MSc in Sociology Dissertation

This information is for the 2020/21 session.


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

Course content

These workshops will guide students through the process of conducting an independent dissertation project on the MSc Sociology.

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 documentary 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 Academic Mentor and students are also encouraged to use the office hour system to consult more broadly with academic experts in their research area within the Department or across the LSE.


There will be 4 hours of seminars in the LT, 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be three sessions during MT for ALL MSc students based in the Sociology department. These will be offered in conjunction with LSE Life and LSE Library 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.

Teaching arrangements may be adjusted if online teaching is required at any point.

Formative coursework

Students are required to submit one project abstract, and one piece of formative coursework; students are also required to submit a Research Ethics Review before undertaking empirical research.

1 x abstract

1 x project outline


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 19th of August 2021. 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

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 25.3
Merit 54
Pass 17.3
Fail 3.3

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2019/20: 21

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

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