Sociology students in seminar
UCAS Code
L300
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

Society, and how we interact with it, is a complex but rewarding field of study. If you’re interested in studying classical and contemporary social theory, and applying it to our social institutions, this BSc (Hons) Sociology degree is a great option.

You’ll explore pressing contemporary social issues and get an understanding of specialist areas of sociological study such as food, happiness, violence, sport, social class, gender and race.

The course prepares you for a variety of careers, from health and social care to banking and administration. You can also do further training or study after the course.

100% of students were satisfied with this course in the 2017 National Student Survey.

92% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

What you'll experience

On this Sociology course you'll:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the world we live in
  • Get an in-depth understanding of our society and how we interact with it
  • Learn how our lives relate to each other's and intersect with wider social structures
  • Focus on specialist areas, such as food, happiness, violence and sport
  • Be taught by specialist staff who are undertaking research, ensuring you keep abreast of the latest developments in the field
  • Do research that connects your studies to what's happening now in society
  • Boost your career prospects by volunteering or doing a work placement alongside your studies
  • Hone your ability to research, analyse, and communicate complex data and ideas

Careers and opportunities

When you complete this BSc (Hons) Sociology degree course, our Careers and Employability team will work with you to find the employment that you need to kick-start your career.

What can you do with a Sociology degree?

You'll have the knowledge and skills to pursue a career or further training in areas such as:

  • teaching and lecturing
  • research
  • health and social care
  • advertising
  • marketing and media
  • local government
  • community development
  • careers advice
  • teaching
  • charity work
  • human resources and recruitment
  • business administration and personnel management

Our Careers and Employability team will support you for up to 5 years after you leave the University.

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Sociology degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll analyse issues related to class inequality in higher education by looking at how the media represents class and in relation to policies of 'austerity'. You'll also look at inequalities in relation to health and class across the lifecourse, exploring issues that become urgent at different ages or for different groups in society, such as obesity, eating disorders, alcoholism and physical activity.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe sociological perspectives on class, poverty, and inequality
  • Describe sociological perspectives on health inequalities in a lifecourse
  • Discuss sociological ideas in relation to relevant empirical contexts
  • Contrast different ways of understanding socio-economic and health inequalities
  • Reflect upon the intersections of social advantages and disadvantages
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour lectures
  • 23 x 1-hour seminars

You'll attend a 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar every week. The lecture introduces you to a new topic (or aspect of the topic) as a basis for your further reading before the seminar, as well as a basis for wider reading for your essays. In the seminars you'll take part in discussing the readings, clarifying points from the lectures, debating key issues, or reading and responding to the work of other students.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module. You'll use your independent study time to read materials in preparation for your seminars. 

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word coursework exercise (10% of final mark) - a short 'class autobiography' analysing how class has shaped your life and based on theories covered on the module
  • 2 x 1,500-word written assignments (45% of final mark, each) - essay topics might include 'What effects are policies of 'austerity' having on class inequality in the UK?' or 'To what extent can social class and inequality explain childhood obesity in the UK?'

What you'll do

You'll focus on the use of sociological research to evaluate topics, concepts and debates.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Differentiate between sociological and common sense ways of thinking about the social world
  • Outline some of the current sociological debates around contemporary topics
  • Identify and apply the essential study and thinking skills required by you as a student in Higher Education
  • Identify the arguments and findings of selected sociological research
  • Reflect upon, discuss and illustrate your skills acquisition and development as a student of Higher Education
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour lectures
  • 17 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 343 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 750-word written assignment (5% of final mark)
  • 2 x 1,500-word written assignments (25% of final mark, each)
  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (15% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll engage in close reading of key texts from sociology and related disciplines that are thematically linked to the films and documentaries screened. You'll identify key arguments and concepts in these texts and relate them to social issues raised in the films and documentaries.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise and summarise key arguments in relevant sociological texts
  • Think sociologically and examine the contemporary social issues raised in the films and documentaries shown
  • Develop sociologically informed commentaries that examine a number of key social issues
  • Work effectively as part of a group to enable the researching, preparation and delivery of a report
  • Produce a reflective analytical report with a logical line of reasoning that demonstrates engagement with the course materials
Teaching activities
  • 18 x 3-hour lectures/screenings
  • 5 x 1-hour tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 141 hours studying independently. This is around 8.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word group report (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework report (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll focus on methodological issues, and ways of collecting and handling various forms of data. You'll also consider the reliability of data sources and the ethical principles that inform and govern current social research.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise the interconnections between research questions, theory, data collection methods, and forms of analysis
  • Identify and formulate clear research plans related to specific areas of social investigation which may be of benefit to society
  • Apply and evaluate basic procedures for producing, accessing, and engaging with information via quantitative and qualitative research design and data analysis
  • Review and assess the contribution of yourself and others in a group work project
  • Code, analyse and present data appropriately in written form
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour lectures
  • 23 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (35% of final mark)
  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (25% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll learn about key themes in social theory, and the use of theoretically informed analysis for exploring social issues. You'll also develop your knowledge of how different social thinkers have explored issues of subjectivity and identity.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and describe key arguments from core theoretical texts
  • Define key conceptual vocabulary in social theory
  • Explore the use of social theory for illuminating an understanding of everyday life and contemporary social phenomena
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour lectures
  • 23 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written keywords assignment (45% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written essay (55% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll work in a small group to choose a research problem and design an effective research strategy to address it. You'll collect and analyse the data, and report on your findings in written coursework and a presentation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Formulate an effective research strategy to address a sociological research question as part of a group
  • Demonstrate knowledge of social science research methods and their appropriate uses
  • Work cooperatively in a group to develop a social science research project
  • Analyse and present the findings of your social science research
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the practical and intellectual components of primary social research
  • Evaluate in detail the performance of yourself and others in a group work context, and identify resulting development needs
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 162 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute group presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word, jointly-authored, coursework report (40% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

Modern life has its roots in Western Europe and encompasses economic, social, cultural and political processes of transformation that are now global in scope. You'll learn about these complex processes of transformation and the challenges they continue to bring to everyday life.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources, concepts, ideas and substantive analyses
  • Compare and contrast analytical approaches to the study and explanation of themes and issues explored on the module
  • Clearly communicate your understanding and knowledge of complex ideas, concepts, themes and issues
  • Work independently, and as a member of a group, to research, prepare and deliver a report
  • Produce a well-structured answer to a question under exam conditions, demonstrating critical engagement with relevant texts and analyses
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 8 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 4 hours of fieldwork
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 163 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework report (40% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (60% of final exam)

What you'll do

You'll explore how lives are affected and structured by risk, and examine the role of social institutions in shaping, presenting and influencing our understanding of risk. You'll also look at how risk is mediated by aspects of our identity, such as class and gender.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise and appreciate the development of ‘risk’ as a topic of sociological interest in current society
  • Understand and critically apply relevant theories and concepts relating to risk as a sociological topic
  • Understand ethical issues relating to the study of risk as a sociological topic
  • Develop a coherent and feasible research proposal 
  • Critically reflect on your own participation in an independent research process
  • Present research findings effectively, making links between your findings and sociological theory
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 1 x 1-hour tutorial
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 175 hours studying independently. This is around 10.6 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 250-word written assignment including essay (pass/final)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework project (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll debate the adequacy of recent theoretical models of social and economic change, analysing the changing nature of employment.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of key theoretical and empirical debates on changing social divisions and the workplace/labour market
  • Outline, compare and contrast different social divisions and inequalities in relation to employment opportunities and outcomes
  • Creatively apply relevant aspects of theory to understand social and economic change
  • Assess and analyse sociological ideas, evidence and arguments clearly and effectively in written and verbal formats
Teaching activities

11 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 5-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment including essay (80% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

This module will develop your knowledge of consumer society, practices and conduct, as well as the consequences of the way the world now consumes goods and services.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Plan an essay outline that engages with the many aspects of consumerism
  • Compare and contrast analytical approaches to the study and explanation of themes and issues explored on the module
  • Interpret and synthesise key sources, concepts, ideas, and substantive analyses, and evaluate their relevance for understanding consumer culture and its consequences
  • Communicate and critique the ideas, concepts, and analyses explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively
  • Use relevant sources to produce a clearly argued and critically engaged essay
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 6 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour tutorial
  • 4 hours of fieldwork
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 165 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at compulsory to post-compulsory education, and its relationship with philosophical, scientific and cultural developments. You'll explore key topics and debates around contemporary education, the current state of research and theory, and how this informs practice and policy. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically discuss different practices in various educational settings considering relevant research and theory
  • Determine the relevance of psychological theory and research to current issues in educational contexts
  • Describe and critically explore psychological research on specific topics in educational psychology evaluating the method and use of research findings
  • Reflect on the history, concepts and practice of educational psychology and the role of the educational psychologist in supporting learning and development
  • Explore whether an educational practice has the potential to impact learning and development
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops. 

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at contemporary social movements that have envisioned and enacted an end to oppression, and the relationship between social justice and education. You'll also be encouraged to develop your own political framework for challenging oppression.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate one key concept explored on the module, describing how it has been employed as a political framework for dismantling oppression
  • Examine key debates related to at least one social justice issue, demonstrating awareness of the interlocking nature of different structures of oppression
  • Reflect on how structures of oppression relate to your own life and experiences, as part of developing your own political framework for challenging oppression
  • Critically reflect on the relationship between education, knowledge production and social (in)justice
  • Plan and manage self-directed and independent learning
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at the current labour market and the changing definition of a ""career"". You'll also investigate intergenerational relationships, and whether we make career choices alone or instead uphold the work values of our parents and family.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of employment and the labour market, specifically the social science study of careers and work life balance
  • Outline, compare and contrast different understandings of work, why we do this, how it is informed by our background, and how this effects our identity
  • Creatively and reflectively apply key ideas about how work is performed and understood in people’s lives
  • Use learning technologies to assess and evaluate current debates about the social and cultural dimensions of work in written formats
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll consider the various social and cultural dimensions of food production and consumption, including the role of food and taste in the construction and maintenance of identities.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design a research plan to bring together academic sources and relevant cultural texts
  • Synthesise literature about food and culture from a range of relevant sources
  • Use the analysis of specific examples of academic sources to evaluate more general arguments about food
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (15% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (85% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll evaluate various sociological, feminist and queer theories on the social construction of gender and sexuality, and apply these to current debates. You'll also develop the analytical tools to challenge contemporary views that we now live in an equal 'post-feminist' society.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and engage with different sociological, feminist, queer (and related) theories of gender and sexuality
  • Use various theories to analyse the social world and everyday experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with other social categories and positions
  • Recognise the importance of locating analyses of gender and sexuality in social, historical and geographical contexts
  • Develop a theoretically-informed essay plan based on a set essay question
  • Construct and present a theoretically-informed essay, exploring a topic related to the module in-depth
  • Learn from and implement feedback to develop future work
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour lectures and seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine examples from various media forms (such as magazines, books, television, film, digital and social media).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Engage with and use a range of critical discussions
  • Analyse contemporary and historical media sources, of significance to diverse representations of gender
  • Identify, discuss and analyse media interventions in gender representation
  • Critically discuss the prevalence and significance of gender representation in the media
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 172 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 2,500-word essay (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll also look at the recent emergence of the sociological study of happiness, and debates around self-help and self-improvement.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the social and cultural aspects of health and 'wellness'
  • Critically evaluate how people make sense of their selves and bodies
  • Evaluate social scientific perspectives on happiness and wellbeing
  • Analyse and evaluate empirical social scientific material
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments including essays (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll enter at the appropriate level for your existing language knowledge. If you combine this module with language study in your first or third year, you can turn this module into a certificated course that is aligned with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module:

  • You'll have improved your linguistic skills in Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, French, German or Spanish
  • You'll be prepared for Erasmus study abroad
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • coursework (100% of final mark) 

What you'll do

You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
  • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
  • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
  • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
Teaching activities
  • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 80-hours of work-based learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine the claim that new communication channels and cross-media platforms inspire social networking, user generated content, and digital culture.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify key theories on digital cultures and the networked society
  • Discuss cross-platform skills and content in online culture
  • Identify reliable and appropriate digital sources for personal research
  • Understand online social interaction and its implications
  • Recognise skills that make you attractive to employers through engagement with cross-platform 'polymedia'
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and project supervision meetings.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 2,000-word essay (100% of final mark).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand key approaches to the study of mass media, culture and national identity
  • Analyse cultural industries and media in their national, historical and socio-cultural context
  • Develop, define and complete a personal research project on the media and national identity
  • Use various research sources for an extended research project
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes, seminars and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 170 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word critical review essay (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll focus on the everyday, intimate and embodied boundaries of nation-states, and how these shape our lives. You'll discuss questions relating to the relationship between nationalism and attitudes towards immigration.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically and reflectively engage with literature exploring nationalism from various disciplines
  • Analyse current political and economic debates surrounding immigration
  • Evaluate how global inequalities relate to nationalist social and political structures and ideologies
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the issues discussed are relevant at micro and macro levels globally
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the history and ongoing existence of race and racism in the West. To achieve this, you'll look at the development of modern racism in relation to colonial and 'scientific' notions of separate peoples, and in relation to the rise of 'colour-blind' racism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Engage critically and reflectively with theoretical and empirical literature on race and racism
  • Show independent and analytical thinking in relation to knowledge of the history and/or modern presence of race and racism
  • Reflect on how race and racism intersect with other dimensions of identity and inequality
  • Apply your learning in relation to specific case studies and an overarching context of social justice
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also explore society's engagement with popular screen media.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply theoretical and critical approaches to screen media studies
  • Critically identify, select and engage with online resources
  • Use best practice when researching
  • Understand the historical and chronological social context of screen media
  • Combine practice with theory in screen media studies
  • Understand the economic impact of the screen on the creative leisure and entertainment industry
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework exercise (10% of final mark)
  • a coursework exercise (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,000 word essay (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also look at how society has to adapt to many points of resistance in the configuration of power.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the key causes of social divisions in capitalist democracies
  • Recognise the mechanisms of persuasion that maintain these divisions
  • Evaluate political violence as a historical outcome of failure by the elites to maintain social control
  • Analyse and evaluate the use of ideology in how social control and resistance to elites, are maintained
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at the sociology of taste and value in relation to culture, including the extent to which taste is a marker of social class and the significance of celebrity culture. You'll examine the tensions between culture and market forces, individual and group judgements, and cultural appropriation and appreciation.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop an essay plan to examine the distinctive character of sociological thinking on culture
  • Compare and contrast the contribution of various approaches to the sociological study of culture
  • Communicate knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes, and issues explored on the module
  • Distinguish between various analytic perspectives in relation to contemporary cultural phenomena
  • Produce a well-structured, well-written and knowledgeable essay synthesising information from a variety of sources
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll get an understanding of sociological issues in an international setting, and enhance your job prospects.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks relevant to your course while abroad, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance
  • Critically reflect on your learning experience and ambassadorial role for the University
  • Consider the relevance of your learning to future study and/or employability and personal development
  • Critically assess how activities covered on your course relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice within a global context
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 595 hours studying independently. This is around 18 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio

What you'll do

You'll develop your knowledge of the changing character of contemporary wars, structural and everyday violence, as well as gender and sexualised violence. You'll also explore militarist culture and entertainment, genocide and ethic cleansing, violence and the body.  

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and summarise key concerns, theories and debates in the sociology of violence and war
  • Show an understanding of empirical cases of collective violence using sociologically informed analysis
  • Compare, contrast and evaluate diverse analytical accounts of contemporary violence and war
  • Critique and defend arguments and perspectives in analytic accounts of contemporary violence and war
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word written essay (90% of final mark)
  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (10% of final mark)

Optional sandwich year

Optional modules

What you'll do

Your placement year will be assessed after a period of no less than 30 weeks, on a pass/fail basis.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the skills needed in a placement environment
  • Identify and evaluate your learning experience and the relevance of this to future careers and professional development
  • Identify areas for improvement or further training in your professional development
  • Evaluate your success in meeting the objectives identified in your learning agreement
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,125 hours on placement
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

What you'll do

You'll get an understanding of sociological issues in an international setting, and enhance your job prospects.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks relevant to your course while abroad, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance
  • Critically reflect on your learning experience and ambassadorial role for the University
  • Consider the relevance of your learning to future study and/or employability and personal development
  • Critically assess how activities covered on your course relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice in a global context
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,195 hours studying abroad
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also explore society's engagement with popular screen media.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply theoretical and critical approaches to screen media studies
  • Critically identify, select and engage with online resources
  • Use best practice when researching
  • Understand the historical and chronological social context of screen media
  • Combine practice with theory in screen media studies
  • Understand the economic impact of the screen on the creative leisure and entertainment industry
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework exercise (10% of final mark)
  • a coursework exercise (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,000 word essay (80% of final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll base your research on your own interest, research, original thought, and personal learning about a specialised topic of study. Your research can take different forms depending on the aims and focus of your dissertation.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Complete a dissertation proposal
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and awareness of existing research and literature in a relevant sociological field of study, and consolidate it in a written form
  • Employ relevant methods of social research and analysis in an ethical framework, to develop a rigorous research methodology
  • Identify, analyse and evaluate research findings
  • Plan and manage an independent research project
  • Present your research in a clearly structured and coherently argued dissertation
  • Communicate in writing to a sociological audience
Teaching activities
  • 10 hours of project supervision
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 390 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word dissertation (90% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

