Interested in why humans think and behave so differently? Understand the world around you on our sociology degree. Critically analyse social and cultural settings and apply your knowledge to different issues on field trips in the UK and Europe.
Humans are social animals. Our norms, values, lifestyles and wellbeing are naturally tied to the welfare of others.
On this degree you’ll think critically to analyse current social issues. And explore how history has influenced the way we live our lives today. You’ll discover the social world and build your understanding of our place in the global environment.
Investigate differing sociological viewpoints. Do we live in an ordered society? Or is society unequal and conflict-ridden? You’ll examine issues including equality, rights, liberty, social justice and diversity.
You’ll study a range of topics. This could be feminist, gay and disability rights. Or movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ and transgender activism. In your final year, you’ll shape your study with optional modules.
Our approach to teaching sociology is innovate and creative. Throughout your degree you’ll take part in field trips in the UK and Europe. We’ll make sure you develop research skills to expand your sociological imagination. You’ll also master critical skills and have the option to take a work placement. So when you graduate you’ll be career-ready.
The first year of our sociology degree provides a strong foundation of sociological knowledge. This builds your transferable skills and prepares you for the following years of your degree. You’ll be introduced to social policy and welfare, looking at key social issues such as poverty, inequality, education and child welfare. You’ll also be introduced to the sociological imagination where you’ll explore a range of concepts and approaches that determine our view of the world.
Introduction to Cultural Studies provides a foundation for the study of culture in society, with a focus on different – and particularly critical – approaches to the study of the cultural world. The module rehearses relevant cultural theories from traditional conceptions of ‘high’ culture and the importance of culture in society, to critical approaches to culture that take in analyses of power, representation, ideology and hegemony. The module will explore cultural theories and their analyses of popular culture in the last 75 years before applying theoretical insights to the study of cultural forms and movements in Britain since the 1950s. The study of cultural forms will allow for both an appreciation of the tools of cultural analysis and of the richness of cultural practices and representations.
Module code: SPY1112
Introduction to Social Policy and Welfare
Introduction to Social Policy and Welfare provides an overview of some of the key areas of social policy and welfare, such as education, health, employment, poverty and child welfare. The module offers a critical introduction to key approaches to the development of social welfare policy and the political ideologies that have influenced it in historical and contemporary perspective, exploring how these approaches to the provision of welfare compare and contrast with one another. You will also discover different philosophical and ideological understandings of key concepts in social policy, including equality, rights, liberty, social justice and deservingness and how they have – and might – influence the development and implementation of contemporary social policy.
Module code: SPY1104
Political Sociology immerses you in the study of power, the state, ideology, authority and domination. You will study the roles, functions and participation of institutions, organisations and groups in the political world, gaining a conceptual model of the way in which the political world operates and engages with powerful interests and demands for democratic participation. A series of lectures will provide a foundation of knowledge and you will then follow particular case studies to exercise that knowledge in depth. These case studies will be drawn from the research specialisms of staff and topical issues. Indicatively, case studies might be security and state surveillance of political participation in Britain, the political management of mass public protest, the political strategies of social movements, the relevance of political parties to contemporary politics, political marketing and media politics.
Module code: SPY1110
Thinking Sociologically: Sociological Theory and Applications
Thinking Sociologically: Sociological Theory and Applications introduces you to using the ‘sociological imagination’ to explore a range of sociological concepts and approaches. You will develop the ability to reason effectively about the relation of human agency and social structure, and reflect on the challenges, choices and constraints underlying the assumptions and tacit expectations that determine our view of the world. The module analyses how we create and sustain meaningful social relationships, organisations and systems, and how, in turn, those relations, organisations and systems impact on us.
Module code: SPY1111
Understanding Social Concepts
Understanding Social Concepts introduces sociological concepts to students who have never studied sociology before and introduces a different way of thinking sociologically for those students who have some grounding in the discipline. The module will enable you to understand sociology as a subject but also to appreciate the practical application of sociology in making sense of society and your place within it. The aim is to encourage you to view sociology as a “living subject, a living practice and a living way of coming to know about the world” (Jenks, 1998).
Exploring the Social World offers an opportunity for you to explore your personal beliefs and attitudes towards a range of social issues. Visiting speakers will talk to you about particular issues and related social campaigns. Working in teams, you will choose a social issue to focus on and you will be introduced to basic research skills so that you can look further into them. You will be supported in collecting, describing and evaluating a range of materials and you will use your findings in order to design a leaflet and poster campaign in support of (or in opposition to) your chosen issue.
Module code: SPY1107
Language 1 is ideal if you want to learn a new language, or further develop your current language skills, as an integrated part of this degree. You can study French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish (subject to minimum numbers for your preferred language). Delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, the module will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be placed on all four areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will play an active role in the weekly two-hour classes, engaging in role-plays, short conversations, videos, authentic texts and listening materials. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning needs. On enrolment to the module, you will complete a language induction form and be placed into a language level group appropriate for your prior knowledge of your chosen language. Please note, while we will endeavour to accommodate varying language levels per module, this is not always possible. While you can join the module with some prior experience of your target language, you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in.
Module code: TLC1010
In Year 2, you’ll develop more specialist sociological knowledge and study issues around class and culture, diversity and conflict. You’ll also explore the benefits and disadvantages of living in an interconnected, globalised society. We’ll offer opportunities to enhance your employability through an optional work-based learning module, as well as the chance to strengthen your research skills through a bespoke research module.
Broken Britain explores issues around class, culture and conflict in contemporary British society. You will examine a variety of sociological perspectives and case-studies to engage critically with questions such as whether British society is ‘broken’ or if the claim is a case of ‘moral panic’? If it is broken, why? Who broke it? What role has globalisation played? Is modernity itself broken? Can society be mended? What is the ‘Big Society’? What is the Good Society? Case studies may include ‘affluenza’ and consumption, family breakdown and the ‘parenting deficit’, the ‘underclass’ debate, the hollowing out of representative democracy, and the rise of ‘radicalisation’ and ‘violent extremism’.
Module code: SPY2135
Research Methods One
Research Methods One provides you with an important grounding in social research methods. The module gives you an overview of the fundamental aspects of social research including philosophical approaches to knowledge production, literature searching, sampling and ethics. It addresses both quantitative and qualitative approaches. You will have the opportunity to choose a topic and design, conduct and report on a piece of your own research. This will involve the use of a range of different methods including interviews and questionnaires and you will be supported in this process through the module’s seminar programme.
Module code: SPY2121
States, Conflict and Political Violence
States, Conflict and Political Violence recognises that the sociological study of armed conflict and political violence is an important and growing field of inquiry. Wars and conflicts within and between states are key problems facing the contemporary global community, rooted in the complex character of modern societies. They have been a central concern for sociological theorists since the founding of the discipline. The study of armed conflict therefore does more than allow you to become familiar with the particular dynamics of specific wars. It also enables a series of key concepts, theories and issues in the social sciences (of power and authority, gender, ethnicity and class) to be investigated and applied to real world situations through the prism of organised violence by, between, against and beyond the state today.
Self-Directed Learning enables you to focus on a particular agreed topic or focus and explore it, with tutorial support, to produce a project-based piece of work which relates to a particular career trajectory. The project will involve addressing a social issue or problem and/or one organisation’s response (voluntary, public or private sector) to a social issue or problem. It will involve not only desk research such as library searches but information retrieval from a range of primary sources. The self-directed learning focus allows for a sense of both leading on the learning taking place and reflecting on its progress, problems and problem-solving.
Module code: SPY2139
Work-based Learning and Employability 1
Work-based Learning and Employability 1 is designed to bridge the world of higher education with the world of work. You will develop a critical understanding of the changing context of work and of social, economic and political factors shaping the labour market and contemporary patterns of employment. There will be an opportunity to apply theory and disciplinary specialist knowledge to practical experience within a work-based setting with students undertaking a 60 hour placement. You will also enhance and develop a range of transferable skills to enhance your employability.
Research Methods Two enhances your knowledge of social research and your skills in applying this knowledge. You will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of methodologies and methods including a variety of innovative approaches to social research, such as visual methods. An introduction to evaluation is also provided. You will get the opportunity to carry out your own innovative research project using photography. This will be on a topic of your choice and you will be given support to design and carry this out through the module’s seminar programme.
Module code: SPY2122
Youth Offending: Critical Perspectives
Youth Offending: Critical Perspectives provides a grounding in issues of youth offending. The module contains an introduction to policies around children, youth and crime and provides a background to current practices around the management of youth offending, in particular the issues of case and risk management. It will explore issues affecting youth offending but will place these in a critical and international context.
Cultural Analysis in a Global World considers how we understand, make sense of and act upon cultural understandings of the globalised world. We are increasingly aware of the interconnectedness of the local, national and global, through cultural and representational forms, commodities and discourses. How do we make sense of them? How do we gain a sense of what is global, what is local, and how do we make comparative and critical examinations of past and present, and begin to speculate on future, on the basis of distinct and contrasting cultural analyses? This module will look at how both media and representational practices make meanings, generate understandings and act upon them in contemporary societies, with a particular focus on recognising the importance of post-colonial cultural critiques and critical discourse analysis as a means of looking below the surface of our globalised world.
Module code: SPY2138
TLC2000 Language 2 enables you to build on and develop your previous language knowledge in French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish. You must have either studied the prior language module in the previous year or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge of your target language (though you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in). The language levels available will be determined by the continuation of corresponding groups from the previous language module. You will gain the language skills necessary to become a more proficient user of the language. Classes will be taught in an interactive and communicative manner using authentic materials to promote meaningful communication. They will be conducted in the target language as much as possible. Emphasis will be on speaking and listening, with appropriate attention also being paid to other communication skills. Other work will include a variety of tasks which may be completed in the Language Centre.
Module code: TLC2000
You’ll write a dissertation on a topic you are passionate or curious about in Year 3. You’ll also investigate issues around the sociology of the body and emotions, from the impact of body dissatisfaction, to how physical and mental ill health impacts the body and mind. You’ll get to choose three modules to study that interest you most – you could explore topics such as terrorism, childhood and sexuality, animals and society, or autism.
Dissertation provides an opportunity for you to engage in an independent study of a relevant area of social science area of your choice, supported by tutorial guidance and supervision to deliver an extended piece of writing.
Module code: SPY3100
Sociology of the Body and the Emotions
Sociology of the Body and the Emotions introduces you to different ways of understanding ‘the body’ and its significance in past and contemporary societies. Relevant classical social theorists, such as Bourdieu, Elias, Le Breton, Foucault, Mauss and Goffman, will be covered, as will more contemporary sociologists such as Turner, Shilling, Fraser, Butler, Burkitt and Williams. The social production of bodies, how the body is deployed socially and culturally, the socially constructed dualism between body and mind, and the relationship between power and the body, are key issues for evaluation and analysis. They will be illustrated through a range of substantive topics such as gendered, classed and racialised bodies, the body, health and illness, body modification, biotechnology, and social and digital media and the body.
Advanced Parliamentary Studies equips you with a thorough and deep understanding of the workings of the UK Parliament and Parliamentary systems. The module explores the history, culture and potential future of Parliament, examines aspects of Parliamentary process in-depth, and considers related issues such as regulation and ethics. You will have the opportunity to interact with practitioners from the workforce in the Houses of Parliament.
Module code: POL3006
Ageing and Society
Ageing and Society introduces you to the study of ageing, examines the position of older people in societies and addresses key policy and ethical issues that an ageing population presents. It aims to develop an understanding of the complexities presented by an ageing population and gives critical consideration to the policy and welfare initiatives introduced to support older people in society.
