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Sociology - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor) BA/BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Sociology develops your understanding of how society is organised. It is excellent training in social science and it helps you think through issues such as social inequalities, class, how organisations work, the impact of religion, and globalisation and economic development.

Modules cover research methods, social theory, gender and society, medical sociology, violence and crime.

A popular combination is sociology with psychology. This allows you to study both society (through sociology) and the individual (through psychology).

Another popular combination is with criminology. You can choose modules that help you understand the societal context of criminal behaviour and punishment.

You could also combine sociology with any of the other subjects in the Combined Subjects programme. You can choose to spend a third, half, or two thirds of your study time on sociology.

According to the National Student Survey 2014, 96% of our sociology students believe that staff are enthusiastic and good at explaining things. As a result of the course, 9 out of 10 of our students feel more confident in tackling unfamiliar problems.

Our tutors provide a very supportive learning environment. Throughout your degree you will have a Personal Tutor who will monitor progress, discuss options and offer appropriate guidance.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying a combined subjects programme at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

A major/minor combination involves taking two thirds of your credits in the major subject, and one third in the minor subject. With a dual combination you take an equal number of credits in both subjects.

If you take a dual combination with one subject that is a BA and one which is a BSc, the award of a BA or BSc is determined by the subject in which you complete your final project or dissertation.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Core modules for all routes

  • Introduction to Social Theories (20 Credits)

Core modules for major route

  • Social Problems (20 Credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (20 Credits)

Optional module

  • Introduction to Gender, Diversity and Society (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Core module for major route

  • Social Theory of Industrial Society (20 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Contemporary Issues in Social Policy (20 Credits)
  • Sex, Families and the Construction of Personal Lives (20 Credits)
  • Gender, Diversity and Society (20 Credits)
  • Medicalisation, Normality and the Body (20 Credits)
  • Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

Core modules for major route

  • Advanced Social Theories (20 Credits)
  • Dissertation (20 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Youth, Gender and Identities (20 Credits)
  • Gender, Sexuality and Identity (20 Credits)
  • Punishment and Society (20 Credits)
  • The Clinical Gaze: Medicine, Disability and Confinement (20 Credits)
  • Violence, Gender and Society (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas to other students and develop concepts within groups.

To fulfil the National Benchmarks for Sociology for those doing Major or Dual with dissertation: this is achieved through a strong core of theory and methods: they focus on qualitative and quantitative methods in separate, sequential modules. The same is true of the three theory modules one at each level in a cumulative sequence.

Specialist optional modules in the programme reflect the research strengths of the team. All the sociology modules in the single-honours programme are available to Combined students.

There are specific strands which could be pursued within the Combined Sociology programme which distinguish us, particularly, from our close neighbouring institutions:

  • Gender and diversity
  • Social policy, medicalisation and disability
  • Family and personal life

What makes our programme unusual in these areas is that students can follow these strands through all three levels of the degree (and can also develop a dissertation in Stage 3 in that area).

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations and exams.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS for Sociology Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

Course location

The course is based at the Priestman Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. Thanks to a major renovation programme, the Priestman Building provides state-of-the-art teaching space (including dedicated computer suites) and resources as part of a vibrant and outward-looking learning environment.

University Library Services

We have a wide range of resources in both print and electronic formats; books, journals, reports, databases and newspapers which will all help with your wider reading and research. Below you'll find some of the essential resources to explore for Social Sciences.

  • British Newspapers 1600-1900
  • Community Care Inform
  • Ebsco Professional Development Collection
  • EthOs
  • GreenFILE
  • Institutional Repository (SURE)
  • JISC Media Hub
  • JSTOR archive
  • LexisLibrary
  • Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (PYMCA)

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs in the Murray Library on Chester Road. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


Priestman Building

City Campus, Albion Place, Sunderland, SR1 3PZ

Entry requirements


Our typical offer is 120 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.


Our typical offer is 300 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 300 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 300 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 300 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £8,750 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,500 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

The study of sociology develops transferable skills in analysis, critical thinking, independent judgement and effective communication. These are relevant to a wide range of careers including the Civil Service, local government, non-government organisations, international institutions, industry, commerce and further education. Your course could also lead on to more advanced studies at Masters or PhD levels.


