studies

Urban sociology; theories of urban social change and fragmentation; social theory of space; the information society; media and new media; digital culture and in particular social media.

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Dr David Nettleingham: Lecturer in Cultural Sociology

The forms and uses of cultural and political memory; how we imagine and experience the past and future; narrative, storytelling, autobiography and oral history; the cultural manifestation of political ideals; deindustrialisation, industrial heritage and working class experience. 

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Dr Carolyn Pedwell: Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies/ Cultural Sociology

Social and cultural theory; feminist, queer and postcolonial theory;  emotion and affect; embodiment and culture; habit and habituation; digital culture and sociality.

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Professor Larry Ray: Professor of Sociology

Sociological theory; postcommunism, social memory and the emergence of new Jewish cultures in Europe; globalisation; race; ethnicity; violence.

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Professor Christopher Rootes: Professor of Environmental Politics and Political Sociology; Director, Political Sociology MA

Environmental protest, environmental movements, the interactions between environmental campaigners and industry, government and governmental agencies; cross-nationally comparative research on protest, social movements and political participation; the formation and implementation of environmental policy, particularly in respect of climate change.

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Dr Balihar Sanghera: Senior Lecturer in Sociology; Director of Graduate Studies (Taught)

Ethics, moral economy and sentiments; political economy; philanthropy; post-soviet Kyrgyzstan.

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Professor Chris Shilling: Professor of Sociology; Director of Graduate Studies (Research)

The body; embodiment; body pedagogics; religion; social, sociological and cultural theory. 

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Professor Miri Song: Professor of Sociology

Ethnic identity; race; racism; immigrant adaptation; ‘mixed race’.

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Professor Tim Strangleman: Professor of Sociology

Work identity and meaning; nostalgia; heritage; industrial decline; masculinity and age; historical sociology; oral histories; life histories; visual methods and approaches. 

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Professor Julia Twigg: Professor of Social Policy and Sociology

The body, and temporal and spatial ordering; age and ageing; disability; medicine and health care; food, diet and health; home care; public and private space; care work and the care workforce; the sociology of food.

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Professor Sarah Vickerstaff: Professor of Work and Employment

The relationship between paid work and the life course; the employability of older workers; the apprentice model of vocational training and intermediate skills acquisition; and the transition from school to work.

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Professor Iain Wilkinson: Professor of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Social theory; sociology of risk; sociology of health; sociology of mass media; the ways people experience and respond to their knowledge of risk, crisis and disaster.

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Dr Joy Zhang: Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Transnational governance of scientific uncertainties; cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitanisation; Chinese- European co-operation; Chinese civil societies; art-science interface.

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Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Sociology - Taught MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7300 £15200
Part-time £3650 £7600

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: