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.