Sociology BSc

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

This degree is designed for highly motivated students with a keen interest in all aspects of human behaviour and society. It provides rigorous training in a range of methodologies and research skills appropriate to sociology.

The course is concerned with developing theories that explain the changing nature of social behaviour in our own and other societies. The kinds of question with which we are concerned are: ‘What is society?’ ‘How and why is it changing?’ ‘What are the opportunities for future change and development?’

The earliest sociologists tried to understand the major issues of their time – poverty, unemployment, social conflict, and the social and economic consequences of rapid and profound industrial and economic change. Sociologists today continue to examine how such social issues are redefined by contemporary processes of individualisation, globalisation and the rapid growth of new forms of communication.

Within this broad framework, a central theme of Sociology at Brunel is the study of the development of social change and transformations. Among the more specific interests of Brunel sociologists are, for example, the public sphere, social theory, celebrity culture, the influence of the media, media regulation, urban spaces, crime and addiction, multiculturalism and comedy cultures. These various interests strongly reflect the options available in the third level of the course.

The focus of study is upon all aspects of human behaviour: its personal, social and cultural dimensions. We have a strong research reputation that enhances all our undergraduate teaching, with particular expertise in areas such as: neuropsychology; psychoanalysis; developmental psychology; social psychology; contemporary social structure and social change; the role of science and the media; ethnicity and kinship; and power, inequality and prejudice in modern societies. All of our academic staff are actively engaged in research and many have international reputations in their field.

We provide a stimulating introduction to the social sciences by teaching a broad base of cross-disciplinary modules in the first year. Thereafter, you specialise increasingly in your particular disciplines.

Our courses will help you to develop specific skills in the practical methods associated with your discipline, including ethnographic fieldwork. A full range of laboratory and technical facilities is used in the teaching of experimental psychology, video production, psychophysics and the use of information technology.

Aims

You will develop specific skills in the practical methods associated with sociology and will explore in-depth the major issues and approaches within this and related disciplines. This is a broad-based degree which enables students to specialise in areas which particularly fascinate them.

Enquiries

Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Admissions Tutor: Dr Sarita Malik

Related Courses

Course Content

This course provides a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to the theories, methods and findings of sociology and social theory, and offers opportunities for specialisation in particular areas, such as health and illness, deviance, social theory, the media and culture, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of urban spaces.

Level 1

Level 1 will introduce you to the main themes in the social sciences.

Typical modules:

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Globalisation
  • Introduction to Social and Cultural Research
  • Media, Culture and Society
  • Introduction to Social Enquiry
  • Popular Culture

Level 2

At Level 2, you will take modules in sociological theory and methods and contemporary social institutions. You can also follow modules chosen from the other social sciences.

Typical modules:

  • Social Divisions
  • Sociology of Everyday Life: Issues in Contemporary Culture
  • Research in Practice
  • Work and Society

Plus two options from:

  • Ethnicity, Culture and Identity
  • Media Genres and Society
  • Culture, Technology and the Media
  • Sociology of Health and Illness

Level 3

At Level 3, you can choose from a variety of options including celebrities, representation and power, new media, media discourses and media audiences.

Typical modules:

  • City Lives and Urban Cultures
  • Body, Media and Society
  • Comedy, Culture and the Media
  • Understanding Audiences
  • Forensic Science and Society
  • Sport, Globalisation and International Politics
  • The Age of New Media
  • Multiculturalism

Special Features

  • We have an international reputation for research and excellence in teaching, with particular expertise in areas such as globalisation and social transformation, the sociology of leisure and urban spaces, the politics of popular culture, television and media audiences, the public sphere, media discourse, health, illness and the politics of protest, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity. 
  • Our courses are multi-disciplinary and flexible - you will have the option to take modules in other Social Science subjects.
  • Professional work placements are integral to the four-year course, and allow you to develop invaluable skills in a variety of organisations.

Teaching and Learning

Our approach

We pursue excellence in both teaching and research. Our aim is to produce degree programmes which combine innovative and grounded teaching methods with leading-edge research, and which recognise the value of practical work experience in the learning process. We take great pride in both the quality of teaching and the extensive pastoral care of our students.

Staff expertise

All members of the academic staff are actively engaged in research and many have international reputations in their field. Their innovative findings feed into your courses to ensure that teaching is up-to-date.

How will I be taught?

The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and small group projects.

Lectures – Most modules involve one or two hours of lectures a week. These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and provide you with a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.

Seminars – These relatively small groups are used to discuss the content of lectures as well as issues arising from the modules. Seminars are often student-led. You can use seminars to clarify your own ideas in an atmosphere of discussion and debate.

Laboratory/research work – All students take part in practical modules. In the first year you will experience the similarities and contrasts between methods of enquiry used in sociology, anthropology and psychology. The investigative methods used in projects include observation, interviewing, questionnaire design and more specific research techniques. As you progress through the course, direction by staff over the design and implementation of projects is reduced.

One-to-one – You will get one-to-one supervision on your final year dissertation and at all levels you will have a personal tutor who is available to discuss academic (and personal) issues. If you go on work placement, you will also be allocated a work placement tutor who will monitor your progress and provide further support if you need it. Lecturers are usually available to answer particular queries outside of scheduled hours – either in one-to-one tutorials or by email.

Assessment

Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you must pass this level to continue with your course. Level 2 is worth a third, and Level 3 is worth the rest. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.

Methods of assessment vary and depend on which modules you select. Some courses are assessed on coursework only, some by (seen or unseen) examination only, and some by a combination of the two.

Assessment

Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you must pass this level to continue with your course. Level 2 is worth a third, and Level 3 is worth the rest. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.

Methods of assessment vary and depend on which modules you select. Some courses are assessed on coursework only, some by (seen or unseen) examination only, and some by a combination of the two.

  See Undergraduate Sociology Handbook for further information (student handbooks are not exhaustive and subject to change). 

Employability

We aim to produce graduates who have a number of transferable skills that are key to the contemporary employment market. These include: a solid training in the skills, methods and perspectives relevant to thinking critically about contemporary social processes; an ability to relate the discipline of sociology to real world problems and concerns in such a way as to facilitate and enhance critical social practice; and grounding in understanding information and communications technologies and processes.

Careers

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

These statistics relate to graduates who studied Sociology as well as those who combined the subject with Media Studies.

Graduates from these subjects tend to fall broadly into two groups – those who ultimately wish to progress into the public or charity sectors or social care professions and those who use their degree as a route into careers unrelated to the subject studied.

In 2012/13, six months after graduating:

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

Sociologists are in increasing demand in many sectors in social welfare and policy, in local government and administration, in medicine, in education and research, and in industry. If you are thinking of a career in any of these fields, it may also be possible to select work experience in these areas.

There are also openings available in business, particularly marketing and advertising, management, media, and recruitment. Knowledge and understanding of statistics and research skills are particularly useful assets in the job market. Sociology students can be found in a diverse range of careers, including computing, consultancy, lobbying, teaching, campaigning and fundraising, to name just a few.

Placements

Few other sociology degrees contain work placements, let alone high quality organised placements. Students on our four year sandwich degree course benefit from our excellent links with external organisations. Past placements in Media Studies have included work in TV, film and video production, advertising, the music business, local radio and public relations. // The positive impact of a sandwich placement on graduate employment outcomes across Brunel is considerable. Those who have done placements are also much more likely to be in employment for which they their degree was a formal requirement or where they believe their degree gave them a competitive advantage in recruitment.

Placement leavers from Sociology experienced the following outcomes:

  • 66.7% progressed into employment or further study
  • 75.0% were engaged in a graduate-level activity (employment or further study)
  • 77.7% of employed leavers were working in the top three categories of graduate level employment
  • The average starting salary was £19,500.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/16 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £13,500 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

  • GCE A-level BBB (all subjects considered).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-Level at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade BB.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 32 points.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2 with Merits in all units.

GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to change.

EU Entry Requirements

If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Wednesday 19 November 2014