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Sociology BSc (Hons)

Be part of critical debates on social issues and inequalities as they vary around the world on this BSc (Hons) Sociology degree, from gender and sexuality, and race and racism, to nationalism, human emotions, and even the food we eat. Customise your studies with your choice of specialist subjects and graduate with transferable skills suited to a wide range of careers.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:

L300

Typical offer:

104-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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Overview

Understand how and why society is changing on this BSc (Hons) Sociology degree course. 

Step into critical debates on social issues and inequalities as they vary around the world, including gender and sexuality, race and racism, nationalism, human emotions, even the food we eat. Make sense of what’s going on, why it’s happening, and what we can do about it.

On this BSc (Hons) Sociology degree, you’ll learn classical sociological theories and how to apply them to the topics that most inspire you. You'll be taught and supported by the same expert staff and active researchers who introduce you to ideas and concepts in lectures, and encouraged to discuss these with them in more depth alongside other students.

As you work towards your choice of final research project, you'll pick subjects you want to explore further from a wide range of specialist subjects, such as social justice, wellbeing and happiness, and the sociology of education.

You'll graduate with transferable skills sought after by employers across many sectors, as well as the confidence, knowledge and methods to enact positive change within a broad range of careers.

The University of Portsmouth is ranked the number 1 modern university for research quality in Area Studies.

Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2021

Read more about our excellent research in Area Studies

Course highlights

  • Tailor your studies to topics that matter most to you – from gender, sexuality, race, and social class, to happiness, the body, and social power and dissent - and be taught by experts in those fields
  • Discover ways to apply classical sociological theories, such as developing policies and actions to produce social change and solutions to issues affecting the world right now
  • Learn from leading sociologists about their impactful research on key social issues, such as the Researching Migrant Homelessness project
  • Hear from industry specialists on topics such as racism, asylum and gender-based violence – recent guest speakers have come from Friends Without Borders and Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Services (PARCS)
  • Build skills that support you to carry out your own research and analysis of issues you're passionate about – previous student dissertations were on the Black Lives Matter movement, online dating, musical taste and K-Pop, happiness and social media, becoming vegan and racism in sport
  • Follow an optional media studies pathway, where you could explore topics such as digital cultures and media fandom
  • Have the opportunity to do a work placement year after your second or third year on this Connected Degree - we're the only UK university to offer flexible sandwich placements for undergraduates
  • Choose to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, from a selection of Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

100%

of graduates in work or further study

(HESA graduate outcomes survey 2020/21)

100%

of students said teaching staff were very good or good at explaining things

(NSS 2023)

Courses in Sociology

Hear our students and lecturers explain the benefits of studying a sociology course with us.

Chloe: I think I wanted to study sociology because it's got so many different components that you can't find it not interesting.

Dr Joseph Burridge: We offer three courses: Sociology, Sociology with Psychology and Sociology with Criminology.

Dr Rusten Menard: On our sociology courses, we offer a broad range of topics.

Joseph: Social inequalities and injustices, gender and sexuality, about race and racism, about nationalism, about the emotions, about food. It's a very versatile course.

Abby: At uni, it's interesting because everybody comes from a range of different places. You kind of learn about things that can relate to your life and people in your classes lives.

Rusten: It makes me feel amazing that students can connect their everyday experiences to these much larger topics that we're all dealing with on an everyday basis, even though we don't know that we are.

Joseph: There's a range of reasons that students will study the course, but I think that the most important one is that they're interested in understanding society and also wanting to change it.

Chloe: We’ll be sat in the seminar and everyone from different corners of the room is bringing in their own opinion.

Rusten: There are so many different kinds of jobs that our students go into, such as HR, marketing, the 

Abby: charities sector, non-government organisations, 

Asan: a higher education lecturer, a social researcher.

Chloe: I went and did a month out in Tanzania and I was working in a school there and I got picked to do that because I did sociology.

I chose to study at the University of Portsmouth because I just love the city as a whole.

Asan: It's a beautiful city. There’s lots to do here. There's always somewhere I could go.

Chloe: It's great that you can have that city environment with the kind of fast pace of life but you can walk 15 minutes up the road and be on a beach, relaxing, having an ice cream.

Asan: All the lecturers, the staff, they're very knowledgeable. You can go to them for anything. You can tell when your lecturer is really excited about the topic and that makes you feel more excited about the topic too.

Joseph: The thing I enjoy most, I think is the student journey. Meeting them on that very first day, they're fresh to the institution and then seeing them develop over the three or four years that they're here and ultimately seeing them graduate and, you know, having them come back and tell us how they're getting on and what they're doing. That's one of the most rewarding parts of it.

I love studying sociology at Portsmouth because there is such a large variety of modules available and they are taught by real experts of those fields who never shy away from continuing any discussion with students outside of lectures.

Maya Kirwin, BSc (Hons) Sociology

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) Sociology degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Sociology Graduate Samantha Byrne's career journey

Samantha shares her journey, from studying Sociology at Portsmouth to becoming an employment advisor and making a tangible difference in peoples' lives.

Samantha: My name is Samantha Byrne and I am an Employment Advisor at Maximus UK.

Before going to university, I really wasn't a big fan of education. I didn't really get on at school or at college and then I started studying sociology at college and I discovered something I really enjoyed. I discovered feminism and that kind of led to my journey of going to Portsmouth.

I think the thing that stood out the most for me at the University of Portsmouth was the lecturers. The effort they put in and the support they gave was genuinely second to none. I don't think I would have achieved what I did without their support and them pushing me and telling me and affirming me that I could do what I managed to do. I wouldn't have been able to see things probably as well beyond my own perspective if I didn't learn about other people's lived experiences and how they come into play in sociology.

I wasn't originally going down this career path when I left university. I went to see a careers adviser and he gave me some skills assessments to do. The top result on all of them was an employment adviser and about three to four months later I got my first employment adviser role and I've been doing it for about four years now.

I think my proudest moment is recently, I had a woman on my caseload. She's a single mother and has had some really difficult times in her life and she got offered a job. She realised she wasn't able to do the work because she couldn't afford the childcare. Recently we were able to fund two thousand pounds worth of childcare for her so she can start work in August.

I think in this job, that's probably the most proud I've been, to be able to be part of that. I am not saying this to exaggerate but I genuinely don't think I would be where I am today without the University of Portsmouth. I think if I hadn't have gone to university, I think I would have accepted the bare minimum. I would have just not pushed myself, not really thought I could achieve much. It really did change where everything in my life has gone. 

Careers and opportunities

Studying sociology encourages you to engage critically with the world around you, ask questions about the social world and challenge things we often take for granted. 

You'll develop the ability to be analytical, consider different perspectives and communicate your ideas effectively. These are transferable skills that are valuable to any employer, which means you'll have lots of career options when you graduate.

You could also continue your studies to a PhD or other postgraduate qualification, following in the footsteps of your lecturers.

What sectors can you work in with a sociology degree?

Many of our sociology graduates go into people-focused roles, or in roles that allow them to do research, shape social policies or bring about social change.

Areas you could go into include:

  • teaching and lecturing (with additional training or further study)
  • research and policy
  • health and social care
  • advertising, marketing and media
  • local government
  • careers advice, human resources and recruitment
  • charity work and community development

A global survey of 1000 business leaders by the Harvard Business Review [...] found that the skills most in-demand by employers are those in which Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts graduates specialise – from communication, problem solving and creativity, to research and analysis. 

Ian Diamond, The British Academy

What jobs can you do with a sociology degree?

Roles our graduates have gone on to include:

  • refugee resettlement welfare officer
  • domestic violence project worker
  • criminal justice support worker
  • fundraising and project manager
  • equality and diversity inclusion coordinator
  • hr adviser
  • housing strategy and policy officer
  • social worker
  • trade union project officer
  • teacher
  • peer support and young person's service manager
  • business development manager
  • global events manager
  • senior research executive
  • marketing manager
  • data consultant
  • fraud analyst

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for companies such as:

  • Washington Frank International
  • Kantar (data analytics and brand consulting)
  • Enham Trust (disability charity)
  • The Prince's Trust
  • NHS Foundation Trust
  • Youth Futures Foundation
  • Solent Mind
  • Chance UK 
  • Strictly Come Dancing (production)
  • YouGov
  • Bank of England
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Placement year opportunities and work experience

Taking an optional placement year after your second or third year of study will give you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role. You'll get valuable work experience and the chance to grow your professional network and enhance your CV.

We'll work with you to identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and allow you to use the skills you've learnt. Our students also regularly work on research projects for the local community.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

Potential destinations

Previous students have taken placement roles at organisations including:

  • Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service (PARCS)
  • Why Me? Restorative Justice
  • Volkswagen
  • SEK International School, Spain

Study abroad

You'll also have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities. Studying overseas is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your CV and experience a different culture as an international student.

Many of our students describe their time spent studying abroad as truly life-changing, as well as an excellent way to stand out to future employers.

Why study abroad?

Experience another culture. Learn another language. Develop a network of international contacts. There are so many reasons to study abroad as part of your degree.

Meet students from our Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, who have studied abroad in countries such as France, Japan and Senegal.

Zianne: Theres so many good things about studying abroad. 

Tamarra: It's really hard to list all the skills and all the value that it brings because really it makes you such a well-rounded individual.

Sorina Toltica: All humanities and social sciences courses have got the option to study abroad. This includes the United States of America, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, and we are also developing some partnerships within the African continent.

Zianne: Through my year abroad, I was able to develop a lot of resilience and being able to adapt because when you're not speaking your own language, you kind of have to adapt every single day and you can't just give up. You just have to keep going. 

Tamarra: There is a little bit of pressure, obviously, since we're in a new environment. I remember getting off the airplane and seeing the Czech language and I just thought to myself, How am I going to get through this? But in the university and here they offer Czech language courses for beginners. You meet other international students who are on the same boat as you. You guys can just come together and explore it yourself. 

Zianne: I met loads of people from around Europe who are also on Erasmus, so now I have friends from Norway, Germany and Croatia that I probably would have never met if I wasn't in Salamanca at that particular time.

Tamarra: My flatmates are from France, Norway, from Belgium, Hungary. We've always had these monthly dinners together where we try out each country's cuisine and traditional foods. 

Charlie: It's helped me to understand people better, it’s helped grow my confidence, helped grow my independence. 

Bethan: The most valuable thing that its brought me has been an appreciation of a completely different way of thinking. You learn to appreciate that there is value and beauty in different ways of thinking, even if you don't agree with it. 

Tamarra: You really have to immerse yourself into that country to get the full experience.

Bethan: I have always felt supported by the university. When I was abroad, I knew that I could contact my personal tutor. There are so many services there and I knew theyre always available. 

Charlie: They helped me with the application. They helped me find the opportunities in the country that I wanted to study in. 

Zianne: I also benefited from speaking to the wellbeing team whilst I was out there because that is still on offer to you, which I really appreciated.

Tamarra: All the students should study abroad because not only is it good for friendships and for memories, but in terms of the future in your careers, you can also get a lot more confidence. 

Charlie: Coming out here you really realise how big the world is, how many people there are, how many different stories people have. I think it really just opens your eyes to the possibilities that you have available to you.

Sorina Toltica: One of the biggest differences in my students before and after they come from study abroad. It's their adaptability and resilience and knowledge of the world and their excitement about possibly going back. 

Bethan: If I was to give some advice to someone considering going to study abroad, I would just say do it. Doing the year abroad with the University of Portsmouth has opened up so many career opportunities for me, and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

14/05/2021.University of Portsmouth - B Roll - Day Two..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.

Get credit towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements

You have the option to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) module – getting credit from paid/unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work related learning, including self-employment. You'll have the freedom to arrange your own activities, and we'll support your achievements through workshops, events and tutorials.

Modules

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

Not a fan of exams?

On this course, you won't have to sit any exams. Instead, you'll submit coursework, assignments and presentations to demonstrate your knowledge. Take a look at how you'll be assessed on this course.

What you'll study

Core modules

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Differentiate between sociological and common sense ways of thinking about the social world.
  • Outline some of the current sociological debates around contemporary topics.
  • Identify and apply the essential study and thinking skills required by you as a student in Higher Education.
  • Identify the arguments and findings of selected sociological research.
  • Reflect upon, discuss and illustrate your skills acquisition and development as a student of Higher Education.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise and summarise key arguments in relevant sociological texts.
  • Think sociologically and examine the contemporary social issues raised in the films and documentaries shown.
  • Develop sociologically informed commentaries that examine a number of key social issues.
  • Work effectively as part of a group to enable the researching, preparation and delivery of a report.
  • Produce a reflective analytical report with a logical line of reasoning that demonstrates engagement with the course materials.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise the interconnections between research questions, theory, data collection methods, and forms of analysis.
  • Identify and formulate clear research plans related to specific areas of social investigation which may be of benefit to society.
  • Apply and evaluate basic procedures for producing, accessing, and engaging with information via quantitative and qualitative research design and data analysis.
  • Review and assess the contribution of yourself and others in a group work project.
  • Code, analyse and present data appropriately in written form.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss a sociological understanding of social structures including social class, gender and race
  • Describe how intersecting inequalities manifest throughout the lifecourse and in different empirical contexts
  • Identify possible actions, strategies or work that may address social inequalities
  • Demonstrate reflexivity by considering how positionality shapes lived experience and opportunities

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify and describe key arguments from core theoretical texts.
  • Define key conceptual vocabulary in social theory.
  • Explore the use of social theory for illuminating an understanding of everyday life and contemporary social phenomena.

