Sociologists study people in society, looking at groups like the immediate family, larger ones like a school or workplace, very large institutions like the education system or the political system, and whole societies like Scotland or Britain. Put simply, sociology is the attempt to understand how society works. It provides description and analysis of the patterns and structures in human relationships, and encourages us to see the world through the eyes of other people.
Sociology at the University of Edinburgh is highly regarded for its record of influential original research on topics such as: national identity; culture, narrative and auto/biography; personal life, identity and change; economics and finance; sociological theory; South Asia; and science and technology.
On our undergraduate programme at Edinburgh through training and supporting students to carry out their own research, we place a strong emphasis on doing rather than just reading about sociology. We also emphasise research-led teaching: our lecturers are all active researchers who bring to their teaching the most contemporary ideas and knowledge about their topics of interest.
See our Undergraduate pages for more information.
Edinburgh Sociology is one of the premier research units in the United Kingdom, as indicated by its '5' rating in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. We have a longstanding commitment to original empirical and theoretical work on society, and on the production of cultural and scientific knowledge. Our approach is shaped by a sociological understanding of the importance of the link between biography and history, private troubles and public issues, the micro social worlds of individuals and wider social structures. We work closely with other colleagues in the School of Social and Political Studies and supervise many cross-disciplinary projects.
We have a thriving and cosmopolitan community of graduate students studying for the degrees of PhD, MPhil and MSc by Research as well as on taught Masters programmes.
See our Graduate School pages for more information.