PhD Sociology

General information

The PhD program in Sociology trains scholars to conduct original research contributing to the advance of sociological knowledge and to teach sociology at the university level. The Ph.D. degree in sociology usually leads to a career in research and/or teaching. Although most graduates are employed by universities, there are increasing career opportunities in government and other research-intensive occupations, which are particularly strongly attracting graduates of the specialization "Population studies".

Selected students are encouraged to join the European PhD Network in Socio-economic and Statistical Studies, which awards (in cooperation with universities in Rome, Berlin, Southampton, Haifa, Moscow, and Budapest) additional qualification Doctor Europaeus.

We offer highly individualized training in sociological analysis, intense supervisingintellectually stimulating, and highly productive environment. Our students have recently achieved excellent publication success in some of the most visible and respected journals, especially in the fields of population and ageing studiesethnic and migration studies, and media studies. Most significant recent publications (co-)authored by our graduate students include, for instance:

Váňa, Jan. (2020) “More than just a product: Strengthening literature in sociological analysis. Sociology Compass (

Lakomý, Martin. (2020) Is providing informal care a path to meaningful and satisfying ageing? European Societies 22(1): 101-121 (DOI: 10.1080/14616696.2018.1547838)

Drdová, Lucie, Saxonberg, Steven. (2019). "Dilemmas of a subculture: An analysis of BDSM blogs about Fifty Shades of Grey." Sexualities (

Lakomý, Martin. (2019) The effects of prolonged working life on subjective quality of life across Europe. Social Science Research 82: 33-44.

Lišková, K., & Bělehradová, A. (2019). ‘We Won’t Ban Castrating Pervs Despite What Europe Might Think!’: Czech Medical Sexology and the Practice of Therapeutic Castration. Medical History (DOI:10.1017/mdh.2019.30)

Rapošová, Ivana. (2019) “‘We can’t just put any belly-dancer into the program’: cultural activism as boundary work in the city of Bratislava.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45(11): 2100-2117 (DOI:10.1080/1369183X.2018.1440543.)

Synek, Michal. (2018) “Perfect etiquette: On diplomatically arguing with members.” Medicine Anthropology Theory 5: 25-49.

Železná, Lada. (2018) “Care-giving to grandchildren and elderly parents: role conflict or family solidarity?” Ageing & Society 38: 974-994.

Žilinčíková, Zuzana, Martin Kreidl. (2018) “Grandparenting after divorce: Variations across countries.” Advances in Life Course Research 38: 61-71.

Kotišová, Johana. (2017) “Cynicism ex machina: The emotionality of reporting the ‘refugee crisis’ and Paris terrorist attacks in Czech Television.” European Journal of Communication 32: 242-256.

Kotišová, Johana. (2017) “When the crisis comes home: Emotions, professionalism, and reporting on 22 March in Belgian journalists’ narratives.“ Journalism (

Mezihorák, Petr. (2017) “Competition for control over the labour process as a driver of relocation of activities to a shared services centre.“ Human Relations 71: 822-844.

Nový, Michal, Michael L. Smith, Tomáš Katrňák. (2017) “Inglehart’s Scarcity Hypothesis Revisited: Is Postmaterialism a Macro- or Micro-level Phenomenon around the World?“ International Sociology 32: 683-706.

Žilinčíková, Zuzana. (2017) “Do Children Matter for the Stability of Cohabitation? A Cross-National Comparison.“ Population 72: 649-670.

(Names of graduate student co-authors are underscored.)


Programme characteristics

  • Sociology doctoral programme at the Department of Sociology at Masaryk University is a four-year programmethat can be studied either in a full-time or a part-time form.
  • The programme is conducted entirely in English.
  • No teaching experience is required prior to or during the study.
  • “En cotutelle”graduate study (i.e. a doctorate with dual supervision) is strongly encouraged and supported by the Department.

1. Admission

Any student holding an M.A. degree (or equivalent) in any field may be admitted to the PhD programme. Students holding an M.A. degree in a field other than sociology, however, may need to take additional courses before starting their dissertation research – these additional courses are typically chosen from the M.A. programme in sociology/cultural sociology.

Applicants should prepare a brief dissertation project (in suggested structure – see below). The department strongly recommends that the proposal be consulted with a prospective supervisor prior to submission; this conversation should ideally also focus on external funding opportunities. We prefer projects that overlap with the core research foci of the department and/or the affiliated Office for Population Studies i.e. population and ageing studies, social inequality, and cultural sociology. In the field of population studies, projects utilizing data from the Generations and Gender Surveysand/or European Values Study surveys are especially appreciated.

The admission is administered by the International Office.

The admission process and deadlines for admission documents delivery are summarized here.

The final decision about the acceptance is made by the Dean of the faculty upon the admission committee recommendation.

 2. Project proposal

The admission interview focuses primarily on the research proposal. The proposal is evaluated with respect to its scientific excellence. Prior research experience and resume are also evaluated.

Expected proposal structure

The proposal is the key document considered in the admission process. It should the concise but concrete (approx. 6 standard pages).

The proposal is expected to have the following structure:

  • preliminary title of the thesis
  • importance and relevance of the subject
  • main research questions
  • theoretical framework (what theoretical concepts help to grasp the identified problem and what is the relevance within the wider sociological theory)
  • data sources (how are you going to collect the data, what will be your sources)
  • in case of empirical projects, methodology and methods you will use in order to analyze your data
  • basic bibliography relevant to the topic (5-10 most important publications cited accordingly)


Append the title and abstract of your M.A. thesis (90-110 words).

Keep in mind that your project should answer the following questions:

  • Why should anyone be interested in your research/topic?
  • What is the goal of the research/thesis?
  • How is it possible to account for the research? (also in terms of time and finances)

 3. Doctoral studies - logistics

Normative time-to-degree is 4 years (8 semesters), maximum length of studies is 7 years (14 semesters). Studies starts with the enrollment at the beginning of the semester.

Students proceed with studies following the Recommended Study Plan and their own individual plans, attend and complete required and elective courses, and work on their publications and dissertation projects under the supervision of a supervisor of their choice. Students’ study plan and progress is evaluated every semester.

Students need to obtain 240 credits in compulsory and elective courses.

More information about the courses, study plan, state exams and dissertation thesis are available in the Rules of Doctoral Studies (see below).

Conditions for the Application for the State Doctoral Examinations for Sociology Students:

Students submit their application for the state doctoral examination the 8th semester in at the latest. By that time, they must have completed all compulsory courses and elective courses except Preparation of Dissertation (SOCd0109), Conference presentation (SOCd0110), Public Presentation of Dissertation (SOCd0111), and Publication (SOCd0112).


4. Stipends and fellowships

4.1. Teaching and assisting

The department offers paid teaching assistant-ship positions to qualified graduate students each semester; international students may qualify for these positions as well (beginning in the second semester of their study).

4.2. Faculty stipends

The Faculty of social studies offers a number of financial support schemes to graduate students. These include fellowships for talented students, publishing students, mobility fellowships and other. More information is available here. Students apply for these fellowships only after they are enrolled.

4.3. Departmental fellowships

The Department of Sociology and the Office for Population Studies support graduate students through a variety of fellowships. These include research assistant-ship positions, fieldwork fellowships, proofreading fellowships, and dissertation year fellowships.

The dissertation fieldwork fellowship is intended to cover the cost of fieldwork (broadly defined) for students who have already defended their dissertation project proposal (i.e. have successfully completed SOCd0102, or its equivalent). The call is published once a year, typically in the fall. Some restrictions might apply.

The PhD fellowship in Population Studies is intended for outstanding international students enrolled in the Sociology PhD Programme at Masaryk University who conduct research in the area of family demography, broadly construed. Project proposals working with Generations and Gender Programme data and taking a comparative approach are especially welcome.

The Roman Jakobson PhD fellowship in cultural sociology is intended for outstanding international students enrolled in the Sociology PhD Programme at Masaryk University who conduct research in the area of cultural sociology, broadly construed. We particularly welcome proposals showing a commitment to meaning-centered analysis and a non-reductionist account of culture (e.g. working with the Strong Program in cultural sociology).

The dissertation-year fellowship is awarded for a period up to 12 months (in the amount of 5000 CZK/month in addition to the regular PhD stipend) and it is open to all doctoral students. Preference is usually be given to students who are

  • at the time of the application submission in their fifth, sixth or seventh semester of studies and
  • will defend their dissertation thesis in the eighth semester at latest.

Both scholarships are conditioned upon excellent study results (primarily upon publications). In case if the applicants’ academic results are similar, preference will be given to those active at the department (attending Research meetings, participating in working groups etc.). Terms might change.

Research Assistant-ships are awarded to students preparing a research paper (typically based on their dissertation research) for publication. The call is released at least once a year (typically in the fall semester).

Dissertation proofreading fellowship is intended for students writing their dissertations in English. The call is published twice a year. Preference is given to non-native speakers who have already demonstrated their ability to publish in good-quality international academic journals.

 5. Other activities

There are many different activities organized at the department such as conferences, Research Colloquia, different working groups, doctoral integration activities and discussions.

 6. Research profiles

  • social inequalities (mobility, social class, education, gender)
  • family and population development (fertility, life cycle, aging, intergenerational relations)
  • cultural sociology (identity, collective memory, ethnicity)
  • migration (cultural studies of migration, transnationalism)

7. Tuition fees

  • The tuition feefor the Doctoral programs in the English language at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University is set to be 975 euro per semester (1,950 Euro per year or 5,800 Euro per the whole degree program).
  • The general university policy regarding tuition payments and fees is outlined here
  • Full or partial tuition waivers are available on a competitive basis. We encourage excellent students to discuss the possibility of a tuition waiver during their admission interview. Some students are only granted a tuition waiver in case they defend their extended dissertation proposal (in SOC913/SOC984) with an excellent outcome.
  • The department offers a number of fellowships to cover the cost of livingin Brno to outstanding international students. We encourage students to inquire about these options during the admission interview.

8.Useful links

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