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MA Sociology and Management

Why we're great

  • We offer interdisciplinary studies with expertise from our Department of Sociology and Essex Business School
  • Study sessions are held in our brand new zero-carbon business school, the first of its kind in the UK
  • We teach the knowledge and skills necessary for your future career in an increasingly complex business world

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Sociology
Fee (Home/EU): £6,125
Fee (International): £15,950
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Sociology
Fee (Home/EU): £3,065
Fee (International): £7,975
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719

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About the course

Businesses require an understanding of people - both of individuals, and of a potentially large customer-base. As the occupation of management grows and changes, it demands a more specialised understanding of the modern organisation and the world it operates in. Potential managers need an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of their occupation and its context.

Our innovative MA Sociology and Management brings together expertise from our top-rated Department of Sociology and Essex Business School, providing you with a unique opportunity to gain a critical appreciation of the social dynamics of work in the twenty-first century.

Combining theoretical perspectives from the disciplines of sociology and management, you explore the importance of debates surrounding power, culture, class, gender, sexuality and new forms of labour as a means of understanding the complexities of today's contemporary workplace.

You explore topics including:

  • Management and organisational processes
  • Theory and practice of social research
  • Management across cultures
  • Creativity management
  • The work-life balance

Essex Business School takes you beyond the basics of a business education. Our strong emphasis on ethics and sustainable business practice in the global economy, and our expertise in international management, accounting and finance, will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for your future career in an increasingly complex business world.

Our Department of Sociology was rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014), and we consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores, including 96% overall student satisfaction in 2015.

Our expert staff

We are a large and friendly department, offering a diverse range of research interests and with staff members who are committed to teaching, research and publication that covers a broad geographical spectrum.

Many have worked at the local level with local authorities, justice councils, community partnerships and charities. Others have worked at a national and international level with bodies like the United Nations, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Public Understanding of Science, Amnesty International, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, The Home Office and national non-governmental organisations.

Within Essex Business School, our staff specialise in areas including SMEs, business-to-business relationship marketing, branding, marketing management, new product development and social entrepreneurship.

While maintaining core engagement with contemporary marketing practice, our staff enrich our courses with novel marketing ideas drawn from both the contemporary business world and cutting-edge academic research.

Specialist facilities

  • Dedicated postgraduate support facilities
  • Our renowned off-campus Graduate Conference takes place every February
  • A unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
  • The Sociology common room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals, and has free drinks available
  • Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
  • Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates

Our landmark new Essex Business School building on our Colchester Campus is the first zero carbon business school in the UK. Set around a lush winter garden, the Eden-style dome gives the building its own micro-climate.

Our new building provides you with a stunning new work environment, offering:

  • A virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
  • A light and spacious lecture theatre, with seating for 250 students
  • Study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • Dedicated office space for student entrepreneurs
  • Networking opportunities with visiting businesses
  • A café with an adjacent sun terrace

Your future

This course provides excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.

Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market intelligence.

We work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

How are work and home life organised differently across the globe? Does gender add to this? Can we challenge our traditional understandings of work and home? As work helps to define your identity, explore the nature of both formal and informal work, using case studies from around the world.

How do you design social research for projects? Examine the research process, from forming initial research questions through to writing up your findings. Develop your own research ideas via the approaches discussed, building a critical perspective on empirical research that will help you with future research goals.

What interests you? Do you want to deepen your knowledge, build invaluable research skills and develop your academic freedom? Your dissertation lets you study a topic of your choosing, in depth, with supervision and guidance from our world-leading academics.

Evaluate the various approaches to understanding organisational phenomena and the complexities of the organisational and social world. You are introduced to alternative perspectives on various dynamics found in and around organisations, such as structure, culture, power and politics, and ethical issues. You question what management is about, what it is for and what it seeks to do, challenging many of the taken-for-granted assumptions of the conventional undergraduate management text book.

What are the different approaches to qualitative data analysis? And when should qualitative interviews be used? Learn about the qualitative research process, including design, selection of interview subjects and analysis, so that you are equipped to tackle your own qualitative research in the future.

Explore issues ranging from environmental disasters to corporate greed and from executive pay to ethical bottled water. You discover the relationship between management and corporations on the one hand, and society and nature on the other, engaging in debates around ecological sustainability, governance and corporate ethics and responsibility.

Do hackers have ethics? Who owns digital media? Is surveillance justified? Explore the history of the digital media economy, looking at hacking, digital media piracy and peer-to-peer networks. Build your understanding of the social, economic and cultural role that digital media now plays in developed Western societies.


  • We have a strong research group culture
  • Graduate students are encouraged to take part in our weekly Departmental Seminar which regularly features eminent outside speakers


  • Your modules are assessed by coursework and your dissertation


  • Your 15,000-word dissertation allows you to focus in-depth on your chosen topic from April onwards
  • You work with close supervision from academic staff

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UK entry requirements

A degree with an overall 2:1.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.


You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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