Sociology and Media Studies BSc
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About the course
This broad-based degree in Sociology and Media Studies offers students the opportunity to specialise in areas of their interest, such as the social impact of the new media, the internet and other information and communications technologies, media discourse, media policy and regulation.
The course aims to develop theories that explain the changing nature of social relations in our own and other societies. We concentrate and discuss questions such as:
- What is society?
- How and why is it changing?
- What are the opportunities for future change and development?
The focus of study is on all aspects of mediated societal relations: its personal, social and cultural dimensions.The addition of media studies provides a broader base.
We have a strong research reputation that enhances all our undergraduate teaching, with particular expertise in areas such as: contemporary social structures and social change; the role of science and the media; race and ethnicity; 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 in your particular interests.
Our courses will help you to develop specific skills in the practical methods associated with your discipline, including social and media research and the use of information technology.
This course is designed to give you a contemporary understanding of the social and intellectual dimensions of the media and communications industries. It is broad-based, multi-disciplinary and brings together a wide variety of social sciences in the study of communications.
There are close links between this degree and the Communications and Media Studies degree. The central distinction between the two is that Sociology and Media Studies BSc focuses more on social theory and method and contains no practical media production modules.
The BSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
- Introduction to Media
- Media, Culture and Society
- Introduction to Social and Cultural Research
- Introduction to Social Enquiry
- Introduction to Sociology
- Popular Culture
- Research in Practice
- Media, Culture and Representation
- Global Communication
- Work and Society
- Media Genres and Society
- Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
- Social Divisions: difference and resistance
- Sociology of Everyday Life: Issues in contemporary culture
- Sociology of Health and Illness
- Culture, Technology and the Media
- Sociology and Media Studies Dissertation
- Comedy, Culture and the Media
- Body, Media and Society
- The Age of New Media
- Forensic Science and Society
- Sport, Globalisation and International Politics
- Multiculturalism: "Race", Ethnicity, and Difference
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
We have an international reputation for research and excellence in teaching, with particular expertise in 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 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 related organisations.
Teaching and Assessment
We pursue excellence in both teaching and research. Our aim is to produce degree programmes which combine innovative and classical teaching methods with leading-edge research, and 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.
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 establish a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.
Seminars – In these relatively small groups you will 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.
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.
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.
We aim to produce graduates who have various 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 order to facilitate and enhance critical social practice; and grounding in understanding information and communications technologies and processes.
Sociologists are in increasing demand in many sectors in social welfare and policy, in local government and administration, in medicine, in education and research. If you are thinking of a career in any of these fields, it may also be possible to select relevant work experience.
There are also openings available in business, specifically 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.
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 per cent progressed into employment or further study.
- 75.0 per cent were engaged in a graduate-level activity (employment or further study).
- 77.7 per cent 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 2016/7 entry
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
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 Criteria 2016/7
- GCE A-level BBC (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 any subject with A-Levels grade BC.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 29 points.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at level 3 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 review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
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 University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have 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 number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.