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BA Sociology

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

For 2023/24:
£9,250 (UK students) 
£21,300 (International Students) 
More fees and funding details.

Studying Sociology at Birmingham will provide you with the toolkit to form your own critical judgements on social changes reshaping the world today.

We are living through a time of tumultuous and rapid change, but why is this the case? What are the underpinning explanations? What is the impact of this wider social change on our identities, relationships and communities? These are the kinds of questions that shape our Sociology degree here at Birmingham.

This course 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. 

In addition to the 'big picture' social theories we will 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. 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.

Why Sociology at Birmingham?

As a Birmingham Sociology graduate you will be well equipped for your chosen career or further study. In particular you will have gained:

  • Critical ability – to read, absorb and assess complex ideas and arguments about the contemporary world
  • Research skills – practical experience of designing and conducting research, including interviews, questionnaires and developing core skills to understand information
  • Presentational skills – to present your ideas and research in appropriate formats
  • The capacity to work alone or in groups – you will have gained experience of independent study and research as well as working, solving problems and debating ideas with others

This course has given me the freedom to discover new passions and future aspirations, with a wide-ranging list of modules spanning across different disciplines. I have been incredibly impressed with how the department encourages their students to reach their full potential, preparing students for their dissertations right from the start with research methods modules. This also showed a clear focus on developing key research-based skills for future careers. Staff went above and beyond, providing extra resources and inspirational guest speakers. My university experience has been a crucial step in securing a scholarship for a Master's in Gender, Policy and Inequality.

Phoebe, Student, BA Sociology with Year Abroad


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.

First year modules

In your first year you will be introduced to degree level sociology through six core modules. These modules will outline key sociological concepts and ideas, and will also introduce you to the basics of research design and methods.


  • The Sociological Imagination
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Introduction to Social Divisions
  • Crime and Society
  • Social Research I Part 1
  • Social Research I Part 2
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part I
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part 2 

Second year modules

The second year of your degree builds on these foundations by developing your understanding of sociological theory. You will also receive more advanced methods training in data analysis which will help prepare you for your final year dissertation. 


  • Modern Sociological Theory
  • Social Research II

You must choose one of the following modules:

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

You will then choose your remaining credits from a range of optional modules, such as:

  • Media and Society
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Poverty, Class and Inequality
  • 'Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Education, Policy and Social Justice
  • Sociology of Health and Illness

Third year modules

The focus of the third year is your independent, supervised dissertation which brings together your research skills on a project defined by you. Your training in key sociological ideas is completed with a module on Contemporary Social Theory, and you can then specialise in the areas of the discipline that interest you most. Our teaching staff, who are active researchers, run options in their own specialist fields.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.


  • Dissertation
  • Contemporary Social Theory

You will choose your remaining credits from a range of optional modules, such as:

  • Technology and Society
  • Harmful Societies: Crime, Social Harm and Social Justice
  • Divided Publics?
  • Crime and the City
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Professional Development Module
  • Mental Health and Society
  • Sociology of Success and Spectacle
  • New Migration and Superdiversity 

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2023.

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.


For UK students beginning their studies in September 2023, 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.

UK students

Full-time: £9,250

International students

Full-time Band 1 (Classroom): £21,300


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 Bursaries.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at using code: L300.
Learn more about applying.

University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.

Standard offer

International Requirements

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

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all 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

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 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, 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.


We have 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 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 the year. 

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.

The positions of our recent Sociology graduates include:

  • Executive Officer – Civil Service
  • Project Manager – The Home Office
  • Research Fellow – Higher Education
  • Social Media Manager – Rice Media
  • Senior International Officer – Gloucester College
  • Registration Services Officer – UK Public Health Register
  • Road Safety and Evaluation Officer – The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Where can your sociology degree take you?

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, 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. The University is ranked number one for being targeted by the top UK employers (High Fliers Research 2021). 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 CVs 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 at the 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 'Connecting you to your future'.

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.

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.

Hannah Beasley, Sociology graduate

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