Sociology at Birmingham

Sociology at BirminghamExciting, Forward Thinking Undergraduate DegreesStudy a Year Abroad Undergraduate Degree at the University BirminghamTaught Masters Degree Programmes

We live in a dynamic, diverse and ever changing world. Sociology at Birmingham is an excellent place to develop a sociological imagination to understand the challenges and opportunities we face.

In the latest Guardian University Guide 2015 the School of Government and Society performed well with Sociology placing 11th out of 89 institutions. The University of Birmingham was ranked 17th out of 122 institutions surveyed.

About Sociology at Birmingham

Developing the sociological imagination means cultivating your own informed and critical understanding of the social world around you, arriving at insights that go much deeper than the information presented in the media which ‘skims the surface’ of events.

Each year, students take core modules in the major parts of the discipline, combined with options which enable them to specialise in their own particular interests. Core modules focus on sociological theory, which addresses the big questions about the nature of social change and experience, and research methods and analysis, which provides the hands on tools for conducting social research. There is also a core focus on globalisation and dimensions of social stratification, such as gender and ethnicity.

Optional modules provide the chance to develop personal interests, working with researchers in areas such as the sociology of the family; the sociology of technology; the sociology of religion; political sociology and celebrity culture. There are also a wide range of optional modules available in other areas such as politics, social policy, philosophy, African studies, theology, history and modern languages. In the final year students undertake an individually supervised dissertation project on a topic of their choice and design.

Throughout the degree, key questions include;

  • What are the major social forces (such as globalisation) shaping the world today?
  • What do these mean for the nature of group and individual experience and identity?
  • What control do we have over the direction of social change? Can we imagine alternatives?

Our students develop crucial transferable skills for future careers. You will develop knowledge of contemporary social processes, the ability to analyse a wide variety of information and present your analysis in a clear and coherent form. You will learn how to work with others in groups and develop your own independent research skills. Our graduates achieve success in a wide variety of careers in both the public and private sectors, as well as in postgraduate study.

Why Study Here?

Sociology at Birmingham:

  • A small friendly Sociology unit in a large well-resourced Russell Group University
  • Excellent student enhancement activities including internships / work placements, the Professional Skills Award which allows students to get a qualification recognised by graduate recruiters for extra-curricular work
  • High employability rates
  • High quality research which informs teaching
  • A year abroad programme
  • A large student Guild with over 200 societies
  • A vibrant city just 10 mins from the campus and student village by train from the university’s own station
  • A long history of sociological research
  • Excellent sporting facilities
  • A fantastic campus

Degrees and Courses 

Sociology at Birmingham offers a number of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Masters degree programmes, as well as an active PhD programme.

Undergraduate degrees 

Study in the School of Government and Society and you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of exciting and forward thinking undergraduate programmes with the opportunity to examine some of the most important political issues of the 21st century.

Joint Honours:

Degrees with year abroad:

The  Birmingham study abroad programme has a long-standing reputation for attracting students from across the world.

Sociology Undergraduate Brochure (PDF 1.21MB).

Masters degrees

With this Masters degree you are able to explore critically the development of social and political theory and the key current debates. The sociological component of this degree is run by the Social Theory research cluster, which has strengths in: critical theory; postmodernism; critical realism; the philosophy of the social sciences; theories of modernity; social movements, and reflexivity.

Research degrees

Completing a research degree develops specialist knowledge in your field and professional skills for a range of business settings. Whether you're interested in a career in academia or in the private or government spheres, you will be equipped with valuable skills that will make you competitive, no matter your chosen career path.

Profiles:

Sociology student profiles

Ioana Cerasella Chis, Political Science and Sociology BA (3rd year) 2014

Ioana Cerasella Chis, Political Science and Sociology BA (3rd year) 2014

Description
Being interested in both Sociological and Political ways of understanding the dynamics within societies, I chose to do a Joint Honours course which has not ceased to impress me with its variety of modules and other opportunities.
Jenny Akers, Sociology BA 2014

Jenny Akers, Sociology BA 2014

Description
My enjoyment of the course has stemmed from my personal academic progress as well as the opportunity to explore a plethora of sociological, historical and contemporary concerns, such as; gender, ethnicity, technological innovation and class stratification.
Katherine Nichol, Sociology BA (3rd year) 2014

Katherine Nichol, Sociology BA (3rd year) 2014

Description
As a mature student I was attracted to study sociology at the University of Birmingham by its great reputation, course content and campus. Birmingham is also a great place to live, with amazing food, music and opportunities which you can only get in a big city.
Ioana Cerasella Chis, Policy Intern in the Corporate Resources department at Birmingham City Council (2013)

Ioana Cerasella Chis, Policy Intern in the Corporate Resources department at Birmingham City Council (2013)

Description
This summer I have been a Policy Intern in the Corporate Resources department at Birmingham City Council (BCC). As a Political Science and Sociology student, I have been interested in working in a Local Government institution. That was because I wanted to find out more about the possibilities and limitations of the public sector in collaborating with, and supporting community organisations. Given my current interests and knowledge generated from my two years of study at Birmingham I found that the internship met my expectations and provided valuable insights.

More Sociology student profiles.

Sociology Alumni profiles

Alumni profiles in Sociology at Birmingham in the Department of Political Science and International Studies.

Laurin Weissinger, BA Sociology

Laurin Weissinger, BA Sociology

Description
Currently, I am staying in Oxford and preparing my PhD research that I hope to start this year. Before coming to Oxford, I worked for a while, both at an executive recruitment consultancy in London and full-time in IT.
Nadine Baldwick, BA Sociology and Philosophy

Nadine Baldwick, BA Sociology and Philosophy

Description
My advice to anyone considering studying at Birmingham would be to make the most of your time at university by supplementing your degree with other activities.
Ana Speed, Sociology BA (2009)

Ana Speed, Sociology BA (2009)

Description
I have always had a keen interest in social structures and interactions and studying social sciences at the University of Birmingham provided me opportunity to critically engage with key political, social and economic issues facing contemporary societies.

Elio Di Muccio, MA in Social and Political Theory (2013)

Description
I am an aspiring PhD student in the social sciences with intellectual interests in documentary and archival research on the British state, the sociology of technology, and contemporary networked social and political movements.

More Sociology Alumni profiles.

More Student profiles from across the School of Government and Society.

Staff in Sociology

Sociology academics include:

Dr Gëzim Alpion

Dr Gëzim Alpion

Lecturer in Sociology
Director of Joint Honours and Combined programmes

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 3241

Email g.i.alpion@bham.ac.uk

Dr Shelley Budgeon

Dr Shelley Budgeon

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Telephone +44 (0)121 415 8621

Email s.budgeon@bham.ac.uk

Sociological Research at Birmingham

Sociology at Birmingham has a thriving research culture with staff publishing and supervising graduate students in the following areas:

  • Critical Theory
  • Feminist Theory
  • Gender and the Family
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences
  • Political Sociology
  • Post-Colonialism and Ethnicity
  • Religion and Faith
  • Social Theory
  • Status and Celebrity
  • Technology and Culture

More Information:

Campus Map

Birmingham Experience

Accommodation

Student Support