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Cambridge has a strong and vibrant tradition of teaching and research in sociology. Some of the best-known figures in British sociology – including Anthony Giddens, Michael Mann, John Goldthorpe, David Lockwood, Philip Abrams and Michael Young – were formerly based in Cambridge, and some of the most distinguished names of twentieth-century sociology, from Talcott Parsons and Daniel Bell to Pierre Bourdieu, Jürgen Habermas, Zygmunt Bauman, Ann Oakley, Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour, have lectured here.

For many years, sociology in Cambridge has been practised and taught in connection with other disciplines – we have particularly strong connections with politics, psychology, anthropology, economics and history. In 1968 the University established a Social and Political Sciences Committee which brought together sociology, politics and social psychology into a single administrative unit.  In 1986 the SPS Committee became a fully-fledged Faculty of Social and Political Sciences which offered a one-year Part I and a two-year Part II. The formal establishment of the Department of Sociology dates from January 2004, when the Faculty was divided into three Departments. In 2012 the Faculty was enlarged to include Archaeology and Anthropology as well as Sociology and Politics; this new, larger Faculty is called the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science (HSPS).  While Cambridge sociology has always existed within an interdisciplinary context, it has also maintained a distinctive profile as a centre of excellence for outstanding work in social theory and empirical sociological research.

We offer a unique environment in which to study sociology, either on its own or in combination with other disciplines, and to pursue sociological research at the cutting edge of the discipline.


  • #1 The Guardian University Ranking (Sociology) 2017
  • #4 The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings



A World Leader

The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Times, and the Independent.


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