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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 in the top 50 sociology departments in the world (QS World University Rankings 2017) and top-rated in the UK for the quality of our research (REF 2014). 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 the 'third 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?

Dedicated Student Resource Centre offering academic and personal support
Awarded Q-Step Affiliate status to develop your quantitative skills
Ranked among the top 50 departments in the world (QS World University Rankings 2017)
Rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014)
Our world-leading academics will teach you to improve modern society
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Andrew Canessa
"If you want to be challenged, see the world differently, and be taught in innovative and imaginative ways, welcome to Essex."
Professor Andrew Canessa Head, Department of sociology
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Our research

We work with departments at Essex and around the world, collaborating on cutting edge research. Our academics are experts in their fields, developing new theoretical and methodological approaches to understand the dynamics of social life. Our students become part of this community and learn how to understand and challenge the world.

Find out more
Latest news
Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our outstanding social science research
22 Feb 2018
Social Sciences and Law in top 50 in world rankings
04 Oct 2017
ESRC Festival of Social Science
29 Sep 2017
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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 873049