Sociology and Social Policy


The Department of Sociology and Social Policy offers Research Degrees in both Sociology and Social Policy. Students must have a substantial background in a relevant academic discipline to be eligible to enrol in research degrees.


Awards and requirements

The Master of Arts (Research) is designed to meet the needs of students who would like to extend their studies beyond their undergraduate degree, primarily by thesis, but do not have an undergraduate honours degree or other qualification that would allow entry into a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The MA (Research) can be undertaken in a range of subject areas by research and thesis only, or a combination of thesis and coursework.

The Master of Philosophy is a research degree in which students write a thesis of 50,000 words on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. This is designed to meet the needs of students who do not have a first class honours degree but have sufficient research experiences in a relevant subject area.

The Doctor of Social Sciences is a professional doctorate degree which allows candidates to pursue a higher degree of rigorous scholarship as well as advance their professional practice. The professional doctorate comprises two postgraduate research methods units of study and research leading to a thesis of 60,000-80,000 words for candidates not also submitting a significant creative project, or a thesis of 20,000-30,000 words for candidates also submitting a significant creative project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff.

The Doctor of Philosophy has the most stringent requirements for entry. Students are required to undertake a major original research project and to write an individually supervised thesis of 80,000 words that makes an original and significant contribution to the field.

Please refer to the degree resolutions in this Handbook and to the Faculty Admissions Policy and Procedure for: Doctor of Philosophy: Pathways to admission, for information on the specific admission requirements for different research award courses.