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Sociology - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

In one of the most culturally diverse and socially complex cities in the world, you'll be introduced to ideas on globalisation, social inequality, identity, and ethnicity and race. As you prepare for social and public policy careers in the private, public or voluntary sectors, you'll learn skills to address multidisciplinary concerns relevant to a variety of public issues and have opportunities to take up a work placement and to study in other European countries. By the end of the course you'll be qualified to apply sociological perspectives, concepts and research methods to the most challenging social issues facing us today. In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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The Sociology BSc (Hons) degree is equipped with practical and transferable skills for research in the real world. You'll develop a systematic understanding of the key aspects of sociology, including a coherent and detailed understanding of specific areas.

You'll learn the most up-to-date techniques to devise and sustain arguments and to solve problems, consider current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, and recognise the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of its knowledge.

Making use of scholarly reviews and primary sources, you'll critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data, and examine how to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. Exercising initiative and personal responsibility, you'll develop skills for decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts.

By examining global inequalities in the twenty-first century and our work and working lives, you'll explore what is meant by the sociological imagination and also have the option to study homelessness and housing policy, gender and sexuality or to take up a sociology and social policy work placement.

The sociology placement, available to students entering their third year, is usually undertaken over the summer period, between years one and two.

The emphasis of this course is very much on the applied and practical nature of sociology and sociological research and a variety of teaching and learning methods are used to deliver a course that is both stimulating and relevant.

While developing the social experience, interests and understanding that stems from experiencing a diversity of educational, ethnic and social backgrounds, you'll receive the training, skills and understanding of specialist areas of study that are required to pursue a social and public policy-related career in national or local government, or the voluntary sector, or to apply the social research techniques you have learned to a wide range of private sector jobs.

Assessment

You're assessed via essays, individual and group research projects, a media practice project and a final dissertation.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have: 

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • GCSE English Language at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above, or Higher Diploma (or equivalent)

 Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

These requirements may be varied in individual cases. Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Friday afternoon

    This module provides the foundation for an explicit, clear focus on social research throughout Sociology and related degrees in addition to supporting students to acquire understanding of and skills in academic literacy. The methodological principles and perspectives for effective social research are explained and also illustrated through exploration of research case studies. It will additionally provide experience in using the vast array of text, visual and statistical primary documentary sources and their interpretation for research. Research as process will be examined including main research approaches, the formulation and development of research questions and social, ethical and political contexts of research practice.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    The module introduces students to the academic field of social policy: The study of the sociology, politics and economics of the welfare state, covering the origins, implementation and impact of policy in key areas of basic needs and injustices.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    To examine how social problems become conceived as such by the media, government and civil society and to analyse the impact of particular social problems on society. We shall also reflect on the location of particular social problems in different spaces: global, regional, national, local and examine policy responses to particular social problems

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module will provide students with an introduction to the discipline of Sociology and some of the basic skills of identifying, applying and evaluating sociological approaches, concepts and debates to everyday situations. It will also provide an introduction to constructing sociological arguments, thinking critically and assessing sociological evidence.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    The module examines the impact of globalisation on inequalities in our current 21st century world. Evidence suggests that inequalities are increasing within many countries in the world as a consequence of globalisation and the module will examine these increasing and changing patterns of inequality. Growing urbanisation, rural-urban migration and the growth of poverty and slums in the global south and of social polarisation in cities in the global south and north are considered. The module examines changes in social class, gender and ethnic divisions and inequalities in our contemporary world. It looks at the growth of a new global elite, the growth of the middle class in many countries and cities throughout the world and at the growth of a precarious social class. The module looks at how globalisation has impacted gender inequalities with globalisation leading to the increasing participation of women in many countries and regions of the world.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The principal focus of this module is for students to build on prior understanding and learning, exploring philosophical accounts of scientific explanation and the theory and practice of sociological research through the use of work-related interactive methods. The module provides work experience for students by developing research for a real world organisation (employer). Students will learn about doing research methods by conducting research for an employer. The employer will contribute to setting out small-scale research aims and objectives; being available to assess student proposals and bids or assess the analysis/ final presentation. The first part of this module examines the theory and philosophical accounts of research methodology, as well as introducing students to the practical skills of doing interviews, transcribing them, and analysing qualitative data. The second part of the module concentrates on quantitative methods, and requires students to design research for the requirements of an employer involved in both the aims and outcomes (assessment) of the research. The module provides work-related understanding and application of research methods by involving employer requirements and needs.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module introduces students to some of the key sociological approaches used to explore and explain the sociological notion of ‘self’. This will involve an examination of a range of major 20th century sociological thinkers on the nature of the social construction of self eg. Mead, Goffman. The intention is to use some of the major sociological theorists and apply their insights into current concerns with the ‘project’ of self and identity. That is, to examine how much choice we have in becoming who we are. The opportunity to ‘apply’ the sociological approaches to a range of issues/areas will engage a range of interests/students. The ‘project of the self’ in contemporary society will be used to explore this key sociological concept, drawing on recent developments in the sociology of emotions, religion, and deviancy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module looks at the media impact on public perceptions of crime and justice.
    It also looks at the way contemporary media and technologies influence criminal behaviour and influence the operations of the criminal justice system; and the emerging forms of deviant behaviour facilitated by contemporary technology and media.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module explores theories and conceptions of racism and ethnicity, and the practices of racism in contemporary societies. The historical roots of racism will be examined and its contemporary forms studied comparatively. Racism is specifically explored within the context of social and political conflicts.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Academic authors have shown that for centuries adults have expressed concerns about the anti-social and criminal behaviour of young people. In recent times, this concern has centred on rising levels of violent crime by young people and the burgeoning ‘gang, gun and knife crime culture’ in the UK. In response to public concerns policy makers and practitioners have designed numerous community and criminal justice initiatives to tackle the anti-social behaviour of young people, reduce their offending rates and encourage desistence from criminal activity.

