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Sociology

BA (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

L301

Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Department

Department of Social Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points

112

Overview


On our Sociology degree you will study human social life, groups and societies. And increase your understanding of the social world of the 21st century.

Sociologists focus on many topics, ranging from global social processes to personal relationships. You will analyse social relationships and social institutions.

Our flexible course structure allows you to pursue your own areas of interest. It'll also provide you with a solid foundation in the discipline. And you'll gain a range of personal and professional skills to aid your future career development.

You can attend weekly seminars with guest speakers from other universities, and outside the academic sector. Speakers provide presentations on research themes of interest to Sociology students. The department also publishes an online newsletter which you can take part in.

All our teaching staff are active researchers with strong publication records. So your learning will be underpinned by the latest academic thinking.

Sociology

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
2019/20
Home/EU Full Time
£9,250

Home/EU Part Time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2019/20
Home/EU Full Time
£9,250

Home/EU Part Time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Additional costs

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading, this is at their own discretion.

Learning and assessment


In Year 1 you will take introductory modules on the core theories of sociology (four for single honours and three for combined honours. Introducing you to the fundamentals of sociological analysis, topics include: 

  • social diversity and inequalities
  • key social transformations characterising contemporary societies
  • methodological approaches 
  • issues shaping sociological inquiry.

In Year 2 you can decide how to build on this basis of sociological knowledge by choosing from a range of modules. Topics include: 

  • global social change 
  • 'race' and ethnicity
  • gender relations
  • work and employment
  • health and illness 
  • sociological methods and techniques.

In Year 3 you can take honours modules covering:

  • social theory
  • human rights
  • racialized identities
  • migration 
  • sociology of emotions.

In your Final Year you will have the opportunity to do a specialist dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Sociology

Study modules

Year 1

Social Differences and Divisions*

This module is designed to provide students with an introductory knowledge of Sociology and the different ways in which sociological analysis makes sense of the social world. Key concepts and approaches in Sociology will be introduced through a focus on the relationship between individuals, groups and social institutions. Core areas of sociological analysis, including gender relations, class divisions, and ‘race’ and ethnicity will be considered in light of contemporary sociological debates. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of the social world through an appreciation of social context, the nature of social processes and of diversity and inequality.

Foundations of Social Theory*

This module offers a general introduction to the principle themes and concerns of social theory, starting with the works of classical sociological theorists Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber. It considers how their work has shaped the discipline of sociology, as well as different sociological traditions. The module also explores a number of contemporary developments, debates and approaches in social theory, considering their contributions to understanding social relations today.

Researching the Social World *

This module provides students with an introduction to a range of investigative research strategies in order to appreciate how the social world can be researched. Its major components include an introduction to research design, ethics in social research, strength and limitations of different research approaches and methodological issues in data collection, analysis and dissemination. On completion of this module, students will have gained a firm grounding in the principles of research design and the methodological issues associated with different types of research. This will enable students to critically engage with and assess published research – a key dimension in much academic and related work - and to understand the principles of primary data collection.

Contemporary Societies: Structure and Change (compulsory for single honours, recommended for combined honours)

This module provides an overview of a range of social and political developments shaping contemporary societies. It looks at the relationship between the economy, the state and society, exploring how labour markets and welfare states have transformed over time. It also considers questions relating to power and politics, looking at different political systems and processes. Additional topics include international migration patterns, the formation of ethnic minorities, the role of religion in modern society, and challenges posed by global environmental changes. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of a range of social issues and developments and the global context in which they take place, whilst also appreciating the implications for different individuals and groups.

Introduction to Politics (Recommended Module)

This module aims to introduce students to the study of politics through an investigation of political behaviour (processes of political socialisation, the nature of political culture, and the ways in which individuals participate in a democratic society) and the role of ideas and ideologies in informing individual and collective behaviour.

Politics in Comparative Perspective (Recommended Module)

This module provides an introduction to comparative politics; specifically the ways in which we can understand varieties of political systems and institutions in the contemporary world. It provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the functioning of democratic and authoritarian regime types, underpinned by case studies from a wide range of states.

Introduction to International Relations l: Perspectives (Recommended Module)

This module provides an introduction to International Relations, with a focus on history, theories and perspectives. You will be introduced to the defining debates of the discipline, following the different interpretations of selected historical events. This module will seek to introduce International Relations, or global politics more broadly, as a realm of contestation - a field of competing perspectives, challenges and debates, and stories about our world and what is possible within it.

Introduction to International Relations ll: Themes and Issues (Recommended Module)

Divided into two parts, this module examines some of the key themes and issues in contemporary world politics. Part one introduces the actors, structures and processes of world politics, outlining some of the core themes: the international system of states and international society, transnational and global society, the global political economy, international organisations, institutions and transnational actors. It analyses concepts such as anarchy, order, sovereignty, conflict and co-operation among states and non-state actors. Part two examines a number of immediate and chronic issues in world politics to demonstrate a) how they are managed and b) what they tell us about the nature of governance in the international system. These issues include: gender; migration; human rights and humanitarian intervention; energy resources and the environment; and development, inequality and poverty.

