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 with the study of educational practices; processes and applications in a range of contexts and settings.

Our students learn about the 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 education, psychology, sociology, philosophy and history. 

You will also be introduced to sociology as a discipline that is both theoretically informed and evidence based. 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.

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 will help you display a broad knowledge over two disciplines. 

The programme includes a placement in your second year so that you can apply your knowledge to work with children and young people in a professional setting. 

You may also be interested in our other UG programmes

BA (Hons) Education

BSc (Hons) Psychology in Education

Download the Undergraduate Course Brochure (PDF)

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.

  • Sociology 
    In 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.

International Students

The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900. We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, how to apply and funding options, then you can visit our international students webpage. You may also wish to take a virtual tour of our campus

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 


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:

  • Contemporary Issues in Education
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Equality and Diversity: Children, Families and Society
  • Schooling: a social and cultural history

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:

  • Education Policy and Social Justice
  • Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Global Societies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Changing Behaviours
  • Global Education
  • Child Development 
  • Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective

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:

  • Children as Citizens
  • Environment, Politics and Society
  • The Public Domain 
  • Technology and Society
  • Sociology of Film
  • Sociology of Success and Fame
  • Political Sociology
  • Cultural Psychology & Child Development
  • Gender & Education
  • Learning Communities
  • Exploring Disability and Inclusion
  • Global Capitalism and Migration
  • Identity, Politics and Everyday Life
  • Issues in Crosscultural Studies: Identities, Culture and Representation
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Personal Life

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. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. 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.

Related staff

Fees and funding

2019 - 2020

UK Students

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, 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 2019, 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 2019, the University of Birmingham will charge £16,740 for the first year of study.

Visit our tuition fees pages for more information on the 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 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.   

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

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.

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

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’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 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.

The University of Birmingham was named University of the Year for graduate employment in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. 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.