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Sociology, including Demography, at Stockholm University is a top ranked subject - we are among top 50 according to QS World University Rankings.

Students standing in a group. Photo: Viktor Gårdsäter
Students standing in a group. Photo: Viktor Gårdsäter

We offer a lively and collaborative research environment and a strong international research profile. The department, founded in 1954, is especially competitive in the areas of Cultural Sociology, Demography, Ethnicity and Migration, Gender, Family Sociology, Political Sociology, Social Policy Regimes, Social Networks, and Social Stratification.

The master's and PhD programmes offered at the department are taught in English and attract applicants from all over the world. At present we have master and doctoral students but also researchers from at least 15 different countries.

We conduct research in both Sociology and Demography of high international standard, and are consistently ranked among the top 50 Sociology departments in the world in QS World University Rankings.


 

What does a sociologist do?

Find out what some of our former students do today – and how they think that our Master's Programmes in Sociology at Stockholm University helped them realize their professional goals. 

 

My education at Stockholm University has given me a solid foundation for a career in the field of Sociology in higher learning institutions.

Ackson Mwale.
Ackson Mwale.

What are you doing now?

I am currently working as a lecturer at the University of Zambia. I am teaching research methods, introduction to Sociology and contemporary social problems. In addition to teaching, I am doing consultancy and research work. I am currently doing research on gender based violence, and women’s empowerment. In addition to that, I am also part of a team developing the Energy Sector Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for Zambia.

How did you get to where you are today?

Well, it is a long story. I wanted to be a teacher, but I never thought it would come this early on in my career. After graduating from my undergraduate studies in 2013, I was given the opportunity to work as a tutor at the Department of Social Work and Sociology, University of Zambia. During this time I learnt about the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University through some articles I used to read on various issues especially population processes, political and family sociology.

After spending two years tutoring and working as a research assistant, I applied for the Swedish Institute Study Scholarship for the 2016 Autumn Class. Whilst in Sweden, I was appointed as staff development fellow at the University of Zambia where I started teaching after I graduated from Stockholm University in 2018. Since then, I have been actively involved in teaching, research, and consultancy. 

How did our Master's Programme in Sociology help you realize your professional goals?

This programme opened and broadened my scope of the field of Sociology. It offered a very rich theoretical background and a view of the current happenings in sociological theory. These modules helped me a lot as they acted as a very good foundation for understanding and analysing any contemporary social issue. The modules on methods were my other favourite parts. I have always loved quantitative methods. 

Generally, I would say my education at Stockholm University has given me a solid foundation for a career in the field of Sociology in higher learning institutions. I am so glad I made the decision to go to school there. The experiences I have had at Stockholm University have also shaped my research interests as well as my career path positively. I am currently planning to start my PhD studies.

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

Wow! Living in Stockholm was awesome. I enjoyed the weather (although in my first year it was quite rough), the people are great although reserved. I lived at Campus Roslagen. The place was so good and offered a very good studying environment. The two years I spent in Sweden moved very fast. I made friends within Stockholm who also showed me around and offered me some nice Swedish treats. Stockholm was nice to me. I am looking forward to visiting and living in the city again.

How come you chose the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University for your master studies?

I first learnt about Stockholm University in 2014. I was really impressed by the Master’s Programme in Sociology, the courses and also the course contents. I am really interested in quantitative methods and after going through the various courses which the Department of Sociology offered, I concluded that for my masters, this was my destination. 

I don’t think it was a coincidence that I was offered a PhD position immediately after graduation

Mayya Shmidt
Mayya Shmidt

What are you doing now?

I am a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology at Uppsala University. The research project I am currently working on deals with the so-called Sharing economy, an emergent form of social organization. While developing this project, I teach economic sociology for master’s students and work on the article reporting findings from my master’s thesis.

How did you get to where you are today?

I am originally from Moscow, and my academic track started there as well. I hold BA and MA in Sociology from Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Moreover, I have been working as a research assistant there during my studies.  

I have been fortunate to obtain a wide range of academic experiences. The most significant part of my work has been conducting my own empirical studies and disseminating its results to (non)academic audiences via publications in Russian and international journals, and participation in international research conferences and workshops, research seminars and summer schools. 

The opportunity to study the master’s programme in Sociology at Stockholm University was given to me by the Stockholm University and Swedish Institute, which supported my studies with Visby scholarship. 

