UCAS code: L301

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Law and Social Sciences

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Race and migration, health inequalities and illness, technology – the world of sociology explores so many aspects of our lives and the challenges we face in the 21st century. Study with us to join the debate on hot topics and learn to carry out research that provides societal insights.

Becoming confident doing your own research is a key part of the course, as well as the skill of digesting and understanding the research. We’ll show you how to conduct interviews, design surveys, interpret different forms of data, and more.

We want to help you achieve your goals. That’s why we assess your learning in a range of ways. You’ll complete portfolios, write research reports in the form of podcasts on topics such as lyric analysis and deliver presentations in front of classmates.

Throughout the course, you’ll be taught by experts including Professor Tina Miller, a high-profile sociologist who specialises in parenthood and family lives. You may already be familiar with other members of the team too – they contribute to public debate through lectures, media appearances, social media, and blogs.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Boost your CV

    We encourage you to apply your learning through volunteering, work placement modules, and activism.

  • Leaders in sociology

    Your lecturers use their voice and expertise to take part in public debate and discussions on the latest research and issues through media appearances, social media, podcast, and blogs.

  • Joint honours

    Study sociology with anthropology, communication, media and culture, criminology, education studies, history of art, international relations, or philosophy and politics.

  • Unbeatable location

    From NGOs offering work placements to social and political events, there’s plenty happening on our doorstep for you to get involved with.

  • Become part of a community

    Join social events with staff and students including walking tours of Oxford, cinema nights, and pub quizzes.

  • 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.

  • Study abroad

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

Course details

Course structure

We'll introduce you to the differences and divisions sociologists study and how they use research to make sense of the social world. You’ll look at the classical sociologists' views on social institutions; such as family and education.

Understanding change is important too. We’ll cover how transformations taking place in the fields of media, urban space, religion and political movements influence society.

In Year 2, you’ll study some areas more closely. You’ll explore gender through different lenses and investigate the changing world of work; 'race' and ethnicity; global social change; culture and everyday life.

You can shape your study with optional modules. These cover everything from youth and young adulthood to the constantly evolving changes in our intimate relationships.

Throughout your degree, we'll help you develop and apply research skills and experiences to better understand the social world. We’ll assist you in learning how to handle different types of data. You’ll apply this knowledge to your dissertation in your final year which can be on any topic that inspires you.


Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a mix of group discussion, independent research and hands-on practical work. 

You’ll participate in:

  • lectures
  • small seminars
  • tutorials
  • practicals.

Your learning will be led by expert researchers and practitioners, some of whom have international standing. For example, you’ll learn directly from Professor Tina Miller, who is a regular on TV and radio, and part of the BBC Expert Women initiative. All your learning will be directly informed by the latest developments in Sociology.


You’ll be assessed by both coursework and exams. And you’ll experience a range of different assessment types - to help you showcase your best work. These could include:

  • portfolios
  • field projects
  • group work
  • essays
  • presentations
  • statistical analysis
  • in-class tests.

Study modules

Teaching for this course takes place face to face and you can expect around 9 hours of contact time per week.

In addition to this, you should also anticipate a workload of 1,200 hours per year.

Teaching usually takes place Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 6.00pm.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Becoming Human

    How did humans emerge as a species? Why do human societies vary across time and space? How can we understand the diversity of human experience today? In this module you'll address these questions by exploring anthropology as a discipline. 

    You’ll take an integrated approach, covering social and biological anthropology. You will also study other living primates and archaeology. You will also engage with key research, helping you build your anthropological skills.

    You'll examine how anthropological approaches offer solutions to issues facing humanity today. Through an exploration of anthropology and its application to contemporary life.

  • Social Differences and Divisions

    Race, class, gender and sexuality - how do these things affect us and our social relations today? In this module, you’ll explore the factors which divide human societies, and how sociologists make sense of the world. 

    You’ll explore the connections between individuals, groups and social institutions. You’ll dive into pressing debates. And you’ll engage with core areas of social analysis, such as:

    • gender relations
    • class divisions
    • race/ethnicity
    • sexuality

    You'll explore the urgent issues facing society, including diversity and inequality. You’ll understand social context and processes. And you’ll develop a strong awareness of our world today.


  • Foundations of Social Theory

    In this module, you’ll explore the key themes of social theory. You’ll investigate the works of  influential sociological theorists, including Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. And you'll investigate how their work has shaped sociology and its different traditions.

    You'll immerse yourself in current debates, developments and approaches to social theory. And you'll explore how these affect our social relations today.


  • Researching the Social World

    In this module, you’ll gain invaluable skills for work, as you learn how to carry out effective research. You’ll learn

    • how to research the world around you
    • the ethics of social research
    • strengths and weaknesses of different research methods
    • methodological issues of data collection, analysis and distribution. 

    You’ll enhance your imagination and knowledge as a researcher, and gain skills in:

    • critical thinking
    • organisation 
    • understanding research articles
    • literature searches

    You’ll gain a strong knowledge of research design, and how to engage with published research. These core skills in research and analysis will ensure you succeed in your degree, and future career.


  • Contemporary Societies: Structure and Change

    In this module, you’ll investigate the changing face of society. You’ll explore how markets and welfare states have transformed over time. You’ll discover how states, economies and societies interact with each other. And you’ll dig into key questions on politics and power, exploring different political systems. 

    We’ll explore pressing global topics, including

    • international migration patterns
    • the formation of ethnic minorities
    • religion in modern society
    • the challenges of climate change

    You’ll explore a wide range of social issues, taking place all over the world. And you’ll develop a strong understanding of how these issues impact individuals and groups.

  • Political Socialisation and Ideology

    Why do we vote the way we do? What affects our actions, and our political decisions? In this module, we’ll investigate politics through human behaviour. You’ll explore political culture, and how we participate in a democratic society. We’ll also look at how humans are socialised to hold various political views. You’ll gain a key insight into how ideas and ideologies affect our behaviour individually and as a group.

Optional modules

Politics in Comparative Perspective

In this module, you’ll investigate politics - and the struggle for power - across the nations. You’ll gain a clear introduction to how and why political systems differ in our world today. You’ll examine case studies from a wide range of states, and gain a strong insight into how different regimes function – from the democratic to the totalitarian.

Global Challenges in International Relations

In this module, you’ll explore the leading issues of current world politics.

In Part 1, you’ll investigate the key figures, structures and processes in world politics. You’ll look at some core themes, including:

  • international states 
  • multinational societies
  • worldwide political economy
  • international organisations and institutions 
  • figures with worldwide, multinational impact.

You’ll also analyse concepts such as:

  • anarchy
  • order
  • sovereignty 
  • conflict and cooperation among states, and non-state figures.

In Part 2, you’ll investigate the chronic issues of world politics, including:

  • gender
  • migration 
  • human rights
  • humanitarian intervention
  • energy resources and the environment 
  • development, inequality and poverty. 

We’ll explore how different nations manage these issues and what this tells us about international governance. 

Understanding Culture

What do we mean when we talk about ‘culture’? How do human ideas, customs and behaviours become a way of life? In this module, we’ll investigate the key theories and concepts of culture. You’ll gain invaluable critical skills as you reflect on different aspects of culture. And you’ll explore the impact of modern culture on individuals and society today. 

You’ll explore cultural artefacts and activities. And you’ll look at how culture relates to identity, power and representation.

This module is the foundation of the culture pathway through the Communication, Media and Culture programme. This will be fantastic preparation for many of your level 5 modules.


Criminal Justice in Action

In this module, you’ll explore some key concerns around crime. You’ll examine the current problems and policies in:
  • criminal justice
  • law enforcement
  • punishment.
You’ll gain core critical skills, as you dive into debates on the control and management of crime. You’ll examine the relationship between the theory of crime and criminal behaviour. And you’ll explore the practical workings of the criminal justice system.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Social Research Methods

    You’ll gain crucial skills for employment, as you develop your knowledge of social research. You’ll build on your understanding from the module ‘Researching the Social World’. And develop skills in 

    • designing and delivering questionnaires and interviews
    • sample recruitment
    • data entry
    • analysis and interpretation
    • presenting research findings

    This will give you fantastic competitive skills for the workplace.


  • Gender and Society

    In this module, you’ll look at gender and its central role in society. You’ll explore the social processes that affect the lives and roles of men and women in society. We’ll consider the centrality of gender in everyday life, and how society reflects and reproduces gender relations.

  • 'Race', Ethnicity and Inequality

    Why do we exclude some ethnic groups from society? In this module, we’ll explore race, ethnicity and racism through:

    • employment
    • education
    • housing
    • migration
    • policing
    • the impact of anti-discrimination legislation.. 

