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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Sociology (BA)

Overview Study Sociology at York and see the world differently

UCAS code


Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

Examine how our actions are shaped by our social environment and explore the values, ideas and beliefs people hold, and the lives we live.

Understand how social, economic, political and cultural forces shape individuals. Challenge your views on topics debated in society and learn to evaluate evidence, think critically and craft arguments – attributes valued by employers.

You’ll be taught by academics actively involved in research that changes the world, from the UK’s number one ranked Sociology Department for research (latest Research Excellence Framework 2014) - and you'll get to use your skills to carry out research in an area you are passionate about.


"There's such a range of interesting modules within Sociology at York, but more importantly, each one of them is taught by passionate lecturers. It's a great feeling to know that you're being taught by academics who are at the very cutting-edge of research. At the same time, I've always been encouraged to carry out my own independent research wherever possible."

Melissa, BA Sociology
Year 3

More student views

Course content What you’ll study


The course progresses from broad to specialised topics. Core modules in your first year will introduce you to the broad breadth of Sociology. You'll study the sociology of science, communication, sexuality, health, criminology and media- exploring how technologies, gender, institutions, culture, and interactions with others shape our identities, choices and actions.

You'll develop preferences and expertise in the following years, leading up to your 10,000-word dissertation.

Our teaching is led by our research, covering real-world issues, and there are also opportunities to study abroad as part of your course.


Year 1

You'll be introduced to classic and contemporary social theory, criminology and social psychology. You will learn the skills sociologists need, such as presentation and writing skills, while having your sociological imagination inspired and challenged.

You'll take four compulsory modules:

These modules are the ones currently running and are indicative of what will run in future years. We do update our modules to reflect the latest research. 

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

You'll study one core module:

You'll also choose another three module options allowing you to tailor your course to your own interests and passions:

These modules are the ones currently running and are indicative of what will run in future years. We do update our modules to reflect the latest research. 

Year 3

You'll pursue your own specialist interest through your final year project:

You'll also select a further four module options. Previous options have included:

These modules are the ones currently running and are indicative of what will run in future years. We do update our modules to reflect the latest research. 

Study abroad

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

  • Lund University, Sweden
  • University of Bergen, Norway
  • Maastricht University, Netherlands
  • University of Helsinki, Finland
  • University of Konstanz, Germany
  • University of Trento, Italy

Erasmus exchange scheme

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

There are so many themes to the course - I've gone from learning in core modules about crime and gender, to examining areas like the role of the paranormal in society, and art, taste and social stratification. In my dissertation I focused on the cultural relevance of the TV show The Simpsons - it's been fascinating to learn how something so seemingly unimportant can actually influence our society!

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

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, urban studies and criminology. As world-leading experts in their field, our staff are internationally recognised  thought-leaders, and their expertise and experience feeds directly into our teaching.


Your first year work doesn't contribute toward 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 contribute toward your final degree mark. In your third year, 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 sociological topic that interests you. An academic supervisor will support you through your research.


94 per cent of final year students said their experience in the department has been enhanced by the quality of the teaching on their course as well as the enthusiasm of our lecturers (latest NSS).

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Over 80 per cent of our graduates are working or in further study six months after completing their studies. Many of them secure jobs as a result of their first-hand experience from their internships and work placements.

One of the biggest myths about Sociology degrees is that they are non-vocational. In fact, a degree in Sociology prepares you for many different careers.

Our graduates forge successful careers all over the world. Some go on to work in criminal justice, the media, and education – others in social research, health and welfare services, and the charity sector.


Career opportunities

Our graduates are highly sought after by sectors including:

  • Criminal justice, policing and law
  • Social research
  • Education
  • Media and creative industries
  • Health and cultural services
  • Charity sector


Transferable skills

As a Sociology student, 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
  • 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.

"Every Sociology student has the opportunity to study abroad -I chose to travel to Cape Town to see how society was adjusting to democracy 20 years after Apartheid. I saw first-hand how people were trying to make a difference to their communities with very few resources. I found out a lot about myself and picked up transferable skills that I can now apply to my studies at home."
Amy, current BA Sociology student


Many of our students organise work placements out of term time in an area that interests them. We encourage you to do this so you can gain workplace experience and a deeper insight into issues that interest you. Previously, students have taken part in work-experience projects at North Yorkshire Youth Commission, York Crown Court and Refugee Action York. 

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS.

Mature students are welcomed and applications will be considered individually.

A-levels and GCSEs


Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Scottish Higher: AAABB

Scottish Advanced Higher: AB


BTEC National Diploma or QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M2, M2.

Access to HE 

Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 15 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 15 credits achieved from units awarded Merit or higher

International options

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall

Irish Leaving Certificate


European Baccalaureate

An overall average of 75%

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally asked to provide evidence of English language ability. Exceptions may be made where an applicant's other qualifications provide sufficient evidence of ability to use English in an academic setting at degree level.

IELTS: 6.5 with at least 5.5 in all units or equivalent

Other accepted tests and qualifications

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions