Sociology at Birmingham

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. 

  • Our programme is ranked highly in the Guardian League Table.
  • Our students produce excellent work and graduate with high numbers of first class and upper second class honours degrees.

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 114 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?

  • 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

Undergraduate degrees

Joint Honours:

Degrees with year abroad:

Sociology Undergraduate Brochure (PDF 1.21MB)

Masters degrees

Research degrees

Study Abroad

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


Staff in Sociology

Ross Abbinnett - Senior Lecturer

Gëzim Alpion - Lecturer

Shelly Budgeon - Senior Lecturer

Justin Cruickshank - Senior Lecturer

Andrew Knops - Lecturer

Will Leggett - Senior Lecturer

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




Campus Map

Birmingham Experience


Student Support