This module will develop your knowledge of consumer society, practices and conduct, as well as the consequences of the way the world now consumes goods and services.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Plan an essay outline that engages with the many aspects of consumerism
  • Compare and contrast analytical approaches to the study and explanation of themes and issues explored on the module
  • Interpret and synthesise key sources, concepts, ideas, and substantive analyses, and evaluate their relevance for understanding consumer culture and its consequences
  • Communicate and critique the ideas, concepts, and analyses explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively
  • Use relevant sources to produce a clearly argued and critically engaged essay
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 6 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour tutorial
  • 4 hours of fieldwork
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 165 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the relationship between emotion and gender, as well as the 'emotion work' that takes place in the workplace and other settings. You'll also explore the rise of therapy and self-help culture in Western society.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of various sociological and interdisciplinary approaches to emotion
  • Critically assess current sociological debates around emotional life
  • Apply a range of perspectives from sociology and other disciplines to specific emotions
  • Apply academic debates around emotion to example case studies
  • Independently formulate an appropriate essay question on a specific area of study
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll look at contemporary social movements that have envisioned and enacted an end to oppression, and the relationship between social justice and education. You'll also be encouraged to develop your own political framework for challenging oppression.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate one key concept explored on the module, describing how it has been employed as a political framework for dismantling oppression
  • Examine key debates related to at least one social justice issue, demonstrating awareness of the interlocking nature of different structures of oppression
  • Reflect on how structures of oppression relate to your own life and experiences, as part of developing your own political framework for challenging oppression
  • Critically reflect on the relationship between education, knowledge production and social (in)justice
  • Plan and manage self-directed and independent learning
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at the current labour market and the changing definition of a "career". You'll also investigate intergenerational relationships and whether we make career choices alone or instead uphold the work values of our parents and family.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of employment and the labour market, specifically the social science study of careers and work life balance
  • Outline, compare and contrast different understandings of work, why we do this, how it is informed by our background, and how this effects our identity
  • Creatively and reflectively apply key ideas about how work is performed and understood in people’s lives
  • Use learning technologies to assess and evaluate current debates about the social and cultural dimensions of work in written formats
  • Generate a new, critical insight into how we understand 'work' today
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment including essay (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll consider the various social and cultural dimensions of food production and consumption, including the role of food and taste in the construction and maintenance of identities.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Formulate a plan to combine academic sources and relevant cultural texts
  • Synthesise literature about food and culture from a range of relevant sources
  • Critically analyse specific examples to evaluate more general arguments about food
  • Critically assess the relationship(s) between food and other facets of contemporary society
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (15% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (85% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll evaluate various sociological, feminist and queer theories on the social construction of gender and sexuality, and apply these to current debates. You'll also develop the analytical tools to challenge contemporary views that we now live in an equal 'post-feminist' society.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and engage critically with different sociological, feminist, queer (and related) theories of gender and sexuality, and use these to analyse the social world and everyday experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with other social categories and positions, and recognise the importance of locating analyses of gender and sexuality in specific (social, historical, geographical) contexts
  • Independently formulate a question with respect to a relevant topic of your own choosing and develop a theoretically-informed case study plan
  • Construct and present a theoretically-informed critical analysis of a suitable case study
  • Learn from and implement feedback to develop future work
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour lectures and seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 750-word written assignment (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also look at the recent emergence of the sociological study of happiness, and debates around self-help and self-improvement. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the social and cultural aspects of health and 'wellness'
  • Critically evaluate how people make sense of their selves and bodies
  • Evaluate social scientific perspectives on happiness and well-being
  • Analyse and evaluate empirical social scientific material
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll develop fundamental skills needed to be a teacher, and the capability to structure and deliver a short lesson.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the expectations of a professional teacher in terms of skills, knowledge and conduct
  • Discuss the importance of safeguarding students
  • Apply fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to plan an effective, peer-assessed lesson
  • Deliver lesson plans with clear objectives, student-centred learning and assessment of learning
  • Reflect on the use of active learning methods within subject specialism
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 2-hour seminars
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 10 x 1-hour lectures
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a practical skills assessment (50% of final mark)
  • a written assignment including essay (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
  • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
  • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
  • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
Teaching activities
  • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 80-hours of work-based learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll trace the historical and critical contexts from which media fan cultures have grown and consider the theoretical and methodological development of audience research, considering ideas around the active audience, cult film and television fans, fan practices and the collecting of media merchandising, community, and subcultural distinction. You’ll apply these theories and methods in your own primary fan research by studying peoples and cultures on the web.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate different theoretical approaches to the study of audiences and fans
  • Analyse the social, cultural and economic premises and consequences of media fandom across different texts and their contexts
  • Articulate and demonstrate an understanding of the wide range of discrete practices of media fan communities
  • Research and defend a theoretical position with regard to questions of media fan cultures and their related fan practices
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 2 x 1-hour seminars
  • 4 hours of supervised time in a studio/workshop
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 170 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word report (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll focus on the everyday, intimate and embodied boundaries of nation-states, and how these shape our lives. You'll discuss questions relating to the relationship between nationalism and attitudes towards immigration.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically and reflectively engage with literature exploring nationalism from various disciplines
  • Analyse current political and economic debates surrounding immigration
  • Evaluate how global inequalities relate to nationalist social and political structures and ideologies
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the issues discussed are relevant at micro and macro levels globally
  • Understand and critically question how nationalism and national identities are often taken for granted in Western societies, and how this relates to contemporary global power relations
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll critically examine the responsibility of journalists in conflict situations.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically engage with debates and theories about the relationship between news, war and peace
  • Assess and analyse arguments about the news media's role in reporting war and peace
  • Evaluate critical positions taken towards the news media's reporting of war and peace
  • Apply knowledge gained on the module to self-directed research
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 4,000-word essay (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll analyse employer expectations and apply your findings to refine your professional profile. You'll also prepare a job application pack, and take part in a mock interview as both a candidate and a recruiter and/or assessor.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate your personal professional profile and relate it to the development of effective job application strategies
  • Research and critically evaluate employers' expectations of a candidates' skills, attributes and competences in different sector
  • Evaluate your scores from various Psychometric tests to prepare for an employment assessment
  • Professionally communicate the outcomes of your experience to potential employers by producing a CV, statement, video pitch and a mock and formal job interview
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (10% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word coursework report (25% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word practical skills assessment (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the history and ongoing existence of race and racism in the West. You'll also look at the development of modern racism in relation to colonial and 'scientific' notions of separate peoples, and in relation to the rise of 'colour-blind' racism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Engage critically and reflectively with theoretical and empirical literature on race and racism
  • Show independent and analytical thinking in relation to knowledge of the history and/or modern presence of race and racism
  • Critically reflect on how race and racism intersect with other dimensions of identity and inequality
  • Apply your learning in relation to specific case studies and an overarching context of social justice
  • Demonstrate critical and reflective engagement with, and synthesise ideas from, recent research exploring race and racism
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment including essay (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also look at how society has to adapt to many points of resistance in the configuration of power.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the key causes of social divisions in capitalist democracies
  • Recognise the mechanisms of persuasion that maintain these divisions
  • Evaluate political violence as a historical outcome of failure by the elites to maintain social control
  • Analyse and evaluate the use of ideology in how social control is maintained and in how elites are resisted
  • Critically evaluate arguments concerning the failure of democracy to emerge or take hold
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 3,500-word written assignment including essay (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at the sociology of taste and value in relation to culture, including the extent to which taste is a marker of social class and the significance of celebrity culture. You'll examine the tensions between culture and market forces, individual and group judgements, and cultural appropriation and appreciation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Independently formulate a question on a relevant topic
  • Develop an essay plan to evaluate the distinctive character of sociological thinking on culture
  • Critically assess the contribution of various approaches to the sociological study of culture
  • Communicate knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes, and issues explored on the module
  • Distinguish between various analytic perspectives in relation to contemporary cultural phenomena
  • Produce a critically engaged and coherently argued essay, synthesising information from a wide range of sources
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (essay plan) (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written essay (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll look at these ideas from political, philosophical and ethical positions.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Engage with key debates and theories on modern comedy history and theory
  • Demonstrate the use of both primary and secondary arguments for a written piece of work
  • Evaluate agency and authorship, as well as national and industrial factors in comedy
  • Approach the study of comedy from national, political, social and cultural contexts
  • Use different academic views in the analysis of comedy
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend small group lectures. These will incorporate reflective and interactive exercises that will inform your assessments.

