BA (Hons) Education and Sociology

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Our Joint BA (Hons) Education and Sociology degree at Birmingham will provide you with an opportunity to study Education and Sociology in equal proportions to Honours degree level.

Students will combine the study of key issues facing contemporary societies; including globalization; the changing nature of work and the family; gender roles and multiculturalism; with the study of educational practices; processes and applications in a range of contexts and settings.

As a Joint Honours student you will work at exactly the same level and to the same academic standard as students taking that subject in a Single Honours programme.

The course has a practical focus on career development and employs a number of teaching and learning methods to help you display a broad knowledge over two disciplines. Academic Studies in Education at Birmingham score consistently high in NSS for student satisfaction. Students consistently rate the enthusiasm of our teachers; the organisation of the course and the teaching quality of the course as high.

Academic studies in Education is ranked 4th out of the Russell Group of UK universities.  The Russell Group is committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. 

Download a brochure with information on all the School of Education undergraduate programmes (PDF, 121MB) or visit the course pages below:

Quick links: Modules | Fees and Funding | Entry Requirements | How to apply

Students will study Education and Sociology in equal proportions to Honours degree level (60 credits from each subject at each level) and in the second year of study, there will be a two week vocational placement module.

The Education Programme

In the Education Programme you will have the opportunity to study educational practices, processes and applications in a range of contexts and settings organised in four pathways which will equip you with academic knowledge of education as well as enable you to develop intellectual versatility and organisational flexibility.

  • SociologyIn the sociology strand you will learn about how people’s thoughts, feeling and actions shape and are shaped by their social, cultural and economic contexts. Using sociological theory from a range of traditions we will look at how policy and politics shapes educational institutions and practice. We will examine the contribution education can make to reducing social inequalities, and how education varies around the world to address different challenges. We will look at what it means to be young today, and the challenges young people face from employment to mental health.
  • Psychology
    The psychology strand introduces you to the theory and research that underpin our ideas of human learning and development. These are the basis to explore child development from early years through adolescence and into adulthood, through themes such as perception, language and thinking, attachment and social relationships. In the third year we will explore how social and cultural contexts shape development, taking into account parental beliefs and socialisation practices around the world.
  • History
    In the history strand you will examine the emergence of the institutions that dominate our experience of education, that shape our ideas of what it is to learn, and what it means to be educated. Ranging across centuries and continents, and formal and informal learning contexts, you’ll critically examine how education has been used to shape character, mould behaviour, and strengthen social groups. We will look at the purposes of schooling, and the role it plays in individual and national development. We will explore how the story of education is bound up with social science’s changing ideas about the capacities of humans, their differences and their limitations. 
  • Philosophy
    Through philosophy you are introduced to work by major Western philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Rousseau, Dewey) as well as figures specialising in the philosophy of education. You will examine the core concepts that define education and learn to debate fundamental questions. What does it really mean to learn and to teach? What is knowledge? That we undertake different kinds of education implies there is a distinct value to teaching knowledge, or a vocation, or character. Are these things distinct? How important are they? Our aims for education are often bound up with hopes of greater prosperity, personal fulfilment, and equality and social justice. What does equality mean? Is there a conflict between individual freedom and equality? Is education for more than prosperity? Does the existence of private education make the system more or less fair? 
  • Applied
    The Applied strand teaches you how to apply academic knowledge in real world settings. You will take part in local contexts of practice, evaluating what others do, reflecting on your own actions, and exploring personal values and commitments. You will learn to communicate to different audiences effectively. Through independent enquiry and problem solving you will develop the skills, competences and critical thinking associated with a University of Birmingham graduate and with leadership in your field. 

The Sociology Programme

The Sociology programme will provide you with a comprehensive and rigorous introduction to Sociology as a theoretically informed and evidence-based discipline. The programme has a strong theoretical core at each level which critically examines the major sociological traditions and perspectives as tools for understanding modern societies. This is paralleled by training in the analysis of empirical sociological research, the design of research programmes and the methods for collecting, interpreting and presenting sociological data.

You will be able to apply your core theoretical and empirical training to the critical and comparative analysis of major substantive sociological topics. These include the dynamics of multicultural societies, patterns of social divisions and how they relate to a global context. You will approach these issues by pursuing the distinctively sociological questions of the relationships between individuals, groups, institutions and wider social processes; the dynamics of stability and change and the distribution of power.


First Year

In your first year of study you will take a number of compulsory modules to develop your sociological and educational knowledge. All modules are 20 credits.

