MSc in Inequalities and Social Science Dissertation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sam Friedman STC S216


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science. This course is not available as an outside option.

These seminars are for students on the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science only.

Course content

These seminars aim to help you to begin the process of writing your dissertation. At the end of MT we will have seminars that aim to get students thinking at a meta-level about research on inequalities and how to identify a good topic, including issues of theory, measurement and methods.  Please note that the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science takes a pluralist approach and does not seek to prescribe these or any other particular theories or methods. In LT we will hold dissertation workshop seminars that aim to give individually tailored guidance on proposed research questions in small groups with fellow students who are working on similar topics or using similar methods.


2 hours of seminars in the MT. 4 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be three workshops during MT for ALL MSc students based in the Sociology department. These will be taught in conjunction with LSE Life and programme convenors, and aim to provide some basic guidance about planning your dissertation, such as selecting a suitable topic, reviewing the existing literature, devising a research question and designing a research method.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in MT Week 6 and LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

A title, research proposal and annotated bibliography by the end of MT plus a presentation during the ST.

Indicative reading

Anand , S. (Ed) (2010) Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Atkinson, A.(2015), Inequality: what can be done?, Harvard UP.

Back, Les and Solomos, John (2000), Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, Routledge

Bourguignon, F. (2017) The Globalization of Inequality,  Second Edition Pincton: Princeton University Press

Butler, Judith. [1990]2006. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2000. Black Feminist Thought. 2nd Edition. Boston: Unwin Hyman

Grusky, David and Szelenyi S ed. 2011. The Inequality Reader: Contemporary and Foundational Readings in Race, Class, and Gender . Westview Press

McKenzie, L. (2015) Getting By , Bristol: Policy Press

Piketty, Thomas (2014), Capital in the 21st century, Harvard UP

Wright, Erik O. (2005) Approaches to Class Analysis, Cambridge UP


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

Two hard copies of the dissertation, with submission sheets attached to each, to be handed in to the Sociology Hub, STC.S116, no later than 4.00pm on Thursday 20th of August 2020. An additional electronic copy to be uploaded to Moodle no later than 4.00pm on the same day.

Both hard copies and electronic copies must be submitted on time to avoid any late submission penalties.

Dissertations may be up to and no more than 10,000 words, must be word-processed and be fully referenced using a recognised citation system.

Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 34.3
Merit 58.2
Pass 6
Fail 1.5

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 34

Average class size 2018/19: 16

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills