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BA (Hons) Sociology

Study Sociology at York and see the world differently

Year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

L300

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£17,120 per year (2019/20)

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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, in the UK’s number one ranked Sociology Department for research*, and use your skills to carry out research in an area you are passionate about.

*Times Higher Education's assessment of REF 2014.

Research excellence

The Department of Sociology is first in the UK for research quality (Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework)

There's such a range of interesting modules within Sociology at York, and 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. More student views.

Course content

Our teaching is led by our research, covering real-world issues. Core modules in your first year will introduce you to the breadth of Sociology. You'll study the sociology of science, communication, sexuality, health, criminology and media. You'll explore how technologies, gender, institutions, culture, and interactions with others shape our identities, choices and actions.

As you progress, you'll develop specialisms and expertise, leading up to your 10,000-word dissertation.

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 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.

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 2 you'll study one core module and choose three option modules.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose three of the following modules:

Year 3

In your final year, you'll choose four option modules, allowing you to follow your interests or investigate a new area of study. You'll also design and undertake an independent research project, culminating in a dissertation.

Dissertation

Option 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 individual lives, social groups and institutions, by combining knowledge of key sociological concepts and theories with a critical and reflexive understanding of the complexities of present-day societies 
  • Access, evaluate and critically analyse evidence-based claims concerning social issues and cultural trends.
  • Address and evaluate social problems and interactions effectively by systematically challenging commonly held assumptions.
  • Design and undertake ethical, responsible research projects which draw upon appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative skills to produce empirically rigorous analysis of social issues.
  • Critically synthesise and communicate complex information and arguments about emerging social issues 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.
There are so many themes to the course. I've gone from learning 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!
Robin, BA Sociology

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are based on data from 2018 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,120

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.

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 additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

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, 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.

Overall workload

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

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars216 hours144 hours108 hours

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

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This 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 on Campus West. You will be taught at a variety of locations across Campus West.

About our campus

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 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.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams50%45%0%
Coursework50%55%96%
Practical exams0%0%4%

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

Careers and skills

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.

Many of our students organise work placements out of term time, for example at North Yorkshire Youth Commission, York Crown Court and Refugee Action York. We encourage you to do this so you can gain workplace experience and a deeper insight into issues that interest you.

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 work 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

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

ABB

Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 15 credits achieved from units awarded Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma DDM
Cambridge Pre-U D3, M2, M2
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

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

Applying

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 will be considered individually.

Next steps

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Department of Sociology

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