To further enhance employability, we arrange workshops in conjunction with the Careers and Employability Service that focus on possible careers for sociology students. Work placements and internship opportunities are advertised throughout the year.

Study Abroad 

You can switch your studies in Combined Subjects to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get an international perspective on both subjects that you are studying.

University Language Scheme 

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.


Support from staff

You can expect stimulating contact time with teaching staff as well as significant amounts of time when you will be studying on your own. If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Students who are taking Combined Subjects have Personal Tutors. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development, monitor your progress and act as a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues that require more specialist services. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

In addition, the Combined Subjects team provide a high level of personal help and support. We offer a daily face-to-face drop in service and we can also arrange out-of-hours appointments where necessary. If you send us a query, we commit to responding to it promptly.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"We help you develop a wide range of transferable skills that will enhance your future employability and prepare you for future professional roles."

Sheila Quaid - Academic

Sheila Quaid - Academic

Programme Leader

"Sociology at the University of Sunderland is for students who aspire to make a difference in the world. The course will broaden your understanding of the biggest issues facing society today, including social exclusion, race, disability, gender and social class divisions. The course explores the enormous social transformations occurring throughout the world, the changing relationships between individuals and the values and ideals within our own lives. What you will discover is that sociology allows for critical thinking in ways that other academic subjects cannot match.

"According to the National Student Survey 2013 100% of students were highly satisfied with the course and believe that staffs are approachable, enthusiastic and adept at explaining difficult subjects. As a result of their comprehensive teaching, over 94% of our students are more confident in tackling unfamiliar problems. The core of the course is focused on the principles and practice of social theory and social research. Broad pathways are: Gender and Culture, Health and the Social Body, Family and Identity and Crime and Justice.

"Staff at Sunderland are actively engaged within many specialist fields of study, which is reflected in the variation of modules available, and which enables you to study the areas of sociology that are of most relevance to you and your aspirations. We are all members of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences research centre which students are encouraged to join and can follow on Twitter @CASS180661. We help you develop a wide range of transferable skills that will enhance your future employability and prepare you for future professional roles. Our graduates have gone on to have successful careers in media, management, teaching, industry and education amongst others."

NSS Specific Programme Survey Results 2013:


Overall Satisfaction 100%
Teaching on my Course 97%
Assessment and Feedback 87%
Academic Support 80%
Organisation and Management 98%
Personal Development 91%

"Combined Subjects gives you the flexibility to really tailor your degree to your interests."

Justine Short - Sociology

Justine Short


"Combined Subjects gives you the flexibility to really tailor your degree to your interests. I have found that my chosen subjects of English and Sociology have gelled well together which has ultimately enhanced my knowledge and understanding in each of my modules. I have found the support of my teachers across each of the three years to be incredibly helpful and the prompt and efficient feedback useful in my academic development.

"Sociology offers such a strong basis on entering the big world of employment, you can pretty do anything with a Sociology degree and it’s a fascinating area of research. In September I will be doing a Masters in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at the University of Sunderland and furthering this I will be completing a Teacher Training Programme, so eventually I will become a Special Needs Teacher. What I also want to do in my spare time is to become an academic write in Sociology, possibly directing towards Disability; I’ve enjoyed my experience, not only being a student at Sunderland University but studying Sociology that I want to continue delving into what Sociology has to offer."

"The teaching staff were the best you could wish for!"

Kate Buckle - Student

Kate Buckle


"Sunderland has a lot to offer combined students. With the choice of two subjects it enhances the possible career options. The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's is an excellent place to be taught, with state-of-the-art facilities.

"My first year was more exciting than I thought it would be. The staff were so welcoming and friendly. The best part of my first year was meeting other students from different parts of the country and even different parts of the World.

"The nightlife at Sunderland has something to offer all students, with plenty of bars, disco nights and clubs.

"My course was really interesting and the teaching staff were the best you could wish for! Overall a cracking three years at Sunderland."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straight away.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the ‌UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Sociology - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor)
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 September 2016
UK/EU Fee £8,750
Intl Fee £10,500

Entry requirements

2016 entry: 300 points

2017 entry: 120 points

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