Foundations of Social Psychology (Recommended Module)

This module provides an introduction to some key areas in social psychology with an emphasis on the different manifestations of `social context'.

Year 2

Social Research Methods*

This module builds on the knowledge students acquired in the module 'Researching the Social World'. It aims to help students develop practical skills in social research, including the design and administration of questionnaires and interviews, sample recruitment, data entry, analysis and interpretation and the presentation of research findings.

Gender and Society (Alternative compulsory)

This module provides an opportunity to put gender at the centre of social analysis. An understanding of the social processes that shape women’s and men’s lives in contemporary societies will be developed by exploring a range of theoretical approaches. The centrality of gender in everyday life will be highlighted, as will the ways in which gender relations are reflected and reproduced in social institutions. Gender relations are also analysed in the context of ‘globalisation’.

Race, Ethnicity and Exclusion (Alternative compulsory)

This module explores the concepts of ‘race’, ethnicity, and racism, by integrating a theoretical analysis with issues such as education, employment, housing, migration, policing, and the impact of anti-discrimination legislation. It introduces students to contemporary debates on ‘race’, ethnicity and racism, and examines the position and experience of different minority ethnic groups. This includes some of the processes that lead to the exclusion of some minority ethnic groups from mainstream social life. Although the focus is on the UK context, a cross-cultural comparative perspective will be employed in order to highlight the complexities of the social constructions of ‘race’ and ethnicity, and the related social inequalities.

Global Sociology (Alternative compulsory)

This module explores the origins, nature and consequences of global social change. The tensions between the global and the local will be examined as they relate to economic, political and cultural processes in contemporary societies. Competing explanations of the impact and significance of global change will be explored.

Sociology of Work (Alternative compulsory)

This module equips students with a sound understanding and knowledge of a range of investigative strategies and associated methodological issues in social research and how the social world is researched. Its major components include an introduction to research design, ethics in social research, strength and limitations of different research approaches and methodological issues in data collection, analysis and dissemination. This will enable students to critically engage with and assess published research - a key dimension in much academic and related work - and to understand the principles of primary data collection.

Sociology of Health and Illness (Alternative compulsory)

This module will provide opportunities to explore the parameters of the sociology of health and illness through a focus on theoretical perspectives and empirical material. Module themes will focus on medical ‘knowledge’ and lay perspectives, concepts of lifestyles and risk, the centrality of the body to contemporary debates and the medicalisation of everyday life, death and dying. The material and gendered circumstances in which different lives are lived and intersected by social class, culture, ‘race’ and age will provide an important backdrop to the module.

Culture and Everyday Life (Alternative compulsory)

This module explores different aspects of culture by integrating theoretical and empirical analysis of specific issues, including: matters of taste, cultural classification, media, the fashion system, subcultures, bodily culture, and food practices. It aims to demonstrate the significance of these cultural issues in various sociological processes, including: globalisation, group formation, resistance and exclusion. The module addresses contemporary case studies, using examples from British popular culture, to discuss the usefulness of the theories and concepts covered in the lectures.

State and Society in Europe

This module offers an exploration into the social and political foundations of European states and societies. It looks at the processes of nation and state-building, and the relationship between the state, market and society, consolidation of European models of capitalism and the construction of European approaches to citizenship. The future of European states and societies and their ability to respond to contemporary social and political challenges is evaluated through a historical and comparative perspective.

The Social World of Childhood

An introduction to the social world of childhood through the study of changing conceptions of childhood. This is extended to consider the implications of different models of socialisation and to review structural, cultural and experiential factors in the development of child identity. A strong feature of this module is its use of life and history material.

Work Based Learning in Sociology

This module offers students the opportunity to build on the skills gained in Sociology Level 4 modules in order to undertake a placement with organisations engaged in areas of Sociology. Students will be able to evaluate and reflect critically upon this experience, combining theory and practice in a professional context whilst analysing the links with recent policy developments. The content of the module is negotiated between the student and the work placement provider and must be approved by the module leader in advance of the commencement of the placement.

Educational Inequalities

This module aims to investigate the relationship between formal education processes and structures and wider social and educational outcomes. It considers contesting visions of equality in educational debates, and how these are manifested in policy. It will examine the relationships between schools and wider cultures, and between learner identity and consequent experiences of education. In particular, the module will focus on the role of gender, cultural identity and social class in education. It aims to question whether these factors can be considered separately.

