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BA (Hons) Sociology/ Education

Understanding the building blocks for an informed society

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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Education is increasingly seen as essential to an informed society and as the driver for economic growth, social harmony and personal well-being. Explore the ideas underpinning the education system and the environment it operates in, and challenge your views about topics debated in society.

By combining two distinctive but intertwined subjects, you’ll gain a deep understanding of education and learn to evaluate evidence, think critically and craft arguments - attributes valued by potential employers. You'll also get to tailor your degree to your interests and use your skills to carry out research in an area you’re passionate about.


Student satisfaction

94% of final year students said their experience was enhanced by the quality of teaching and the enthusiasm of our lecturers. (National Student Survey)

Research excellence

Sociology at York is ranked 1st in the UK for research quality. (REF 2014)

Course content

The course progresses from broad to specialist topics and comprises an equal number of Sociology and Education modules. As you progress you'll focus your studies, choosing optional modules to develop your expertise. In your final year you'll undertake independent research leading to a 10,000-word dissertation.

Our teaching is led by our research, covering real-world issues on a wide range topics including equality, gender and sexuality, race, health, the body, education and society, psychological aspects of education, special educational needs and children’s fiction.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad as part of your course. You can study at a leading European university for a semester in your third year as part of our Erasmus programme.

The University's exchange scheme also allows you to study abroad further afield in North America, South Africa, Asia and Australia.

Year 1

In the first year you'll study four core modules which introduce key aspects of sociology and education.

Core modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In year two you'll take two core modules, exploring current and historical issues relating to education and society and developing your research skills. You'll choose two optional modules, each of which focuses on a specific topic in sociology or education.

Core modules

Optional modules

Choose one of the following Sociology modules:

Choose one of the following Education modules:

Year 3

The focus of your final year will be your Dissertation. You'll work with an academic supervisor to identify and interrogate an original research question, on a topic related to Sociology or Education. You'll write up your results in a 10,000-word extended essay.

You’ll also choose four optional modules: two in Education and two in Sociology.


Optional modules

Choose two of the following Sociology modules:

Choose two of the following Education modules:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Define, interpret and explain multi-faceted contemporary issues, and their implications for individuals, groups and institutions, by combining knowledge of key educational policies and/or sociological ideas and debates. 
  • Access, evaluate and critically review evidence-based claims and/or data concerning educational issues and/or social trends.
  • Address emerging social problems effectively by challenging common assumptions systematically and with reference to their educational contexts.
  • Design and undertake ethical, responsible research projects which can work with data and draw upon appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative skills to produce empirically rigorous analysis of social issues and/or learning cultures.
  • Synthesise and communicate complex information and arguments within educational and/or sociological research in appropriate formats and via a range of media and digital technologies.
  • Work creatively in teams by cooperating with others in a manner which recognises diverse views, values and the cultural position of others.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,620

Additional costs

You may choose to buy textbooks, but this is not required. You may also incur some minor costs through occasional printing or photocopying, and the production of your final year dissertation.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and one-to-ones. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups (typically under 15 students in a seminar group). Our staff are very approachable and our doors are always open. Your personal supervisor provides support and guidance throughout your studies, offering weekly feedback and guidance hours.

Research-led teaching

You'll be taught by academics at the forefront of research across a number of diverse sociological areas, such as science and technology, language and interaction, culture and new media, gender and sexuality, health, medicine and the body, and urban studies. Our internationally-recognised staff are leaders in their fields, and their expertise and experience feeds directly into our teaching.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars204 hours
204 hours
84 hours
Independent study996 hours
996 hours
1116 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Independent study may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Education, both on Campus West. Much of your teaching will take place in Wentworth College and Derwent College, with additional contact hours elsewhere on Campus West.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Your first year work doesn't contribute towards your final degree classification. We recognise that students are only beginning to develop during the first year of their degree.

From Year Two onward, formal assessments will contribute toward your degree. In Year Three your 10,000-word dissertation focuses on a specific topic of your choice.

  • Assessments range from essays to group presentations and portfolios to examinations.
  • Your dissertation should be on a topic that interests to you. An academic supervisor will support you through your research.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams42%30%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

You'll develop skills valued by a broad range of careers including teaching, publishing, charity work, construction of learning environments, design of learning resources and more.

A significant proportion of our graduates go on to teacher training at primary and secondary levels at prestigious institutions in the UK. A number of students have also secured alternative pathways into teaching and education, including Teach First.

The course includes employability skills development, giving you the practical skills that employers are looking for in graduate recruits.

Career opportunities

Some of the early career examples for our graduates include:

  • Workforce analyst for the NHS
  • Employment skills worker for a charity
  • Press assistant for a PR agency
  • Head of student support for a training agency

Transferable skills

You’ll learn about the world around you and the challenges faced by people in society. You’ll develop skills in:

  • Problem-solving
  • Evaluating evidence
  • Forming reasoned arguments
  • Thinking creatively, and considering different viewpoints

Add to this the experience you'll get working in a team and using your initiative, and you'll have a whole host of invaluable skills that can be transferred to lots of different industries.

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels


BTEC BTEC Extended National Diploma DDM
European Baccalaureate An overall average of 75%
International Baccalaureate 34 points overall
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3,H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAABB at Higher Level
AB at Advanced Higher Level

English language

If English is not your first language you may be asked to provide evidence of your ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
  • Pearson: 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (Taken from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components

Other accepted tests and qualifications


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Mature students are welcomed and applications considered individually.

Next steps

Contact us

Contact our admissions team if you have any questions

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Department of Sociology

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