Inequalities and Social Science MSc

Year of entry

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

Wednesday 15 February. Find out more

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social sciences, humanities or related discipline.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

Students in a cafe on campus

At a local, national and global level, we are witnessing an intense period of social transformation and fragmentation. Within this context, there is growing political and policy recognition of the need to better understand and thereby address social inequalities. The social sciences have an important role to play in mapping and understanding how inequalities arise and in tackling their causes and consequences. Innovative developments in the social sciences are offering new methodological, theoretical and empirical insights into entrenched and emerging inequalities of status, resource, outcome and opportunity. This has inspired us to create an interdisciplinary programme focusing on inequality in all its forms and its social, political and economic implications.

This Masters programme equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in and contribute toward work that tackles the realities and effects of social inequality. Capitalising on academic and applied expertise in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Leeds Inequalities Research Network, this programme harnesses leading analytical approaches combining qualitative, quantitative and data analytic methods (in close collaboration with the School of Geography).

In addition to offering an advanced understanding of rising material inequality, the programme encourages an intersectional approach to understanding socio-economic stratification and how this links with physical (dis)ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, class and age. It provides a stimulating intellectual environment and cutting-edge methodological approaches to comparing and contrasting the formation and consequences of inequalities across a range of national and international contexts. Through an examination of geopolitical and socioeconomic shifts, such as urbanisation and globalisation, students are actively supported to critically interrogate the contemporary character and extent of social inequality.

Research insight

Whilst undertaking this programme, you will join a vibrant and dynamic research-led teaching and learning environment in the School of Sociology and Social Policy. You will benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise and extra-curricular activities hosted by the School and its research centres including those in Disability Studies, Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and Research into Families, the Life Course and Generations.

You will also access events through the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI), which fosters cross-departmental collaboration, learning and impact. You can benefit from workshops on global inequalities by academic leaders from across campus and research seminars with external speakers; along with career development opportunities and events. As such, you can take advantage of academic and applied expertise both within and beyond the University whilst also developing specialist knowledge and transferable skills for your future career development in the public, private or third sector.

Course details

The programme bridges disciplines to provide a detailed understanding of the ways in which social inequality manifests across diverse communities and contexts at a national and international level. It offers insight into the character, causes and consequences of social inequality, as well as forms of resistance and policy responses. It has a strong and innovative methodological focus, including traditional qualitative and quantitative approaches to the social analysis of inequality, as well as new approaches to data visualisation and analytics from across the social sciences. The programme uses a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops, complemented by a range of co-curricular activities partly facilitated through the Leeds Inequalities Research Network.

You will conduct a dissertation or an Applied Project: a research dissertation undertaken in partnership with a non-academic organisation and of value to them. These provide exciting opportunities to develop social impact through your own research work. You can read some summary examples of recent MSc student Applied Project work on our blog.

The core modules of the programme introduce you to contemporary research on global inequalities of social difference and disadvantage, emphasising a diversity of theoretical and research design strategies, including international evidence surrounding the shifting nature and extent of inequality. You are able to tailor the programme according to your interests and needs by choosing from a specially selected range of optional modules, which address major social and economic inequalities across diverse social science subjects and substantive issues. As such, you can choose to develop in-depth specialist knowledge on a particular area and/or focus more generally on the social processes and arrangements that give rise to inequalities.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Inequalities and Social Science MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Geographic Data Visualisation & Analysis 15
Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions 30
Choose from either Dissertation or Applied Project:
Dissertation 60
Applied Project 60
You must choose 30 credits from the following research modules:
Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis 15
Quantitative Research Methods 15
Qualitative Research Methods 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will also choose 45 credits from the below:

Module Name Credits
Theorizing Childhood and Youth 30
Child poverty and well-being 30
Theories of Social Justice 30
Inequalities, Law and Justice 30
International Human Rights 30
Human Rights and Disabled People 1 15
Human Rights and Disabled People 2 15
Distributional Analysis in Economic Development 15
Employment Relations 30
International Employment Policy and Labour Mobility 30
Gender and Equality at Work in Comparative Perspective 30
Diversity Management 30
Global Inequalities and Development 30
Contemporary Social Thought 30
Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People 30
Racism, Decoloniality and Migration 30
Social Policy Analysis 15
Social Policy Debates 15
Policy and Programme Evaluation 15
Theorising Gender 1 30
Theorising Gender 2 30
Public Administration: Policy, Planning and Development in a Globalised World 30
Researching Inequality in the Media 30
Debates on Disability Theory and Research 30

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods including presentations, seminars, workshops, online learning, tutorials and lectures.

Independent study is crucial to this degree – it allows you to prepare for taught sessions, develop your research interests and build a range of skills. This is particularly the case for the dissertation/applied project module of this programme.

Supported through workshops and supervision, students develop their research dissertation or an applied project in partnership with external organisations. This offers students an exciting opportunity to gain experience of applying their knowledge and skills to policy and practice.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Your core modules will be assessed using essays. Optional modules may use other forms of assessment that reflect the diversity of the topics you can study, including presentations, book and literature reviews, research proposals and reports among others.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent in a social sciences, humanities or related discipline.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Thursday 29 June 2023

UK – Friday 18 August 2023

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Office

Email: pgssp@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Sociology and Social Policy usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

This programme prepares you for policy, research and applied careers across the private, public and third sectors. The interdisciplinary and dynamic nature of the programme equips you with the critical, analytical and methodological skills to deploy your specialist expertise in a clear, efficient and effective manner. You will develop transferable skills in research, analysis and communication, as well as in-depth knowledge that can be applied across a range of domains and contexts.

Due to the rigorous and applied nature of our teaching, graduates might pursue careers across a diverse range of organisational settings such as in government, NGOs, charities, think tanks, social enterprises and business. The programme also offers excellent development opportunities to pursue a career in social research or undertake research at PhD level.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.