MA in Critical Sociology

MA in Critical Sociology

MA in Critical Sociology

Program Description


The purpose of our program is to inform Master of Arts students of the latest developments in these intellectual discourses and to prepare them to advance theoretical analyses, methodological approaches, social research projects, and social policy initiatives.

Drawing on existing strengths in the department, the emphasis in courses and faculty-supervised graduate research will be on theory, methods, and empirical research that prioritize challenges to oppression, disenfranchisement, and social inequalities in social arrangements. This approach encompasses a variety of critical sociological frameworks including, for example, feminist trajectories in sociological thought, Marxist political economy, political ecology, critical race theory, post-colonial theory, post-structuralist and queer paradigms, critical criminology, animal rights work, environmentalism, and critiques of and alternatives to current economic arrangements.

While students will be introduced to the classical and foundational texts in Critical Sociology, they will be encouraged to explore cutting edge theories, methodologies and empirical research. They will also examine a diverse range of sociological methodologies, in particular ethnographic research, interview and survey-based research methods, critical discourse analysis, and feminist methodologies. This theoretical and methodological foundation, coupled with exposure to diverse empirical concerns, will prepare students to develop sophisticated and rigorous approaches to critical sociological research and analysis.

“The Master of Arts in Critical Sociology (MACS) distinguishes itself from other traditional Sociology programs by foregrounding a wide range of critical perspectives and methodologies used to analyze and pose challenges to oppression, disenfranchisement and inequalities in social arrangements around the world.

"Since our program was launched in 2009, it has garnered a reputation as a cutting-edge training ground for ambitious students who aspire to pursue doctoral studies at other universities, research work outside a university setting or other professional work that benefits from radical thinking and critical problem solving skills. Our vibrant and diverse faculty work closely with students to develop their professional competencies alongside academic knowledge and abilities. MACS students successfully take this training into a range of public, non-profit and private professional ventures.”

- Nancy Cook, Graduate Program Director


  • Our small program size allows for high quality and extensive interactions in formal and informal settings with faculty and other graduate students.
  • Twenty-two engaged and diverse faculty members with a wide range of research interests constitute the core of the program.
  • Two Canadian Research Chairs currently teach and supervise in the program.
  • A critical curriculum structures all core and elective courses.
  • Our spacious new graduate student office is furnished with up-to-date equipment.
  • The department of Sociology organizes many academic events that contribute to graduate student training and learning.
  • Students are exposed to a breadth of critical sociological material.


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