MA or MSc in Sociology for PhD in History


Hi all,

I am currently doing part-time PG course in Social Research and have the option to graduate with either an MA or MSc. Since I’m considering moving on to a PhD in History I would appreciate some advice on whether to go for the MA or the MSc. My guess is that the MSc would better demonstrate my research skills while the MA might better qualify for a PhD in the Humanities?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Avatar for rewt

Engineering student here.

Do they require different modules to get either an MSc or MA?
Have you looked at history PhD advertisements to see what they want?


It's the same modules for both degrees.

Usually requirements include a master's, no further specified.


I did my undergrad in history and intended to go to grad school to pursue a PhD in history and ultimately be a professor of history… and sometime in my junior year I got my hands on an NSF report on what PhDs in various disciplines did post-degree. This was in 1985 and is possibly even worse today, but then, only 16% of history doctorates were working in a tenured or tenure-track academic position. The rest? I didn’t care. I wanted to PROFESS. My “minor” (we didn’t have minors at my college per se, but the discipline where I’d taken the second largest number of courses) was sociology, which I actually liked far more than history… and the corresponding figure was almost 70%! The highest percentage of any of the social sciences.

A PhD in sociology is very adaptable- you can teach, do market research and polling, do litigation consulting… there are no unemployed soc PhDs that I know of. Underemployed, perhaps, but it’s very much worth it.