If you are applying for the full-time course from within the UK, click apply now.
Course starts: 20 September 2021Apply now
If you are applying for the part-time course, click apply now
Course starts: 20 September 2021Apply now
Want to understand why society works the way it does? Want to be part of a change in our social world?
Sociology looks at the most important issues facing our society today including poverty, immigration, religion, social justice, crime and deviance, ‘race’ and ethnicity, 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 broad range of employment settings using the skills and knowledge that you will develop, including social research skills, policy knowledge and real-world experience via placements.
In parallel, we run a unique three-year skills course which offers you study skills and develops your practice and employability for the future, making you ready for the graduate job market. You even have the option to study abroad in another institution for a year.
Sociologists go into a wide range of careers and we prepare you for this. We recognise sociology is a diverse area of study and we offer you the opportunity to choose from four new specialist routes. You get to choose your specialist route after your first year of study at level four:
BSc (Hons) Sociology
Engage in modules from all four routes and become a generalist in sociology. Engage with social problems and issues such as globalisation, social policy, social divisions, stigma and inequality. This route is ideal if you are seeking a broad understanding of social problems, issues, inequalities, social research and social policy, want to progress to postgraduate study or teaching, or if you want to pick a broad range of options of interest and to shape your career goals as you develop throughout your degree.
BSc (Hons) Sociology: Gender and Inequality
Engage in some of the most pressing issues facing our modern world as you become a specialist in gender and inequality. Explore issues such as social justice, human rights, stigma, gender inequality, racism, civil rights, global poverty, religion and culture and intersectionality. Engaging in this specialised route will be of interest to you if you wish to go on to postgraduate study, teaching, or a career in gender-specific settings such as domestic abuse, housing services, tackling wider inequalities working with vulnerable and marginalised groups in communities, criminal justice and campaigning, international development and human rights work.
BSc (Hons) Sociology: Research and Social Policy
Develop a strong understanding of the welfare state, social policy, the policy process, and the role of research in identifying the nature of social problems within society. Engage with topical and fascinating issues such as how people are affected by poverty, inequality, social exclusion and marginalisation. Gain critical insights into political ideologies and the substance and success of policy responses to some of these issues. This specialised route is relevant to those interested in postgraduate study, teaching, the charity sector, local government, or those who have ambitions to become a data analyst, housing manager or social researcher.
BSc (Hons) Sociology: Research in Practice
Expand your understanding of how organisations work and approaches to working with individuals, groups and communities that experience complex social problems. Examine issues of ‘race’, class, and gender within communities to raise your awareness of structural inequality, to enable you to develop your practice in ways that seek to empower individuals and groups to navigate the social, political and structural contexts that shape their everyday lives. Develop research techniques to ensure service users have a voice in the design, delivery and evaluation of services that are appropriate and relevant to their needs. This specialist route is designed for students who have a specific career in mind, such as probation and family work, human resources, mental health, working with children and young people, community work, international development or social work.
A typical week for you will include workshops, seminars, blended learning, group work and meeting with supervisors at each level of your degree. You will also take part in computer-based learning using specific social research software and statistical programmes for surveys and questionnaires such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and software for interviewing such as NVivo.
Your progress will be assessed in a variety of ways through traditional essays but also through innovative assessments (module dependent) which aid your employability skills, which may be research and organisational reports, portfolios, source reports, e resources such as blogs and podcasts, presentations, reports for global bodies and organisations and community studies. You will be allocated a personal tutor in each year of the course who will offer one-to-one support.
Student, Social, Personal and Professional (SSPP) programme
We also run our innovative and mandatory SSPP programme at each stage of your degree. At level four our weekly programme is designed to support your academic skills in writing university-level assignments and offering your opportunities for internships and volunteering. At level five our programme develops your practice through workshops and training such as community empowerment skills, managing organisations, writing fundraising bids and safeguarding training. At level six, we prepare you for graduate employment through designing a graduate-level CV, engaging with graduate job opportunities and opportunities for postgraduate study. Alongside this, we encourage you at each year to gain additional bronze, silver and gold SuPA Awards, which are an extra qualification you can gain to boost your credentials and to show to employers your extra-curricular experience.
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 60 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. You will be studying alongside full-time students.
BSc (Hons) Sociology is a flexible degree, offering you the opportunity to choose the route that most interests you. In addition to a broad range of sociology modules, you can choose from options in Criminology and Health and Social Care.
Develop an understanding of the key thinkers, concepts, and arguments that underpin both sociological theory and practice. Explore the foundational ideas that have shaped how we understand the social world and become familiar with how concepts, theories, and perspectives are operationalised in sociological literature and research. Gain an in-depth understanding and working-knowledge of how society works both today and in the past, as well as some of the conceptual tools sociologists have developed to know, talk about, and attempt to shape the social world.
Engage in learning about the importance of being a ‘reflective practitioner’ and how this relates to working effectively within public and voluntary sectors. Learn how thinking critically about our early experiences within the ‘family’ and education shape our identity. Gain insight by examining issues relating to ‘race’, gender and class, to reveal social problems communities face. Develop an understanding of core concepts that inform practice such as ‘participation’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘citizenship,’ to address issues relating to exclusion, marginalisation and inequality. Gain transferable skills by engaging in a community investigation, utilising qualitative and qualitative research methods. Develop essential skills to work with communities that enables individuals to navigate the social, political and structural contexts that shape their everyday lives.
Develop a critical understanding of theoretical frameworks that will enable you to conduct research into social inequalities. Conduct research into the experiences and impact of inequality upon specific groups/individuals such as, men, women, children and young people, Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) and LGBTQ+ groups. Understanding how inequalities intersect is essential for those working in forward facing professions such as public services and charities. Produce a professional portfolio during workshops, that will enhance your core skills in communication, problem solving, critical thinking, analysing information and teamwork that are transferable to the world of work.
Develop an understanding of social policy, political responses to social issues and policy making processes. Learn to identify the aims, impact, limitations and challenges of social policy in the UK. Discover connection between the state and private, public and third sectors that deliver services. Develop research skills to evidence how social policy affects different parts of society, policy decision making process and who receives welfare provision. Gain confidence in investigating a social policy that interests you or relates to the career you wish to pursue such as education, housing, criminal justice, working with marginalised groups or health and social care. Develop transferable knowledge and competences essential to careers in politics, local or national government, public services, policy research or further study.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Build on your previous knowledge of social theory and develop a critical understanding of some of the most influential ideas that helped shape modern industrial society and formed the foundations of our understanding of today’s society. Consolidate prior learning around key sociological concepts, and learn to engage with, compare, and evaluate modern social theories. Develop specialist knowledge of social theory, build on your comprehension, independent and group learning skills, as well as enhancing your abilities to locate, recognise, use, and evaluate classical and contemporary academic sources to construct verbal and written arguments.
Explore human rights agendas and global policies and practice. Focus on gender as a policy priority for many international organisations and as a theoretical frame for the consideration of human rights abuses. Study topics such as human trafficking, international reproductive politics, gender based violence, human sexuality, divisions of labour, refugee crises and health. Investigate global issues and rights, identities and freedoms and study critical and theoretical approaches to sex, intimacy and reproduction as well as historical and feminist perspectives.
Is religion and belief a source of social glue or social conflict? Learn the knowledge needed to critically examine the role of religion and belief in the UK and globally. Gain skills of analysis as you explore fascinating case studies, such as, religious ‘cults’ and New Religious Movements, human rights abuses under the name of religion and complex debates around gender and sexuality. Finish the module with a robust understanding of the nature of religion and belief and whether or not it deepens inequality and maintains the social order, or whether it can lead to dramatic social change. Gain future skills for employment in developing an e-resource such as podcasts, YouTube videos and blog development to add to your CV.
Explore key theories of health and illness with the use of case studies that illustrate significant arguments of medicalisation and regulation. Develop your understanding of various sociological theories that give insight into how behaviours and non-medical problems have been defined, categorised and diagnosed as a medical condition. Gain an in-depth understanding of how societal practices have changed through time, influencing how we look at what is considered to be normal and deviant today.
Engage with concepts and theories of gender and patriarchy to make sense of domestic violence in intimate relationships. Comprehend how theories of gender and patriarchy construct ‘love’ in intimate relationships in ways which produce inequalities and power in intimate relationships. Analyse the underpinning model/s of criminal justice in England and Wales to make sense of how this system works in patriarchal society to understand outcomes for domestic violence offenders and victims. Evaluate contemporary research including key theoretical frameworks to analyse how domestic violence is perpetuated. Analyse and present theoretical and empirical research to construct knowledge during the module.
Examine the concepts, theories and models underpinning contemporary health promotion and lifestyle behaviour change. Explore health inequalities and biopsychosocial theoretical approaches, values and beliefs which will be examined in relation to the application of models of health promotion and behaviour change.
Develop a critical understanding of the management, effectiveness and limitations of the private, public and third sectors. Gain essential qualitative and quantitative research skills, utilising data analysis packages, through examining real life case studies of these sectors. Develop your understanding of organisational management theory and issues relating to practice such as working collaboratively, inequality, discrimination and managing conflict. Gain essential transferable skills and knowledge that are necessary for professional practice, such as resilience, communication, problem solving, teamwork through your engagement in workshop-based learning and activities.
Develop a critical understanding of the management, effectiveness and limitations of the private, public and third sectors. Gain essential qualitative and quantitative research skills, utilising data analysis packages, through examining real life case studies of these sectors. Develop your understanding of organisational management theory and issues relating to practice, like working collaboratively, inequality, discrimination and managing conflict. Gain essential transferable skills and knowledge that are necessary for professional practice such as resilience, communication, problem solving, teamwork through your engagement in workshop-based learning and activities.
Explore the theory and practice of research methodologies and methods in social science. Discover the history of social science research and the philosophical and methodological debates which have underpinned the emergence of contemporary social science. Carry out your own research investigating an aspect of contemporary social life, learning how to think about, organise, manage, and report on social scientific research.
Analyse the divisions and problems of 21st Century society, its new identities and conflicts. Evaluate theories of difference, fragmentation and individualisation. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the theoretical models in the light of the evidence of social experiences of life and work in a globalised society. Undertake a case study of a social group in the situation of 21st Century society and evaluate the theories of their experiences and problems.
Analyse the origins of the different forms of demonisation of different groups, from witches to immigrants, racial minorities to sexual differences. Evaluate the circumstances and different theoretical explanations for the stereotyping and repression of each group. Explore the cultural, social and political forms of exclusion and persecution. Undertake a case study of an individual group and their situation, to examine theoretical considerations centre on the forms of explanation aimed at deconstructing the processes of stereotyping, and their translation into different forms of legal and official exclusion. Develop skills and knowledge to understand the integration of historical, political and sociological perspectives, with a view to the construction of the deviant and the different in terms of the criminal and civil laws as well as in popular and official beliefs.
Is globalisation the cause or the cure of global health problems? Gain knowledge of the causes of global health inequalities such as wealth and poverty, war and violence, climate change, mass migration, famine and ‘deadly’ diseases. Develop an awareness of how these problems and inequalities are caused and develop an understanding of how we have tried to tackle them as a global community, Finish the module with a sociological analysis of how globalisation affects our lives and explore ideas of how we can develop nations internationally to tackle some of our most pressing issues that we face on ‘our’ planet. Develop employability skills in writing an international report for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and use e-resources such as using data presentation techniques such Canva and infographic software to take forward for your graduate CV.
Investigate representations of ‘race’ and gender in mainstream cinema, literature and popular culture and examine representational systems and meaning. Choose your own movies and novels for scheduled movie screenings and independent reading. Apply theories to youth subcultures, media, dress, fashion, film and music. Examine concepts such as nationality, global culture and popular culture. Topics may include the male gaze, woman as object, femininity in film, the action hero and hyper-masculinity, hybridity, race/ethnicity and hypersexuality, white privilege in cultural industries, sexual orientation and transgender performance.
Gain valuable insights into issues relating to ‘race’ and interrelated concepts that examine the ways in which ‘race’ is socially constructed within society, through ‘whiteness’ and critical race theory. Develop your understanding of the historical nature of ‘race’ and learn how to identify causal factors that lead to racism in society. Discover how experiences of discrimination, prejudice and inequality often result in disproportionate outcomes for specific Black, Asian, Minority Ethic (BAME) communities. Learn to identify the ways that racisms and racialisation operates through politics, policy and practice through conducting research. Developing a critical awareness of ‘race’, will equip you with the skills and knowledge to identify issues of inequality, diversity and discrimination in the workplace, whilst having a broader understanding of working in multicultural settings. Gain transferable skills through conducting your own case study into an institution to provide tangible evidence of overt and covert issues of racism.
Would sex workers be safer if sex work was decriminalised? Do sex workers have a choice or are they forced to participate? How is sex work shaped by police practices, the law and social regulations? Engage in debates around sex work and explore the sex industry from global perspectives. Assess the role of legal frameworks, policy interventions, media representations and social stigma in the vulnerability of workers selling sex. Finish the module with a nuanced understanding of the diversity of sex workers and why transactional sex continues to be a complex and contentious issue.
Examine dugs, ‘madness’ and violence as three key social problems which are of growing concern and interest in ‘postmodern’ and unequal societies. Explore whether there is a relationship between domestic violence, mental ill health and substance misuse and what this means for society. Investigate the literature which exists in terms of each of the three topics in turn, and their interrelatedness in contemporary society.
What are ethics? Explore the complex yet important topic of ethics and ethical practice in health and well-being. Examine philosophical and moral issues and to engage in critical appraisal of ethical frameworks, guidelines and potential limitations of the professional role within organisations. Use this ethical application within workplace environments and on a much wider level.
Enhance your critical thinking through investigating a dissertation subject in greater depth and consolidate prior learning. Advance your research skills by conducting an empirical or none-empirical study relating to your degree. Develop specialist knowledge of theoretical perspectives, conducting independent research and project management. Enhance your ability to work independently, source bibliographical material, communicate complex information, analyse secondary/ primary data and utilise specialist computer packages. Learn how to structure, organise and format a dissertation, present findings and well-argued conclusion. A dissertation can be aligned with the profession you wish to pursue, demonstrating to employers your awareness of the kind of issues that might arise in the job.
Apply the knowledge and theoretical ideas you have developed over the course of your studies into a real world context. Complete a work-based dissertation from which you can draw inspiration to complete an innovative and creative piece of work aimed at improving the practice environment. Acquire essential transferable skills in project management, research and innovation.
Our typical offer is:
|High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade: SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement||GPA 3.0 or above and: Sat score of 1100/1600 from SATs AP (Grades 3+ in at least 2 subjects) ACT (score of 26+)|
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
The annual, full-time, fee for this course is:
Part-time fees are £6,935 per 120 credits. Part-time study is not available to international students who require a Student visa to study in the UK.
*European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss nationals are classed as international, however 21/22 entrants will receive a European student fee scholarship and will pay the (undergraduate) home tuition fee rate of £9,250 for the duration of their studies. The discounted fee will be reflected in your offer letter. Learn 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 graduates have wide range of employment, further study and research opportunities, including:
Read more in our article Career opportunities with a sociology degree.
We have strong links to employers and our Sociology students undertake 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. Past Sociology students have undertaken internships with organisations as varied as COCO (an international development organisation for Eastern Africa), Street Child Nepal, 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. 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.
During the course you may have the opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities to broaden your experience of the social world and to add to your CV. Our students have taken part in international development work on gender and education in Kenya and have worked with international NGOs on projects associated with girls rescued from bonded labour in Nepal. Students have also benefited from trips to London and locally, to enhance their subject knowledge and cultural awareness through museum exhibitions and public talks linked to topics in the curriculum.
Between level five and six, you will have the optional opportunity to take part in a study abroad experience for a full year, to study sociology at an international university. Previous BSc (Hons) Sociology students have studied their discipline at universities in California, Melbourne and Vermont. See our Sunderland Abroad page for more information.
Sign up to receive emails about your subject area.
Using Your Personal Information
The University of Sunderland is collecting this data in order for you to receive information on your chosen subject(s). Your information will be stored securely in our Customer Relationship Management system which is provided by a 3rd party and used only for the administration and provision of this information. Should you choose to opt in to further communications we will also use your information to facilitate other useful marketing information based on your preferences. Further information on how your data is stored and used can be found in our Privacy notice - marketing.