Sociology BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    3 year: L300 Foundation: L301​

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    3 years full-time
    4-6 years part-time
    4 years full time (Integrated Foundation Year)

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK 23/24:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250

  • Fees International 23/24:

    Full Time: £14,750
    Integrated Foundation Year:
    £14,750

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 893981

Follow the Sociology team

Overview


We live in unprecedented eventful times of intense, rapid and constant social transformation – from rising economic inequality/poverty, the climate crises, threats to liberal democracy, the impact of social media, the recognition of LGTBQ+, BLM and disability groups, to name just a few – creating an increasingly complex world of both progress and peril that sociologists are best equipped to address. So, if you are excited by contemporary questions and convincing explanations about the world around you, then Sociology is for you.

Our Sociology team has the necessary high quality teaching and research experience to provide you with the sociological knowledge, skill and confidence to succeed in higher education –  where you will have the opportunity to study a diverse range of interdisciplinary topics, from identity/self, inequality/injustice, education, media/culture, crime/deviance, love/body, work/volunteering, health/wellbeing, utopianism/future, environment, and death – and actively engage with these pressing real-world contemporary issues head on – in both active blended learning in and around the classroom via small group work with a diverse student body and individualised assessment types, and through research/reflection out in the field on placements and our highly subsidised international field trip – to acquire employability skills required to achieve not only personal graduate success in in a wide range of career pathways in the public, private or third sectors, but also positive social change to benefit the public good, tailoring your ‘sociological imagination’ to something that you are interested in and care about.

Updated 31/01/2023

Highlights


  • Teaching staff with extensive and recognised academic, research and professional practice experience.
  • Excellent staff/student relations and supportive approach to teaching/learning.
  • Small group, interactive and experiential teaching approaches adopted using a blend of face to face and online delivery to ensure student learning is social, inclusive and engaging
  • Increasing individualised assessment topic choice within substantive module areas across your 3 years of study.
  • Excellent NSS/student satisfaction results.
  • Substantially funded international field trip opportunity.
  • Employability focus through optional work, volunteering or social action placement and optional placement year.
  • Optional work placement year between stages 2 and 3
  • Broad range of career options and highly transferable graduate employability skills.
  • Option to study the course as a part time sociology degree.
  • Integrated Foundation Year available.
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • HP laptop and software included with this course for eligible students* (*see eligibility criteria and terms and conditions).

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Opportunities Abroad

As sociologists, we value the significance of understanding different societies/cultures to our own, and for that reason, there is an exciting opportunity in the second year to participate in an international field trip, allowing you to learn about how different societies/cultures function, and apply your sociological knowledge and understanding to real-life in-the-field scenarios.

In the past, students studying our BA (Hons) Sociology degree have travelled to New York, Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Athens, Rome, Istanbul, and a ‘Brexit Tour of Europe’. Each year we work together to decide on a unique destination, dependant on interest, opportunity, distance, risk and cost.

The field trip is optional. For a five-to-seven-day visit, the cost of the trip will be no more than £1,000 (that includes flights, hotel – usually bed and breakfast – and airport transfers), for which you will be asked to contribute a small amount (usually around £150 + additional spending money for extra costs).

Course Content


  • This sociology university course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SDG5 Gender Equality; SDG10 Reduce Inequalities and SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.

    You will join a thriving university in general and sociology specific learning community of academic and professional service staff, as well a diverse range of students in a thriving interdisciplinary environment. The Sociology team are extremely passionate about sociology and the important role it functions for the world, on macro, meso and micro levels; we are highly motivated to inspire future generations who seek to make a difference to the world around them.

    While studying sociology, you will apply your sociological imagination to learn new ways of critically understanding and discussing important contemporary questions/concerns from a many different social science perspectives and approaches, not just through the dominant Western – such as: How do humans shape and are shaped by the societies they live in? How do we shape our own identities? How does our physical environment influence our lives and societies? How are social inequalities represented in our culture and media? How can we understand race, ethnicity and migration after Brexit? How have ideas of love and intimacy changed throughout history? How do different ideas of the future influence our lives?

    The programme is delivered in a semesterised format. In stage one, important core ideas, evidence and methods are introduced. This basic knowledge is built upon in stages two and three to foster an advanced understanding of increasingly specialised topics and allowing you to increasingly focus on individual areas of specific interest. For all three stages/years you will receive 12 hours per week of dedicated teaching support over two semesters (for the most part divided into three modules per semester, with three hours face-to-face and one hour online for each module), as well as additional staff, personal academic tutor and professional service support and guidance – although for your second and third years you will receive incrementally less compulsory class teaching time and more optional one-to-one support in your second semester when completing your research/reflection project and dissertation.

    The BA Sociology degree programme can be taken as a full time or part time. If you are studying this course full-time, you will take 120 credits worth of modules for each stage for three years – totalling 360 credits overall. All modules are 20 credits (with the exception of the 40 credit dissertation module). Some modules are compulsory, whilst others are designated – so selected from a range of options.

    Stage One

    In your first year, core compulsory modules connect with previous teaching/learning to provide you with a foundation of knowledge and understanding in the discipline of Sociology, ensuring that you get to grips with key sociological issues, theories and concepts (even if you have never studied sociology before), to more than sufficiently prepare you for your future as a budding sociologist.

    Stage Two

    In the second year, you will have the chance to develop your knowledge further in various old/new areas of contemporary sociological and societal significance – with an increasing focus on individualised assessment topics where possible. One of the areas we focus on is the theory and practice of social research methods, with an opportunity to apply your social research and reflection skills, in a variety of settings in the field, focused on a topic of sociological and societal interest to you.

    Stage Three

    In your final year, you will have the opportunity to explore more complex sociological theories and concepts, in various old/new areas of contemporary and future sociological and societal significance – with even more of focus on individualised assessment topics where possible. In addition, you will also have the chance to research and investigate an important sociological and societal topic of your choice in greater detail, and expert dissertation supervisors (who you meet regularly) support you in the process.

     

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.

    • In your first year, core compulsory modules connect with previous teaching/learning to provide you with a foundation of knowledge and understanding in the discipline of Sociology, ensuring that you get to grips with key sociological issues, theories and concepts (even if you have never studied sociology before), to more than sufficiently prepare you for your future as a budding sociologist.

      • Module code: SOC1069
        Status: Compulsory
        The module aims to support students in developing a theoretical/conceptual and historical understanding of the social issues surrounding education. The module supports these aims by: (1) providing a solid grounding in key sociological theories and themes vis-a-vis education, (2) exploring core themes for sociology of education, for instance the role of the State, the concept of childhood, the relationship between education and the market and education and the family, and (3) giving opportunities to develop the skills to evaluate and instigate change in educational systems
      • Module code: SOC1072
        Status: Compulsory
        Drawing on from disciplines such as Sociology, Media/Cultural/Communication Studies, Journalism, Criminology and Psychology, this module is designed to introduce students to a wide range of different topics in order to create a multi/inter-disciplinary theoretical and conceptual understanding of the relationship between the media, crime and society.
      • Module code: SOC1077
        Status: Compulsory
        Current sociological research on inequalities focuses on the geography of social inequality, that is, on the relation between space, place and inequalities. This module explores issues such as housing, health services, education polices, urban and rural development, supporting the students in gaining an understanding of several core areas of social and spatial inequalities.
      • Module code: SOC1078
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce in a critical and synthesized manner that enable first-year sociology students to understand how sociology investigates and describes the social world. Important theoretical perspectives and primary methodological considerations will be a large consideration. Empirical as well as theoretical engagement with introductory sociological principles will be presented as part of the wider concept of what is perceived to be the `sociological imagination?.
      • Module code: SOC1079
        Status: Compulsory
        To develop student?s theoretical knowledge and understanding about major social and cultural changes for subjects in the contemporary world. The module will introduce students to debates in Sociology about the increasingly contested nature of age boundaries and the journey through the life course.
      • Module code: SOC1080
        Status: Compulsory
        This module allows students to tackle a range of material within a specialist field. It enables students to relate the study of intimate relationships and family life to their own experience whilst developing their ability to apply sociological research and theories to understanding this area.
    • In the second year, you will have the chance to develop your knowledge further in various old and new areas of contemporary sociological and societal significance – with an increasing focus on individualised assessment topics where possible. A primary focus is on the theory and practice of social research methods, with an opportunity to apply your social research and reflection skills, in a variety of settings in the field, focused on a topic of sociological and societal interest to you.

      • Module code: SOC2112
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is: To familiarize students with the theoretical and practical elements of the social research process which will help in preparation for their dissertations in the third year.
      • Module code: SOC2113
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide a framework through which students can develop an understanding of ethnic relations and inequalities through historical and contemporary social science perspectives. Based on fundamental theories from social psychology, communication studies and identity studies, students will explore issues of racism, inclusion/exclusion, discrimination, disadvantage and identities between racialized social groups, and critically analyze their socio-historical genesis.
      • Module code: SOC2114
        Status: Designate
        This module introduces students to: a range of sociological perspectives and contemporary debates relating to the Sociology of Health and Well-Being; issues and/or practice; the socially constructed nature of medical knowledge and practice; relationships between, and explanations for, social variances in health, illness, disease and well-being and globalisation; the classic sociological `structure? versus `agency? debates.
      • Module code: SOC2116
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with the valuable opportunity to experience preparing and conducting independent practical social research and/or theoretical/conceptual reflection in a variety of different in-the-field settings that offers a choice of experience to each student. Students put into practice their methodological training, enhance self-development from in-the-field experience, recognise and/or develop creative and innovative opportunities to engender positive change, and prepare them for their dissertations in the third year.
      • Module code: SOC2117
        Status: Designate
        This module will introduce students to a range of micro- and macro-sociological perspectives and their analysis of the changing nature of social identities. It aims to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of sociology to an understanding of social identity and aspects of everyday life.
      • Module code: SOC2118
        Status: Designate
        This module introduces students to core debates, concepts and theories of culture and representation, with a focus on the representation of social inequalities. Through the examination of a range of contemporary media examples, students also learn to use and apply key approaches to media and cultural analysis.
      • Module code: SOC2119
        Status: Designate
        Popular and academic concern with both the body and sex have increased enormously within the last 150 years. This module provides an opportunity to explore this development in relation to matters of continuity and change within advancing modernity at a range of levels from the individual to the global.
    • In your final year, you will have the opportunity to explore more complex sociological theories and concepts, in various old and new areas of contemporary and future sociological and societal significance – with even more focus on individualised assessment topics where possible. In addition, you will also have the chance to research and investigate an important sociological and societal topic of your choice in greater detail, and expert dissertation supervisors (who you meet regularly) support you in the process.

      • Module code: SOC3059
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is ?to advance students? understanding concerning: a) the socio-theoretical approaches to the study of the self and b) the dialogic relationship between them. It provides students with the means to understand core theorizations of the relationship between society and the individual and consider possible distinctions of the two concepts. It will also enable students to understand the distinction between inter-active and intra-active processes as two of the key ways to explore the relationship between structure and agency.
      • Module code: SOC3060
        Status: Designate
        This is a level 6 module that builds on the sociological foundations of level 5 and allows students to tackle a range of material within a specialist field. The module has been designed to enable students to relate the study of death, dying and breavement to their own experience whilst also developing their ability to apply sociological research and theories to the understanding of this area.
      • Module code: SOC3063
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to engage in a critical interdisciplinary examination of past and present examples of possible, probable, preferable and already in process futures. Students will critically explore how the future has been/is told, tamed, traded, transformed, traversed, thought, tended and transcended ? focusing on the 'utopian imagination' i.e. the hope for a more perfect world and better 'way of life? that has always been at the very core of the 'human condition' and which had/still has an important part to play in re-shaping contemporary ideologies, peoples and societies.
      • Module code: SOC3064
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore key theories and concepts of gender and sexuality, from intersectionality and representation to power, performativity and queer theory. Students learn to apply gender and sexuality theories to key areas of sociological and social scientific investigation of inequalities, identities, culture and politics.
      • Module code: SOC3065
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of environmental and sustainability issues, as well as the knowledge and skills needed to enhance work on the resolution/advancement of environmental and sustainability issues.
      • Module code: SOC4018
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to build on the applied social research methods training that students receive at Level 5 and provide them with an opportunity to study a topic of contemporary sociological significance in depth. Students are expected to work independently, under the supervision of their dissertation supervisor.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer to study BA Sociology at UON would be:

    • BCC at A Level or
    • DMM at BTEC or
    • an Access Course which must include 30 level 3 credits at Merit or
    • Pass (C and above) at T Level

    We welcome international applicants and applications from those with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications.

    Integrated Foundation Study Entry Requirements

    Admission to this Foundation Framework is normally:

    • DEE at A Level or
    • MPP at BTEC or
    • Pass (D or E) at T Level

    however, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the course you wish to study.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only. They may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £9,250 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £14,750
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £14,750
    2022/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £14,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year:£14,000
    Additional Costs

    The optional International Field Trip* is partially funded by the University. The cost of trip is on average between £600-£1,000 and students pay part of this cost.

    As a part of the placement, students get a free DBS paid by the University (where required), but students need to pay for any additional expenses such as travel costs.

    Scholarships and Bursaries

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time sociology degree at Northampton, you will receive a laptop when your course begins*. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks, visit our Student Perks page or dedicated International Perks page.

    * UK fee payers only (see Terms and Conditions for further details)

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • How will I learn?

    Our approach to teaching and learning on this sociology degree combines face-to-face teaching with carefully crafted digital experiences*, designed to help you take control of your own learning. Typically, you will study in small, interactive group sessions, where you learn through interactive, teamwork and problem-solving activities, and have a range of online resources and materials at your fingertips.

    How will I be assessed?

    The assessments on the BA Sociology course are regularly praised by our external examiners as being imaginative and varied. Assessment methods used on this course include:

    • essays
    • portfolios
    • case studies
    • journal articles
    • seen and unseen exams
    • group and individual presentations
    • research projects
    • posters and pamphlets.

International Field Trip


As sociologists, we value the significance of understanding different societies/cultures to our own, and for that reason, there is an exciting opportunity in the second year to participate in an international field trip, allowing you to learn about how different societies/cultures function, and apply your sociological knowledge and understanding to real-life in-the-field scenarios.

In the past, students have travelled to New York, Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Athens, Rome, a ‘Brexit Tour of Europe’, and Istanbul. Each year we work together to decide on a unique destination, dependent on interest, opportunity, distance, risk and cost.

The field trip is optional. For a five-to-seven-day visit, the cost of the trip will be no more than £1,000 (that includes flights, hotel – usually bed and breakfast – and airport transfers), for which you will be asked to contribute a small amount (usually around £150 + additional spending money for extra costs).

Staff


Careers and Employability


As a Changemaker campus, we place an important emphasis on supporting you in achieving your graduate career and/or postgraduate study ambitions, by providing lots of opportunities to experience the world of work.

Employability skills are built into the Sociology degree programme throughout the three years, so that you are consistently building the skills that you will need to prepare for the world of work.

As well as the placement opportunity in your second year, you have the opportunity to complete an optional year-long work placement in between Stages 2 and 3 of study. If you choose to take a placement year, you will spend a whole year (up to 48 weeks) working in an area/organisation of interest to you, in the UK or overseas. The Changemaker Hub offer a lot of support in helping you to find a placement. This invaluable experience helps you to apply your learning in your final year (including your dissertation) and prepares you for your future graduate career.

Our Sociology students have ended up with careers in fields ranging from education, youth work, charities and community organisations, to PR and marketing, media and journalism, HR and management, as well as social work, politics, and social research – to name just a few. The advantage of doing a sociology degree is that it prepares you for many different graduate careers, in an increasingly uncertain world.

Student Story

"The University allowed me to develop myself academically, in terms of the assessments provided, as well as giving me opportunities to push myself, including hosting an A-level conference in my final year of study."

- Emma Cowley -