Sociology

Laavanya

Graduate Coordinator, Sociology

Asst Prof Laavanya Kathiravelu
laavanyak@ntu.edu.sg
SHHK-05-45

 

Investigating the Invisible, Unveiling the Uncomfortable

Sociology offers full-time and part-time M.A. and Ph.D. by research programme. We offer a strategic balance between research opportunities and academic training aimed at providing the necessary rigor for students to develop their own niche research interests and expertise. Our faculty members are highly active in research and specialise in a wide range of topics including but not limited to Ageing, Cultural Sociology, Demography, Deviance and Subcultures, Economic Sociology, Environmental Sociology, Gender and Sexuality, Migration and Globalisation, Organisational Sociology, Political Sociology, Popular Culture, Race and Ethnicity, Religion, Science and Technology, Social Inequality, Social Psychology, Sociology of Family, Sociology of Southeast Asia, Tourism, and Urban Sociology.

Students are expected to develop a substantive competency in the fundamental areas of Sociology, as well as a deep proficiency in core areas of research interests across different research methodologies. Furthermore, students will gain exposure to teaching specialised Sociology and related modules. Exciting opportunities are also available for students to connect with NTU’s partner universities through our Summer/Winter programme as well as exchange and independent overseas research. 

Our programme has a vibrant intellectual, research, and interdisciplinary environment. Graduate students are actively engaged in high profile research projects with faculty members and research clusters. Additionally, the programme offers a wide range of comprehensive funding opportunities and schemes for students to pursue their postgraduate work in a highly supportive and nurturing research environment in a world-class university.    

The M.A. and Ph.D. programme in Sociology are MOE-subsidised and are offered on full-time and part-time basis.

  • An undergraduate degree, preferably in Social Sciences, especially Sociology, from an internationally well-regarded University.

  • Students with little or no prior sociological training may be granted admission conditional on their satisfactory completion of additional reading courses. Students in this category will therefore be required to submit additional documentation concerning their undergraduate training. This should include official syllabi from their previous training, bearing the signature or stamp of the relevant authority or institution. Letters of reference from previous instructors should also be supplied, detailing the character and scope of their undergraduate training in sociology or other relevant social-science fields. Students with no social-science background are unlikely to be admitted.

  • A good language proficiency score: IELTS score at least 7.0 (on all subtests); TOEFL score at least 105 – Internet Based Test Score or 580 – Paper Based Test Score. IELTS is preferred. Applicants from Singapore universities and English-speaking countries are exempted from IELTS/TOEFL.

  • Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members working on related research topics and discuss with them their proposal before submitting the application.

 

IMPORTANT

  • Substitute tests due to COVID-19 safe distancing measures could be submitted. The University recognizes the TOEFL ITP PLUS (offered by ETS) and IELTS Indicator (offered by British Council). 
  • A good Master’s degree in sociology or a closely related field from a recognised university.

  • A good language proficiency score: IELTS score at least 7.0 (on all subtests); TOEFL score at least 105 – Internet Based Test Score or 580 – Paper Based Test Score. IELTS is preferred.​ Applicants from NTU, NUS and SMU and applicants whose native tongue is English are exempted from IELTS/TOEFL.

  • It is strongly recommended for applicants to contact one of the faculty members whom they wish to work with. Applicants can discuss their proposal with the faculty member and ask for suggestions and feedback prior to submitting the application.

 

IMPORTANT

  • Substitute tests due to COVID-19 safe distancing measures could be submitted. The University recognizes the TOEFL ITP PLUS (offered by ETS) and IELTS Indicator (offered by British Council)

Candidates may start applying online from 1 October for consideration to the following August intake. The application deadline is on 15th November for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (RSS) (same portal for self-financing students), and the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS)​. All applications received after 15 November will be processed for the next intake instead.  

Applications for the January intake will begin in June and end in July prior to the admission period. The application portal closes on 31 July for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (same portal for self-financing students).