    This module critically examines young people’s involvement in crime and violence. It examines key theories for understanding violence by the young and explores the connection between violent behaviour and a variety of social issues such as peer pressure, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity, and alcohol and substance misuse. This highlights the impact of changing economic, political and cultural contexts from the global to local. The module also explores, and critically examines, media and criminal justice responses to youth crime.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module looks at young people as social and political actors, and uses applied sociological theory to analyse current issues relating to youth in consumer society, the strategies of adaptation and resistance, violence and gangs, subcultures and political movements, and social control. The focus will be on the UK as well as European and global issues.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module will provide students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary thinkers and debates in social theory. They will be required to critically examine the ideas of contemporary social theorists and explore the application of their ideas to an ever-changing world. The module will explore what it means to be human and examine how different perspectives on this impact upon a range of issues, from state policies to the development of artificial intelligence. Overall, the aim of the module is to develop the students’ capacity to utilise theoretical ideas taken from philosophy and sociological theory by applying them to the social world.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    The students carry out an in-depth piece of sociological research and analysis in an area of their choice. In the first half of this module students will learn about different aspects of writing a dissertation.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module introduces students to the key concepts and theories relating to the social construction of gender and sexuality and their application to a range of social sectors and issues in the UK and abroad. The ways in which gender and sexuality are both constitutive of the social and are constituted through social structures, institutions and interactions are explored, as are the ways in which theories of gender and sexuality have informed the sociological study of the family, work, health, education, crime, the welfare state and politics, media and the body.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    Homelessness and Housing Policy outlines the key issues of housing policy in the UK with a focus upon homelessness. It looks at the history of housing policy and of social housing in particular in the UK; at housing trends in the UK and the causes of the current housing crisis in London in particular and at homelessness. Combined with other modules in the faculty, such as ‘Housing Issues and Housing Solutions’, this module provides a housing pathway for students wishing to develop or further their careers in this area. The module runs for 14 weeks, and is assessed through a seminar presentation and a 2,500 word essay.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    This module examines human rights violations within the context of social and political conflicts and the specific context of armed conflict. Human rights problems, in their essence, challenge political, moral and ethical questions we hold about ourselves and the world in which we live. When we gain an understanding of what human rights we as human beings are entitled to, we gain an understanding of our own identities, as well as an understanding of the struggles in other parts of our own community, our wider country of residence, and in other nations within our collective global society. We also learn in this context the importance of understanding human rights in conflict resolution.

    The module will address both theory and practice as it applied to real-world problems. Case studies will include human rights problems in conflict situations, including the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, human rights defenders working in war zones, gender based violence and discrimination violence against women, and victims of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module builds on earlier studies of social problems, social inclusion and exclusion, and education policy. We will reflect further on the meaning of social inclusion and exclusion in society, and the specific meaning of the terms in education in relation to the world of education and students with special educational needs. The study of the role of education and schooling in relation to achieving inclusion in both arenas is the focus of this module.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module will provide students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary debates on the relationship between religion and the state. Students will be required to critically examine the ideas of the classic and contemporary social scientists on religion and explore the application of their ideas to an ever-changing world. Overall, the aim of the module is to develop the students’ capacity to utilise social scientific concepts and perspectives in their analyses of religion in contemporary society. The disciplinary focus of the module will, initially, be the sociology of religion. The application of a range of social scientific approach will also be introduced - historical, political, economic and social psychological approaches.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module is designed to enable students to undertake a period of work-based learning, in relation to their course at level 6, within an appropriate organisation, and to gain credit for that learning. They will have the opportunity to apply, to test and to extend the knowledge that they have gained at all levels of the course. In so doing students will be able to enhance and extend their understanding of Sociology or Social Policy applied to the world of practice. The module will also afford them the opportunity to gain professional experience of an appropriate related work environment.

    Students will register with the module leaders including an initial consultation about priorities and preferences, plus attend a series of workshops. They will be briefed on the module, undergo induction and work related learning planning, preparing a work-based learning agreement to be agreed/approved between the student, academic supervisor and an employment setting representative, before they take up the opportunity. It is essential that students are made aware that both the work related learning agreement and relevant health and safety checklist (where applicable) need to be finalised and approved when starting the placement.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Researching Social Life
  • Social Polocy and Society
  • Social Problems and Social Issues
  • Sociological Imagination

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Interactive Research Methods
  • Self and Society
  • Global Inequalities in the 21st Centiry

Options

  • Crime, Media and Technology
  • Youth, Resistance and Social Control
  • Racism and Ethnicity
  • Work and Working Lives
  • Extension of Knowledge module

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Living Theory
  • Sociology Dissertation

Options

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Inclusion and Special Educational Needs
  • Human Rights and Conflict
  • Homelessness and Housing Policy
  • Religion and the State
  • Sociology and Social Policy Work Placement
  • Extension of Knowledge Module

"The positive benefit of undertaking this course is that it developed qualities that I can use in the workplace. It also provided me with the tools to be able to research issue. More importantly, the knowledge that I gained has made me a more effective communicator."
National Student Survey (NSS)

Successful completion of this course offers improved career opportunities in social research and the public services, as well as a multitude of private sector jobs. Previous graduates have secured roles in human resources, prison services, medical research and events management.

A sociology degree is also a strong foundation for future postgraduate study in social work, social policy or early years teaching.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

Undergraduate
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L302

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