MA in Sociology

Programme Description

The Masters (MA) Programme in Sociology at AUD is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills that will make them engaged citizens of the world capable of critical thinking and reflective action. The unique approach of the program is its focus on orienting students to the relationship between text and context, self and society, and the past and present. Over the course of their program, students develop a reflexive awareness of the historicity of the social and the ability to locate the history of the discipline within the sociology of knowledge production. The MA programme in Sociology envisages its students as compassionate, engaged researchers and active learners committed to principles of social justice. Graduates from our programme are thus taught to think across disciplines and to ask questions from multiple vantage points while maintaining a firm sociological ‘grounding’ when exploring specific research issues.

Unique features of the MA Sociology programme:

  • Learning to write a Dissertation with the experience of applying the knowledge that one gathers in a theoretical course on Social Research. Having close guided interaction with supervisors on area of research, field site, and research questions while framing the Dissertation Proposal prior to writing the Dissertation. Honing research interests, developing research writing abilities and encouraging hands on experiences of research techniques are the main objectives of this exercise.
  • Engaging in a course Workshop on Expressions aimed at developing students’ writing, library research and presentation skills as it takes them through the mechanics and protocols of various genres of writing—from proposals to reports, and dissertation
  • Doing a course on Organizational Exposure that introduces students to a range of sites/organizations in and around Delhi that engage in social science research, policy making and advocacy. Students are acquainted with a world of future opportunities.
  • Encouraging students to take at least 8 credits of Elective courses outside the discipline of Sociology thereby experiencing other knowledge areas. Sociology electives available to date include Social Exclusion, Agrarian Societies, Law and Society, Culture, Health and Systems of Healing, Science, Technology and Society (all Sociology courses). Non-Sociology courses taken by Sociology students have included Space and Spectatorship, Gender and Education, and Gendered Memory: Women Writing from North East.

MA SOCIOLOGY Programme Structure (Credits in parentheses)


 Semester 1

Semester 2


Semester 3

Semester 4

Social Theory 1 (4)
Sociology of Indian Society (4)
Culture, Hierarchy & Difference ( 4)
Protests, Movements and Transformations   ( 4)
Social Theory 2 ( 4)
2.Social Research ( 4)
3.Workshop on Expressions (2)
4.Organizational Exposure (2)
Data Collection
Economy, Polity and Society (4)
Faith Religion and Society (4)
Modern Indian Social Thought (2)
Dissertation Work I (2)
Relationships and Affinities (4)
Dissertation Work II (4)
Elective 1 (4)
Elective 2 (4)
Elective 3 (4)
Elective 4 (4)
Credits per semester
(TOTAL 64)
16 credits
16 credits
16 credits
16 credits

Core (Compulsory) Courses

Social Theory 1: Classical Theory

This course explores frameworks of analysis, perspectives and paradigms that seek to explain the society and aspects within it. The course starts by exploring some foundational ideas and philosophies, underlying social theories and then goes on to discuss the founders of theoretical discourses in sociology. The founding sociologists that this course concentrates on are Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel.

Social Theory 2: Contemporary Theory

Our reading of contemporary theory is comparative and historical in ways that productively extend students’ knowledge of classical social theory. This course will examine exemplary works that address a range of social issues and develop varied theoretical standpoints—from later strands in hermeneutics to contemporary forms of discourse analysis, post-Marxism, post-structuralism, postmodernism, post-colonialism and feminism—which are germane to a wide variety of substantive fields in the social sciences.

Social Research

The course Social Research begins by introducing students to the epistemological foundations of a major methodological tradition in social sciences, namely Positivism and its implications for the pursuit of research. Building on the debates on Positivism, the course trains students in the formulation of research problem, research designs and various techniques of data collection. Here the objective of the course will be to expose students to various statistical methods of data analysis and computer aided packages such as M.S. Excel, SPSS and AtLasti.

