Students on this pathway have the benefit of being based in the only sociology department in the UK solely dedicated to graduate research. The Department is also the only UK sociology department with a majority of staff specialising in empirical, quantitative research methods alongside their substantive areas of interest. The Department emphasises methodological rigour in quantitative and qualitative research alike. It prides itself on the wide range of methods applied, from ethnographic studies, survey research, and experiments, to agent-based modelling. Research design, data collection and high level analysis training have always been the core business for the Department.

The Department of Sociology is ranked 2nd in the world according to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

The Sociology pathway offers 1+3.5 and 2+2.5 routes for students entering without a Masters qualification that meets the 2022 ERSC Training Guidelines:

  • The 1+3.5 route is based on the MSc Sociology which, continuing the distinctive strengths of Oxford Sociology, has a focus on rigorous qualitative and quantitative methodology in contributing to both basic scientific research and informing evidence-based policy.
  • The 2+2.5 route is based on the MPhil Sociology and Demography and is for students who specifically want to undertake interdisciplinary work combining the strengths of sociology and demography.

The +3.5 route is for research students who have completed an MSc which meets the expectations of the 2022 ESRC Training Guidelines, who enter onto the DPhil Sociology.

Information about all three programmes can be found on Graduate Study page of the Department’s website.


Students are able to access internships at institutions where alumni are regularly employed. Examples include the OECD, UK-based think tanks, and different national and local governments (in the UK and abroad).

Students have gone on to start academic/research careers at universities in the UK (e.g. Cambridge, Essex, LSE, Manchester, and Durham) and across the world (e.g. UCLA, Yale, Penn, EUI Florence, Berlin, Stockholm, Hong Kong) and to research-intensive as well as policy oriented jobs in government and international organizations (e.g. OECD), NGOs, and the private sector (e.g. banks and marketing).

Pathway leader: Prof Christiaan Monden


University of Oxford

Department of Sociology
Structure of provision: 1+3.5, 2+2.5, +3.5