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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Programme and Aims

The specific aims of the programme are as follows:

  • To foreground the sociological analysis of digital technology, digital media, and the social relations they engender.
  • To foster critical analysis of the social, economic, and political conditions that give rise to digital technology/media and data infrastructures.
  • To provide students with a focused academic background in social and cultural theory, as relevant to the study of digital society.
  • To provide the methodological training necessary for students to engage with, as well as critically assess, digital research tools and platforms.
  • To enable students to become conversant in the digital research methods relevant to their topic of study, with an emphasis on cultivating the ability to assess the social impact of such research.
  • To engage with ethical issues that are raised by digital sociological work.
  • To establish a foundation for advanced sociological research within Digital Sociology.

This taught Masters programme aims to provide students with a rigorous introduction to the sociological study of digital society and digital culture. This programme will introduce students to the core theoretical and methodological issues that arise when sociologists investigate the increasing prevalence of digital technology, digital infrastructure, and data production, capture, and analysis in everyday life. It will also allow students to study the very social conditions (economic, political, and cultural) that give rise to such technologies and their circuits of power. Students in the programme may take up the following specialized topics, including (but not limited to) the sociological analysis of digital technology and new forms of data on the fields of contemporary culture, work and labor, leisure, health, education, government and law, and finance.

What kinds of students take this programme?

While this programme will be primarily suitable for individuals with some background in the social sciences, the MSc in Digital Society is intended for any student who wants to understand, as well as learn to study, analyze, and critique digital technologies and the complex ways in which they shape society, social institutions, and culture. The degree combines seminar teaching on specific topics with individual research supervision by leading researchers in the emerging field of “Digital Sociology”, in the UK’s top-ranked department for sociological research (based on combined metrics of research quality and volume in the most recent Research Excellence Framework).

What kinds of careers do graduates go on to? 

This degree is well-positioned for a wide range of careers in the public, private, and third sectors. It is particularly relevant for students who have aspirations for a career in digital research or digital media design and development. The programme is also key for those who wish to engage with digital technology and data in their own personal lives or on a wider scale as an activist, artist, manager, practitioner, or policy maker. Students will go on to undertake roles in social media analysis, Internet research, journalism, education, and law and government. The programme also offers a route to a PhD programme in social research. Students will gain highly transferable skills in research, communication, and project management applicable to roles in many fields.

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