    You’ll engage with pressing debates on race, ethnicity and racism. You’ll explore the experiences of minority ethnic groups and you’ll explore the factors which exclude them from mainstream society. We’ll focus on the UK, but also consider ethnic minorities in other cultures. We’ll highlight the complexities of social constructions of race and other social inequalities


  • Global Sociology

    In this module, you’ll explore worldwide social change and what causes it. You’ll consider the consequences of global social change in different nations in terms of politics, economics and culture.  You will also engage with competing explanations of global change and debate its impact and significance.

  • Sociology of Work

    In this module, you’ll dive into the key issues of work, and its relationship with society. You’ll explore theories for understanding work, employment and the labour market. And you’ll gain valuable critical skills as you consider how to define work, and its activities. You’ll explore:

    • production, technologies and skills in the workplace
    • power and conflict in the labour market
    • the changing face of work and employment 
    • social inequality, such as gender, ethnicity and social class

    You also examine different types of work, and how they impact the lives of individuals. 


  • Culture and Everyday Life

    In this module, you’ll dig into different aspects of culture. You’ll gain key critical skills as you analyse:

    • matters of taste
    • cultural classification
    • media
    • fashion
    • subcultures
    • bodily culture
    • food practices.

    You’ll explore the significance of these issues to:

    • globalisation
    • group formation
    • resistance and inclusion

    We’ll also use examples from British popular culture, to discuss the theories and concepts you’ve covered in lectures. 


Optional modules

Understanding India: Society, Culture & Economy

In this module, you’ll get to grips with the diversity of India as a nation. You will explore politics, society, economy and culture. You 'll consider the fascinating history of India. The moving perceptions of India over time, and its changing relationship with the global context today.  You will engage with ethnographic material. To gain understanding of the everyday lives of India’s citizens and wider diaspora through explorations of:

  • work
  • labour
  • migration
  • religion
  • politics and sociality.  

As you learn about:

  • intimacy
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • ethnicity
  • caste
  • class
  • and identity 

on an interpersonal level, you will gain a deeper understanding of these issues.  
At a structural level, you will tackle issues of social, cultural and economic transformation in the context of:

  • cultural practices
  • religious influences
  • capitalist development
  • political change
  • neoliberalism
  • post colonialism
  • and forms of protest or conflict.


Ritual and Society

What are rituals, and why do we perform them? In this module, you’ll explore the key role of rituals in society. You’ll look at various human communities as you consider the origins of ritual, and its different definitions. You’ll gain valuable critical skills as you explore key anthropological concepts, including:

  • rites of passage
  • liminality
  • anti-structure
  • communities

We often stereotype ritual as exotic, and about religion. However, you’ll enrich your perspective as you explore ritual in non-religious contexts. You’ll look at ritual within:

  • politics and power relations
  • social identities
  • social traditions

Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience

In this module, you’ll examine the human relationships and layouts of the world’s great cities - from the nineteenth century to today. You’ll gain valuable critical skills as you analyse the trends likely to shape such cities in the future. And you’ll consider people and place as inseparable, exploring the relationship between human societies and the physical cities they live in.

Public Criminology

In this module, you’ll dive into real world problems of crime and criminal justice. You’ll apply your criminology knowledge to:
  • find solutions to key questions of crime and justice
  • find solutions to problems in current practice
  • explore how these solutions can inform future research.
You’ll examine case studies from current policy and practice. You’ll apply the insights of:
  • practitioners
  • policy-makers
  • politicians
currently working in criminal justice. You’ll gain a strong understanding of how criminology works in real life. And you’ll explore why there is a disconnect between the classroom, and criminology in practice.

State and Society: Europe and the United States

How do nations and states come about? In this module, you’ll explore European societies, and their foundations - social and political. You’ll examine the processes of nation and state-building. And you’ll get to grips with the relationship between state, market and society. 

You’ll explore European approaches to citizenship and capitalism. You’ll consider the future of Europe. And you’ll use a historical, comparative perspective to evaluate how Europe might respond to current social and political challenges.


The Social World of Childhood

Do you remember how you felt as a child? In this module, we’ll explore the world of children, and how our ideas about childhood have changed through time. You’ll consider the impact of different models of socialisation on children. And you’ll explore the factors - cultural, structural and experimental - which develop a child’s identity.  We’ll make strong use of life and history material.

Work Based Learning in Sociology

In this module, you’ll have the chance to carry out a work placement closely linked to your Sociology course.

You’ll have help from your module leader to find a placement that meets your needs, and which will support your learning. With a carefully chosen placement, you’ll build on the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained in Year 1, and you’ll also gain vital skills for the workplace, like time management, communication and team-working.

During and after your placement, you’ll:

  • create a placement portfolio, including a learning journal
  • craft a CV showing your experience
  • produce a policy brief or policy analysis paper.

International Year Abroad

Optional modules

International Year Abroad

This is your opportunity to work or study in another country, so you can experience a different culture from the UK. You’ll be able to apply and test your knowledge and skills in new contexts that will significantly develop your employability profile.

Choosing this module will allow you to exhibit the development of self-management and working or studying in unfamiliar contexts, alongside practising cross-cultural communication and interpersonal skills.

You will receive support and guidance to help you find a place in an available partner university, or to find a work placement for your international year abroad. This international year abroad module lasts for one academic year and is taken after the conclusion of your second year of study, once you’ve completed all your level 5 studies. Your international year abroad is not credit-bearing.

The opportunity can be approached in 2 different ways. Please see your options below: 

State and Society in Contemporary Russia

In this module, you’ll develop key critical skills as you explore the democratic challenges facing Russia. Contemporary Russia has undergone enormous social, political and economic transformation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.You’ll gain a strong grounding in the key issues of this diverse, multi-ethnic state. You’ll look at core themes, such as:

  • regime dynamics and trajectory

  • the role of informal relations

  • corruption and governance problems

  • war and militarism

  • Identity politics.

Study in a non UK University Option

You can attend a non-UK higher education institution for a full academic year. You’ll be able to choose modules in your own subject or in a subject you consider would benefit your overall course of study. You may choose to deepen your knowledge of your degree subject or enhance it by developing complementary skills.

By studying in an international university you’ll progress your interpersonal skills through cross-cultural communication with fellow students and tutors, building lasting relationships. Also you’ll further develop your study skills as you focus on your selected areas of interest to you - while developing and progressing an international study experience that will add significance to your CV.

Work-based Learning Option

Undertake a work placement or work-related project based on your interests and existing skills. You will create an initial learning contract that shows clearly how your proposed placement or project will link with your academic and/or professional aims.

This pathway helps you to have full control over what your work-related learning looks like. You will advance your skills in a practical setting, gain first-hand experience in a work environment, and begin to create your professional network. Also, taking initiative of your learning in such a way will mean that you will stand out when you apply for jobs after graduation.

Final Year

Compulsory modules

  • Sociology Dissertation

    This module gives you the chance to do independent research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll have the support of expert tutors. We encourage you to make use of the research skills you’ve gained from your research method modules, but it’s not a formal requirement for you to carry out primary data collection.

Optional modules

State and Society in Contemporary Russia

In this module, you’ll develop key critical skills as you explore the democratic challenges facing Russia. Contemporary Russia has undergone enormous social, political and economic transformation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.You’ll gain a strong grounding in the key issues of this diverse, multi-ethnic state. You’ll look at core themes, such as:

  • regime dynamics and trajectory
  • the role of informal relations
  • corruption and governance problems
  • war and militarism
  • and identity politics.


Racialised Identities in Super-Diverse Societies

What shapes our racial identities? How do they play out in everyday life, alongside gender, class and age?

In this module, you’ll gain a strong understanding of identities and differences in current western societies. You’ll explore postcolonial theories of Self and Otherness. And you’ll gain key analytical skills, as you investigate the relevance of these theories to diverse societies today.


Sociology of Health and Illness

How do we view health and illness in society today? In this module, you’ll dig into key debates on health and illness, focusing on theoretical perspectives and real-life experiences. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you engage with ethical debates around decision making in health and illness.

As you investigate health and illness, you’ll use both lay perspectives and medical knowledge to inform your understanding. You’ll also consider:

  • concepts of lifestyle and risk
  • the centrality of the body in modern debates
  • the medicalisation of everyday life, death and dying. 

You’ll learn how our understanding of health and illness is affected by:

  • circumstances
  • gendered experiences
  • social class
  • culture
  • race
  • age.

Sociology of Youth and Young Adulthood

In this module, you’ll explore the sociology of youth and young adulthood. You’ll learn about how young people’s experiences of youth are affected by social and economic factors, like housing or austerity measures. You’ll understand theoretical perspectives that will help you develop a critical understanding of youth and young adulthood. 

You’ll look at topics like: 

  • sexual and romantic relationships in young adulthood 
  • work, changing employment opportunities and insecure futures
  • passages to adulthood: ethnic and racial diversity in the transition to adulthood
  • Youth im/mobilities: ‘waithood’, delayed adulthood and migration    
  • Youth activism. 

Theorising Society

In this module, you’ll get to grips with the central problems of social theory. You’ll develop key analytical skills, as you analyse the pressing debates and concepts in classical and modern sociological theory. 

We’ll consider key concepts and theories, socially and intellectually. And you’ll explore the relevance of these theories to everyday life. 


The Sociology of Migration

Why do people move across the world? In this module, you’ll use real examples to examine migration, and its key concepts. You’ll explore political and economic issues, as well as climate change, to understand why millions of people move across nations. You’ll analyse the consequences of migration on migrants’ countries of origin, and the places they move to.

You’ll focus mainly on migrants who move countries for work. You’ll look at the role of states in regulating labour migration, and other factors in the movement of people. You’ll gain critical knowledge of land-based and sea-based migrants, and the factors that drive migration. And you’ll understand international migration in terms of development, economic and cultural factors. You’ll also look at the rights of migrants in migration policy.


The Sociology of Technology

You'll start with an investigation of the classic texts from Critical Theory and Science and Technology Studies. You'll then consider the wider cultural and political implications of new digital technologies. 

You'll engage with classical and contemporary sociological analyses of technology. You'll look at the new technologies that influence our daily lives and behaviours. You'll explore how these new technologies impact us as social beings.


The Prison and Imprisonment

Should we punish prisoners, or support them to re-enter society? In this module, you’ll dive into the key issues of prisons. You’ll consider modern prisons, globally and historically. And you’ll examine prisons through:
  • prisoners
  • prison staff
  • wider society. 
You'll trace the evolution of the prison - from the rehabilitative ideal of the post-war period, to the greater focus on punishment today. You’ll look at how political parties use prison policies to win votes, rather than reduce crime. 

You’ll dive into the inner workings of prisons, from governance to administration. You’ll look at the routines of prison life, and how prisoners cope with, and give meaning to them. You’ll consider sentence progression for different types of prisoners. And you’ll explore how well prisons prepare inmates for life after release.

Gendering Intimate Relationships

In this module, we’ll investigate intimacy today. We’ll explore:

  • gender
  • identities
  • relationships
  • family lives.

Social changes have transformed our intimate relationships and arrangements in the home. However, tensions and contradictions still affect gender roles, and what we see as ‘appropriate’. In this module, you’ll gain key knowledge of the complexity and diversity of intimacy today. 


Development and Humanitarianism

In this module, you’ll explore the changing relationship between anthropology, and international development (the idea that different countries have different levels of development). You’ll gain a strong grounding in international development. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you dive into debates on the relationship between anthropology and development. You’ll explore key issues for anthropologists working in international development, including:

  • gender relations
  • environmental issues
  • health
  • youth
  • religion.

You’ll compare ideas and practices in international development. You’ll look at approaches to social policy, inequality and well-being in the UK. And you disrupt the lines we draw between North and South, developed and underdeveloped, or advanced and emerging economies and societies.

Independent Study

This module gives you a great chance to do self-directed study on a topic in Sociology that fascinates you. You’ll have guidance from a tutor, but the direction you take is up to you. Your study could involve fieldwork investigations, or analysis of fieldwork investigations. If you’d like to gain work experience linked to the topic you’re interested in, you could try a work placement. Or you could carry out independent, library-based research.

Whatever kind of study you choose, you’ll gain excellent project management skills from planning and setting goals to working independently and managing your time.

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


Employers love seeing sociology degrees on graduates’ CVs. Your broad range of research skills and experience, such as ability to collect and analyse data, will make you stand out too, making you an invaluable asset to any sector you choose to work in.

A sociology degree also highlights a founded understanding of social and cultural diversity and an awareness of issues around equality and discrimination. You’ll also be able to show creative approaches to organisational change.

Our sociology graduates find careers in a wide range of employment areas:

  • local and national government 
  • the Civil Service
  • social services
  • health promotion and public health
  • teaching
  • marketing and advertising
  • human resources management
  • international development
  • think tanks
  • policy development
  • NGOs and charities.

Where will your sociology degree take you? 

Student profiles

Our Staff

Dr Roderick Galam

Read more about Roderick

Professor Tina Miller

Tina's research and teaching interests include motherhood and fatherhood transitions, constructions of gender and identities, masculinities, reproductive health, narratives, qualitative research methods and ethics and she regularly publishes in these areas.

Read more about Tina

Joint honours options

You can also study this course as part of a joint honours degree. This course can be joined with:

Entry requirements

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

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

For joint 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

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400


Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

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

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

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.