Interested in Politics and Society? In Changing Lives and Relationships? In Changing Societies?
Specialise in one of these areas within the Masters in Sociology (Societies in Transition) at Maynooth University
We are a leading department in the social sciences in Ireland and Europe, offering degrees in Sociology and Politics. We are actively engaged with our students and the public, linking this to an outstanding record in international research projects, funding and publications.
❖ Combine the study of key aspects of modern society with training from experts in
❖ Enhance your ability to work in education, social and public policy, communications
and public affairs, social and political research, and a variety of other areas
❖ Seminars are 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
In our Masters sequence you will pursue three main strands of work.
1. Area of Specialisation: You choose from one of the following three topical streams
within the Masters:
a. Politics and Society: with modules on Power and Democracy, International
Development, Nature and Society, Algorithmic Governance
b. Changing Lives and Relationships: with modules on Intimate Lives, Families
Generations and Societies, Pathways: Education, Work and Social Policy,
c. Changing Societies: with the option to take any of the modules from the first
two streams, along with additional modules on Public Engagement
2. Research Methods: You develop your research skills to a level which prepares you
for the preparation of small scale research reports in public, civic and private
organisations. You will take courses in qualitative, quantitative and comparative case
3. Thesis: You can carry out your own research project, individually supervised by a
member of staff and supported by a Thesis Workshop. This gives you a chance to link
together your topical stream with your research skills.
As a Masters student you will:
❖ Have access to dedicated facilities including an MA computer room and
❖ Join in departmental activities including our innovative ‘Thinking Out Loud’ series on
work in progress
❖ Learn from and with staff working on the edge of research in their areas of
Full details of our programme for 2019/20 are below:
|1. Topical Stream
|Politics and Society Stream
- take three of:
|Power and Democracy
||Nature and Society
|Changing Lives and Relationships Stream
- take three of:
||Families, Generations and Societies
||Pathways: Education, Work and Social Policy
|Changing Societies Stream
-choose any of the above modules (as well option to take Public Engagement in Geography
|2. Research Methods (30 credits)
Take all three of:
|Social Science Analysis
|3. Research Thesis (30 credits)
- supported by Thesis Workshop in Semester 1 and 2
Completed by end July 2020
Please Note – returning in 2020/21 - MA in Internet and Society
We also contribute to other MAs including in 2018/19 the MA in Philosophy, Politics and
From 2018 a Graduate Diploma options (no thesis) is available.
How to Apply
Choose ‘Taught’ and type ‘Societies’ in the search box
This will allow you to Apply for MHY54
Note: You will need to register with www.pac.ie
For further information please contact the Department of Sociology at firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof Jane Gray at email@example.com
Further information below, and from our graduate studies pages. See our people pages to find out more about our staff and our research pages to see ongoing activities. Follow our department twitter account (@MU_Sociology) for news and updates.
The deadlines for applications to taught MAs vary - from 30th June - August - so please check PAC and contact the Sociology Department if there is any ambiguity.
Students with a high second class honours degree in Sociology or a related discipline will be considered. In certain cases we will call applicants for interview.
There are two main types:
1) A number of scholarships worth €2,000 are made available to students each year who have a minimum 2:1 grade. The deadline for scholarship applications is the 15th of Jun. See here for more details.
2) Maynooth alumni Scholarships worth €5,000 are made available to students with a minimum degree result of 65%. The deadline for these scholarship applications is the 15th of June. See here for more details.
For more on fees, scholarships etc, including for international students see here. Modules may change and courses will be offered based on sufficient demand
Launched in Sept 2015 the Sociology Department offers the M.A. in Sociology (Internet & Society) which has core modules in Sociology and optional modules from the Departments of Law, Media Studies and Geography.
This new M.A. aims to enable students to critically engage with the opportunities and challenges of social life online, and develop an analytical skill set that focuses on the application of both established qualitative and quantitative research methods, and new digital research methods, to this domain. It shares some substantive and methodological courses with our MA Societies in Transition course.
This one-year programme offers;
-critical examination of the political economy and cultures of the internet;
-knowledge of the latest research that on the social, political, cultural and legal aspects of internet use;
-advanced social and digital research skills that will prepare graduates for combining traditional qualitative and quantitative research skills with new digitally native research skills.
Why Do it?
The M.A. aims to prepare students not only to work in academic and non-academic research positions, but also in emergent roles which require knowledge of social behaviour online, including on social media and in transnational online communities. Ireland is the European headquarters for many multinational digital media companies, and with the development of big data and data warehousing we also see the emergence of a range of data ‘savvy’ roles (Expert Group on Future Skills and Forfás, 2014). Some of these roles are suitable for social science and humanities graduates.
The proposed M.A. seeks to equip social science and humanities graduates with the intellectual and practical research skills to understand social behaviour and the performance of identity online. It might also be of interest to students from other disciplinary backgrounds who seek to explore and understand social life online.
Graduates of this course will be able to interface with programmers and designers and with those working on the deep statistical analysis of user data. They will be able to develop, execute and report on internet based research projects. There is a demand for digitally literate graduates who understand the social, cultural, political, legal and business aspects of transnational online users.
Listen back to Shannen McGregor discuss her experience of the course.
The Department of Sociology at Maynooth has strong expertise and a proven research track record in studies of new media and technology in everyday life, the sociology of work (e.g. software and digital media work), sustainable communities, active citizenship and in data infrastructures and research methods. We are also committed to public sociology and working to bring sociological perspectives to bear on contemporary social issues.
Lecturing staff on the course are all internationally known for their research. Dr. Aphra Kerr from the Department of Sociology teaches core modules on the political economy and cultures of the internet and advanced digital research methods. She is joined by other Sociology staff including Prof Sean O Riain, Prof Honor Fagan, Prof. Jane Gray and Dr. Delma Byrne who are all teaching advanced theory and method modules.
The M.A. also draws on the expertise of Dr. Maria Murphy from the Law Department at Maynooth, who has an active research profile in the areas of Technology and Internet Law. Students will have the opportunity to explore the interaction between law and the internet and develop their understanding of pressing current issues, including the protection of internet privacy and the regulation of cyber crime.
We are delighted in 2018/19 to have one module (MD632) taught by Dr. Gavan Titley from the Department of Media Studies. This module explores the political and social ramifications of networked media.
One module is taught by Prof. Rob Kitchin of the Geography Department and the Programmable City project. This module will focus on the emergence of big data and the implications for social science researchers.
Compulsory specialist modules include:
- Political Economy and Cultures of the Internet (semester one) - Dr. Aphra Kerr
- Social Sciences Analysis (semester one) - Prof. Jane Gray
- Advanced Digital Research Methods (semester two) - Dr. Aphra Kerr
- Thesis preparation (both semesters) - TBC
Students can also take the following advanced methods courses:
Quantitative Research Methods - Dr. Delma Byrne
Qualitative Research Methods - Prof Honor Fagan
Students may also choose from the following optional modules:
-Political Economy - Prof Sean O Riain
- Information Technology Law - Dr. Maria Murphy (Law)
-Information Privacy Law - Dr. Maria Murphy (Law)
-Media Publics - Dr Gavan Titley (Media)
- Critical Data Studies - Prof Rob Kitchin (Geography/NIRSA)
For a more colourful flier outlining the modules -
MA Internet and Society flier
Students on the MA have to complete a thesis which is due at the end of July. They work closely with one member of staff in the Department to complete this piece of work.
Students on the Graduate Diploma (new in 2018/19) do not have to complete a thesis.
When applying through PAC search for MHY56 MA (Internet and Society).
Entry requirements - A high second class honours (2:2) grade in Sociology, or in a related discipline (usually another social science or humanities subject). We will consider other backgrounds on a case by case basis and people who are returning to education after a period in the workplace.
For informal information on course content please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For practical details please contact the Department of Sociology, Maynooth University at 708-3659, email: email@example.com
For details on being a Maynooth postgraduate student see the Graduate Studies webpages.
The current Post Taught Master's Student Handbook (2018/19) is available here
Fees are set centrally by the university.
The graduate studies pages have some information on funding.
The fees and grants office has information on the cost of MAs. See here.
Each year the university makes available 60 scholarships of 2,000 euros each to students with a minimum 2:1 grade. A separate programme for alumni is available.
The closing date for applications for general scholarships is the 1st of May and the 1st of June for alumni scholarships. Please see here for more details.