Society and Space

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The MA in Society and Space at Aberystwyth University provides advanced training in research practices, theories and qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the social sciences. It is designed as a specific gateway into social science research, examining how key thinkers have understood themes such as space, place, society, community, nation, mobility and power, as well as providing detailed training on the methods and ethical frameworks underpinning social science research.

You will develop an awareness of policy debates, ethical, moral and legal perspectives, and practical, philosophical, epistemological and theoretical approaches to the spatially-attuned social sciences. You will also develop social science research skills by undertaking specialist training modules, all of which you will then apply to your own practical research project.

You will complete specialist modules in human geography and cognate disciplines, and participate in a theory and methods school with students from Cardiff and Swansea universities. You can expect to be part of an energetic postgraduate community and participate in the Department’s active and inclusive research culture.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements A good 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent.  Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Fees and Finance

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available; please check our funding calculator for details.

Course Overview

  • This course is a recognised training pathway by the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, meaning that students may be eligible to apply for competitive 1+ 3 funding covering the MA year and PhD, or +3 funding for a follow-on PhD.
  • This course provides innovative and cross-institutional training with a Theory School and Methods School delivered jointly with the Geography departments at Cardiff and Swansea Universities.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in two major research groups (the Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group and the New Political Geographies Research Group) which are comprised of experts who regularly contribute to or lead international debates.
  • You will have the opportunity to network and increase your professional exposure through the Department’s regular guest seminars and the residential Theory School (held in conjunction with Cardiff and Swansea Universities).

About this course

We invite applications from students from a range of backgrounds, including geography, sociology, anthropology, history, politics, environmental science, tourism, and other humanities and social science disciplines. The degree would also be suitable for students with a background in the natural or physical sciences (e.g. physical geography) who are wishing to retrain in the social sciences.

Applications can be made online by visiting our Postgraduate Application Portal, or can be made offline (by post or email). Please see our How to Apply page for more detail. 


One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Averaging approximately 8-10 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


MA Society and Space will equip you for careers in government agencies, public bodies, research institutes, and private consultancies, or for undertaking doctoral-level research.

Students graduating from this course will have acquired a high level of competence in:

  • research design
  • data gathering
  • data analysis
  • key concepts and debates in the spatial social sciences and humanities.

 Our graduates have taken a wide variety of career pathways:

  • Social and economic research consultancy
  • Strategic Research Consultancy
  • Marketing and Strategy Development
  • Planning roles across various market sectors
  • Information technology operations manager
  • Local and national government
  • Civil Service
  • International, investment, and private banking
  • Academia
  • Teaching.


This programme you will enhance your:

  • Communication skills
  • Research and study skills
  • Critical analysis and evaluation
  • Project management and problem solving skills
  • Subject-specific knowledge, skills and competencies 
  • Ability to structure and communicate complex ideas efficiently
  • Ability to work independently and in a team setting
  • Professional work ethic.

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters. When studied full-time, students will complete the taught part of the course in semesters one and two, which is delivered through a combination of seminars, lecture-seminars and tutorials. Students undertaking this course will also attend a theory school, the DGES seminar series, and guest lectures offered in the Department. During the final semester, students will complete a specialist dissertation under the expert guidance of a dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters, you will undertake a number of core and optional modules, totalling 120 credits. Through these modules you will develop an awareness of key themes and policy debates in human geography and cognate subjects like sociology, including ethical debates relating to social science research, and different practical, philosophical, epistemological and theoretical approaches to the social sciences. You will also develop research skills by undertaking research training modules. In the final semester, you will apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits.

How will I be assessed?

Depending on the modules chosen, assessment may be via a combination of essays, reports, presentations, research proposals, reflective journals, research critiques, literature reviews, policy recommendations, and seminar discussion. You will also submit a Masters dissertation at the end of the academic year.