Programme Aims & Structure (SOMET)

Sociology and Methodology of Social Research

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Programme Aims & Structure

 

Programme

The Ph.D. in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research is a joint programme of the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Milan and the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society at the University of Turin.

The University of Milan is the administrative seat of the programme, which is embedded in the Department of Social & Political Sciences, awarded as "Department of Excellence 2023-2027" by the Italian Ministry of University & Research.

The Faculty includes scholars from the two universities of Milan and Turin as well as from other Italian Universities: University of Piemonte Orientale, University of Pavia, University of Bergamo, University of Bologna, University of Napoli Federico II, University of Trento, and University of Parma.

The SOMET Programme cooperates in several joint supervision and visiting programmes for both outgoing and incoming students with prestigious Universities in other European countries, such as Ku Leuven University (Belgium), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Val Paraiso (Chile), and several French Universities, among which the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.


Aims & Structure

The aim of the Ph.D. Programme in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research is to provide structured and advanced training in theoretically-guided empirical research across a wide range of sociological fields and to introduce students to current international issues in both qualitative and quantitative social research. Graduates will be able to compete successfully for positions as researchers (in public and private universities and research centres), skilled professionals and consultants in sociology to public agencies and international organizations and institutions in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

 

The PhD Programme includes three main phases.

 

First phase: 1st year

The 1st year is spent partially at NASP Graduate School in Social and Political Sciences in Milan and partially at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society in Turin.

Students attend advanced didactic courses in classical sociological theories and are introduced to the most up-to-date theoretical debates in both general and specific sociologies. Special attention is given to training in methodology, epistemology, research design, sampling, data collection and analysis. Students are expected to attend also international and peer seminars, conferences and summer schools.

During the first year, Ph.D. students also select a supervisor from the Faculty.

 

Second phase: 2nd and 3rd year

During the 2nd and the 3rd year, Ph.D. students undertake research, visiting periods and dissertation writing under the supervision of a member of the Faculty.

The 2nd year is partly spent on visiting a relevant university department abroad and is devoted to conducting the empirical research and the initial drafting of the thesis. Students will also attend additional courses and seminars in the fields they have selected for their research project. By the end of the 2nd year, each student is expected to produce an extended introductory paper for the dissertation.

The 3rd year is entirely devoted to the completion of the doctoral dissertation, under the supervision of one or more members of the Faculty. The final dissertation is submitted to the Faculty Board at the end of the 3rd year for admission to external review. 

 

Third Phase

The third phase includes the review process, subsequent thesis revision & completion and, ultimately, the VIVA.
The dissertation is reviewed by two external referees who may:

i) admit the candidate to the VIVA; ii) require amendments and revisions. In the latter case, up to six months may be allowed to revise the thesis before admission to the VIVA.

The examining committee is usually composed of three members.

 

The Programme's research areas

The research areas covered by the PhD Programme in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research comprise:

 

♦ Culture and consumption

♦ Digital society and the media

♦ Gender and sexuality

♦ Migration studies, multicultural societies and citizenship

♦ Science, technology, environment and urban studies

♦ Social inequalities and socio-economic stratification

♦ Social movements, collective action and civil society

♦ Sociology of family

♦ Sociology of health

♦ Sociology of politics, public opinion and voting

♦ Work and organizations

 

For each of these sociological areas/topics, the PhD Programme places particular emphasis on the integration of theories and methods.

PhD Programmes

 

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