Candidates who would like to be considered for Scholarship should meet the stipulated deadlines. Candidates applying for the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS), need not submit an additional application for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (RSS). However, RSS candidates will not be considered for the NPGS unless application has been made directly for the NPGS.

All graduate research applicants will have to pay an application fee of S$53.50. Only the first choice of the application will be processed. Candidates who wish to be considered to more than one subject area will have to make separate applications. 

Incomplete applications will not be processed by the School. Please ensure that your referee is aware of your application and is prepared to make the referee report submission as soon as he/she receives the automated official email from NTU. Applications will only be considered upon the receipt of the referee reports.

Applicants have to ensure the accuracy of all data before submission is made as no amendments are permitted once the application is submitted. 

Admission depends on the quality of the application as a whole, including the academic record, relevant experience, and research proposal​​. The research proposal is the essence of the application. Applicants need to design their proposal with clarity and sound judgement on the scope of the research in the subject area that they want to undertake. Please use this template to input your research details. 

Decisions on admission to the University are made on academic merit, the availability of an appropriate supervisor and/or availability of scholarship. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed to ascertain their holistic suitability for graduate studies. The School considers every application carefully before making recommendations for admission. Successful candidates will receive the offer from the University’s Office of Admissions. Candidates shortlisted for admission will be notified of the outcome anytime between March to May for the August intake and November to December for the January intake (if applicable).

The Research Programmes in the School of Social Sciences are MOE-subsidised​.

For more information, please visit the Research Programmes Admission Guide page.

Enquiries can be sent to ac-sss-ge@ntu.edu.sg

Cohort 2019 and before  
For M.A., students must complete and pass the following: 

  • Three core courses: HS7001 Classical Sociological Theory and Research; HS7002 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Research; and HS7003 Theory and Method in Social Research (9 Academic Units)
  • Other Degree Requirements
  • Thesis


Cohort 2020 and onwards
For M.A., students must complete and pass the following: 

  • Three core courses: HS7001 Classical Sociological Theory and Research; HS7002 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Research; and HX9001 Research Methods for Social Sciences (9 Academic Units)
  • Other Degree Requirements
  • Thesis


The coursework requirement is to be completed within the first year. M.A. students should maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.00. Other degree requirements include: Epigeum Research Integrity (online course), Information Research & Management/Scholarly Communication & Impact (online course) and attend research seminars. Students on NTU scholarship might have additional requirements to fulfil. Refer to the e-guide (Aug2019;  Jan 2020)​ for more instructions.  


Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP)

Students receiving scholarship from the Ministry of Education (MOE) – RSS / NPGS / Grants – are required to fulfil the Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP). GAP is a set of hours divided into Teaching / Research / Development duties determined by the type of scholarship and nationality of the student. The GAP is a form of in-service obligation effected for Cohort 2014 and onwards and has to be completed 6 months before the submission of the thesis.

 

Cohort 2018 and before 
For Ph.D., students must complete and pass the following: 

  • Three core courses: HS7001 Classical Sociological Theory and Research; HS7002 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Research; and HS7003 Theory and Method in Social Research  (9 Academic Units)
  • Three elective courses (9 Academic Units)
  • PhD Qualifying Examination and Conversion
  • Thesis
  • Oral Examination

Typically, Ph.D. students complete the coursework requirement within the first three semesters. They should maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50. They are also required to complete Epigeum Research Integrity (online course), HWG703 Graduate English (unless exempted), HWG702 Small Group Teaching, Information Research & Management (online course) and attend research seminars. Students on scholarship might have additional requirements to fulfil. Students are encouraged to work closely with their supervisor and the graduate co-ordinator to ensure timely completion of all the requirements. 

Ph.D. students will have to submit and defend their thesis proposal as part of the Qualifying Examination (also known as the Confirmation Exercise). The Qualifying Examination should be completed within 18 months from start of  candidature. The final completed thesis will be examined by a panel of internal and external examiners, after which, an oral examination will be held. Refer to the Timeline​ and  Milestones​ for more instructions.


