Sociology is the scientific study of human social relationships and institutions. It is a diverse area of study and includes the family, sexuality, gender, the state, education, globalisation, health and medicine, and welfare and poverty. Its focus is to consider how social structures interact with individual choice, the inequalities and divisions which can undermine social stability and the shared beliefs which create the basis for a common culture.
This course looks at the most important issues facing our society today including poverty, culture, immigration and refugees, families, global issues, social exclusion, race, disability, gender, sexuality, politics and policy, and social class divisions. You will cover topical and dynamic content, reflecting current social issues, policy and what is happening in society today.
You will graduate capable of working in a range of employment settings due to the transferable skills, broad knowledge base and critical awareness that studying sociology provides. You will not just leave with your degree in BSc (Hons) Sociology; you will have taken part in continuous training to become a social researcher – which is a valuable extra skill to have for future employment. Those who study BSc (Hons) Sociology want to change the world in their own way, and we help to equip them with the skills to do it.
- Our Sociology courses are in the top 10 in the UK for Satisfaction with teaching according to The Guardian University league tables 2018
- Our Sociology courses are in the top 25% for Learning opportunities and Assessment and feedback, according to the National Student Survey 2018
- This course has over 90% Overall Satisfaction according to the National Student Survey 2018
- 100% of our BSc (Hons) Sociology graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on UK students)
- ‘World-leading’ research in Social Work and Social Policy, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
- We have award-winning staff in the areas of equality and diversity and teaching and learning
- A range of opportunities for sociology students to enhance their employability after graduation, including a work placement with a research project in the second year, and optional summer internships and volunteering opportunities throughout the degree
- Four optional specialist pathways: Health and the Social Body, Gender and Culture, Young People, Representation and Society and Family and Identities. These optional pathways help you plan your future career and gain specialist knowledge in a particular area
- We also offer several modules in globalisation, human rights and global issues which internationalise our curriculum to prepare you for a more global world
- In addition to a broad range of sociology modules, you can choose from options in criminology, education, health and social care, media studies, history and politics
- A wide variety of extra-curricular activities that you can get involved with. Our sociology students have, for example, taken part in national and international trips to London and Kenya. Read more about their life-changing experience working on a volunteer project in Ndhiwa (blog)
A typical week for you will include lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, and computer-based learning. Your progress will be assessed with written coursework and essays, source reports, blogs, factsheets, research projects, presentations and exams.
Throughout the degree, you’ll have one-to-one support from academic staff to help you get the best out of your assignments.
Skills for Sociologists programme
At level four, you will take part in a unique weekly development programme, designed to support you in your academic career; this will give you the confidence to succeed in your degree. You will access a wide range of other support services across the University. You will develop your skills in academic referencing, essay planning, writing skills, and presentation skills. There is a strong emphasis on professional opportunities and employability.
Study Abroad programme
At level five, you will have the optional opportunity to take part in a study-abroad experience for either a semester or a full year, to study sociology at an international university. Previous sociology students have studied their discipline at universities in California, USA, Melbourne, Australia and Vermont, Canada.
Part-time students study the same course as full-time students, just over a longer period of time. If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the day and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
BSc (Hons) Sociology is a flexible degree, offering you the opportunity to choose the subject path that most interests you. In addition to a broad range of sociology modules, you can choose from options in Criminology, Health and Social Care, Media, History, and Politics.
A degree in BSc (Hons) Sociology creates a huge number of career options. Your skills in analysing data, undertaking research and developing strong arguments will be highly valued by many employers.
You will graduate ready to work in a range of employment settings due to the transferable skills, broad knowledge base and critical awareness that studying Sociology provides.
Previous graduates now work in the fields of education, mental health, work with vulnerable adults and children, the criminal justice system, government, international development, charities and community work, political campaigning and social research.
Many of our graduates also choose to continue their studies at masters and PhD level.
Career opportunities with Sociology
Sociology students go on to access a wide range of employment opportunities, further study and research including:
- Welfare services: Housing and homelessness, domestic violence support, substance misuse, immigration and working with minority groups such as BAME and LGBTQI+ populations;
- International institutions and humanitarian work: NGOs and INGOs, the United Nations, human rights, women’s rights, international aid, poverty and development;
- Criminal justice system: such as the Youth Offending Team, probation, working with hate crime victims (and perpetrators) and the police;
- Community work and work with young people and children;
- Campaign work on social issues, trade unions and advocacy;
- Social policy: social researcher and policy analyst;
- Health and social care: public health, disability services, older people and family support;
- Teaching: primary, secondary, further and higher education;
- Media: journalism and editing;
- Central and local government;
- Human resources, project manager and consultancy work;
- Masters degrees: criminal justice, social work, social policy and politics, social research;
- PhD: Sociology, Politics, Media, Gender Studies, Criminology.
Sociology Placement and Internships
We have strong links to employers and our Sociology students take part in a placement to work on a research project at level five of their degree. We also offer optional summer internships in a range of employment settings. Sociology students have undertaken previous internships with organisations as varied as COCO (an international development organisation for Eastern Africa), Team Kenya, Northumbria Police, Albert Kennedy Trust (an LGBTQI+ homelessness charity), Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Grace House (children and young people with life-limiting conditions).
Social Sciences Blog
Many of our Sociology students have published their first class degree work on our ‘Social Sciences Blog.’ Please take a moment to check out their excellent assignments.
Centre for Applied Social Sciences
The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Applied Social Studies (CASS) combines original academic research with practice-based collaborations and reach-out activities, often working directly with practitioners, policymakers and front-line delivery staff regionally, nationally and internationally. According to the most recent National Research Excellence Framework Exercise, almost half of our outputs are either ‚world leading’ or ‚internationally excellent’.
The mission of CASS reflects that of the University’s aim as a civic university: to take an active interest in the social issues that affect the region and beyond by engaging in research and practice-based collaborations that aim to improve living conditions, address inequalities and social exclusion and promote social justice. Currently our research focuses around three strands: children, young people and families; communities, health and social exclusion; and crime, victims and social justice.
CASS regularly hosts visiting speakers and holds events that you will be invited to. This can be an excellent way to learn from the real-life experience of people who already have a strong track record in sociological and social policy related social research. This is a great way to learn from experts in their field.