School of Social and Political Science

MSc Digital Sociology

Find out more

Introduction

Applications are now closed for September 2021 entry. Applications for the next intake usually open in October.

Creatively study and analyse a world undergoing rapid digital transformation

Edinburgh is one of the leading international centres of excellence for postgraduate study in sociology.

The MSc in Digital Sociology directly responds to a growing need for graduates to be able to critically and creatively study and analyse a world undergoing rapid digital transformation. Digital sociology provides a vital foundation for understanding how digital technologies and data are shaping our social institutions, social relations, and everyday life.

This programme is intended for any student who wants to understand, as well as learn to study, analyse, and critique digital technologies and the complex ways in which they shape society, social institutions, and culture.

You will study the social conditions (economic, political, and cultural) that give rise to digital and mobile technologies and their circuits of power. Topics of study may include (but are not limited to) the sociological analysis of digital technology and new forms of data in the fields of contemporary culture, work and labour, leisure, finance, government and law, health, and education.

Students will leave the programme with a digital project or digital portfolio of work and will learn how to share digital sociological research with broader communities and publics.

Structure

The intensive one-year programme will introduce you to key issues that arise when sociologists investigate the increasing prevalence of digital and mobile technology; digital infrastructure; and data production, capture and analysis in everyday life. 

The programme will take a creative approach to methods and methodologies, putting 'traditional' sociological methods such as ethnography, survey work, and interviewing in conversation with digital methods such as social network analysis, virtual ethnography, data mining, and visualization.

Hands-on, research-based methods seminars will take place in the new Maker Space on campus and the programme will draw on interdisciplinary expertise in:

  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Informatics
  • Design Informatics
  • Digital Education
  • Edinburgh School of Art
Dissertation

You will complete a supervised dissertation project on a topic that you choose based on your interests and career plans.

Career opportunities

This degree is well-positioned for a wide range of careers in the public, private, and third sectors. It is particularly relevant for those 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.

You will gain highly transferable skills in research, communication, and project management applicable to roles in many fields.

After graduating, you may go on to undertake roles in area including:

  • social media analysis
  • internet research
  • journalism
  • education
  • law and government
How to apply

Fees

Award Title Duration Study mode  
MSc   1 Year Full-time Tuition fees
MSc   2 Years Part-time Tuition fees
Additional information

Study in a dynamic environment

This MSc will offer you the opportunity to study with leading specialists in the field and to develop expertise in digital culture, the digital economy and the sociology of finance, and emerging digital research methods. The programme will provide you with the theoretical and methodological skills required to address issues such as big data, algorithmic society, the future of privacy, cybercrime, and the future of work and labour.

Sociology at Edinburgh is home to top ranking scholars in the field of digital sociology, digital culture, and the sociology of finance. The department is recognized globally for the social studies of finance and is world-leading for its innovations in economic sociology.

Digital Society blog

You can read more about the programme on our Digital Society blog

Reading recommendations
Our faculty have written two field-defining books in Digital Sociology:

 

Undergraduate contact

The School of Social and Political Science sits within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  All enquiries and applications relating to undergraduate admissions to the School are handled by our College. Please contact:

CAHSS Undergraduate Admissions
University of Edinburgh
57 George Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9JX

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565
Email: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk