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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 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU)
£18,780 (Overseas)
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.

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

 

 

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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Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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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 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. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £18,780

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas 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.


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

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

  • Students who are classed as home/EU for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as overseas 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.

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. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

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. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

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. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

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

There is a range of opportunities through our Careers Network and beyond. For example, our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six-month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market.

Current partners include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, and the Library of Birmingham. There are also internships available at the University’s own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

There are regular events each year covering careers in teaching, events management, working with charities and more, to help you meet potential employers and learn more about a range of sectors.

There are also summer internship opportunities and work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. You may also want to apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement through our Global Challenge Internship Programme.

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 College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project run by one of our researchers in drama and theatre. You gain work experience over the summer after your first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.

Our employer-endorsed Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

There are also a huge number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, our students’ union, which cover a wide variety of interests across drama and the arts.

With more than 300 societies and groups at The Guild, there is something for everyone.If your interest does not yet have a group, then The Guild will support you to set it up and find likeminded individuals to join you.

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Services and facilities