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The media plays a big part in shaping society. If you want to explore what drives social trends and how the media shapes our society, this course is for you.
You’ll explore pressing contemporary social issues and get an understanding of specialist areas of sociological study, while developing the knowledge and skills to expertly dissect the media.
When you complete this course you'll also be primed for a career in anything from health and social care to the creative industries.
To do this degree, you need to apply for the BSc (Hons) Sociology course. This is because it's a 'pathway' degree.
You’ll study Sociology in depth and add Media Studies as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll graduate with a BSc (Hons) Sociology with Media Studies degree when you finish the course.
These are the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) Sociology course.
BA (Hons) Sociology degree entry requirements
- 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.
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.
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.
What you'll experience
On this course you'll:
- Develop a critical understanding of the world we live in: learn how our lives relate to each other's and intersect with wider social structures and institutions
- Learn about the present, past and possible futures of media around the world
- Focus on specialist areas, such as food, happiness and violence
- Be taught by specialist staff who are undertaking research, ensuring you keep abreast of the latest developments in the field
- Do research that connects your studies to what's happening now in society
- Hone your ability to research, analyse, and communicate complex data and ideas
Careers and opportunities
When you complete this degree course, our Careers and Employability team can work with you to find the employment that you need to kick-start your career.
What can you do with a Sociology degree?
You'll have the knowledge and skills to pursue a career or further training in areas such as:
- teaching and lecturing
- health and social care
- marketing and media
- local government
- community development
- careers advice
- charity work
- human resources and recruitment
- business administration and personnel management
- media research
- public relations and marketing
- new media development
What jobs can you do with a Sociology degree?
Some of our alumni have gone on to work for big names such as the BBC, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures International. Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- production manager
- sound and vision engineer
- film/video producer
- advertising journalist
- assistant publicist
- PR and communications officer
You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level or set up a business with help and support from the University
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing the ideal job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.
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.
We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
Previous students have been on placements to:
- NBC Universal
- St James Place Wealth Management
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
- Why Me? Restorative Justice
- SEK International School, Spain
In your placement year, you can also set up a business on your own or with other students.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year
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.
What you'll study
Core modules in this year include:
- Developing Your Sociological Imagination – 40 credits
- Observing Society – 20 credits
- Research Design and Analysis – 20 credits
- Social Inequalities - 20 credits
- Theorising Social Life – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Doing Sociological Research – 20 credits
- Modernity and Globalisation – 20 credits
- Risk and Society – 20 credits
- Work, Employment and Society – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Engaged Citizenship in Humanities and Social Sciences - 20 credits
- Gender and the Media – 20 credits
- Media, Culture and National Identity - 20 credits
- Media Networks: Exploring Digital Culture – 20 credits
- Professional Experience L5 - 20 credits
- Screen Media – 20 credits
Core modules in this year include:
- Dissertation / Major Project – 40 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Celebrity and Society – 20 credits
- Challenging Global Inequality – 20 credits
- Consumer Society: Critical Themes and Issues – 20 credits
- Emotions and Social Life – 20 credits
- Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice – 20 credits
- Family, Career and Generation – 20 credits
- Food, Culture and Society – 20 credits
- Gender and Sexuality – 20 credits
- Health, Wellbeing and Happiness – 20 credits
- Media Fan Cultures – 20 credits
- Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis And the Everyday – 20 credits
- News, War and Peace – 20 credits
- Professional Experience L6 - 20 credits
- Race and Racism – 20 credits
- Social Power, Elites and Dissent – 20 credits
- Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity – 20 credits
- Studying Comedy – 20 credits
- Understanding Personal Life – 20 credits
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
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.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- written essays and tests
- both group and individual projects
- video productions
- reports/magazine features
- seminar participation
- a 10,000-word dissertation
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.
The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
- Year 1 students: 18% by written exams and 82% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 17% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 66% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 12% by written exams and 88% by coursework
Teaching methods on this course include:
- practical performance sessions
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
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.
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:
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 scheduled meeting.
Learning development tutors
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
Academic skills support
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
- 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.
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.
Support with English
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
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 per year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £18,100 per year (subject to annual increase)
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.
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, this discount amounts to 90% of the year’s fees.
Tuition fees for that year are:
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £1,800 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.
You need to choose BSc (Hons) Sociology when you apply for this course, because this is a ‘pathway’ course. This is where you study Sociology in depth and add Media Studies as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BSc (Hons) Sociology with Media Studies degree when you complete the course.
If you change your mind after you apply, you can choose not to study Media Studies in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BSc (Hons) Sociology degree when you complete the course.
How to apply
To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – L300
- our institution code – P80
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.