Time to take the next step as a social scientist? To lay the foundation for careers in social and public affairs, public policy, research, media and communications, and many more? How about a Masters in Sociology at our leading national and international Sociology Department? 
In 2023/24 we are offering two taught postgraduate Masters – a Master of Arts in Sociology (Societies in Transition), and a Master of Social Science in Social Research *new offering*. See our programme flyers:

Professor Aphra Kerr explains more about our Masters offerings in this video:

Sociology at Maynooth University is home to many of Ireland's leading sociologists.

Our Masters Sociology programmes are enriched by the international expertise and proven research track record of our faculty in studies across a wide range of areas of social life.

We are also committed to public sociology and to working to bring sociological perspectives to bear on contemporary social issues.

What is a taught Masters?
Masters degrees are of one year duration and include a research thesis which is submitted during the summer. Candidates take six modules and write a dissertation of approx.20,000 words under the guidance of a designated supervisor.

The 90 credits for the Masters are made up of 60 credits awarded for taught modules and 30 credits for the dissertation. Some modules are compulsory but there are a good choice of optional modules also.
Our in-class teaching is usually restricted to Thursdays and Fridays to allow students flexibility and minimise travel.
There are two Masters programmes for 2023/2024, an MA Sociology: Societies in Transition (MHY54) and MSc in Social Research (MHY44). While both the MA and MSc provide a similar backbone, they vary widely in their focus.

Both Masters will:

  • Combine the study of key aspects of modern society with training from experts in research methods, including our innovative research data studio
  • Enhance your ability to work in education, social and public policy, communications and public affairs, research, social and political research, and a variety of other areas
  • Join in Seminars led by departmental staff involved in research networks and projects across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas
  • Carry out your own research in writing your research thesis
  • Learn in a dynamic, friendly and supportive department and be part of a lively postgrad community
  • Learn from and with staff working on the edge of research in their areas of specialisation

However, while the MA explores new critical thinking and solutions required to understand how societies are changing, facing challenges and transformations, the MSc has a significant focus on skills, particularly on research methods. The aim is to allow students to become fluent 21st century social researchers, capable of working with formal and informal datasets, on important societal issues within and between academia, the policy sphere and the social world. 

Which Course?
In 2023/24, you have a choice of two Masters degrees offered by the Department: 

1. MA Sociology: Societies in Transition (MHY54) - Contact: Dr Paul Ryan (paul.ryan@mu.ie)

This MA degree explores the major changes in peoples' lives in contemporary society - in their personal lives, family relationships, and in the unequal chances in society and the relationship of that society to nature. The course timetable and handbook for 2022/23 can be viewed here:

2. MSc in Social Research (MHY44) - Contact: Sociology Department (sociology.department@mu.ie)

This Masters of Science degree provides innovative methodological training for the twenty-first century world combined with a thesis and practicum component.

This MSc will begin in September 2023. The timetable will be available in early Autumn 2023. 

Click on the tabs below for further information about our Masters programmes, course fees, scholarship opportunities and to hear from our past students. 

Watch this informational webinar for students about our taught masters programmes. Recorded 1 March 2023: