M.Phil / Ph.D (Sociology)

The objective of the Department of Sociology with regard to its MPhil/PhD programme is to rethink, revise and rejuvenate the discipline of Sociology by effectively centering South Asia and engage in a purposive dialogue with dominant centers of knowledge, typically associated with the West, and new emergent perspectives from other parts of the world.

We invite students whose commitment as research scholars in Sociology and Anthropology reflect these concerns and interests. We are especially interested in teaching students who will help push the bounds of Sociological and Anthropological knowledge that will enable the development of a ‘South Asian Sociology’; aware of its diverse histories, concerns and approaches, initiate a rethinking of the category of South Asia without falling prey to nationalist and statist paradigms and contribute to the further development of Sociology and Anthropology as disciplines on the whole.

We are a young department and we offer students a vital space for intellectual and methodological innovation which is often not available at established departments elsewhere. Thus our research students will play a critical role in developing new approaches as we grow as a department.

Based on the current composition of our faculty we invite students working on diverse topics including:

Sociological and Anthropological studies of Economic life, Sociology of Education, Anthropology of Contemporary Art, Political Sociology, Urban Anthropology and Sociology, Industrialization and the World of Work , Anthopology of Folklore, Popular Culture, Media, Film and Music and Visual Culture, Ethnicity and Nationalism, Migration Studies and Diaspora, Forced Migration, Borders, new innovations in Sociological and Anthropological Theory and Method, Historical Sociology, Gender and Sexuality, Social Stratification, Social Movements, Political Economy of Identity Politics, Politics of Knowledge Production, Violence and Conflict, Material Culture, Regionalism, South Asian Studies, and Development Studies.

Interested applicants with further queries may contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course Structure

Candidates will be confirmed to the MPhil/PhD programme after successfully completing coursework of 18 credits within the prescribed period of two semesters with a minimum grade of B. Coursework includes two compulsory courses titled ‘Advanced Social Theory’ and ‘Advanced Research Methods’, worth 4 credits each.

Students must also pass the compulsory non-credit course, ‘Introduction to South Asia’. Candidates who have completed the course during their M.A studies at South Asian University shall be exempted from doing this course. All Students will choose two out of three optional courses offered by the Department, worth 4 credits each, and write a seminar paper worth 2 credits.


S No.



Semester I (Total Credits: 8)


Social Theory,Society and Modes of Thinking (Compulsory)



Qualitative Research Methods (Compulsory)


Semester II (Total Credits: 8)


Ideology, Social Science and the Theoretical Domain (Optional)



Photography and Method in Sociology and Social Anthropology (Optional)



Industry and Work (Optional)




Sound and Sight in South Asia (Optional)




Civil society in South Asia (Optional)




Photography and Method in Sociology and Social Anthropology (Optional)




The Anthropology of Money and Work:Between Ethnography and World History (Optional)




Eligibility & other Details


Candidates who have completed  12 Years of schooling, 3 years BA level training with a degree  plus 2 years of post-graduate degree training in Sociology or related disciplines such as Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Mass Communications, Education, Geography, Law, Social Work, Development Studies, Criminology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Comparative Literature and Comparative Religious Studies; with a minimum of 50% marks, or an equivalent grade can apply for the PhD programme in Sociology. Qualified candidates will be called for an examination; those who succeed at the examination will have to enter the second phase of the admission process. Please consult the admission procedures for PhD in sociology for details.


A candidate shall be eligible for promotion to direct PhD if s/he has a grade of B Plus or more in coursework. Candidates need to indicate their desire to be enrolled in direct PhD programme after coursework. He/she also has the option of enrolling in the MPhil programme instead of the PhD programme after successfully completing the above requirements. 


A candidate with grades of B Only or B Minus in coursework will have to compulsorily write an MPhil Dissertation. S/he may apply for PhD if his/her final grade (including coursework and dissertation) in M.Phil is B or more. Anyone falling below these criteria will have to leave the programme. 


The PhD will be awarded after the successful completion of research and writing a dissertation under supervision of a supervisor appointed by the concerned Department.

Sample Questions

Here are some samples that will give you an idea of what the questions in the entrance test will be like.

Part A.
25 Multiple choice questions worth one mark each that would test general knowledge pertaining to the region. 

1. Where is the Line of Control located?

a) The India Pakistan Border

b) The India-Bangladesh border

c) The Indo-Nepal Border

d) The Bangladesh-Myanmar border


2. The Grameen bank in Bangladesh pioneered one of the following. Which one?

a) Short term Deposits

b) Regulatory mechanisms

c) Micro credit

d) Mutual Funds


Part B. 25 Multiple choice questions worth one mark each that would test subject knowledge and knowledge pertaining to issues within the broader spectrum of social sciences.


1. Which of the following is not based on inference:

a) Speculation

b) Induction

c) Deduction

d) Abduction


2. Structural Linguistics is critical to the formation of:

a) Claude Levi-Strauss’ Structural Anthropology

b) George Herbert Mead’s Symbolic Interactionism

c) Victor Turner and studies of ritual behavior

d) Gregory Bateson’s work on Cybernetics


Part C. To answer two essay questions out of a total of eight. Maximum word limit for each answer is 750. Questions will be set on the basis of subject relevance and relevance to broader social sciences. 


1. Is corruption a phenomenon that be studied sociologically? Explain your position

2. How important is the principle of reflexivity for sociological and anthropological research? Illustrate with examples

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