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BA (Hons) Education and Sociology

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
For 2024-2025
£9,250 (UK) 
£22,080 (International)

More detail.

Our Joint BA (Hons) Education and Sociology degree at Birmingham provides a stimulating and thought-provoking opportunity to study all aspects of education and sociology in equal proportions to Honours degree level (60 credits from each subject at each level).

On the BA (Hons) Education and Sociology course you will learn about key issues facing contemporary societies, including globalisation, the changing nature of work and the family, gender roles and multiculturalism. You will learn about key issues facing contemporary societies, including globalisation, the changing nature of work and the family, gender roles, and multiculturalism. You will study the nature and appropriate use of research strategies and methods in sociological research and be knowledgeable on cutting edge debates in contemporary sociology.

The Education Programme

On the education course you will learn about education as a dynamic process of human, cultural, economic, and social development that is fundamental to a changing, globalised world. Education combines ideas and research from a number of pathways including psychology, sociology, philosophy and history. 

The Sociology Programme

On the sociology course you will critically and comparatively analyse major sociological topics, such as: the relationships between individuals, groups, institutions and wider social processes; the dynamics of stability and change; and the distribution of power.

Why study this course?

  • A vocational placement - within the UK or overseas in an educational setting which will provide you with valuable reflective practical learning 
  • Modules to suit your own interests - our extensive range of compulsory and optional modules will allow you to build a programme to suit your own interests and career aspirations. 
  • Option to study overseas - you will have the option to study overseas at one of our partner institutions 

Please note that a range of different placement and dissertation options are available to students on this programme, and for some of these options you may need to have a DBS check. If necessary, support will be provided to complete the process at the appropriate point in the programme. 

Alongside the degree, you will have the option to join the Education Society, run by students, which aims to bring together people with a common interest in Education. They host a number of social and career opportunity events throughout the year.

International Students

The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900. We have a large and vibrant international student community, with more than 10,000 international students from approximately 150 different countries. Find out more about studying at the University of Birmingham as an international student

“I enjoy the course very much because the content is very diverse. We get a lot of support from our tutors and lecturers. They are very supportive, especially to international students.” Ho Cheuk Lam, BA Education student 


The BA Education and Sociology degree offers exciting exchange opportunities for studying overseas. Through the European Educational Exchange Programme and the International Exchange Programme, student can choose to study at a number of selected institutions in countries across the world including Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, China and the USA. These exchanges enhance your critical knowledge and understanding by promoting a diverse and international approach to the interdisciplinary social sciences. Modules are taught and assessed in English so you won’t have to worry about language barriers. You will be in regular contact with our departmental International Study Abroad Coordinator as you plan your exchange.

You may also be interested in our other undergraduate degrees in the School of Education


Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024

First year modules

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


  • Schoolong: A social and cultural history
  • Equality and Diversity: Children, families and society
  • Young People and Social Change
  • Introduction to Developmental Psychology
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Education

Second year modules

In the second year you will extend your subject knowledge.


  • Modern Sociological Theory
  • Researching Childhood and Education
  • Placement

The Placement
To prepare for the placement you will attend workshops in the Spring of the previous academic year and then negotiate your own placement in an educational context or setting.  A minimum of 70 hours of placement learning is expected, although many students do significantly in excess of this.  The placement is undertaken at the end of the summer term of the previous academic year to when the module is assessed, over the following summer holiday period or in the early autumn term of the year in which the module is assessed.  The assignment is a 4000 word reflective learning journal and you are carefully prepared for writing this. 

Recent and past placements have been undertaken in a range of settings, for example: as voluntary teaching assistants in schools; shadowing an education professional; working on an educational research project; leading educational activities on a summer camp or language school; shadowing a prison educator; working in a tutorial school, and; helping in an outdoor education centre. Placements can be based in the UK or in another country overseas.  A risk assessment process will help you plan safely for your placement.

You will also choose 40 credits from options provided by the School of Sociology and 20 credits from options provided by the School of Education.

Optional modules include

  • Education Policy and Social Justice
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Housing, Home and Place: Issues in Policy
  • Individual Differences and Learning
  • Social Psychology and Learning
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Changing Behaviours: A history
  • 'Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Ethics in Education
  • Poverty, Class and Inequality
  • Primary and Early years education: theory and practice
  • Enterprising Solutions to Social Problems.

Third year modules

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.


  • Dissertation 
  • Contemporary Social Theory

You must also choose 60 credits from the optional modules - 40 credits from the School of Sociology and 20 credits from the School of Education. Optional modules include:

  • Children as Citizens
  • Critical Approaches to Educational Psychology 
  • Identity, Politics and Everyday Life
  • Language and Literacy in Education
  • Professional Development
  • Reclaiming Education: past, present and futures
  • Sociology of Success and Spectacle
  • Technology and Society
  • The Development of Anxiety in Childhood and Adolescence and Applications to Education

Year abroad

Those who transfer to the Year Abroad course will undertake their third year overseas in one of our partner institutions. The modules followed in the host university will build on existing knowledge from the first two years of your degree. In the fourth year, you will complete the third year of your BA (Hons) Education and Sociology degree at the University of Birmingham.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024 - 2025

UK Students

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, 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.

International Students

For International students beginning their studies in September 2024, the University of Birmingham will charge £22,080 for the first year of study.

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


Find out more about accommodation at the University of Birmingham.


Learn more about our scholarships and awards

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at using code: XL33

University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.

Learn more about applying including information on how to write a great Personal Statement and how to make your application stand out.

Standard offer

International Requirements

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

  • T Levels: all subjects considered; Standard offer: Distinction overall with B in the Core Component.
  • Accepted subjects for the BTEC Extended and BTEC Diploma are Children’s Play, Learning & Development, Health & Social Care.
  • All subjects are considered for the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma when offered in combination with 2 A levels.
    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 (Plus 32 points overall).

Mathematics 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 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. 

We will only consider Access to HE Diploma programmes in Social Sciences or Humanities.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements

You may be interested in one of our Foundation Pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. 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. The foundation pathways are is equivalent in learning to year 13 of the UK education system. There are no particular subject requirements but evidence of essay writing is beneficial and IELTS scores are required.

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students who wish to improve their knowledge of spoken and written English in preparation for academic study at the University of Birmingham. Students with conditional offers have the option of attending one of these courses instead of retaking IELTS .  

English language support - during your studies

Birmingham International Academy (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.   

As a Birmingham student you 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.

Learning experience

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, including lectures, seminars, individual tuition and individual and small group research projects.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but you will have access to a wealth of support to help you make this transition. Personal tutors and welfare tutors can help with both academic and welfare issues, and offer help for any particular areas where you need support. You will also have the use of dedicated e-learning, IT and library facilities within the schools and university to support your studies.

The tutors in the School of Education and the School of Social Policy are taught by experienced specialists. Many have published widely in their area of expertise and can offer a unique perspective of their subject.  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.

Contact Hours

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.    

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 will 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 will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You will be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that support from tutors 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.

Where can your Education degree take you?


Our award-winning Careers Network team can help you develop your career from the moment you arrive with us, through bespoke training and events. Careers Network support is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialist college team who can give you expert advice.

A University of Birmingham degree is highly sought after by employers as 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.