The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & CriminologyPart of Social Sciences

L300 BSc Sociology (3 years)

How do we make sense of the society around us, of how we shape it and how it shapes us? Sociology offers a critical understanding of how society works, and the relationships between individuals, families and groups such as “races” and “classes”. It asks critical questions about recent changes, which have transformed our social lives, such as the advent of the cyber-age, globalisation, inequality and migration.

Sociology questions assumptions about our social life and challenges you to interrogate these with the help of research. It also examines how societies around the world change in different ways, and how these relate to questions of politics and economy. As a BSc Sociology student you will develop the reading, writing and oral communication skills needed to engage with these questions and be encouraged to come up with your own.


Introducing your degree

Are you passionate about social inequality and social justice? Are you fascinated by the structure of the society around us and the diversity in life experiences faced by people of different races, genders, social classes, ages and sexualities?
This course focuses on social inequalities, social relations, social institutions, and social transformations, allowing students to explore identity, representations, power and interaction in contemporary societies. Choose a degree in Sociology at the University of Southampton and start your journey to a career that makes a difference. This programme contains modules on; Race and Ethnicity, Children and Society, Migration and Environment and Society and provides graduates with all the tools needed to become highly skilled social scientists. Our graduates establish careers within business, industry, Government and the voluntary sector, including the NHS, Education, Social Work, Management, Counselling and Human Resources.


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You will be taught by experts who are active researchers and passionate about their subjects. They are also experienced teachers who enjoy engaging students. Moreover, we emphasise employability and practical applicability throughout the degree. A range of specialist options from other disciplines enables you to create a tailor made degree that is geared towards a variety of professional careers.

The programme offers core modules on classical and contemporary social theory, modernity and postmodernity, comparative sociology, research methods and research skills.

Option modules cover a wide range of areas including gender, class and inequality, ethnicity and race, education, youth, criminology, health and disability, migration and the internet. In addition, you can choose modules from social policy, criminology, anthropology and social psychology, as well as other subjects from other programmes across the University.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications for full-time study should be made through UCAS at

Programme Structure

Sociology, social policy and applied social sciences degree programmes are of three years' duration. Each year is divided into two 12-week semesters over three terms. Students complete a dissertation in year three, which is the equivalent of two modules and is a major part of the final year. There is a common year one for students taking Sociology and those taking Sociology and Social Policy, designed to provide a general introduction to the study of sociology and social policy.

Key Facts

Sociological analysis is increasingly required to contribute to the examination of some of our most pressing issues at the global, national and local level.

Opportunities for work placements and study overseas

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEAll applicants must have GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C or above.
A Levels:
GCE A-level

ABB, or BBB with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification. General studies is not accepted.

International Baccalaureate32 points overall, 16 at higher level
Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Access/Foundation). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for a score of IELTS 6.5.

Please note that we cannot accept applicants from Greece on the basis of the Apolyterion alone; it must be supplemented by A levels or an equivalent qualification or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course.

All students are required to have GCSE grade C in English and mathematics.

Where feasible, you will be called for an interview. You may find it helpful to discuss your plans with us before applying through UCAS. This will allow you to make sure your chosen course is right for you and give you time to pursue additional academic qualifications if required.

Contextual Admissions

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme

A typical contextual offer is BBB from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.


Selection process:

We usually make our decisions based on your UCAS form alone. Only candidates who require special consideration, for example on grounds of age or non-standard entry qualifications, are interviewed.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not currently meet our entry requirements may be able to join this course on successful completion of our International Foundation Year. For more information visit the IFY course page.


Please note:

In exceptional circumstances we will consider applicants for direct entry into the second year if they have met the entry criteria and have already completed part of the course at another institution. Please note that such requests are considered on an individual basis and at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor. We do not accept applicants for direct entry into Year 3.


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content



Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

Year 1

Our first year programme is designed to provide a broad introduction to the study of sociology, including a focus on everyday lives & the sociological imagination, global social change over the past century, social theory and research methods.

Optional Modules

In addition to the compulsory modules below you must chose 2 modules in Semester 1 and 1 module in Semester 2 . Your available optional modules can be sociology and social policy modules, but they may come from disciplines across the university for example anthropology, criminology, demography, economics, politics and international relations, social statistics modern languages, law, psychology, physics, history etc.

