PhD in Sociology
Objective and aims of the PhD program in Sociology
The Sociology PhD program aims to impart critical thinking skills to students and equip them to conduct rigorous research using both qualitative and quantitative research methods to advance the knowledge about society and culture. The graduates of the PhD program are expected to contribute to scholarly dialogue on social issues and communicate sociological or criminological knowledge to relevant audiences.
Areas of Concentration
- Substance Abuse Disorder and Its Prevention and Treatment
- Family Processes and Child Developmental Outcomes
- Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Crime and Justice in China
- Social media and online political participation
- Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile-police Relations
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Gene and Environment Interplay
- Family Violence
- Crime, Policing and Social Control in China
Scholarships and research assistantships are available for qualified applicants. Admitted students who have been selected to receive the UM Macao PhD Scholarship will receive a monthly stipend of MOP20,000 and a conference or research-related travel allowance up to MOP10,000 per academic year for a period up to 4 years. Tuition and/or any other kinds of fees that may incur during the course of studies will not be covered by the Scholarship. Admitted students who have been selected to receive the UM PhD Assistantship will receive a starting monthly stipend of MOP12,500 (up to MOP14,000). Tuition and/or any other kinds of fees that may incur during the course of studies will not be covered by the Assistantship.
These scholarships/assistantships enable students to collaboratively work with faculty to produce co-authored papers that appear in leading international journals.
Most of our students are from Macao. We also have a large number of students, especially our postgraduate students, from mainland China. Some of them received Master’s degrees from prestigious U.S. universities before they joined the University of Macau.
Many of our PhD students have published papers in peer-review SSCI journals before they received their PhD. Their papers have appeared in journals Sociological Methods and Research, British Journal of Criminology, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Chinese Journal of Communication, Sociological Inquiry, China Review, Journal of Asian Crime. Our PhD graduates find jobs in China’s universities and colleges.
AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
Substance Abuse Disorder and Its Prevention and Treatment
(Potential supervisor: Spencer De Li)
Teaching and research in this area will concentrate on identifying patterns and trends of substance use disorder, testing and developing theories of addictive behavior, assessing substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, and exploring new and more effective ways to reduce the problem of drug use and misuse. Students will take part in program evaluations and survey/interview projects conducted in the greater China area and become an active member of a multidisciplinary team at University of Macau committed to promoting evidenced-based drug control policy through high-quality research.
Family Processes and Child Developmental Outcomes
(Potential supervisor: Spencer De Li)
The study plan in this area focuses on the influences of family relationship, parenting practice and other familial factors on child developmental outcomes including academic achievement, psychological wellbeing, social competency, and delinquent involvement. Students will have opportunities to play an active role in empirical research conducted in Macao and mainland China, and contribute to the development of theories and effective parenting practices based on the collection and analysis of large-scale qualitative and quantitative data.
Social media and online political participation
(Potential supervisor: Hongyu Wang)
The study plan in this area focuses on the influences of new media such as Weibo, WeChat, Facebook on the formation of public opinion and online political participation among Macau and Chinese youth. Students will have opportunities to collect and analyze large-scale quantitative and qualitative data in mainland China and Macau, and build new theories that identify the underlying mechanisms explaining the positive effects of social media use on youth online political participation in contemporary China
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile-police Relations
(Potential supervisor: Ruohui Zhao)
Teaching and research in this area will focus on juvenile delinquency in general. Specifically, it concentrates on the following: prevalence of juvenile delinquency, correlates of delinquency, and juvenile-police relations. It also studies theories of juvenile delinquency and delinquency prevention strategies. Students will have opportunity to get involved in research projects conducted in China and learn skills on survey conduction and data analysis.
Quantitative Research Methods
(Potential supervisor: Tianji Cai)
The study plan in this area focuses on statistical methods in social research and non-experimental studies, for example categorical models, multilevel models, survey research methods, and advanced structural equation models. Students will be trained through various research projects in one or more areas of sociology that employ quantitative data.
Gene and Environment Interplay
(Potential supervisor: Tianji Cai)
The focus of this area is to understand the interplay between social environment in which one is embedded, such as family process, school process, peer groups etc., and one’s biologically propensity on behavioral / health outcomes. Both methodological and substantive issues in this area will be covered. Students will have opportunities to work on research projects in various areas.
(Potential supervisor: Shih-Ya Kuo)
This area focuses on an understanding of various types of family violence in both Western and Eastern settings, particularly intimate partner violence (IPV). The understanding includes the estimates of prevalence, severity, theories, myths, and evidence of the realities and controversies in the field. Cross-cultural patterns, prevention policies and treatment of family violence are reviewed and compared. The ultimate goal is to provide sound policies based upon evidence in order to improve the well-being and quality of life for local residents.
Crime, Policing and Social Control in China
(Potential supervisor: Xu Jianhua)
This area of concentration aims to examine the most updated form of policing and social control in urban China. We are particularly interested in exploring crime and victimization of the marginal population such as street vendors, taxi drivers and other types of urban poor and how they are treated in criminal justice system.
Research assistantships are available for qualified applicants. Currently, PhD research assistantship offers a monthly stipend of up to MOP 12,500 plus subsidized on-campus housing.
For the Admission Regulations and General Regulations governing Ph.D programs, please visit the Graduate School.