Sociology of Indian Society

The course introduces students to the growth and development of sociology in India and the debates pertaining to it. It traces the trajectories of ‘can there be a Sociology of India’ debate initiated in 1957 by Dumont and Pocock. Whether tradition-modernity continuum is still a relevant frame, whether there are distinct schools as articulated by some scholars or whether historicizing Indian society is a way out-are some of the questions the course will address. In addition, the course will examine the dominant and central themes, namely village dynamics, caste and Kinship networks, of the early sociology in India and how the disciplinary focus gradually included themes on gender, sexuality, dalit studies, and media.

Culture, Hierarchy and Difference

This course will examine the ways in which culture re/produces difference, hierarchy and inequality and the produces individuals as cultural subjects. Reimagining a conventional course on Social Stratification, this course will aim at theoretically understand culture as a site where hierarchy and difference gets played out. Besides, theoretically traversing subaltern and cultural studies pathways, issues in Indian culture and polity will capture the key debates.

Protests, Movements and Transformations

Social Movements and Protests as social phenomena are increasingly becoming ubiquitous in today’s world. Instead of perceiving social movements as ‘crowd pathology or ‘mass hysteria’, Sociology asserts that social movements are diverse, creative and progressive as they carry alternative voices and ultimately reconstruct the society. While protests are the strategic manifestations of any social movements, social and political transformation is what they seek to achieve. The aim of this course is to make the students understand how social agents collectively strive for social change by questioning the established power structures of any society.

Economy, Polity and Society

This course aims to capture Indian society in transition. The course studies specific character of economic and political modernizations in India. It moves away from the trinity model whereby market, state and society appear as three distinct entities, towards an examination of the complex process of institution building shaped by colonial modernity and nation building in post colonial India. The course intends to expose students to the changing political economy of India. Apart from looking at state and market as grand institutions articulating and drafting rules of governance, the course visits the idea of everyday state and market. The objective here is to view institutionalization from the bottom.

Faith, Religion and Society

The course builds upon the understanding that religions have emerged from ongoing ethical and moral discourses within specific geographical contexts and historical time spans. It interrogates the understanding of religions as timeless and fixed. Our analytical approach seeks to unravel broader arguments about religion and its practices, and reflect on how “meanings” are constructed. Theoretical insights are combined with empirical, ethnographic, and textual evidence to examine a variety of beliefs and practices understood as “religious” both from the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere.

In the first half we examine the relationship between culture and religion, as well as the two-way relationship between religion and society. Equipped with a theoretical vocabulary, the course then shifts to discussions about the Indian universe. In the latter half, issues such as questions of gender in India, missionary activity under colonialism, and Islam in the subcontinent, are explored. In interrogating concepts such as lila (play) or personal devotion (bhakti), for example, the social and historical contexts within which they have evolved are foregrounded. The course concludes with reflections on challenges facing contemporary Indian society.

Relationships and Affinities

Study of society is a study of human relationships—relationships through blood, marriage, adoption, friendship, and labour. The need for this course emanates from the complex and continuously changing nature of inter-personal relationships in modern, globalized societies. The theoretical perspective of the course is influenced by micro-sociology as the analytical point of departure is relationships and intimacies rather than heterosexual marriage and family.

Elective Courses

Sociology elective courses are offered according to interests (and availability) or faculty members as well as expressed preferences of students. Course details will be provided before commencement of each semester.

For any query please contact the Programme Coordinator: Prof. Smita Tewari Jassal (

Be sure to consult the website ( for specific dates and admission information updates.

Programme Structure

Content Awaited


Duration: 2 years (4 semesters)

Total Credits: 64

Medium of instruction: English

Numbers: 42

Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree with 45 % marks (or an equivalent grade) from a recognized University. Relaxation of 5% marks for candidate belonging to SC, ST and PD categories.

Reservation of seats: In accordance with Government of NCT of Delhi rules.

Admission Procedure: Written entrance test and interview


Fee Structure

Content Awaited

Admission Procedure

Admission Updates

Online Application Form