How did our Master’s Programme in Sociology help you realize your professional goals?

I don’t think that it was a coincidence that I was offered a PhD position immediately after graduation from Stockholm University. The master’s programme I studied provided excellent research training. The courses I took allowed me to further develop a theoretical depth in my inquires and also breadth in terms of both methods and fields of studies. I am very grateful to my former supervisor, professor Vanessa Barker, who always provided extensive feedback on my writings and encouraged me to produce a publishable work. A study I wrote under her supervision has been recently awarded a prize for the best master’s thesis relevant to civil society and social development in Sweden. 

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

Stockholm is a fantastic place to live and work in, especially for international students. I specifically appreciate work-life balance that I managed to create since I moved to Stockholm.

How come you chose the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University for your master studies?

The Department of Sociology at Stockholm University is one of the few places that offer a wide range of interdisciplinary courses taught in English. This is an excellent opportunity to explore new subject areas. As I was mostly interested in building my degree from both obligatory basic courses and worthwhile electives, I have given the master’s programme in Sociology the first priority. Moreover, I was pleased with how high Stockholm University and the Department of Sociology are ranked in university rankings. 

The Department of Sociology is a great place for research training

 

Adam Andersson-Gullsby. Photo: BRÅ
Adam Andersson-Gullsby. Photo: BRÅ

What are you doing now?

My current position is research assistant at The Swedish Centre for Preventing Violent Extremism (Center mot våldsbejakande extremism, CVE) which is placed under the auspices of Brå, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. At my position, I have primarily been working with the collection and dissemination of knowledge, based on research, regarding prevention of violent extremism. I’m also monitoring and analyzing developments, events (such as terrorist attacks) and research regarding the issues of violent extremism and terrorism. I’m currently writing and lecturing about different violent extremist milieus and so called violence-promoting ideologies, such as far-right, far-left and Islamic extremism. We are also in the initial phase of starting different research projects.

Previously, I’ve been working as a research assistant in a Nordic project about social media drug dealing, conducting nethnography (online research method) and interviewing drug vendors’ and buyers’ in Sweden which used different social media platform such as Facebook and Instagram.

How did our Master's Programme in Sociology help you realize your professional goals?

I realized some of my professional goals basically through studying and working with research during my Master’s, both through conducting empirical research and specific (eye-opening) courses. Writing my Bachelor’s and (soon to be finished) Master’s thesis was also important in this process in figuring out what drives me in regard to research and Sociology.

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

I’m a Stockholm-native. Living and working in Stockholm is great. I’ve been fortunate to be able to study/work in the same city where I have my social base and be able to work with that is of my personal interest. It’s has also been great to be able to study an international, English-speaking, programme in Stockholm.

How come you chose the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University for your master studies?

I applied to the Master's programme primarily because I believed that the Department of Sociology was a great place for research training. There are great courses in regard to sociological theories, methodology and other interesting courses. I’ve also had a great supervisor for my Bachelor’s thesis at the department (the same supervisor for my Master’s thesis), which made the choice easier.

Do you have any advice for our potential/enrolled students regarding a career in Sociology?

Try to figure out what you want to do within the field of Sociology early on. Take breaks and stop compare yourself with others. Think of what you do as a process rather than a destination.

Stockholm University is one of the best places to be for learning quantitative Sociology

Linnea Claésson
Linnea Claésson

What are you doing now?

I am working as a KTP project leader at Dalarna University. KTP stands for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and is the name of a project that matches recent graduates with companies in the Dalarna and Gävleborg area. The company I am involved with is called Corviva. My work centers on the development of a new digital tool for employee surveys; for example, I make sure that the questionnaires that will be available are valid and grounded in working life research. Most of my time is of course spent with my colleagues at Corviva, but I also receive academic coaching from Dalarna University throughout the project.

How did our Master's Programme in Applied Social Research help you realize your professional goals?

The programme gave me a broad understanding of society and a lot of knowledge in how to observe and analyze different kinds of social processes. It also allowed me to specialize in the specific sociological areas that I am most interested in, such as the study of work and organizations. Although I am still at the very beginning of my professional career, I would say that there are two main things that I have learnt during my education that will come to great use in the future. The first is the ability to understand and critically evaluate complex information, and the other is the possession of practical skills in quantitative methods.

