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BSc (Hons)


Research, theorise and analyse social phenomena

L300UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

As an undergraduate in Sociology at Portsmouth, you will explore a stimulating curriculum that will enable you to develop a critical and independent understanding of the world in which we live. You will learn about sociology's long-standing attention to our individual lives and the ways in which they intersect with wider social structures. You will learn about the gathering and analyzing of data through research methods and you will develop strong skills in critique, analysis and communication. We offer an attractive range of core and optional units, which are taught by experts with ongoing research in these areas.

What will I experience?

On this course you will:

  • Assess a range of competing perspectives and make reasoned arguments in relation to important social issues
  • Acquire and develop independent research skills
  • Have opportunities to volunteer locally or do a work placement alongside your studies to improve your employability

What opportunities might it lead to?

The development of analytic, informational, communication and social research skills enable our sociology graduates to pursue careers in a wide variety of professions including:

  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Social research
  • Social work and counselling
  • Health and social care
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Media
  • Banking and financial services
  • Local/national government
  • Business administration
  • Human resources/personnel management
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I thoroughly enjoyed Sociology – the experience was way better than I could ever have imagined. The staff are amazing and it’s a great environment to succeed in.

Samantha Byrne, BSc (Hons) Sociology 2016

Want to start this course in 2017?

Apply through UCAS Clearing

Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing

Come to our next Open Day

Book now

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Programme specification


History, Politics and Social Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The diverse spread of subjects offered and ability to complete your own research
  • The critical thinking, analytical and debating skills you’ll develop
  • The passionate lecturers with a wide range of specialist research expertise

Browse all courses in History, Politics and Social Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

  • Observing Society
  • Theorising Social Life
  • Research Design and Analysis
  • Class, Inequality and the Lifecourse
  • Studying Society
  • Themes in Sociology

Year two

Core units:

  • Modernity and Globalisation
  • Work, Employment and Society
  • Doing Sociological Research
  • Risk and Society

Optional units:

  • Emotions and Social Life
  • Race, Ethnicity and Society
  • Transnational Elites and Social Inequality
  • The Sociology of the Body
  • Learning from Experience

Year three

Core units:

  • Dissertation
  • Transformations of Modern Society
  • Sociology of Culture

Optional units:

  • Food, Culture and Society
  • Race, Ethnicity and Power: Global Inequalities
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Health, Wellbeing and Happiness
  • Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice
  • Craft, Career and Generation
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday
  • Learning from Experience


Our teaching approach involves lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops, with a strong emphasis on participation. Get fully involved in group debates and discussions, and gain hands on experience as you carry out survey research, qualitative interviewing and other research techniques.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 76% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 28% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 72% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 12% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 88% studying independently and 0% on work placement


You will be assessed throughout the course via a wide range of assessment methods. Here’s how:

  • written essays and tests
  • both group and individual projects
  • seminar participation
  • examinations
  • a 10,000-word dissertation

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 18% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 82% by coursework
  • Year two students: 17% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 66% by coursework
  • Year three students: 12% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 88% by coursework

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Monitor Facilities & Features

The Study Centre

A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, alongside access to the University 3rd Space.

Research-Active Staff

You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring your learning keeps you abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Helena MacNeary, BSc (Hons) Sociology student

Facilities within the School are great; we have our own student common room, with group study rooms, computer access and vending machines.

Helena MacNeary, BSc (Hons) Sociology student

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. This will be in the region of £500.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

The NHS, local education authorities, counselling and voluntary organisations and charities are just some examples of organisations that would typically employ sociology graduates.

Careers in social research, counselling, community development, careers advice, teaching, probation and charity work are possible options for you after this course. However, many of these areas will require you to undergo further training after your first degree.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • social researcher
  • market researcher
  • lecturer
  • investigative analyst
  • detention custody officer
  • careers advisor

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you’re involved in alongside your study.

The School of Social Historical and Literary Studies can offer you a number of work experience opportunities in a range of local organizations during your degree course. Currently these include projects at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the New Theatre Royal, with local government departments and political groups, and a number of our students have worked on small research projects for the local community.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Jordan Kennedy, BSc (Hons) Sociology student

After graduation, I plan to do my PGCE and then become a primary school teacher.

Jordan Kennedy, BSc (Hons) Sociology student

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 7 October 2017

Book now

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