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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Unfortunately, this MPhil pathway will no longer be offered after 2020/2021. You can however still apply to other MPhil pathways at the Department of Sociology and focus on reproduction-related themes in some of your work assignments. You may also be interested in the MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society, a full-time one year course run jointly by the Departments of History and Philosophy of Science, Sociology and Social Anthropology.

This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates in the sociology of reproduction and new reproductive technologies. Two core modules introduce key concepts and approaches to the sociology of reproduction and core methodologies in this field. Other substantive modules can be chosen in consultation with the student's supervisor or the course director.

Topics to be covered include reproductive technologies, reproductive politics, reproductive rights, new kinships, alternative families, reproductive biology, assisted conception, fertility and infertility, the fertility industry, feminist theories of reproduction, and the relationship between race, nation and reproduction.

Background reading will be drawn from sociology, anthropology, gender theory, reproductive studies, feminist theory, postcolonial theory, the sociology of biomedicine and science studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

  • an advanced understanding of current sociological research on selected topics;
  • the skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
  • an ability to apply and develop a social theory with respect to empirical topics;
  • a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research; and
  • the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.


MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD would normally need to have a final mark of at least 70 percent overall and 70 percent for the dissertation.