If you are applying for the part-time course or from outside the UK/EU, click apply now.
Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now
If you are applying for the full-time course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.
Sociology is the scientific study of human social relationships and institutions. It is a diverse area of study and includes the family, sexuality, gender, the state, education, globalisation, health and medicine, and welfare and poverty. Its focus is to consider how social structures interact with individual choice, the inequalities and divisions which can undermine social stability and the shared beliefs which create the basis for a common culture.
This course looks at the most important issues facing our society today including poverty, culture, immigration and refugees, families, global issues, social exclusion, race, disability, gender, sexuality, politics and policy, and social class divisions. You will cover topical and dynamic content, reflecting current social issues, policy and what is happening in society today.
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. You will not just leave with your degree in BSc (Hons) Sociology; you will have taken part in continuous training to become a social researcher – which is a valuable extra skill to have for future employment. Those who study BSc (Hons) Sociology want to change the world in their own way, and we help to equip them with the skills to do it.
A typical week for you will include lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, and computer-based learning. Your progress will be assessed with written coursework and essays, source reports, blogs, factsheets, research projects, presentations 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.
Skills for Sociologists programme
At level four, you will take part in a unique weekly development programme, designed to support you in your academic career; this will give you the confidence to succeed in your degree. You will access a wide range of other support services across the University. You will develop your skills in academic referencing, essay planning, writing skills, and presentation skills. There is a strong emphasis on professional opportunities and employability.
Study Abroad programme
At level five, you will have the optional opportunity to take part in a study-abroad experience for either a semester or a full year, to study sociology at an international university. Previous sociology students have studied their discipline at universities in California, USA, Melbourne, Australia and Vermont, Canada.
Part-time students study the same course as full-time students, just over a longer period of time. If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the day and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
BSc (Hons) Sociology is a flexible degree, offering you the opportunity to choose the subject path that most interests you. In addition to a broad range of sociology modules, you can choose from options in Criminology, Health and Social Care, Media, History, and Politics.
How did Western society develop, and did it develop fairly for all of us? This module introduces you to some of the early sociological theorists and you will explore opportunities to apply their theories to the ‘real world’ around us. You will examine issues of power, social class, inequality, deviance, stigma and wealth and poverty as you explore these classic theorists.
This module examines how and why groups and communities become defined as a ‘social problem’ and you will begin to explore contemporary social problems and the policy solutions offered to tackle them. Topics covered may include immigration, domestic abuse, single-parent families, young people and homelessness.
As part of your training to be a social researcher, you will begin to explore the nature of qualitative research; such as interviews, focus groups and life histories. You will write up a small scale social research project and use cutting edge technology to begin to analyse the findings from it, such as the computer software NVivo.
How do we socially construct ideas about class, gender, sexuality, disability and ethnicity? This module will begin to introduce you to the nature of inequality, diversity and difference through the lens of gender and feminist theories. You will examine topics such as cultural identities, parenthood and diversity within local and global contexts, making you aware of much wider social trends.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Building upon your introduction to social theory module in level four, this module will examine the impact of some of the key theorists leading up to the twentieth century as society ‘modernised’ at a rapid social pace. You will explore social theories of progress, social change, forms of social division, crisis and conflict which are central to understanding our unequal world.
As a developing social researcher, this module will introduce you to another strand of research, which is quantitative research. This module will show you how to use computer software, such as SPSS and other survey programmes, to examine real life social and cultural trends from surveys and questionnaires.
This module builds upon your study of ‘social problems’ at level four and engages you with thinking critically about the nature of social policy, the ideologies behind it and the effects of social policy on populations and groups. Topics you may cover could include contemporary policies such as austerity and government cuts, immigration controls, the welfare state, social benefits and unemployment.
This is your opportunity to go out into the social world and to take part in a real placement, where you can put your social research training into practice. With support from the placement team, or your own networks, you will take part in an actual research project (with guidance). Your placement may be in an organisation such as a charity, a research centre or a local authority department. This module will give you the ‘on the ground’ experience within a place of employment as you take part in doing research for them.
Has society become increasingly globalised? What does this mean for us and how does this impact on the world that we live in? You will examine concepts of gender, work, consumption, ethnicity and spatial inequalities and what this means for our own social identities. This module will examine advanced theoretical approaches which have attempted to explain our society as it is today. It will engage you with the most recent social theories in preparation for your dissertation.
The dissertation offers an opportunity for sociology students to become increasingly specialised in their own particular area of interest within their discipline. With guidance from a supervisor, you will put your sociological theorising, your training as a social researcher and your subject knowledge together, to form a research project based on a specialist topic of your own choice.
The Reg Vardy Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
Our typical offer is
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.
The annual fee for this course is:
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.
A degree in BSc (Hons) Sociology creates a huge number of career options. Your skills in analysing data, undertaking research and developing strong arguments will be highly valued by many employers.
You will graduate ready to work in a range of employment settings due to the transferable skills, broad knowledge base and critical awareness that studying Sociology provides.
Previous graduates now work in the fields of education, mental health, work with vulnerable adults and children, the criminal justice system, government, international development, charities and community work, political campaigning and social research.
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:
We have strong links to employers and our Sociology students take part in a placement to work on a research project at level five of their degree. We also offer optional summer internships in a range of employment settings. Sociology students have undertaken previous internships with organisations as varied as COCO (an international development organisation for Eastern Africa), Team Kenya, Northumbria Police, Albert Kennedy Trust (an LGBTQI+ homelessness charity), Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Grace House (children and young people with life-limiting conditions).
Many of our Sociology students have published their first class degree work on our ‘Social Sciences Blog.’ Please take a moment to check out their excellent assignments.
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. This is a great way to learn from experts in their field.
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