Cohort 2019
For Ph.D., students must complete and pass the following: 

  • ​Three core courses: HS7001 Classical Sociological Theory and Research, HS7002 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Research; HS7003 Theory and Method in Social Research  (9 Academic Units)
  • Three elective courses (9 Academic Units)
  • PhD Qualifying Examination and Conversion
  • Thesis
  • Oral Examination

Typically, Ph.D. students must complete the coursework requirement within the first three semesters. The timeline should be discussed with the Supervisor and/or Graduate Coordinator). They should maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50. Other degree requirements include: ERI701 Epigeum Research Integrity (online course), HWG703 Graduate English course(unless exempted), HWG702 University Teaching for Teaching Assistants, Scholarly Communications and Impact (online course), Communications Courses, 3 Minute Thesis Symposium and attend research seminars. Students on scholarship might have additional requirements to fulfil. Students are encouraged to work closely with their supervisor and the graduate co-ordinator to ensure timely completion of all the requirements. 

Ph.D. students will have to submit and defend their thesis proposal as part of the Qualifying Examination (also known as the Confirmation Exercise). The Qualifying Examination should be completed within 18 months from start of candidature. The final completed thesis will be examined by a panel of internal and external examiners, after which, an oral examination will be held. Refer to respective e-guide (Aug 2019,  Jan 2020Aug 2020​ and Jan 2021) for more instructions.


Cohort 2020 and onwards  
For Ph.D., students must complete and pass the following: 

  • Three core courses: HS7001 Classical Sociological Theory and Research, HS7002 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Research and HX9001 Research Methods for Social Sciences (9 Academic Units)
  • Three elective courses (9 Academic Units)
  • PhD Qualifying Examination and Conversion
  • Thesis
  • Oral Examination

Typically, Ph.D. students must complete the coursework requirement within the first three semesters. The timeline should be discussed with the Supervisor and/or Graduate Coordinator). They should maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50. Other degree requirements include: ERI701 Epigeum Research Integrity (online course), HWG703 Graduate English course(unless exempted), HWG702 University Teaching for Teaching Assistants, Scholarly Communications and Impact (online course), Communications Courses, 3 Minute Thesis Symposium and attend research seminars. Students on scholarship might have additional requirements to fulfil. Students are encouraged to work closely with their supervisor and the graduate co-ordinator to ensure timely completion of all the requirements. 

Ph.D. students will have to submit and defend their thesis proposal as part of the Qualifying Examination (also known as the Confirmation Exercise). The Qualifying Examination should be completed within 18 months from start of candidature. The final completed thesis will be examined by a panel of internal and external examiners, after which, an oral examination will be held. Refer to respective e-guide (Aug 2019,  Jan 2020Aug 2020​ and Jan 2021) for more instructions.

 

Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP)
Students receiving scholarship from the Ministry of Education (MOE) – RSS / NPGS / Grants – are required to fulfil the Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP). GAP is a set of hours divided into Teaching / Research / Development duties determined by the type of scholarship and nationality of the student. The GAP is a form of in-service obligation effected for Cohort 2014 and onwards and has to be completed 6 months before the submission of the thesis.​​

All students from Cohort 2020 and onwards are to take an Integrated Research Methods Course:

HX9001 Research Methods for Social Sciences (core)
This course will cover the fundamental research methods in social sciences. It will cover broadly the general methods shared by the different subjects, namely, Economics, Psychology, Public Policy & Global Affairs, and Sociology and some specific methods which are only particular to some of the subjects. Topics to be covered include (but not limited to), experimental design, field experiment, survey designs, interview, and secondary data analysis based on databases, literature review, ethics, and IRB application. 

The first half of the semester will be the methods shared by all 4 subjects in the school, and the second half of the semester the class will be divided into two groups: PPGA/Sociology, and Economics/Psychology where research methods unique to these subjects will be delved into deeper.