The compulsory modules are:

Optional modules include:

Second Year

In the second year you will extend your subject knowledge through a number of compulsory modules:

You will then choose from a variety of optional modules:

Third Year

In your final year you will further develop your knowledge and skills in Education and Sociology. As well as the compulsory modules, there are a variety of optional modules to choose from.

Compulsory Modules:

There is a wide variety of optional Modules:

The optional modules listed above for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Related staff

Fees and funding

2017 - 2018

UK Students

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2017, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250.

EU Students

For EU students beginning their studies in September 2017, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250 provided this continues to be permitted by UK law.

Overseas Students

For overseas students beginning their studies in September 2017, the University of Birmingham will charge £15,210 for the first year of study.

Visit our tuition fees pages for more information on all these fees.


Learn more about our scholarships and awards

The University of Birmingham Undergraduate Research Experience scheme offers financial support for undergraduates to undertake work experience or a research placement in the summer vacation. The scheme is open to all first-, second- and penultimate-year undergraduate students. It is also open to final-year undergraduate students who are in the process of applying for, or who have already applied for, a place on a postgraduate programme at the University of Birmingham.

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
General Studies:
Not accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are accepted but subjects are considered on a case by case basis. Grades: BTEC Extended Diploma DDD; typical offers when offered in combination with A Levels: A in A Level plus DM in the BTEC Diploma; or AB in A Levels plus D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 655 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.

Additional information:

Maths and English at GCSE grade C. Please note, a GCSE Science at grade C is preferred but not essential. (For students wishing to pursue a career in Primary or Early Years teaching, it is essential to hold a GCSE Science at grade C).

Typical offer grades are for guidance only, and will depend on the subjects you are combining. Please read the entries for both subjects. Where there is a disparity between the typical offer for Subject A and the typical offer for Subject B, the higher offer should be taken as the usual offer for the combination of the two. 

A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required from accepted candidates before registration for the programme.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Standard English language requirements apply.

Learn more about international entry requirements

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students whose IELTS score does not meet the entry requirements. If you successfully attend one of these courses you won’t need to retake IELTS.  

English language support - during your studies

BIA provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials.  For a small fee, BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.   

Birmingham International Academy (BIA)

You may also be interested in the Birmingham International Academy. Our Foundation Pathways at the University of Birmingham combine the highest standards of one of Britain’s leading global universities with a fully integrated student experience. Designed for international students who require a preparatory year prior to UK undergraduate study, the foundation programme is equivalent in learning to year 13 of the UK education system.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at  

Learn more about applying

What makes a good personal statement?

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Contact time

Throughout your Education degree you can expect about 12 hours of contact time per week. The precise number of contact hours will vary from year to year and will be affected by the particular module choices you make. Contact hours consist of lectures, seminars and a variety of other activities designed to help you to develop your learning.    

Learning experience

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates). To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support. You will also have access to a wide range of dedicated e-learning, IT and library facilities within the School and university to support your studies.

The tutors in the School of Education and the School of Government and Society are experienced specialists and Professors teach both lectures and seminars at all levels of study. Our teaching and assessment strategy reflect this concern with the real world. As well as learning in lectures and seminars, students are asked to undertake a variety of enquiry based learning activities; undertaking small research projects, participating in public debates and working in groups to solve problems.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

We assess students not only the basis of the knowledge they gained, but also the skills that they have acquired. You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams. Students also prepare portfolios of experiences and activities which enhances their employability on graduation. Our assessment strategy does not just deliver grades. It seeks to widen horizons and to promote self-development so that our graduates are valued for their leadership and problem solving capabilities.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. The University of Birmingham was named University of the Year for graduate employment in The Times and the Sunday Times 'Good University Guide 2015-16' and our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. 

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Graduates from our Joint BA (Hons) Education and Sociology degree will gain comprehensive knowledge of two disciplines and will allow you to develop a range of skills and practical experience which will enable you to pursue either educational or sociological study at a higher level or to secure employment as educationalists or sociologists. Reasoning, communication and organisational skills acquired from this programme, and practiced in the context of two disciplines, are readily transferable to a large number of professions and other careers. 

Transferable skills include: 

  • written communication developed through writing essays; 
  • oral communication skills gained through reasoned debates during seminars and presentations;
  • ability to work as part of a team, through collaborative group work;
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to judge and evaluate information;
  • organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time; 
  • negotiation, informally with peers and formally with staff;
  • problem solving; 
  • IT skills.