Sociology at Aston University was ranked 9th in the UK for ‘Graduate Prospects – Outcomes’ (Complete University Guide, 2023).
95.8% of students felt positive about the academic support they received (Sociology; National Student Survey, 2023)
Aston University was ranked top 20 in the UK for Sociology (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2022).
The 2022 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data shows that our employed graduates have the 16th largest median salary overall five years after graduation at £33,400.
Course outline and modules
What you’ll learn
Sociology at Aston is about real-life experiences and how they relate to bigger social problems. We explore the social constraints we encounter in our everyday lives and how they are reinforced by class, race, religion and gender. To understand how these issues perpetuate existing inequalities and unequal life chances, we analyse what impact official policy has on such processes, how politics is intertwined with the profit-making aims pursued by big corporations and how their combined interests dominate our social imaginations. We assess public policy responses and where they are problematic.
Our teaching is informed by our research. When learning about contemporary topics such as inequality, racism, health, migration, sexuality, identity, education, the media, crime and climate change, you will be taught by experts in these fields. Our teaching is constantly updated in the light of our research findings.
Our programmes will equip you with the knowledge and analytical skills that will enable you to think critically and work independently. This includes how to design a research project, collect empirical data, handle complex datasets (e.g., through applying coding techniques) and, most importantly, develop an advanced analytical mindset. This training will be essential for your final-year dissertation during which you will carry out your own individual research project. This experience will provide you with a skillset that is highly desired in a wide range of industries and areas of work.
- Information for international applicants
Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries chose 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. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.
For more information on applying as an international student, visit our webpage: www.aston.ac.uk/international/students-applying
Post-study work visa
Graduate Immigration Route
Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
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 while 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.
For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS
- Year 1
- 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
- Research Methods
- Advanced Social Theory
- Advanced Research Methods
- Media and Society
- Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context
- Material Worlds: Culture, Objects and Practices
- CSI: Crime Subversion and Injustice
- Global Society
- Health and Society
- Year 3
This course is available as a 3 year BSc without a placement, or a 4 year BSc with an integrated sandwich placement. Both options are available to home, EU, and international students.
- Final Year
- Dissertation (Sociology)
- Work, Organisations and Society
- Bodies, Power and Resistance
- Contemporary Social Movements
- Corporate Power in a Globalised World
- Pregnancy and Politics
- Education for the 21st Century
- Religion and Society
- Migration, Borders and Belonging
- Health Policy
- The Challenges of Climate Change
- Community Engagement
Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.
- A Levels
BBC (standard offer)
BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
BCC (contextual offer*)
29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects.
Standard level Maths and English grade 4 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
- BTEC, Access & other
BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)
The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.
We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.
- T Levels
The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:
- T-Level - Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D
- T-Level - Digital Production, Design and Production Grade D
- T-Level – Education and Childcare Grade D
- T-Level – Onsite Construction Grade D
- T-Level – Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D
- T-Level – Digital Business Services Grade D
- T-Level – Digital Support Services Grade D
- T-Level – Health Grade D
- T-Level – Healthcare Science Grade D
- T-Level – Science Grade D
GCSE Maths – grade C/4
GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4
- Learn more about admission to this course
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 Programme may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved. Aston University welcomes applications from students with a wide range of qualifications from the UK and overseas, including combinations of qualifications. If your qualifications are not listed here and you wish to check whether they meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the university.
Please note that General Studies does not contribute towards the UCAS points requirement but is welcomed as an additional qualification.
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.
Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. Find out more.
*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr Tom Mills / Dr Sarah-Jane Page (Sociology)
Fees and scholarships
UK students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: £9,250
During placement year: £1,250
International/EU students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: TBC
During placement year: £2,500
The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.
Tuition fees for students 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. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.
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.
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.
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.
Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.
The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.
Frequently asked questions
- Why study Sociology at Aston University?
You will get to explore, debate and discuss some of the biggest issues in society whilst applying what you have 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.
At Aston, Sociology is about real life, everyday experiences. We explore how social structures such as class, gender, ethnicity, religion and identity, impact our lives and how they intersect with powerful discourses, interests and organisations to translate social issues into policy problems.
You will also have the option to undertake a placement year or study abroad.
- 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 Aston University sociology/social policy graduates earn £7,700 (31 per cent) more than the UK average, five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2021).
- 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.