In addition to this, our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines across all three years of study.

Visit the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Semester One
SOCI1001Credit: 15
ANTH1001Credit: 15
CRIM1003Credit: 15
CRIM1004Credit: 15

Year 2

In your second year you will take three compulsory modules. In these you will study in detail qualitative and quantitative methods in order to be well prepared for your final year when you will conduct your own research as part of your dissertation. You will also study social theory. In addition, you will have the opportunity to take five optional modules from a list, three in the first semester, and two in the second. These will come from a broad range of social science disciplines: Sociology and Social Policy, Anthropology, Criminology, Education, Geography.

In addition to this, our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines across all three years of study. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.

Semester One
SOCI2031Credit: 15
ANTH2002Credit: 15
CRIM2001Credit: 15
CRIM2004Credit: 15
SOCI2003Credit: 15
SOCI2035Credit: 15

Year 3

In year three you will study different societies from a comparative perspective. You will also conduct your individual research project in a double-module dissertation. In addition, you will be asked to chose five modules from a wide range of options, most of which will be taught in student-led seminars.

In addition to this, our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines across all three years of study. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.

Semester One
SOCI3033Credit: 30
SOCI3001Credit: 15

In addition to a range of options (examples below), students are required to take a paired grouping from Collective Action & Social Change/Project: Collective Action & Social Change or Focusing on Families/Project: Focusing on Families.

ANTH3002Credit: 15
CRIM3001Credit: 15
CRIM3006Credit: 15
CRIM3012Credit: 15
SOCI3086Credit: 15

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
BSc Sociology2018Full-time£9,250£16,536
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework such as essays, projects, dissertations will be submitted online. However, in some cases students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
PlacementsIncluding Study Abroad Programmes: Social Sciences partners with academic departments in a number of other countries to provide study abroad opportunities. Please contact the International Office for information about the expected costs of participating.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include optional visits (museums, conferences, prisons [Criminology]). You will normally be expected to cover any costs such as travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the degree skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules.

The skills you will acquire are in high demand. Our degrees are a passport to vocational and non-vocational careers alike, with recent graduates employed in education, local or regional government, social work, international organisations, the third sector and the media.

Read more about the careers and employability support we offer.

Learning & Assessment

Our degrees are three-year, full-time honours programmes. All aim to provide our students with knowledge of the key concepts and arguments in the relevant subjects together with the capacity to apply this knowledge in a variety of contexts.

In addition, a key objective of the programmes is to ensure that all of our students are able to use both qualitative and quantitative research techniques appropriately and effectively.

Programme structure

The overall programme structure is a flexible one, allowing you to discover and pursue your own interests – either by choice of options or, if appropriate, by changing degree programme at the end of year one.

Lectures and classes

Teaching takes place during two fsemesters, the first running from October to February and the second from February through to May. Eight subject modules (compulsory and option) are taken per year – four per semester.

Teaching comprises both lectures (one to three per week, depending on the module) and weekly or fortnightly small-group classes. Towards the final year, modules become more student-led, and some in the third year are based on student presentations and group projects. In a typical semester you would spend about 12 hours per week attending lectures and classes. In addition, we expect about 28 hours of self-study (preparing for classes, writing essays and so on), bringing the weekly total to 40 hours.


Assessment in year one is primarily by examination and essay. Most year two modules are also assessed by examination, but in combination with other methods of assessment, such as short essays, group and individual presentations, or poster presentations.

In year three, most modules are assessed either by a single long essay or by a shorter essay in combination with individual or group presentations, poster presentations or some other method of assessment.


Our resources for teaching and learning are excellent. The University library, which is located close to the Division, contains a comprehensive collection of books and journals. Computer workstations are available both on the campus and at halls of residence, in many cases offering round-the-clock access. In addition, every student is provided with an email account and all rooms in halls of residence have a telephone/internet connection.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study20%18%12%
Independent study80%82%88%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment48%37%15%
Practical exam assessment0%0%13%
Coursework assessment52%63%72%

Study Locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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