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MSc Economy, Risk and Society

About the MSc Programme

Studies of risk and economic life are central to the sociological endeavour. They are, furthermore, pivotal in making sociology relevant for the modern world. Understanding the challenges and possibilities confronted by contemporary societies—from technological disasters and natural catastrophes to novel forms of economic organization and public participation—requires grasping the role and dynamics of economies and regulatory institutions in today’s world. The MSc Economy, Risk and Society offers students a flexible yet comprehensive introduction to the sociologies of risk and economic life, thereby providing a strong theoretical and methodological foundation for engaging in current discussions on the future of our societies.

Students in the programme will develop theoretical skills and practical training in:

  • constructing sociologically-informed questions of socio-economic issues;
  • summarising and explaining the findings of empirical research, including a critical assessment of the methodological frameworks used
  • selecting, evaluating and using the appropriate research tools;
  • discussing topics on risk and economic life with appreciation of theory, evidence and relevance to current debates
  • communicating in a variety of appropriate sociological formats

Programme details

This programme is largely based on a practical approach to learning. Teaching in the core course is organized around active modes of learning. This is reflected too in optional courses, where teaching may be based on a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, group projects, experiments and research-driven discussions. The programme therefore reflects the great diversity of theoretical and empirical approaches within the Department of Sociology, as well as the established tradition of the LSE in contributing to the social sciences.

This programme is unique in its breadth and diversity. It covers the most significant and recent developments in the sociologies of risk and economic life, and enables students to develop critical skills that advance their knowledge of the socio-economic dynamics of contemporary societies. Through the compulsory course, Regulation, Risk and Economic Life, students are introduced to key discussions on the nature of power, knowledge, organizations and markets. They are also exposed to different approaches to the study of economic life, as well as case studies associated to current transformations in the socio-economic system—the rise of new forms of financial activity, new varieties of money, and new spheres of economic activity. The core course is complemented by a variety of optional courses, which allow students to tailor their program to their particular learning objectives. These include further specialisation in the sociology of risk and regulation, economic sociology and the sociology of markets, employment relations, globalisation, and the sociology of science and technology.

Students enrolled in the programme can take a total of three course units through a combination of full and/or half units and must complete an empirical or theoretical dissertation of up to 10,000 words on a subject of interest related to the courses and approved by the Department. Students receive feedback and advice throughout their degree. Students are advised on their dissertation topic by an academic adviser, in conjunction with the programme conveners. The dissertation gives students the opportunity of thinking sociologically and at length on a sociological problem, issue or debate in risk and economic life.

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

Students will be required to choose courses to the value of two units from a range of options.

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations|.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

The programme provides an excellent foundation for graduates seeking careers in academia, government and the civil service, research-oriented industries, and the non-governmental sector.


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lse.ac.uk/sociology|

Application codes: L3UI (check availability|)

Start date: 2 October 2014

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Intake/applications in 2012: new programme in 2013

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 in a social science subject (see entry requirements|)

English requirement: Higher (see English requirements|)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £11,568; overseas £17,880

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support|)

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions


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