Sociology is the scientific study of human social relationships and institutions. It is a diverse area of study, and includes, crime, religion, the family, the state, education, globalisation, health, welfare, and poverty. Its focus is to consider how social structures interact with individual choice, the divisions which can undermine social stability and the shared beliefs which create the basis for common culture.
This course looks at the most important issues facing our society today including; poverty, culture, immigration, families, global connections, social exclusion, race, disability, gender, sexuality, politics and policy, and social class divisions. You will cover topical and dynamic content, reflecting current social issues. The emphasis is on careful gathering and analysis of evidence to broaden our understanding of key social processes.
You will graduate capable of working in a range of employment settings due to the transferable skills, broad knowledge base and critical awareness that studying Sociology provides.
A typical week for you will include lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, and computer-based learning. Your progress will be assessed with written coursework, projects, debates, portfolios, presentations, digital media and exams.
Throughout the degree, you'll have one-to-one support from academic staff to help you get the best out of your assignments.
In addition to a broad range of sociology modules, you can choose from options in Criminology, Health and Social Care, Media, History, and Politics.
Student Development Programme
You will have the opportunity to take part in a weekly development programme designed to support you in your academic career. You will be provided with access to a wide range of other support services across the University. You will grow in confidence as you learn academic referencing, essay planning and writing skills and presentation skills. There is a strong emphasis on professional opportunities and employability.
The Social Sciences and Law Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
The Reg Vardy Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.
The Foundation Year will be £4,000. For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250, but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the three years.
In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.
Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.
If you are a full-time UK student you will be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Graduating with a degree in BSc (Hons) Sociology creates a huge number of career options. Your skills in analysing data and developing strong arguments will be highly valued by many employers.
Our graduates from this course now work in teaching, the Civil Service, local government, non-government organisations, international institutions, industry, commerce and further education. Many of our graduates also choose to continue their studies at Masters and PhD level.
Sociology students go on to access a wide range of employment opportunities, further study and research including:
The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Applied Social Studies (CASS) combines original academic research with practice-based collaborations and reach-out activities, often working directly with practitioners, policymakers and front-line delivery staff regionally, nationally and internationally. According to the most recent National Research Excellence Framework Exercise, almost half of our outputs are either 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
The mission of CASS reflects that of the University's aim as a civic university: to take an active interest in the social issues that affect the region and beyond by engaging in research and practice-based collaborations that aim to improve living conditions, address inequalities and social exclusion and promote social justice. Currently our research focuses around three strands: children, young people and families; communities, health and social exclusion; and crime, victims and social justice.
CASS regularly hosts visiting speakers and holds events that you will be invited to. This can be an excellent way to learn from the real-life experience of people who already have a strong track record in sociological and social policy related social research.
Our current Sociology students say that they benefit from studying at the University of Sunderland due to the high levels of support and encouragement they receive from staff; the opportunity to develop their critical and analytical thinking skills, having an input into their own learning enabling them to think independently and to challenge their views of the world. They comment that there are a vast range of opportunities for personal development that lead to transferrable skills, opening up a range of employment opportunities for their futures (Sociology student focus group, May 2017).