Intermediate award(s): PG Dip, PG Cert
Full-Time and Part-Time

Course overview

This course offers you the opportunity to enhance and deepen your knowledge of the theoretical and substantive aspects of contemporary sociology as well as develop your expertise in the principles and application of social research methodologies. Its design is informed by the expertise of research-active staff to reflect the most recent developments within the discipline. Staff specialisms include: the impact of social studies of science and technology; the changing nature of contemporary identity, including national identities and diasporas; the nature of agency and risk; surveillance and crime in global contexts.

The full-time teaching programme comprises four taught modules which are taken over one year. The Major Project is completed at the end of the taught part of the course. Teaching runs over two semesters of 12 weeks each from September to December and February to May. Weekly sessions of two hours usually take place on Mondays between 2.00pm and 5.00pm and on Thursdays between 2.00pm and 5.00pm.

Teaching will normally be undertaken in a research-seminar format, but may also include some lectures, guest speakers and debates. Our tutors are available for one-to-one support and advice.

Additional course information

Our staff

Dr Liz Bradbury
Social theory; gender studies; psychoanalysis; the Frankfurt School.

Dr David Skinner
Race and racism, the social and political aspects of scientific and technological innovation; the relationship between the natural and social sciences; forensics, databases and surveillance; the changing management of public services.

Dr Shaun le Boutillier
Social theory; applied ethics; explanations of the relations between individual and society.

Dr Sam Lundrigan
Criminological geographic profiling systems; spatial behaviour of serial rapists; behaviour consistency of serial offenders.

Dr Anna Markovska
Transitional countries; serious crime; corruption; drug abuse.

Colleen Moore
Violent behaviour; justice and injustice through the courts; human trafficking; comparative criminology.

Emma Brett
Public service; learning and education; equality and cultural diversity; barriers to learning.

Julian Constable
Learning and teaching in the post-compulsory education sector; police training methods.

Module guide

Core modules
  • Postgraduate Research Methods

    This module will provide you with the research skills and techniques needed both to critically evaluate the literature you will be using in your Masters course, and to put into practice in your own Dissertation. It will explore the methodologies and methods applied in contemporary social science research to enable you to select an appropriate range for your own needs.

  • Contemporary Social Theory

    Here, we focus on two key debates in social theory. First, we examine the structure-agency debate and various attempts to reconcile the different perspectives in this debate, including Giddens' structuration theory, Bourdieu's genetic structuralism, critical realism and neo-pragmatism. Secondly, we consider the debate over the role of modernity and progress and reason, which will include critical examination of the work of Frankfurt School, Habermas and Bauman among others.

  • Major Project

    This module will enable you to demonstrate your ability to raise and investigate significant questions in relation to your specialist research area, either through empirical research or sustained theoretical investigation. Based on your initial project proposal, you will be expected to negotiate a learning contract with your supervisor which outlines title, research question, assessment weighting and criteria, and the form of the project.

In addition to teaching time on-campus, all courses require intensive self-guided learning, research or private study and there may also be optional training, seminars, visits, lectures or master classes to attend.


Assessment varies from module to module, but typically consists of a 5,000-word essay plus a presentation of approximately 20 minutes, a case study plus presentation, or a portfolio of activities to be submitted at the end of the module.


Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.

We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During Semester time, they open 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday and for 12 hours on Sunday.

IT resources
Our open access computer facilities provide free access to the internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus or a distant learner, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.

Throughout your studies you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e-vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.

Special features

In addition to the taught modules, we run a series of research seminars to which staff and postgraduate students are invited.

Course Leader

Dr Shaun Le Boutillier

Links with industry and Professional recognition

Through our research consultancy and community engagement work we have links locally and nationally with various social agencies, public services, charities and businesses.

Associated careers

Graduates from this course may pursue careers in many related fields, including human resources, social policy, social work, educational development, community development, counselling, local government, the civil service, public services and charities, and further applied research.

Main requirements:
  • A good honours degree, (or equivalent), normally in a related subject. Applicants with professional experience are also encouraged to apply.
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

International and EU applicants

We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
If you do not meet the above requirements, then there is an alternative. Consider entry to the course via an integrated foundation year at Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.

How to apply



September starts:
12 months full-time
24 months part-time

January starts:
15 months full-time

Teaching times*

September starts:
Semester 1 and 2: Mon 3-6pm
January starts:
Semester 2 only: Mon 3-6pm

Available starts

September, January

Fees & funding

Open Day

25 April, Chelmsford and Cambridge
Postgraduate Open Day

Advice & support



Arts, Law & Social Sciences


Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact us

UK and EU applicants:International applicants:


* Teaching days are subject to change each academic year. Timings are also dependent on any optional modules you chose and are for guidance, so we advise all applicants to wait until they are in receipt of their timetable before making arrangements around course times.

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