Additional flexibility for those joining in 2021

2021 entry flexibility

BA Philosophy and Sociology

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
VL53
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (International)
More detail.

BA Philosophy and Sociology allows you to both critically engage with some of the deepest questions human beings have asked across history, while at the same time understand the challenges and opportunities of contemporary society.  

From the ethics of killing to the impact of the media, this combined undergraduate degree course allows you to explore human life as both a philosopher and a social scientist, offering a challenging but unique perspective into human behaviour, morality and society.

At Birmingham, you will have access to world-class Philosophy talent in fields as diverse as metaphysics, philosophy of psychiatry, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion and philosophy of mind. Meanwhile, the Sociology side of your undergraduate degree course will allow you to explore the dynamic, unprecedented social changes reshaping the world today and help you understand how social relations and structures influence all aspects of our lives. Undergraduate Philosophy at Birmingham is ranked in the Top 5 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

 

 

The undergraduate Philosophy course allocates plenty of time on each philosophical question, which allows us to fully analyse the problem and experiment with different ideas. This makes essay writing much easier, especially with the extra support from my lecturers that is available to me.

Lorcan

Why study this course?

  • Great reputation – The Department of Philosophy is ranked in the Top 5 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. This is the fourth consecutive year that we have been ranked in the Top 5.
  • Taught by experts - You will study your undergraduate degree alongside some of the finest minds in Philosophy and Sociology. Times Higher Education ranked the Department of Philosophy 2nd in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise. 
  • Outstanding student experience – You will have a variety of opportunities to enhance your student experience, including regular coffee mornings for staff and students, visiting speakers and specialist lectures, student conferences, research visits and a variety of trips.
  • Fantastic module variety – The amount of optional modules on offer will allow you to specialise more as you progress through your undergraduate degree course so that you can study areas of Philosophy and Sociology that interest you most.
  • Space to think – Philosophers write works that closely resemble essays, so essays are for the most part the best method of assessment. With this in mind, almost all of our undergraduate Philosophy assessments are based on coursework. Staff within the Department of Philosophy know undergraduate students by name and are always happy to talk about philosophical questions or provide additional feedback on academic performance. 

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Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. 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 2020. 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.

 

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

Year 1

Philosophy compulsory modules

  • Problems of Philosophy (20)
  • The Philosopher's Toolkit (20)

Detailed descriptions of Year 1 compulsory modules

You will also take 20 credits of optional modules

Sociology compulsory modules

  • The Sociological Imagination (20)
  • Social Research I (20)
  • Introduction to Social Divisions (20)

Year 2

Philosophy

Sociology compulsory modules

  • Modern Sociology Theory (20)
  • Social Research  II (20)

Optional module examples:

  • Self and Society
  • Media and Society
  • Global Societies
  • Disability and Social Policy
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Managing Health and Social Care
  • Terror, Threat and Security
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Global Education: Issues, Opportunities, Futures
  • Education, Policy and Social Justice
  • Housing and Communities

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final Year

Philosophy compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - Philosophical Project (20 or 40)
  • 60 credits -  Philosophical Project (20 or 40)
  • 40 credits - No compulsory modules, only optional modules

Detailed description of Final Year compulsory module

You will also take your remaining Philosophy credits in optional modules

Sociology compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - Dissertation (40) and Contemporary Social Theory (20)
  • 60 credits -  Dissertation (40 - if not taken in Philosophy) and Contemporary Social Theory (20)
  • 40 credits - Contemporary Social Theory (20)

Optional module examples:

  • Political Sociology
  • Technology and Society
  • 'Freedom', Control and Critique
  • Sociology of Success and Fame
  • Sociology of Film
  • Migration and Super Diversity
  • Your Money and Your Life
  • Harmful Societies
  • Sociology of Personal Life
  • Divided Publics
  • Doing or Not Doing God? Religion, Policy and Politics
  • Crime and the City
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Children as Citizens
  • Gender and Education
  • Quantitave Analysis I and Quantitave Analysis II
  • Prospects for Social Policy in the UK
  • Professional Development Module

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, 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. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus B at A-level.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Pathways to Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. We are proud to offer prospective applicants at one of our partner institutions the support of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes to access a degree at the University.

We have a range of initiatives for Year 12 students to help make informed decisions about higher education. Our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme, for Year 13 students, allows participants to experience university study and prepare for the transition to university.

Successful completion of one of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes means students may be eligible for extensive financial support and an alternative offer, typically up to 2 grades below the standard offer, along with other benefits.

To find out more, please visit the Pathways to Birmingham webpage.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also 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. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

When you pull the lever, you causally intervene in the sequence of events. You aim that trolley at this person. You’re not intending that this person die, but you could nevertheless be said to be responsible for killing this person, not just letting them die.

Dr Iain Law

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact hours

On the Philosophy side of your degree, you can expect approximately 4 contact hours each week throughout the course of your programme. Contact hours will vary across the years of the programme depending on the optional modules you take and as independent study becomes more of a focus.

Contact hours will be a combination of lectures and seminars and the independent research that you conduct in your final year will be supported by 1 to 1 supervision meetings with a lecturer.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

By studying a Philosophy and Sociology degree at the University of Birmingham, you will acquire skills highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market:

  • Understanding complex information
  • Writing clearly and effectively
  • Building a case to critically assess a particular point of view
  • Respecting the views of others even if they disagree with you
  • Independent thought
  • Ability to communicate, and knowledge of, social issues in private and public sectors
  • Strong and evidenced training in research methods

Our graduates have excellent employment prospects with over 88% of Philosophy and Sociology graduates entering work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

Philosophy and Sociology graduates go on to pursue highly successful careers in professions such as:

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Management consultancy
  • Local government
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Social Research
  • Media
  • Policy Development
  • Charity

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the second most targeted university by the Largest Number of Top Employers in The Graduate Market 2020 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisers and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internships, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in the The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.

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Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities