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Welcome to the Sociology Undergrad FAQ page

If you have any further questions please contact Dr Tom O'Brien, admissions officer

What is studying Sociology at York like?

The course is made up of seminars and lectures spread out throughout the week meaning no two days are the same. The subject matter is vast, one week you could be in a lecture about memes and the next a lecture about the marketisation of body parts. This variety keeps the course interesting and exciting! In first year, our students study the fundamentals of sociological theory, providing  the breadth needed to decide what to specialise in during second and third year.  The department itself, located on campus East and pictured below, is open 24 hours a day, providing fantastic study spaces for our students. Our second year student Lauren has written a great blog on a week in her life, which you can view here.


What do students at York get up to?

Although students primarily go to university to study, the student experience encompasses so much more than just your course. For example, the University of York has over 200 student societies; with countless new societies being created every year. Have a look at the A-Z of societies here at York; there will definitely be at least one you will want to try! A fantastic society is our very own Sociology Society which is free to join and hosts fun events for students.

York students also spend their days enjoying the beautiful city!  Check out our city life blog page to hear our students' favourite things about living in York.

What makes York's Sociology department stand out from other Universities?

We were ranked in the UK’s top 4 Sociology departments for research in the Times Higher Education's ranking of REF 2021, meaning that if you study Sociology at York you will be taught by the country's most cutting-edge researchers. This is particularly valuable as at York, our degrees reflect our department's research strengths meaning you will be taught by our leading academics in their field of expertise. Our accolades also ensure that a degree from the department of Sociology at York is well respected among academics and employers. As well as this, the Sociology department has fantastic staff support, including two student support officers, a placements officer and regular office hours for drop in sessions with our academics.


How much preparation do I need to do before starting a Sociology undergraduate degree at York?

In short, very little! Teaching in first year begins as if you have no/very limited knowledge, so don't worry if you haven't studied Sociology at A-Level or GCSE. Whilst no preparation is required, enthusiasm is always appreciated and taking a look at some core readings before you get to York may help you assimulate to your degree quicker. Some useful readings include:

  • Karl Marx and Fredreich Engels – The Communist Manifesto
  • Emile Durkheim – The Rules of Sociological Method
  • Harriet Martineau  a brief introduction to the woman many regard as the first important British sociologist, who wrote extensively on the relationship between social and economic environments
  • Frantz Fanon – a general introduction to this key post-colonial theorist, with links to some of his major writings

What does York offer in terms of careers, internships and work experience?

Click here to watch some York students explain the careers opportunities available at York. Our student Sam has written a handy guide as to what to expect in terms of career support at York.

As well as all the opportunities mentioned in our YouTube video and blog, you also have the option of doing a placement year as part of your degree. Morgan explains this process in her blog which you can view here. If you are interested in doing a placement year and are seeking more information please contact our Placement Officer Tom Coward:

Can I study abroad as part of my Sociology degree?

Yes! The department of Sociology welcomes additional year and credit replacing year abroad options at fantastic Universities such as the Maastricht University in the Netherlands and the University of Helsinki in Finland. To see the department's full list of year abroad University placements click here.

Do I need to buy books for the course?

Our University library has an extremely extensive collection of books and articles; all the academic literature you need to read will be in the library, either as hard copies or e-books free of charge to borrow so there is no need to buy your own copies.

What is the college system at York?

York is a collegiate university, which means that there are nine colleges within the university that students can be a part of. Each college acts as a small, on-campus community for students to socialise and live within. The colleges have student committees which organise social events, sports teams and volunteering opportunities for the members of the college. There is a college wellbeing team to offer pastoral care for students throughout their time at York. Even if you move off campus after your first year, you will still be a member of your college and have access to everything it offers to students. Check out the links below to find out more detailed information about each college and what college life consists of:


What can I expect from the University of York as an international student?

The University of York is proud to foster a supportive and diverse environment that welcomes international students with open arms. The sociology department is internationally recognised for our research: the excitement of studying society and culture is shared by staff and students alike. Students Nima and Alikee have made a fantastic YouTube video about life as an international student at York which you can view here: 


Follow the links below for more information about:


Being an international student at York.


Support for international students at York.

What should I expect as a mature student at York?

The sociology department welcomes students of all ages. If you are interested in the process of adjusting to university as a mature student, take a look at what our first year mature student Gary had to say about his experiences at University so far.


For more general information about being a mature student at the University of York, have a look at the link below:

Are there any scholarships available for undergraduate students?

The University has numerous scholarships available for undergraduate students with differing needs:

What wellbeing and mental health support is available at York?

There is a whole host of support available at university focused on protecting student wellbeing. The Open Door Team at the University provides support to students experiencing mental health difficulties and can be accessed via an online referal form . As well as this, the University offers Student Support Plans for students who need indivudual arrangements due to mental health conditions. This can involve exemptions from group projects, extended deadlines, private rooms for examinations, extra time and more depending on your needs. Your college wellbeing team can explain to you further support available should you need it.