Core modules

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Formulate collaboratively an effective research strategy to address a sociological research question.

  • Work cooperatively in a group to realise a social science research project.

  • Analyse and disseminate appropriately the findings of social science research.

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the practical and intellectual components of undertaking primary social research.

  • Evaluate, in detail, the performance of self and others in a group work context, and identify resulting development needs.

  • Research future career opportunities and to evaluate careers against personal (circumstances, values, strengths, interests) and professional (salary, contract types, education/training, experience, lifestyle) criteria.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources, concepts, ideas, substantive analyses, and contemporary relevance.

  • Demonstrate ability to compare and contrast analytical approaches to the study and explanation of themes and issues explored on the module.

  • Communicate understanding and knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes and issues explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively.

  • Work effectively, both independently and as a member of a group, to research, prepare and deliver a report.

  • Produce an organised, well-structured and concise answer to an essay question demonstrating critical engagement with relevant texts and analyses.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise and appreciate the development of `risk' as a topic of sociological interest in contemporary society.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of and critically apply relevant theories and concepts relating to risk as a sociological topic.

  • Develop a coherent and feasible research proposal and understand ethical issues relating to the study of risk as a sociological topic.

  • Critically reflect on their own participation in an independent research process.

  • Disseminate research findings effectively making linkages between findings and sociological theory.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate an awareness of key theoretical and empirical debates on changing social divisions and the workplace/labour market.

  • Outline, compare and contrast different social divisions and inequalities in relation to employment opportunities and outcomes in both verbal and writtern forms.

  • Apply, creatively, relevant aspects of theoretical discourses to understand social and economic change.

  • Assess and analyse sociological ideas, evidence and arguments clearly and effectively in written formats, making effective use of IT where appropriate.

  • Assess and analyse sociological ideas, evidence, and arguments, clearly and effectively in verbal formats, making effective use of IT where appropriate.

Optional modules

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify key causes of inequality in the Global South.
  • Recognise and discuss how social divisions in the developing world relate to economies in the Global North.
  • Show how the relationship between the developed and developing world is historical.
  • Analyse solutions to global poverty, using specific case studies.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Outline a plan for an essay that engages with the multi-dimensional character of consumerism.

  • Interpret and discuss key sources, concepts, ideas, and substantive analyses, and evaluate their relevance for understanding consumer culture and its consequences.

  • Demonstrate understanding of different analytic perspectives and their relevance for a critical engagement with consumer culture.

  • Communicate knowledge and evaluations of complex ideas, concepts, and analyses explored on the module clearly and effectively.

  • Drawing on a wide range of relevant sources produce a clearly argued, critically engaged response to one of the questions from the list provided.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate awareness of various sociological and interdisciplinary approaches to emotion.
  • Critically assess current sociological debates around emotional life.
  • Apply a range of perspectives from sociology and other disciplines to specific emotions.
  • Apply academic debates around emotion to example case studies.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage with contemporary debates regarding colonialism, decolonisation and its legacies in Europe and Africa.
  • Critically analyse primary and secondary sources.
  • Present a reasoned argument in written form, using appropriate terminology.

Explore this module

What you'll do
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Communicate clearly and effectively about social problems and their consequences.
  • Evaluate strategies for addressing forms of inequality and/or sustainability and obstacles to their implementation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective team player able to support others.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss in detail one key concept explored on the module, describing how it has been employed as a political framework for dismantling oppression.

  • Examine key debates related to at least one social justice issue, demonstrating awareness of the interlocking nature of different structures of oppression.

  • Reflect on how structures of oppression relate to the student's own life and experiences, as part of developing own political framework for challenging oppression.

  • Plan and manage self-directed and independent learning.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate an awareness of employment and the labour market, specifically the social science study of careers and work life balance.
  • Outline, compare and contrast different understandings of work, why we do this, how it is informed by our background, and how this effects our identity.
  • Creatively and reflectively apply key ideas about how work is performed and understood in people’s lives.
  • Use learning technologies to assess and evaluate current debates about the social and cultural dimensions of work in written formats.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Formulate a plan to synthesise academic sources and relevant cultural texts.

  • Synthesise literature about food and culture from a range of relevant sources.

  • Justify the analysis of specific examples to evaluate more general arguments about food.

  • Assess the relationship(s) between food and other facets of contemporary society.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and engage with different sociological, feminist, queer (and related) theories of gender and sexuality, and use these to analyse the social world and everyday experience.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with other social categories and positions, and recognise the importance of locating analyses of gender and sexuality within specific (social, historical, geographical) contexts.

  • Develop a theoretically-informed essay plan based on a set essay question.

  • Construct and present a theoretically-informed essay exploring in-depth a topic related to the module.

  • Learn from and implement feedback to develop future work.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage with and use a range of critical discussions.
  • Analyse contemporary and historical media sources, of significance to diverse representations of gender.
  • Identify, discuss and analyse media interventions in gender representation.
  • Critically discuss the prevalence and significance of gender representation in the media.
Additional content
 

 

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise the varying disciplinary perspectives on the concept of security within a criminological framework.

  • Critically discuss the drivers of societal risk and insecurity.

  • Recognise the nature and impact of economic and political developments.

  • Explain and assess the many forms of threat to the security of states, corporations and individuals.

  • Identify and assess responses to security threats at the global, national, local, corporate and individual levels.

  • Locate, interpret, question and summarise information from a number of different sources.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse the social and cultural aspects of health and 'wellness'.
  • Critically evaluate how people make sense of their selves and bodies.
  • Synthesise a range of social scientific perspectives on happiness and wellbeing.
  • Analyse and evaluate empirical social scientific material.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Assess key theories in intercultural communication research.
  • Collect data/information and analyse it from an intercultural perspective.
  • Research a certain aspect of culture and communication.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss key marketing concepts.

  • Retrieve and analyse appropriate real world marketing information.

  • Apply theories of marketing to real world contexts.

  • Distinguish between different forms of communication within the marketing context.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Articulate an understanding of some of the key approaches for the study of mass media, culture and national identity.

  • Analyse cultural industries and media in their national, historical and socio-cultural context.

  • Develop, define and execute a personal research project on the media and national identity.

  • Use a variety of research sources in the context of an extended research project.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify theoretical underpinnings of key academic work surrounding digital cultures and the networked society.

  • Critically discuss cross-platform skills and content in online participatory culture.

  • Identify reliable and appropriate digital sources for personal research.

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding and appreciation of online social interaction and its implications.

  • Recognise personal employability attributes through sophisticated engagement with cross-platform 'polymedia'.

Additional content
 

 

What you'll learn

The learning objectives of this module are to be confirmed.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically and reflectively engage with literature exploring nationalism from various disciplines.
  • Analyse current political and economic debates surrounding immigration.
  • Evaluate how global inequalities relate to nationalist social and political structures and ideologies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the issues discussed are relevant at micro and macro levels globally.
  • Understand and critically question how nationalism and national identities are often taken for granted in Western societies, and how this relates to contemporary global power relations.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Examine current issues relative to traditional (i.e. print and/or broadcast) media.
  • Empirically analyse media texts in terms of ideological representation.
  • Identify and justify the selection of appropriate media texts and appropriate analytical frameworks in the formulation of a short empirical research project.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Know and recognize the varying disciplinary perspectives on the concept of the principles of economic crime investigation within criminological, legal, and economic frameworks
  • Become familiar with the main types of organisations involved in investigating economic crime including SFO, NCA and FCA etc.
  • Identify the different modes of investigative techniques employed in investigating economic crime
  • Analyse information on the investigation techniques employed in real economic crime cases
  • Gather, retrieve, and analyse information from a variety of sources

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Reflect on their learning and experience to date and use this as a basis to plan and organise suitable work experience(s) that will enable the development of their professional profile.
  • Propose a programme of learning that enables the development and demonstration of specified professional skills.
  • Critically evaluate their learning and experience and relate this to their future career goals.
  • Communicate the outcomes of their experience through the effective use of reflective practice.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage critically and reflectively with theoretical and empirical literature regarding race and racism.

  • Demonstrate independent and analytical thinking with regard to knowledge of the history and/or present of race and racism.

  • Reflect on how race and racism intersect with other dimensions of identity and inequality.

  • Apply what is learned in relation to specific cases and in relation to an overarching context of social justice.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage effectively with theoretical and critical approaches to screen studies.