Year 3

Racialised Identities in Super-Diverse Societies

This module aims to provide an in depth understanding of identities and difference in contemporary western societies. Students will explore postcolonial theories of the Self and Otherness by assessing their relevance for understanding the complexity of difference in multicultural and super-diverse societies. It explores how racial identities are shaped and experienced at the everyday level in combination with other markers of social difference (gender, class and age).

Theorising Society

Exploring central problems of social theorising, this module introduces and analyses key perspectives, concepts and debates in both classical and contemporary sociological theory. It aims to locate the central concepts and theories intellectually and socially and consider their relevance for, and relationship to, everyday life.

The Sociology of Migration

This module explores the social, economic and cultural processes involved in international migration. It looks at global patterns of migration, whilst considering the different ways in which migration has been studied and theorised. Students are introduced to a number of key concepts and debates in contemporary migration research, as well as a range of empirical examples. They are encouraged to develop an understanding of different kinds of migration, whilst appreciating the limits and problems of some established categories, including “undocumented migration”, and the distinction between “economic” and “forced” migration.

The Theory and Practice of Human Rights

Students have the opportunity to develop an understanding of theoretical debates and perspectives on human rights. This includes an awareness of the myriad of practices, actors, institutions, and issues surrounding the concept of human rights. Through an exploration of social scientific approaches and methods, this module will focus on the role of human rights in the world. It will also provide a basis for exploring a number of selected human rights issues in depth, including refugee rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, and genocide.

The Sociology of Emotions

This module aims to introduce students to a sociological perspective on emotions. This is different from the assumption that feelings are 'natural', 'inwardly located' and mostly 'private' experiences, and presents how social researchers think of them as socially constructed and/or socially constituting. It examines why sociologists have largely neglected emotions and what a sociological approach can bring to our understanding of them. This will enable students to explore how the sociology of emotions can challenge some of sociology's key premises and to critically analyse debates about the changing role of emotions in social life.

Gendering Intimate Relations

This module explores the sociology of contemporary intimate life, with a particular focus on gender, identities, relationships, family lives and shifting intimate/household arrangements. Societal transformations have changed possibilities in relation to how individual and family lives are lived and understood in the intimate sphere. However, tensions and apparent contradictions also configure the ways in which ‘appropriate’ and gendered behaviours are (discursively) regarded. This module will take a life-course approach; enabling students to understand, analyse and theorise the interplay of these topical, complex and diverse aspects of the contemporary intimate sphere.

Independent Study in Sociology

A programme of self-directed sociological study devised by the student and conducted under the supervision of, and with the prior approval of, sociology staff. The module provides an opportunity for students to undertake a study of their own choosing that would not otherwise be available to them.

The European Union: Integration and Disintegration

This module will explore different perspectives that are topical for understanding the process of European integration. It seeks to develop students' understanding of the social, political and cultural dimensions of the European project and the debates associated with these. More specifically, it explores the impact of Europeanization by looking at both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. It uncovers the complexities of social, political and cultural dynamics that determine the boundaries of the European project. Through exploring factors of disintegration - besides of integration - the module will evaluate the current state of Europeanization. In particular, the impact of various crises (democratic, financial, cultural) on its development.

Sociology Dissertation

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. Although students are encouraged to employ the research skills they acquire from the research methods modules, it is not a formal requirement that students have to conduct primary data collection for their dissertations.

Interdisciplinary Dissertation (Combined Honours only)

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. Students choose a dissertation topic, combining the knowledge and disciplinary skills of two subjects of study. Interdisciplinary Dissertation students may have one supervisor from each subject. Although students are encouraged to employ the research skills they acquire from the research methods modules, it is not a formal requirement that students have to conduct primary data collection for their dissertations.

* = Required

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching methods to ensure that you are exposed to a range of learning opportunities.

These include: 

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment is by coursework and examination. We use a variety of methods to assess the learning outcomes of this course. These include: 

  • essays
  • portfolios
  • individual and group presentations
  • IT exercises
  • in-class tests.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate


Career prospects

A Sociology degree from Oxford Brookes opens up a wide range of career options in the public and private sectors. The University has been recognised for the excellent employment prospects of its graduates.

Recent Sociology graduates have successfully pursued careers in management, international development organisations, research in private firms and in universities, education, local government and social work.

Graduating students have gone on to roles within the British Army, NHS and Oxfam to name a few, and have taken a wide variety of roles from Marketing Officer to Antique Dealing Assistant and from Project Support Intern to Childcare Activity Leader. Many of our graduates are currently engaged in further study in subjects such as Law, Education, Psychology, Religion and Teaching and many of them chose to stay on at Oxford Brookes to do this.

Further study

Many Sociology graduates also go on to postgraduate courses in a variety of areas of specialisation. The University careers centre can provide information and advice as you plan your future career path.

Student profiles


Our Staff


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Free language courses


Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.