Postgraduate study

Sociology and Global Change MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Sociology and Global Change

This programme provides core teaching in the ideas and approaches of sociology as applied to understanding social order and social change globally and internationally. It explores the local impacts of global processes, and global impacts of local processes.

This programme will give you a better understanding of global processes of social change, and allow you to explore topics of personal interest in depth, both in coursework and in a supervised dissertation project.

It will appeal to those concerned about some of the key social problems and dynamics of our day, providing a thorough grounding in approaches to social research on global issues.

It presents sociology as the study of a dynamic and globalising world, around such issues as:

  • sustainable development
  • migration, refugees and displacement
  • global financial markets
  • social network analysis
  • China
  • human rights and citizenship
  • digital and global popular cultures
  • inequality

You will become part of a community led by international experts working on globally involved topics, in one of the UK’s best departments for research and teaching.

You will take compulsory courses that give you a sociological perspective and prepare you for independent dissertation research.

Your four further option courses can address global topics, social theory and research training, as you prefer.

The dissertation, a piece of self-designed research with supervisory support, allows you to put your personal stamp on your studies.

When you complete the degree you will:

  • have a comprehensive overview of Sociology and its key theoretical and research concerns and approaches
  • be able to design, conduct and present a substantial piece of empirical research
  • be able to contribute to the key debates in the specific areas you have chosen to study through the optional courses

This programme is extremely relevant if you are seeking employment in consultancy, the public sector, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector or think-tanks, or as an academic, practitioner or policy maker.

Past students have gone on to undertake roles in development and international aid, the public sector, academia/think-tanks, migration NGOs, environment and conservation, law and journalism.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements.)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScSociology and Global Change1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScsociology and Global Change2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Gil Viry
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5768
  • Contact: gil.viry@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 6 July 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Gil Viry
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5768
  • Contact: gil.viry@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD