At the local, national and global level, we are witnessing an intense period of social transformation and fragmentation. Within this context, there is growing political and policy recognition of the need to better understand and thereby address social inequalities. The social sciences have an important role to play in mapping and understanding how inequalities arise and in tackling their causes and consequences. Innovative developments in the social sciences are offering new methodological, theoretical and empirical insights into entrenched and emerging inequalities of status, resource, outcome and opportunity. This has inspired us to create an interdisciplinary programme focusing on inequality in all its forms and its social, political and economic implications.
This Masters programme equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in and contribute to work that tackles the realities and effects of social inequality. Capitalising on academic and applied expertise in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Leeds Inequalities Research Network, this programme harnesses leading analytical approaches combining qualitative, quantitative and data analytic methods (in close collaboration with the School of Geography).
In addition to offering an advanced understanding of rising material inequality, the programme encourages an intersectional approach to understanding socio-economic stratification and how this links with physical (dis)ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, class and age. It provides a stimulating intellectual environment and cutting edge methodological approaches to comparing and contrasting the formation and consequences of inequalities across a range of national and international contexts. Through an examination of geopolitical and socioeconomic shifts, such as urbanisation and globalisation, students are actively supported to critically interrogate the contemporary character and extent of social inequality.
Whilst undertaking this programme, you will join a vibrant and dynamic research-led teaching and learning environment in the School of Sociology and Social Policy. You will benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise and extra-curricular activities hosted by the School and its research centres including those in Disability Studies, Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and Research into Families, the Life Course and Generations.
You will also access events through the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI), which fosters cross-departmental collaboration, learning and impact. You can benefit from workshops on global inequalities by academic leaders from across campus and research seminars with external speakers; along with career development opportunities and events. As such, you can take advantage of academic and applied expertise both within and beyond the University whilst also developing specialist knowledge and transferable skills for their future career development in the public, private or third sector.
The programme bridges disciplinary divides to provide a detailed understanding of the ways in which social inequality manifests across diverse communities and contexts at the national and international level. It offers insight into the character, causes and consequences of social inequality, as well as forms of resistance and policy responses. It has a strong and innovative methodological focus, including traditional qualitative and quantitative approaches to the social analysis of inequality, as well as new approaches to data visualisation and analytics from across the social sciences. The programme uses a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops, complemented by a range of co-curricular activities partly facilitated through the Leeds Inequalities Research Network.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time.
- Geographic Data Visualisation & Analysis
- Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
You will choose 45 credits from the below:
- Theorizing Childhood and Youth
- Child poverty and well-being
- Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis
- International Human Rights
- Human Rights and Disabled People 1
- Human Rights and Disabled People 2
- Distributional Analysis in Economic Development
- Employment Relations
- Population Health: Principles and Practice
- Global Inequalities and Development
- Social Policy Analysis
- Power, Critique & Global Transformations
- Public Administration: Policy, Planning and Development in a Globalised World
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Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching and learning methods including presentations, seminars, workshops, tutorials and lectures. However, independent study is crucial to this degree – it allows you to prepare for taught sessions, develop your research interests and build a range of skills. This is particularly the case for the dissertation/applied project module of this programme.
Supported through workshops and supervision, students develop their research dissertation or an applied project in partnership with external organisations. This offers students an exciting opportunity to gain experience in applying their knowledge and skills to policy and practice.
Your core modules will be assessed using essays. Optional modules may use other forms of assessment that reflect the diversity of the topics you can study, including presentations, book and literature reviews, research proposals and reports among others.
A bachelor degree (Hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent in social sciences, humanities or related discipline.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.
Improve your English
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area.
How to apply
- International – 30 June
- UK/EU – 31 July
If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.
See our website for the latest fee information.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.
This programme prepares you for policy, research and applied careers across the private, public and third sectors. The interdisciplinary and dynamic nature of the programme equips you with the critical, analytical and methodological skills to deploy your specialist expertise in a clear, efficient and effective manner. You will develop transferable skills in research, analysis and communication, as well as in-depth knowledge that can be applied across a range of domains and contexts.
Due to the rigorous and applied nature of our teaching, graduates might pursue careers across a diverse range of organisational settings such as in government, NGOs, charities, think tanks, social enterprises and business. The programme also offers excellent development opportunities to pursue a career in social research or undertake research at PhD level.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.
About the School
Our wide range of research-informed courses encompass undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research degree programmes, as well as online and professional development courses.