You'll be supplied with online resources such as recordings, suggested materials, film and media texts, the reading list and other materials. You'll be able to contact module lecturers in their office hours and via email.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a portfolio (10% of final mark)
  • a 3,000 word essay (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll combine textual, theoretical and historical analysis to the study of British television drama.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply analytical approaches to TV drama texts
  • Evaluate critical arguments about TV drama
  • Analyse various industrial and historical contexts of British TV drama
  • Analyse stylistic conventions of TV drama
  • Discuss the treatment of sociopolitical themes in TV drama
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through 2 x 1,500-word essays (50% of final mark, each).

What you'll do

You'll develop your knowledge of the changing character of contemporary wars, structural and everyday violence, as well as gender and sexualised violence. You'll also explore militarist culture and entertainment, genocide and ethic cleansing, violence and the body.  

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and summarise key concerns, theories and debates in the sociology of violence and war
  • Show an understanding of empirical cases of collective violence using sociologically informed analysis
  • Compare, contrast and evaluate diverse analytical accounts of contemporary violence and war
  • Critique and defend arguments and perspectives in analytic accounts of contemporary violence and war
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word written essay (90% of final mark)
  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (10% of final mark)

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

I have been able to study matters that are really interesting and relevant to contemporary society. My degree has enabled me to gain many skills that I am now transferring to my new job and I have also made some friends for life. I would definitely encourage people to come to the University of Portsmouth, it is a fantastic place to study!

Chloe Plummer, BSc Hons Sociology student

Harry's story
"It just had a really good feel to it..."

Hear how Harry felt right at home from day one in Portsmouth, and how his time studying a BSc (Hons) Sociology degree has opened doors to exciting opportunities

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written essays and tests
  • both group and individual projects
  • seminar participation
  • examinations
  • a 10,000-word dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Examples of placement organisations include:

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Why Me? Restorative Justice
  • SEK International School, Spain
  • Aurora New Dawn - a charity giving safety, support, advocacy and empowerment to survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing the ideal job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We'll work with you to identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and allow you to use the skills you've learnt.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops

There's a practical focus on this course. You'll take part in group debates and discussions and get hands-on experience with different research and interview techniques.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Sociology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning Development Tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty Learning Development Tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Ask me anything about BSc (Hons) Sociology
An 'ask me anything' session with BSc (Hons) Sociology Course Leader, Emily Nicholls

Watch this video for answers to questions such as 'What career opportunities are on offer to someone studying sociology?' and 'How does this course keep up-to-date with current issues in society?'

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Sociology degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What skills and qualities do I need for this sociology degree course?

As well as meeting the course entry requirements, you need to be interested in how society is organised and how social inequality is produced. You should be fascinated by – but suspicious of – everything.

How can I prepare for a sociology degree?

You don't need a sociology qualification or background to join us. The first year of the course is a full introduction to studying sociology at university level and provides a comprehensive overview on topics such as social inequalities, sociological theories and research methods.

If you'd like to do some background reading before you begin the course, these core texts are useful:

  • Zygmunt Bauman and Tim May (2019) Thinking Sociologically (3rd edition). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Charles Lemert (2011) Social Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life (5th edition). London: Rowman and Littlefield
  • Charles Wright Mills (2000[1959]) The Sociological Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Common sociology questions

Sociology is the systematic study of the world around us.

What does a sociologist do?

Sociologists seek explanations for why the world is organised and structured the way it is and why social inequalities persist.

They're interested in social structures and institutions, how these shape the lives and life chances of individuals, and how ‘common sense’ or individualised explanations are insufficient to understand social phenomena.

As a result, sociologists often seek to bring about social change that moves in the direction of decreasing inequality and increasing social justice.

Studying sociology encourages you to engage critically with the world around you, ask questions about the social world and challenge some of the things we often take for granted.

You'll develop the ability to be analytical, consider different perspectives and communicate your ideas effectively. These are transferable skills that are valuable to any employer.

Employers recognise the valuable transferable skills – such as critical thinking, communication and research skills – that sociology graduates gain at university. This means future demand is likely to be high for sociology graduates.

Our sociology graduates go into a diverse range of occupations including people-focused roles (such as teaching or social work), research and policy roles (in local and central government or the voluntary sector) or management roles.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L300
  • our institution code – P80

If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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