The following courses are offered by Sociology. Not all courses are offered in an academic year. The core courses are HS7001, HS7002 and HS7003. Students are reminded to register and pass these courses when they are offered as they might not be offered every semester. 

Please click here​ for the courses that will be offered in a particular semester.

HS7001 Classical Sociological Theory and Research (core)
This course examines the theoretical foundations and research traditions of sociology as a discipline. In particular, the contributions of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber are discussed against the backdrop of the social and intellectual contexts of their times. The course considers these and other classical theorists' continuing relevance for the analysis of social change and the development of social theory. 
Examples of course themes include:
​​• Social theory and the antecedents of disciplinary sociology 
• The social theory of Karl Marx 
• The social theory of Emile Durkheim 
• The social theory of Max Weber 
• Other contributions to classical sociological theory 

HS7002 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Research​ (core)
Legacies of classical theory are critically reviewed in light of 20th century developments. New schools of social theory are examined. The syllabus centers on contributions of the following contemporary sociological theorists. Examples of course themes include Social Theory in the 20th century and beyond The Social Theory and Research of Major Theorists: e.g. Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, Pierre Bourdieu.
Additionally, students will consider contributions of other theorists from a secondary list according to the discretion of the faculty.

HS7003 Theory and Method in Social Research (core for 2019 & earlier cohorts only)
The syllabus for this course will be determined by the individual faculty subject to the approval of the Division Head. It will focus on theoretical methods in social research; that is, the relationship between theory and data in the process of doing sociological research (Note: Some students may be required to take HS9910 in addition to or instead of this course). Course themes include: (1) Philosophy of Social Science, (2) The Logic of Social Research, (3) Applications of Social Research, (4) Research Design and Research Methods.

HS7888 Directed Reading in Sociology
This course is designed to provide a student with a more individualized course of reading that goes beyond the existing graduate courses. In this course, students are expected to read widely in both classical and contemporary sources under the guidance of their supervisor. The content and requirements of each Directed Reading course are determined by the student as well as his/her appointed supervisor pertaining to the student’s intended field of specialization. The reading list, written work and meeting times will be negotiated between the appointed supervisor and the student. The final detailed syllabus will be subjected to the approval of the Head of Division prior to the commencement of the course.

HS7889 Independent Study in Sociology
This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in independent research related to their proposed thesis. The content and requirements of each Independent Study module are determined by the appointed supervisor and the student, depending on their area of interest. In this course, students are expected to read widely in both classical and contemporary sources under the guidance of their supervisor.

HS7890 Directed Reading 2 
This course introduces specific topics in Sociology that may be directly relevant to the thesis topics of graduate students. Students will be expected to complete weekly or bi-weekly readings based on the discretion of the faculty member that will form the basis of in-depth discussions, or discussion of written work that the student has submitted prior to the meeting. This course is meant to build on HS7888 Directed Reading. It offers graduate students the opportunity to work with a wider range of faculty members and therefore broaden their intellectual horizons and learn from different specialities.

HS7891 Independent Study 2 
This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in independent research related to their proposed thesis/dissertation. The content and requirements of each Independent Study module are determined by the student and individual faculty member. The actual topics in each syllabus will depend on the area of interest of the student and faculty member. In this course, students are expected to read widely both classical and contemporary readings under guidance of faculty. This course is meant to build on HS7889 Independent Study. It offers graduate students the opportunity to work with a wider range of faculty members and therefore broaden their intellectual horizons and learn from different specialities.

HS7909 Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Research
This course examines the qualitative methods employed in social research. Students are required to take HS7003 Theory and Method in Social Research prior to this course. The course covers various issues of methodology in sociological research. Course themes include (1) epistemological and ethical issues, (2) research design, (3) participant observation, (4) ethnographic methods, (5) interviews, (6) content and discourse analysis.​

 Notes: 
• Courses and requirements are subject to review and change. 
• Not all courses are available in one given semester. 
• Courses will be offered on the basis of student intake, research areas and availability of faculty.