  • Be critically selective and apply sophisticated approaches to online resources as well as engaging effectively with best practice for research.

  • Understand the social context of the screen historically, chronologically, and through contemporary engagement.

  • Effectively combine practice with theory when engaging with various screen media.

  • Apply an in-depth understanding of the economic impact of the screen on the creative leisure and entertainment industry.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop a plan for an essay that will examine the distinctive character of sociological thinking on culture.

  • Compare and contrast the contribution of various approaches to the sociological study of culture.

  • Communicate knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes and issues explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively.

  • Distinguish between various analytic perspectives and consider them in relation to contemporary cultural phenomena.

  • Produce a well-structured, well-written and knowledgeable essay synthesising information from a variety of sources.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify the key causes of social divisions in capitalist democracies.
  • Recognise the mechanisms of persuasion that maintain these divisions.
  • Evaluate political violence as a historical outcome of failure by the elites to maintain social control.
  • Analyse and evaluate the use of ideology in how social control and resistance to elites, are maintained.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss conceptual and thematic aspects of the literature.
  • Reflect on the ways that subjectivity is formulated at specific periods and is related to place and/or gender.
  • Recognise the materiality and historicity of philosophical and theoretical concepts.
  • Comprehend the significance of perception for the subject and in narrative voice.
  • Define and critically assess key terms and concepts for theoretically-informed literary analysis.
  • Demonstrate critically-informed close reading skills and contextualised literary analysis.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Formulate a plan to synthesise academic sources and relevant evidence.

  • Critically review the key theoretical and empirical debates about the sociology of education.

  • Interrogate ideas about the sociology of education from a range of relevant sources.

  • Assess the relationship between education and other facets of contemporary society.

  • Evaluate the current state of knowledge of education from a sociological perspective.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse the mechanisms employed in the pursuit of truth, justice and reparation for human rights abuses in selected countries.

  • Analyse the effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms in selected countries.

  • Analyse how political, social, cultural, and legal factors facilitate or hinder transitional justice in selected countries.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically engage with key theories and concepts in the field of personal life.
  • Evaluate methodological approaches to researching personal life.
  • Explore in detail an identified area of interest.
  • Demonstrate learning through oral and written communication.
  • Critically reflect on the learning undertaken.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the different types of wildlife crime and summarise environmental factors
  • Recognise and examine the importance of environmental justice and sustainability
  • Locate, access and engage with information pertinent to environmental justice and wildlife crime
  • Interpret and assess new and existing knowledge
  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and identify further opportunities within the subject area

Explore this module

Core modules

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Design a viable dissertation.
  • Make use of a range of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field.
  • Deploy established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to sociology.
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) in order to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions.
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic or community.

Explore this module

Optional modules

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Evaluate scholarly arguments about celebrity.
  • Research a range of critical perspectives on celebrity.
  • Have a critical and reflective knowledge and understanding of their subject with the ability and readiness to question its principles, practices and boundaries.
  • Think independently, critically and analytically.
  • Articulate scholarly understandings of celebrity in verbal form.
  • Use presentation software to illustrate and enhance points and arguments.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify and discuss key causes of inequality in the Global South.
  • Recognise and discuss how social divisions in the developing world relate to economies in the Global North.
  • Show how the relationship between the developed and developing world is historical.
  • Critically examine solutions proposed for addressing global poverty, using specific case studies.
  • Critically evaluate institutional practices that claim to eradicate or substantially reduce poverty.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Plan an essay outline that engages with the many aspects of consumerism.
  • Compare and contrast analytical approaches to the study and explanation of themes and issues explored on the module.
  • Interpret and synthesise key sources, concepts, ideas, and substantive analyses, and evaluate their relevance for understanding consumer culture and its consequences.
  • Communicate and critique the ideas, concepts, and analyses explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively.
  • Use relevant sources to produce a clearly argued and critically engaged essay.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate awareness of various sociological and interdisciplinary approaches to emotion.
  • Critically assess current sociological debates around emotional life.
  • Apply a range of perspectives from sociology and other disciplines to specific emotions.
  • Apply academic debates around emotion to example case studies.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss in detail one key concept explored on the module, describing how it has been employed as a political framework for dismantling oppression.

  • Examine key debates related to at least one social justice issue, demonstrating awareness of the interlocking nature of different structures of oppression.

  • Reflect on how structures of oppression relate to the student's own life and experiences, as part of developing own political framework for challenging oppression.

  • Plan and manage self-directed and independent learning.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Formulate a plan to synthesise academic sources and relevant cultural texts.

  • Synthesise literature about food and culture from a range of relevant sources.

  • Justify the analysis of specific examples to evaluate more general arguments about food.

  • Assess the relationship(s) between food and other facets of contemporary society.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate an awareness of employment and the labour market, specifically the social science study of careers and work life balance.
  • Outline, compare and contrast different understandings of work, why we do this, how it is informed by our background, and how this effects our identity.
  • Creatively and reflectively apply key ideas about how work is performed and understood in people’s lives.
  • Use learning technologies to assess and evaluate current debates about the social and cultural dimensions of work in written formats.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and engage with different sociological, feminist, queer (and related) theories of gender and sexuality, and use these to analyse the social world and everyday experience.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with other social categories and positions, and recognise the importance of locating analyses of gender and sexuality within specific (social, historical, geographical) contexts.

  • Develop a theoretically-informed essay plan based on a set essay question.

  • Construct and present a theoretically-informed essay exploring in-depth a topic related to the module.

  • Learn from and implement feedback to develop future work.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse the social and cultural aspects of health and 'wellness'.
  • Critically evaluate how people make sense of their selves and bodies.
  • Synthesise a range of social scientific perspectives on happiness and wellbeing.
  • Analyse and evaluate empirical social scientific material.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the big issues and contemporary debates in education and teaching.
  • Analyse and apply the fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to the planning and evaluation of a lesson plan.
  • Understand the importance of safeguarding children.
  • Critically reflect on current developments in teaching and learning.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate different theoretical approaches to the study of audiences and fans.
  • Analyse the social, cultural and economic premises and consequences of media fandom across different texts and their contexts.
  • Articulate and demonstrate an understanding of the wide range of discrete practices of media fan communities.
  • Research and defend a theoretical position with regard to questions of media fan cultures and their related fan practices.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically and reflectively engage with literature exploring nationalism from various disciplines.
  • Analyse current political and economic debates surrounding immigration.
  • Evaluate how global inequalities relate to nationalist social and political structures and ideologies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the issues discussed are relevant at micro and macro levels globally.
  • Understand and critically question how nationalism and national identities are often taken for granted in Western societies, and how this relates to contemporary global power relations.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically engage with debates and theories about the relationship between news, war and peace.

  • Use case study examples to assess and analyse different perspectives and arguments about the news media's role in reporting war and peace.

  • Evaluate critical positions taken towards the news media's reporting of war and peace.

  • Apply acquired knowledge to self-directed research.

Additional content
 

 

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate personal professional profile and relate this to the development of effective job application strategies.
  • Research, compare and contrast and critically evaluate employers expectations in terms of candidates' skills, attributes and competences in different sectors of employment.
  • Reflect on and evaluate their scores from a range of Psychometric tests to prepare for an upcoming employment assessment.
  • Communicate professionally the outcomes of their experience to potential employers via the production of a CV, statement, video pitch and a mock and formal job interview.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Reflect on their learning and experience to date and use this as a basis to plan and organise suitable work experience(s) that will enable the development of their professional profile.
  • Propose a programme of learning that enables the development and demonstration of specified professional skills.
  • Critically evaluate their learning and experience and relate this to their future career goals.
  • Communicate the outcomes of their experience, through the effective use of reflective practice.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage critically and reflectively with theoretical and empirical literature regarding race and racism.

  • Demonstrate independent and analytical thinking with regard to knowledge of the history and/or present of race and racism.

  • Reflect on how race and racism intersect with other dimensions of identity and inequality.

  • Apply what is learned in relation to specific cases and in relation to an overarching context of social justice.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify the key causes of social divisions in capitalist democracies.
  • Recognise the mechanisms of persuasion that maintain these divisions.
  • Evaluate political violence as a historical outcome of failure by the elites to maintain social control.
  • Analyse and evaluate the use of ideology in how social control and resistance to elites, are maintained.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop a plan for an essay that will examine the distinctive character of sociological thinking on culture.

  • Compare and contrast the contribution of various approaches to the sociological study of culture.

  • Communicate knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes and issues explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively.

  • Distinguish between various analytic perspectives and consider them in relation to contemporary cultural phenomena.

  • Produce a well-structured, well-written and knowledgeable essay synthesising information from a variety of sources.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage with key debates and theories within the field of contemporary comedy history and theory.

  • Articulate how secondary and primary research can be expressed within written piece of work.

  • Assess agency, authorship and industrial factors within a variety of national, political, social and cultural contexts.

  • Employ the use of differing academic perspectives in the scholarly analysis of comedy.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically engage with key theories and concepts in the field of personal life.
  • Evaluate methodological approaches to researching personal life.
  • Explore in detail an identified area of interest.
  • Demonstrate learning through oral and written communication.
  • Critically reflect on the learning undertaken.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Manage and complete tasks in a study relevant to their course, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance.

  • Critically reflect on the formal learning experience and student ambassadorial role for the University, and consider the relevance of this learning to future study and/or employability and personal development.

  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on the student's undergraduate course within the global context.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically reflect on the competencies required within a placement environment.

  • Identify and evaluate the learning experience and the relevance of this learning to future careers and professional development, identifying areas for improvement or further training.

  • Self-evaluate their success in meeting the objectives identified in the learning agreement.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Alternative sociology courses

Not quite sure this course is right for you? Take a look at our other sociology courses to compare your options.

If you want to explore how human relationships and social structures influence behaviour and discover how power dynamics and inequalities create crime, take a look at our Sociology with Criminology degree.

If you want to study traditional psychology and social psychology concepts (such as consciousness, memory, personality and intelligence) while developing the skills to influence positive change, take a look at our Sociology with Psychology degree.

If you want to study specialist areas of sociological study while developing the knowledge and skills to expertly dissect the media, take a look at our Sociology with Media Studies degree.

I have been able to study matters that are really interesting and relevant to contemporary society. My degree has enabled me to gain many skills that I am now transferring to my new job and I have also made some friends for life. I would definitely encourage people to come to the University of Portsmouth, it is a fantastic place to study!

Chloe Plummer, BSc (Hons) Sociology student

Assessment

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 1 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

Your coursework may include:

  • written essays
  • group and individual projects
  • seminar participation
  • a 10,000-word dissertation in year three

Coursework typically makes up around 100% of your final mark.

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops

There's a practical focus on this course. You'll take part in group debates and discussions and get hands-on experience with different research and interview techniques. For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

Teaching staff profiles

Laura Hyman Portrait

Ms Laura Hyman

Senior Lecturer

Laura.Hyman@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Rosanna Alice Marvell Portrait

Dr Rosa Marvell

Senior Lecturer

rosanna.marvell@port.ac.uk

Read more
Charlotte Ann Morris Portrait

Dr Charlotte Morris

Senior Lecturer

Charlotte.Morris@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Simon Alexander Stewart Portrait

Professor Simon Stewart

Professor of Sociology

Simon.Stewart@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Sociology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship - may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

 

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.

You'll need to pay additional costs anywhere between £50–£1,000 to cover travel, accommodation or subsistence if you take a placement abroad.

The amount you'll pay will vary, depending on the location and length of your stay. It will also depend on additional funding the UK Government makes available after Brexit and if the UK remains part of the Erasmus+ student mobility programme or not.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L300
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

Common sociology questions

Sociology is the systematic study of society and the world around us.

What does a sociologist do?

Sociologists seek explanations for why the world is organised and structured the way it is and why social inequalities persist.

They're interested in social structures and institutions, how these shape the lives and life chances of groups and individuals, and how ‘common sense’ or individualised explanations are insufficient to understand social phenomena.

As a result, sociologists often seek to bring about social change that moves in the direction of decreasing inequality and increasing social justice.

Employers recognise the valuable transferable skills – such as critical thinking, communication and research skills – that sociology graduates gain at university. This means future demand is likely to be high for sociology graduates.

Our sociology graduates go into a diverse range of occupations including people-focused roles (such as teaching or social work), research and policy roles (in local and central government or the voluntary sector) or management roles.

As well as meeting the course entry requirements, you need to be interested in how society is organised and how social inequality is produced. You should be fascinated by – but suspicious of – everything.

You don't need a sociology qualification or background to join us. The first year of the course is a full introduction to studying sociology at university level and provides a comprehensive overview on topics such as social inequalities, sociological theories and research methods.

If you'd like to do some background reading before you begin the course, these core texts are useful:

  • Zygmunt Bauman and Tim May (2019) Thinking Sociologically (3rd edition). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Charles Lemert (2011) Social Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life (5th edition). London: Rowman and Littlefield
  • Charles Wright Mills (2000 [1959]) The Sociological Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Lisa Wade (2022) Terrible Magnificent Sociology. W.W. Norton & Company