Sociology BSc

Understand some of the biggest debates in society and gain an in-depth knowledge of social processes, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships that could make a difference to society in a range of careers.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

 

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 year with integrated placement year / 3 year course without integrated placement.

UCAS code(s)

L300

Start date

Overview
Explore Sociology BSc at Aston

At Aston, sociology is about real-life, everyday experiences. Our research-led teaching brings social theory to the study of pressing issues in the modern age, such as migration, climate change, welfare, crime, health and sexuality. 

Kanisha Warrican

"During my time at Aston, I received great academic teaching and support from lecturers. My placement prepared me for a career which is fast-paced and challenging."

Kanisha Warrican

BSc Sociology

Nishtar Hussein

"The staff and facilities at Aston blew me away, but the real winner was the opportunity to do a year abroad in any industry. During my placement year I worked in a secondary school, in Alicante, teaching English. I hadn’t considered a career in teaching before, but after finishing the year I knew it was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. The lifelong friends at Aston were one of the best things about my time here. Being a small community, it was like one big happy family. I would do university at Aston all over again."

Nishtar Hussein

BSc Sociology

Nishtar Hussein

"The staff and facilities at Aston blew me away, but the real winner was the opportunity to do a year abroad in any industry. During my placement year I worked in a secondary school, in Alicante, teaching English. I hadn’t considered a career in teaching before, but after finishing the year I knew it was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. The lifelong friends at Aston were one of the best things about my time here. Being a small community, it was like one big happy family. I would do university at Aston all over again."

Nishtar Hussein

BSc Sociology

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

Our Sociology course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, inequalities, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. It combines an introduction to specific skills such as research design, use of comparative method, written and oral presentation with an emphasis on social change. Strengths of the programme include its research-led nature and focus on key contemporary social issues, social policy and decision making, global trends and international comparisons.

Because this course deals with many topical issues, we incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible.

You’ll also have the option to undertake a placement year in your third year which can help further develop your applied understanding of the subject as well as desirable employability skills.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Social Theory
  • Becoming a Social Scientist
  • Critical Debates in Society and Policy
  • From Social Problems to Public Policies
  • Identities and Inequalities I
  • Identities and Inequalities II
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Social Theory
  • Advanced Research Methods

 

Optional modules:

  • Media and Society
  • Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context
  • The Social Life of Stuff
  • Racisms
  • Organising for Social Justice
  • Welfare States and Welfare Change
  • Environmental Policy
  • CSI: Crime Subversion and Injustice
  • Global Society
  • Contested Cities
  • French (Beginners/Improvers/Intermediate)
  • Spanish (Beginners/Improvers/Intermediate)
  • German (Beginners/Improvers/Intermediate)
  • Arabic (Beginners/Improvers/Intermediate)
  • Mandarin Chinese (Beginners/Improvers/Intermediate)
Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • Dissertation (Sociology)

 

Optional modules:

  • Work, Organisations and Society
  • Bodies, Power and Resistance
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • Corporate Power in a Globalised World
  • Pregnancy and Politics
  • Education and Digital Society
  • Religion and Society
  • Migration, Borders and Belonging
  • Health Policy
  • The Challenges of Climate Change
  • Community Engagement

 

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC-CCC from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.

BBC in 3 A Level subjects

BCC with B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths

CCC in 3 A Level subjects for our contextual offer scheme*

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here. 

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM  

BTEC Diploma (QCF/National) with A Levels - Distinction, Merit (DM) and Grade B at A Level

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BC at A Level.

IB

29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects

Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

Access to HE & other

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.

EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice.

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Foundation programme in Social Science (Aston University): For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

GCSE

GCSE English Language and Maths grade C/4.  

 

View our Admissions Policy. 

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (e.g. GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement.

Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:

  • Have A Level (or equivalent) qualifications similar to those required for first year entry
  • Have gained (or be expected to gain) 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Obtained (or be expected to obtain) an overall average of 60 per cent or above on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere

Individual programmes may have additional requirements in addition to those stated above. These will be clarified upon application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Our close employer links and focus on practical experiences to transfer to the workplace means you’ll get a blend of learning and teaching experiences that will equip you for your career. You’ll also get the opportunity to undertake your own research in the heart of Birmingham.

Learning and teaching

As a Sociology student at Aston, you will experience our innovative approach to teaching, which combines a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, group and individual project work.

Traditional teaching is supported by our virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

Because this course deals with many topical issues, we incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible. 

Study skills

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated an academic supervisor to help you with your final year dissertation and a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in online student guides and module handouts, which include full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods and most modules are assessed with a combination of coursework and an end of year examination. Coursework includes essays, research reports, individual and group projects, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations.

Students who are made an offer will receive a detailed programme specification which forms part of our terms and conditions.

Personal development

You will develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking and being able to develop, undertake, analyse and evaluate research. You will develop an informed opinion on some of the biggest issues in modern society and we also make extensive use of group working which helps you to develop team working and negotiating skills.

The optional integrated placement year gives you the genuine practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Course Director

Dr Tom Mills

Placement Year

The integrated placement year gives you the genuine, practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues such as office politics, which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

We have a dedicated Employer Team within our Careers and Placements department who have links with local, national and international organisations and advertise vacancies to students through an online platform exclusively for Aston students and graduates.  

Find out more about the Aston placement year, and view the careers and placements page.

 

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £15,600

During placement year: £2,500

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

Our Sociology graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of organisations, management, teamwork and communication skills are essential.

You’ll understand people and community dynamics, have excellent communication and teamwork skills, fantastic problem solving, critical and analytical skills, including being able to design, conduct and evaluate research.

Recent graduates

You can pursue a wide range of career paths including social, teaching and local government with the public and private sectors. Recent graduates have gone on to work in caring and social careers, human resource management, and teaching for organisations including: Hays, Bosch, British Gas, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Interserve, Airbus, Solihull Care Housing Association, Imperial College London, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Roles have included; Business Analyst, Corporate Engagement Executive, Insurance Broker, Mental Health Support Worker, National Project Coordinator, Person Centred Support Worker, Procurement Manager.

Employed social studies graduates earn £5,800 (28 per cent) more than the UK average three years after graduation (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019).

Frequently asked questions

Why study Sociology at Aston?

You will get to explore, debate and discuss some of the biggest issues in society whilst applying what you’ve learnt to real-world current debates and challenges. You will get hands-on experience in undertaking your own research locally, developing your critical thinking and analytical skills.

You will also have the option to undertake a placement year or study abroad too.

What kind of jobs does a degree in Sociology lead to?

With a sociology degree you can explore a breadth of career paths in both the private and public sectors.

Recent graduate roles include Business Analyst, Corporate Engagement Executive, Insurance Broker, Mental Health Support Worker, National Project Coordinator, Person Centred Support Worker and Procurement Manager.

Employed social studies graduates earn £5,800 (28 per cent) more than the UK average three years after graduation (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019).

What will I learn by studying Sociology at Aston?

At Aston, sociology is about real life, everyday experiences. We explore how social structures such as class, gender, ethnicity, religion and identity, impact on our lives.

Our teaching brings social theory to the study of pressing social issues such as migration, climate change, welfare, crime, health and sexuality. In class, we explore the inequalities, injustices and dependencies that pattern our lives.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

 

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