MSc in Sociology Dissertation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Fabien Accominotti STC S206


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Sociology. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The dissertation may be on any topic within the field of the MSc programme studied. Approval for the topic must be obtained from the relevant Programme Tutor.


Dissertation Preparation

The candidate should confirm a working title and prepare a brief abstract for their intended dissertation (up to one A4 page, double-spaced, including your name not your candidate number), which should be reviewed with their Academic Mentor no later than the Monday, week 8 of Lent Term. Along with the title and abstract the candidate and Academic Mentor should review and complete the Research Ethics Review Checklist by this same time. These abstracts are the basis for an MSc dissertation Workshop that is organised for each programme. Attendance at this workshop is optional but students are, of course, encouraged to attend.

Dissertation Particulars

The dissertation must be a report of a research project, whether it comprises primary empirical material, secondary empirical material or theoretical/exegetical work on a body of social thought: i.e. there must be an identifiable and clear research question governing the research project; there must be critical reflection on the methods used (including their limits and the reasons why they warrant the kinds of claims made); and substantive analysis of empirical or analytical material. Even where the topic is substantively a literature or policy-review exercise, candidates are expected to offer original reasoned argument and interpretation and to show evidence of a competence in research methods. Guidance on topic selection and methods will normally be provided by the candidate's tutor. The dissertation is primarily a reflection of the candidate's own work and so feedback will not be given on draft versions of the dissertation. The dissertation should reflect the candidate's own views.

There will be 4 hours of workshops in the LT and a workshop 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.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) post-summer term.

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 22.6
Merit 56.1
Pass 17.7
Fail 3.7

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 27

Average class size 2018/19: 14

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills