A block of flats

Questioning social division, justice and inequality

How do you relate to politicians, celebrities, your teachers or your friends? How do you define yourself, your family and others? We explore the way society works, what connects people and what divides them.

We're ranked among the top 50 departments in the QS World University Rankings (2019) and top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities). We shape modern society today, advising the UN, government departments, think tanks and public bodies around the world on issues from the rights of indigenous peoples, to the regulation of the building industry, and organised crime and terrorism.

As one of Essex's founding departments, we've focused on how people think about major social issues such as poverty, inequality, class, welfare and vulnerability in societies around the world from the very start.

So, if you want to be stretched and challenged, and make a change in society, welcome home.

Our courses

choose us?

Our academics will teach you to improve modern society
Ranked among the top 50 departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2020)
Top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities)
Dedicated Student Resource Centre offering academic and personal support
Writing on paper on a table
Student chatting in the Secret Garden
A portrait of Professor Pamela Cox.
"If you want to be challenged, see the world differently, and be taught in innovative and imaginative ways, welcome to Essex."
Professor Pamela Cox Head, Department of Sociology
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Join us at our next Open Day

Book your place in advance for our next Open Day and we'll make sure you have all the information you need to make the most out of your day.

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Latest news
Secrets of 1921 to be revealed this Thursday
04 Jan 2022
Professor Nigel South to retire after almost 50 years association with Essex
09 Dec 2021
Lost films from Victorian Britain revealed by Essex Social Historian
16 Nov 2021
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Get in touch with us

If you would like any more information about Sociology or have a question you would like to ask, please complete this short enquiry form.

Contact us
Contact us
Department of Sociology University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873275