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

I am probably not the right person to give an objective assessment of Stockholm as a city since I am born here and have lived in Stockholm for almost my entire life. But I really enjoyed my time at the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University overall. Also, during my undergraduate studies, I took advantage of the possibility to study abroad for one term trough one of the department’s exchange programs. It was a great opportunity to experience a new city and another university. 

How come you chose the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University for your master studies?

Basically, I just continued on the same track since I had already studied the Bachelor’s programme in Applied Social Research. I was very satisfied with the courses I attended on the undergraduate level and figured that Stockholm University was one of the best places to be for someone who is interested in learning more about quantitative sociology.

I consider Sociology a left out angle in the popular belief of human behavior. 

Rebecca Rönningen.
Rebecca Rönningen.

What are you doing now?

I am currently employed as an analyst at the Social services department in the City of Stockholm. I am part of a statistics group within the CEO’s unit specialized in analysis and method. My main focus is statistical analyses and written reports on survey data from Stockholmsenkäten as well as consulting our division’s co-workers on statistical matters in Socialtjänstrapporten. In short, this job entails a combination of the sociological perspective and practical use of quantitative data within a political organization.

How did our Master's Programme in Applied Social Research help you realize your professional goals?

I consider Sociology a left out angle in the popular belief of human behavior. I understand the limits of this perspective but will argue that it has an important role in understanding and preventing social problems among youths on a societal level, which is a prominent area of interest in my work. Being able to successfully combine sociological theory and statistical analysis as a profession offers great leverage in understanding our society and further making life better for its population.

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

Working in Stockholm offers great variety among employers and types of employment which I believe is more likely scarcer in smaller cities. I would be lying however, if I said that the living situation is ideal as the housing market is rather tough and commuting is expensive and tedious. If this doesn’t scare you off though, you are in for a treat.

How come you chose the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University for your master studies?

I wanted to continue the road I had already started. The bachelor’s program in Applied social science (taught in Swedish) turned out to be a great step into work life for me as an analyst/researcher, and I wanted to develop my knowledge even further in quantitative analysis and sociological theory. In addition, the fact that Sociology and the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University is ranked high by several indicators on the QS World University rankings does not disappoint.

No Master’s programme could compare with the Master’s Programme in Applied Social Research

Sofia Härd.
Sofia Härd.

What are you doing right now?

I have been a doctoral student at the Department of Social Work at Stockholm University for about a year and a half. My dissertation project is about assessment tools in the treatment of alcohol and drug-related problems. Right now I am working on my second article together with a Professor of Criminology from the University of Derby in England. While working on my dissertation, I teach quantitative methods to students in social work.

How did our Master’s Programme in Applied Social Research help you realize your professional goals?

When I studied the Master’s Programme, I was still not sure if I wanted to continue in academia or if I should apply for other types of jobs. During that time, I did an internship at the Swedish National Audit Office, where I got to work with proposals of audits in the area of gender equality. At the Swedish National Audit Office, I had a lot of use from what I learned during the Master’s programme, partly in terms of specific statistical analyzes, but above all general knowledge regarding analysis and evaluation. As a doctoral student in Social Work, I benefit from the knowledge I gained from the Master’s programme every day.

The Master’s programme, as well as the Bachelor’s programme in Applied Social Research (the Bachelor’s programme is taught in Swedish) generates the kind of knowledge and experience that there is a great demand for both in academia and in public authorities.

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

I grew up in Uppsala and moved to Stockholm shortly after I started my Master’s programme at Stockholm University. Uppsala is a university city and I was therefore worried that I would lose parts of the student life when I chose to study in Stockholm. After a while, however, I realized that Stockholm is a really fun city to work and study in, although it is not characterized by student life to the same extent as, for example, Uppsala.

How come you chose the Department of Sociology and Stockholm University for your master's studies?

I studied the Bachelor’s programme in Applied Social Research (taught in Swedish) at the Department of Sociology and realized how valuable the combination of Sociology and quantitative research methodology is. When I was going to continue my studies after my bachelor's degree, I wanted to continue on the same path. 
In my opinion, there was no Master’s programme that could compare with Master’s Programme in Applied Social Research, especially when it comes to quantitative research methodology, and therefore it was not a difficult choice.

 

Would you like to find out what life as an international student at our department is like? In this video you can follow Narmina over 7 days, including morning yoga, baking Swedish sweets and STATA class with our researcher and teacher Sven Drefahl!

Narmina studies our Master's Programme in Sociology.

 
 

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