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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Subjects>Study Sociology>Teaching and assessment

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.

Contact us

Professor Robin Wooffitt
Recruitment and Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)1904 323 048


Our teaching is designed to help you develop yourself as a critical thinker and researcher. You'll take part in sociological debates and develop your ability to craft arguments and express complex ideas.

We offer a personal approach to teaching. You'll spend time in small groups, working with a member of staff who's an expert in the topic you're studying.

Our staff are ready to offer support and guidance throughout your studies. You'll also be allocated a personal supervisor who's there to make sure you're making the most of your time at York. We also run a regular Sociology and Criminology Hour - an informal session that covers topics relating to your skills and future career, as well as events for you to engage with our academic community, alumni and partners from outside the University.

Contact hours and independent study

Your contact hours will vary based on a number of factors such as the time of year. These hours are an estimate based on a representative first-year student on this course.

Teaching typeHours

Large group sessions that will introduce you to the main themes of each module.

8 hours per week
Small group sessions where you’ll discuss a particular topic, usually based around an assigned reading.
4 hours per week
Supervisor meetings
A chance to meet with an academic member of staff to talk through your progress, celebrate your achievements and raise any concerns.
1-2 hours per term

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 1,200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Sociology on Campus East. Most of your teaching will take place at various locations across Campus East.

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As you progress through your course, you'll complete a range of assessments designed to help you develop the skills you need to be an effective scholar. Most of your assessments will be essays, with a few closed exams depending on what modules you take. 

You’ll submit summative work, which counts towards your final degree score, and formative work, which doesn’t count towards your final grade but gives you the chance to practice techniques and identify areas to improve. We’ll provide detailed feedback on the work you submit, supporting you to develop your academic skills.

Types of assessment
Essays are extended pieces of writing. Essay questions in your earlier years will usually be set by your tutors. As you progress through your course, you’ll have the opportunity to set your own essay questions. 
Closed exams take place within a set time limit (usually a few hours) under set conditions in the presence of invigilators.

Presentations are an assessment of how well you can present your ideas or your argument to your coursemates and tutors. Sometimes, you might be asked to lead a seminar or a lecture.

Some option modules use other types of assessment such as blogs, podcasts and portfolios.

You need to pass your first year to continue your degree, but your marks won't count towards your final grade; we recognise that students are beginning to develop over the course of their degree.

Contact us

Professor Robin Wooffitt
Recruitment and Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)1904 323 048