Sociology

BSc (Hons)

Are you ready to see the world differently, think critically and address some of society’s biggest questions?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements

BBC (standard offer)

BCC (contextual offer)

Duration

3 or 4 years

UCAS code(s)

L300

Start date

Course overview

Studying BSc (Hons) Sociology at Aston University will develop your sociological imagination whilst honing your critical thinking and analytical skills to understand the broader implications of individual actions in society.

The programme delves into real-life experiences and their connections to larger social issues. You will explore the impact of social constraints, class, race, religion, and gender on inequality and life chances.

You will be taught by research-active staff who are experts in contemporary topics like inequality, racism, health, migration, and more, and who constantly update their teaching based on research findings.

Opting for the placement year will provide you with invaluable real-world experience, boosting your employability.

Jodie Coote Sociology alumna

“The thing that I enjoyed the most about my course was the people. When you study sociology, you meet some of the most interesting people because everyone is there to learn and understand the world around them. The friends that I made on my course are my friends for life.”

Jodie Coote
BSc (Hons) Sociology
Senior accountant, Hertfordshire County Council

Why Sociology at Aston University?

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Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
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Safe in our hands
We were ranked top 15 in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Sociology; Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Our academics are clear
100% of students felt that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (Sociology; National Student Survey, 2023)
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Excellent prospects
Aston University was named runner-up in the University of the Year for Graduate Employment Award (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024)
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Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023)
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Here for you
100% of students said it was easy or very easy to contact teaching staff when they needed to (Sociology; National Student Survey, 2023)

Course description

BSc (Hons) Sociology

Our BSc (Hons) Sociology degree at Aston University will equip you with the expertise, in-depth knowledge, and practical insights needed to understand and address real-life social challenges in the 21st century.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and authentic assessment. As a student on this programme, you will be one of the first to know about advancements in topical research by staff across the department, even before it is published.

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel. 

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What skills we teach
Alongside cultivating your sociological imagination, you will develop key analytical and critical thinking skills, enabling you to address big questions around how society is organised. Our graduates are empathetic, culturally aware changemakers who are equipped with the right skills to make an impact in their chosen careers.

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Placement year
We all know that taking a placement year will boost your employability – it’s what makes Aston University graduates some of the most employable in the country. It’s for this reason that we encourage every student to take one. The placement year gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.

The placement year is optional for BSc (Hons) Sociology students. Even if you choose not to opt for the placement year, you will still benefit from some of the employability-focused modules within your second and final year.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Sociology graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. Our recent graduates have gone on to work across the public, private and third sectors for organisations including: Birmingham City Council, Department for Education, Deloitte, Allianz, Refugee and Migrant Centre, IBM, West Midlands Police and Humankind Charity.

How you will learn

Our programme is designed to provide you with a dynamic and engaging learning experience that prepares you for a successful career in understanding and analysing complex social dynamics. Our teaching approach combines academic rigor with practical application, ensuring that you not only grasp sociological theories and concepts but also develop critical thinking and research skills that are highly valued in today's society.

You will participate in interactive lectures, small group seminars, and practical workshops led by experienced academic staff, encouraging lively discussions and exploration of diverse perspectives.

Applied modules, study trips, and the option for a placement year will provide hands-on experience and enable you to explore everyday issues, preparing you to tackle the complexities of a rapidly changing world. At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of industry and individuals, our course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of key sociological concepts and an ability to critically analyse these, alongside the opportunity to specialise in areas of sociology that interest you. 

First year

In your first year, you will grasp the foundational principles and concepts associated with sociology, including key theoretical and ethical issues. You will identify key perspectives in modern social theory, discussing their contributions and limits, and you will explore a range of theoretical approaches to social inequalities and identities.

Second year

With the fundamentals mastered in the first year, you will be equipped with skills to expand your knowledge with more complex concepts and theories. You will develop an ability to critically assess the suitability of different investigative methods, and you will learn to analyse large datasets and conduct ethnographic research.

Placement year

The placement year is optional for BSc (Hons) Sociology students. While we recognise the significant employability benefits that come with opting for a placement year, it's important to highlight that for this programme it's entirely your choice. Aston University graduates are renowned for their employability, and we highly recommend considering a placement year. Our award-winning careers and placements team are on hand to support you through every step of your placement journey.

Final year

In your final year, you will complete a research dissertation on a sociological topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods. You will have the opportunity to specialise in topics you enjoy most by choosing from a range of option modules.

Sheena Desai

My placement year at Agilent Technologies

Sheena Desai took every opportunity available to her at Aston University which has supported her to grow and thrive in her career today.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with a good understanding of the history of sociological thought, and sociological theories and methods.
  2. Develops your ability to analyse and understand social problems, social change and social structures.
  3. Develops your familiarity with key concepts in sociological theories.
  4. Develops your familiarity with key issues in contemporary societies.
  5. Provides an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and experience of Aston University academic staff.
  6. Develops your proficiency in techniques of sociological research and analysis.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introduction to Social Theory30
Becoming a Social Scientist30
Critical Debates in Society and Policy15
From Social Problems to Public Policies15
Identities and Inequalities I15
Identities and Inequalities II15
Total120

Year 1 outcomes

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Understand the underlying concepts and principles associated with sociology as an academic discipline, including key theoretical and ethical issues.
  • Think critically and to develop lines of argument and analysis in accordance with basic social scientific theories and concepts.
  • Evaluate and interpret research design, and qualitative and quantitative data and methods.
  • Identify and summarise key perspectives in contemporary social theory and discuss the relative contributions and limitations of each.
  • Understand different theoretical approaches to the study of social inequalities and identities.
  • Demonstrate competence in the use of information technology for word processing, data handling, communication, and information gathering.
  • Communicate accurately, effectively, and appropriately, presenting structured and coherent arguments, demonstrating awareness of professional norms.
  • Demonstrate a range of transferrable academic skills, including an ability to reflect on your own learning and development, to engage effectively with feedback, and to work effectively and collaboratively with peers.
  • Demonstrate awareness of a range of possible career pathways that graduates of the programme might pursue, and articulate the employability skills and attributes required in these careers.

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods15
Social Theory for a Changing World15
Advanced Research Methods15
Total45

You will choose five of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Media and Society15
Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context15
Material Worlds: Culture, Objects and Practices15
Racisms15
Welfare15
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice15
Global Society15
Health and Society15
Embodiment and Feminist Theory15

*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.

Year 2 outcomes

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main methods of enquiry in sociology as an academic discipline and have an ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches.
  • Synthesise, explain, and evaluate different concepts, theories, and evidence to form compelling arguments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a range of basic descriptive and inferential statistics used in data analysis and key methods used in qualitative research.
  • Think critically and understand different epistemological approaches and how they influence analyses and interpretations.
  • Identify the key perspectives in contemporary social theory and understand the relative contributions and limitations of each.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of social scientific methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative methods, and an understanding of how to analyse large datasets and carry out ethnographic research.

Placement year modules

The placement year is optional for BSc (Hons) Sociology students.

If you opt for an integrated placement year, you will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year120

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate increasing personal and professional development through a placement.
  • Articulate key personal, cultural, professional and disciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to the placement experience and reflect on performance.
  • Communicate clearly the ways in which placement-related skills can be transferred to support ongoing personal, professional and academic development.

Final year modules

In your final year you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Dissertation (Sociology)30

You will choose six of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Work, Organisations and Society15
Bodies, Power and Resistance15
Contemporary Social Movements15
Corporate Power in a Globalised World15
Pregnancy and Politics15
Education for the 21st Century15
Religion and Society15
Migration, Borders and Belonging15
Health Policy15
The Challenges of Climate Change15
Community Engagement15
Elites15

*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.

Final year outcomes

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of sociology as an academic discipline.
  • Create and present sustained arguments backed up with evidence that reflects contemporary understanding of sociology as an academic discipline.
  • Design, undertake, and report independent social research with a clear consideration of theory, methods and ethical considerations.
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate the concepts, theories and methods used, and findings of, social scientific research.

We regularly review our modules to provide the best possible teaching and learning experience, incorporating academic developments, student feedback and employer feedback.

There may be some change to some of the modules on this course for 2025/26 entry.

We’ll make sure to let you know of any changes to modules at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. 
 
We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints may mean it isn’t possible to take some module combinations. The structure of some courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.


 

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBC (standard offer)
    BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
    BCC (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

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.

29 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 5,5,4 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 4 in Mathematics and grade 5 in English Language.

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.

 

The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade D
  • Education and Childcare - grade D
  • Onsite Construction - grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Business Services - grade D
  • Digital Support Services - grade D
  • Health - grade D
  • Healthcare Science - grade D
  • Science - grade D
  • Accounting - grade D
  • Finance - grade D
  • Management and administration - grade D
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing - grade D 
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing - grade D
  • Legal Services - grade D 

GCSE Maths – grade C/4

GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a first year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 3 entry onwards: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3 or final year. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 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.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

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.

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.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

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.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£18,250
During placement year:£2,500

Fees listed are for 2024 entry. For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/UK students and £2,500 for International students. For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies. For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

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.

Explore our scholarships 

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments. Special emphasis will be placed on authentic assessment.

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) Sociology programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

The transferable skills that our sociology programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Account executive
  • Communications officer
  • Direct sales executive
  • Domestic abuse support worker
  • Governance support officer
  • Graduate buyer
  • HR senior associate
  • Intensive family support worker
  • Management trainee
  • Paralegal
  • Police officer
  • Probation officer
  • Project manager
  • Research officer
  • Teacher

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Allianz, Balour Beatty, Birmingham City Council, Deloitte, Department for Education, Humankind Charity, IBM, Nissan, Octopus Energy, Refugee and Migrant Centre, Severn Trent, Warwickshire County Council and West Midlands Police.

Alaia Ateeq being interviewed

Step out of your comfort zone

BSc (Hons) Sociology graduate Alaïa Atteeq proves the key to success is stepping out of your comfort zone.

Our students achieve some amazing things during their time with us and after they graduate - whether it's setting up their own businesses, landing competitive graduate schemes, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.
 

Frequently asked questions

Why study sociology?

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 University, 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, equipping you with the skills and experience needed beyond graduation.

 

How will a placement year benefit me?

Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston University’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Find out more

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

 

Register your interest