BA Sociology

with Year Abroad

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
L30A
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

For 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU students)
£18,420 (International Students)
More Fees and funding details.

Are we living in a ‘broken society’? What new forms of cultural identity are emerging? What are the effects of globalisation on cultural, economic and political life?

Answering questions such as these is the challenge of our era. Studying Sociology at Birmingham will provide you with the toolkit to form your own critical judgements on social changes reshaping the world today. In addition to these 'big picture' social theories we place a strong emphasis on developing social science research skills - so valued by employers - with research methods training in each year. This culminates in a final year dissertation where you research and write an extended piece on a topic of your own choice, with the support of an expert supervisor. 

The BA Sociology will provide you with the knowledge and skills to critically engage issues such as globalisation, the changing nature of work and the family, gender roles and sexuality, multiculturalism, the impact of the media and information technologies, and new forms of politics. You will be given a broad grounding in the major approaches to the discipline, with emphasis on the cultivation of research skills. Your degree will culminate in a dissertation on a topic of your choice. This reflects our view that you should be doing Sociology, not just reading about it, from the very start of your degree. 

In addition to our Single Honours programme, Sociology can also be studied as part of a range of Joint Honours options including Political Science, Social Policy, Philosophy, and Education.

Download our course brochure (PDF - 1.93MB)

The lecturers are all researchers and are at the forefront of their respective fields. This is something that I have really benefited from; being taught by real experts makes your course so much more interesting. I have fulfilled my full potential at Birmingham, had so many new experiences, met great people and really enjoyed my course.

Joe Taylor, Student, Sociology BA

Modules

The programme has been carefully designed to advance your skills and knowledge each year: from broad, introductory level modules in the first year to specialist options and a substantial piece of independent research in the final year.

Each year there is a balance between compulsory modules in the ‘core’ parts of the discipline (eg, theory and methods) and the chance for you to develop your own pathway with a range of specialist choices in and outside of Sociology. 

Modules in the first year

In your first year you will be introduced to degree level sociology through Social Worlds and the Sociological Imagination, gain an understanding of stratification through Social Divisions, and learn the basics of research design and methods. 

Core modules

  • The Sociological Imagination
  • Crime and Society
  • Social Research Part I
  • Social Research Part II
  • Introduction to Social Divisions
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part I
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part II 

Modules in the second year

The second year builds on these foundations by developing your understanding of Modern Sociological Theory, and introducing debates about the nature of Global Societies. 

Core modules 

  • Modern Sociological Theory
  • Social Research II

Optional modules

You must choose 20 credits from one of the following options:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective
  • Poverty, Class and Inequality

Choose your remaining credits from the following:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Self and Society
  • Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective
  • Media and Society
  • Global Societies
  • Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Managing Health and Social Care
  • Changing Behaviours: A History
  • Terror, Threat and Security
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Education, Policy and Social Justice

Year 3

Your third year will be spent abroad at a university in the EU or elsewhere in the world. After completing your year abroad, you will return for your fourth and final year to the same BA degree programme. You will be required to choose from a range of modules provided by the host institution and which must be agreed by the exchange tutor.  

There are a wide range of countries and universities from which you can choose. As well as a range of European universities, you may also choose from a range of current institutional partners worldwide. These include countries in which a variety of languages are spoken, including universities at which courses are taught in English. In recent years, students in the department have taken their year abroad in Australia, Canada, Denmark and the United States, among others.

Modules in the final year

The focus of the third year is your independent, supervised dissertation which brings together your research skills on a project defined by you. Our teaching staff, who are active researchers, run options in their own specialist fields including the family, political sociology, celebrity culture, the sociology of technology, religion and society and ethnicity and migration.

Core modules

  • Dissertation
  • Contemporary Social Theory

You must choose 60 credits from the optional modules below:

  • Drugs: Society, Politics and Policy
  • Technology and Society
  • 'Freedom'?, Control and Critique
  • Sociology of Film
  • New Migration and Super Diversity
  • Your Money and Your Life: From Welfare State to Personal Finance
  • Harmful Societies: Crime, Social Harm and Social Justice
  • Divided Publics?
  • Crime and the City
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Children as Citizens
  • Gender and Education
  • Quantitave Analysis I
  • Quantitave Analysis II
  • Prospects for Social Policy in the UK
  • Professional Development Module

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 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.

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2020, 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.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2020-21
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250

Overseas students

Overseas students entering in 2020-21
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1 (Classroom) £18,420

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards .


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.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com using code: L30A
Learn more about applying.

University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.

UCAS

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB
General Studies:
not accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma accepted - grades required DDD.

BTEC Diploma accepted when combined with an A level.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma accepted when combined with 2 A levels.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements.

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.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching. Our staff are active researchers who want to share their enthusiasm for Sociology with you. We believe teaching and learning should be both rigorous and enjoyable, and seek to involve students in continually developing our activities.

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

How will I be taught?

During your time as a Sociology student at Birmingham, your learning will be facilitated through a blend of teaching, learning and assessment methods, and you will experience teaching through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, classes and tutorials.

Learning settings

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).

Two female students studying

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.

Support

We have dedicated welfare tutors 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 talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions to workshops on a range of topics including note taking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Contact hours

For all undergraduate modules students attend 1 lecture and 1 seminar per week. In total, this will comprise 20 hours of lectures and 20 hours of seminars for each module during the course of theyear. 

Internships and work experience

We have developed a range of internships and funded work experience placements that will enhance both your professional and personal skills whilst giving you the practical experience that is required by almost all graduate employers. In addition to funding and support, we offer unique opportunities to help you to rise above the competition, with global internships and placements available.

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.

Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. 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 Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

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 mentoringglobal 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. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Careers Fair in the Great Hall, University of Birmingham

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline, all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Visit the University of Birmingham Careers pages for further information on how we are 'investing in your future'.

Career opportunities

Our graduates enter a variety of occupations including management training, social and market research, policy and campaigns, the media, law and teaching. The Careers team offer drop in one-to-one advice sessions, web resources and workshops on developing a CV and getting the most out of a social science degree. They invite speakers from different organisations, and Birmingham Sociology graduates, to discuss their career experiences and offer advice on navigating the jobs market.

Hannah Beasley

Sociology graduate

My time at the University of Birmingham as a Sociology student was very positive. After gaining a first-class honours degree, I have been able to undertake my PGCE and hope to begin my career by teaching Sociology in a college or sixth form. However, the University has also encouraged me to strive for my goal of becoming a university lecturer. The excellent support during my final year of study enabled my dissertation to be published which has further sparked by interest in becoming a researcher and lecturer. I hope in the future to complete a Masters followed by a PhD and without the University of Birmingham, I never would have imagined such a career path to be possible