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About the course
Our Sociology degree is designed for highly motivated students with a keen interest in all aspects of society. It provides rigorous training in a range of methodologies and research skills appropriate to sociology.
The course aims to develop theories that explain the changing nature of social behaviour in our own and other societies. We discuss questions such as: 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 sociology’s broad contemporary framework, a central theme of Sociology at Brunel is the study of the development of social change and transformations. Some of the specific interests of Brunel sociologists include:
- the public sphere
- social theory
- celebrity culture
- the influence of the media
- media regulation
- urban spaces
- comedy cultures
- sports cultures.
We provide a thorough foundation to sociology and other related subjects in the first year and our staff research interests strongly reflect the options available in Level 3 of the course.
The focus of study is upon all aspects of societal relations: 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: 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.
Our courses will help you to develop specific skills in the practical methods associated with your discipline, including social research methods and the use of information technology.
- You will develop specific skills in the practical methods associated with sociology.
- You will also explore in-depth the major issues and approaches within sociology and its related disciplines.
- This is a broad-based degree which enables and encourages students to specialise in areas which particularly fascinate them.
This course provides a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to the theories, methods and findings of sociology and social theory.
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.
Media, Culture and Society
Introduction to Social and Cultural Research
Introduction to Social Enquiry
Introduction to Sociology
Research in Practice
Social Divisions: difference and resistance
Work and Society
Sociology of Everyday Life: Issues in contemporary culture
Media Genres and Society
Ethnicity, Culture and Identity
Sociology of Health and Illness
Culture, Technology and the Media
Comedy, Culture and the Media
Body, Media and Society
The Age of New Media
Forensic Science and Society
Sport, Globalisation and International Politics
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, illness and the politics of protest, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity.
- 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 grounded teaching methods with leading-edge research, and recognise the value of practical work experience in the learning process.
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 - 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.
Research - Students undertake research methods modules which include exploring methods such as surveys, interviewing techniques and discourse analysis. You will have more freedom and less direction over the design and implementation of projects as you progress through the course.
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 such a way as 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.
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 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 grades 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.