Module code: SPY3108
Animals and Society
Animals and Society recognises that the field of animal studies has been influential in developing our understanding of the social to include relations with other species. Enhancing your understanding of how the discipline of sociology has come to focus upon the more-than-human, the module will underline how non-human animals are key to a range of contemporary issues. You will consider current human/animal relations and examine their sociological, ethical and ecological consequences in the 21st century. Alongside a focus on this growing body of research, the module will also enrich your understanding of other cognate sociological interests such as gender, childhood, ethics and climate change.
Module code: SPY3129
Arts in Society
Arts in Society focuses upon the way that a range of feminist and community-based artists work with specific communities and the general public in order to address social issues. The module enables you to explore and develop notions of social justice and community engagement through innovative and creative means. In its examination of the ways in which the arts can ameliorate social conditions, it raises philosophical, ethical and practical issues. You will have the opportunity to learn about a range of artists and practices and the resonance these have with the social issues that are meaningful to them and their study. You will be encouraged to think creatively and reflectively and be expected to engage with works of art as well as with critical literature.
Module code: SPY3109
Childhood and Sexuality
Childhood and Sexuality juxtaposes how children and young people are constructed simultaneously as desexualised or pre-sexual beings and, therefore, in need of protection and, at the same time, young people, in particular, are portrayed as sexually ‘promiscuous’ or engaged in sexual ‘risk taking behaviour’. The module introduces you to the tensions between these contradictory constructions of youth sexuality and explores the ways in which young people understand their sexuality and develop their sexual identity.
Module code: SPY3118
Critical Autism Studies
Critical Autism Studies adopts a critical approach to understanding autism and seeks to challenge the dominant medical model of neurological deficit. Rather than viewing autism as a cognitive development disability, you will be encouraged to consider it as a naturally occurring form of cognitive diversity. The module will examine the argument that autism has been constructed as a neurobiological deficit in a context of neurotypicality or cognitive normality. Understanding autism as neurodiversity opens up spaces for more positive interpretations of autistic people’s experiences, skills and identities. The module is underpinned and, in part, informed by, research by members of the programme team which is focused on areas of sexuality and autism and, specifically, what professionals and care workers should do when providing support for people whose intellectual disability or mental condition makes their consent – being informed, competent and free from coercion – legally unreliable.
Module code: SPY3048
Critical Terrorism Studies
Critical Terrorism Studies recognises that in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and those in London, Madrid, Paris and beyond, terrorism and political violence have become ever more pressing contemporary issues. But, what is ‘terrorism’; what does the term itself actually mean? What causes political violence, how is it represented in modern multi-mediated societies and how does the issue of ‘counter terrorism’ impact on the lives of people today? How has the ‘fear’ of terrorism come to affect our society? These are the sort of questions this module is designed to address. You will be invited to employ and develop your understanding of critical sociological theories, concepts and approaches in order to investigate these matters of great contemporary social importance.
Module code: SPY3110
Issues for Professional Practice
Issues for Professional Practice involves a critical examination of professions, professional identity and professional practice in the context of welfare, health and education services for children, families and adults. The module will provide you with the opportunity to consider and critically analyse the meaning and development of professionalisation, frameworks for ‘best practice’ and the implications of current policy and strategies for intervention. The module will enable you to critically engage with such ideas, concepts and issues as professional power, partnership, developmentalism, inter-professional and multi-agency working, in addition to anti-oppressive, reflective and ‘critical practice’. The aim is to provide opportunities for critical analysis of the links and relationships between theory and practice and to encourage the use of learning from previous experience and learning.
Module code: SPY3107
Self-Directed Study enables you to look in depth at a theme or issue covered over the duration of your programme of study. The module involves identifying a chosen area for study, developing and negotiating a learning contract (which will outline the what, how, when, where and why of the study period), as well as the means of assessment to showcase the acquired learning. You will be assigned a module supervisor who will help you to develop the negotiated learning and agree the nature of the assessment.
Module code: SPY3101
Social, Cultural and Political Ideas
Social, Cultural and Political Ideas enables you to undertake focused work on trans-disciplinary theoretical studies that combine social, political and cultural dimensions in order to understand issues and problems in the contemporary world. The module provides a discursive base on the relationship of theory to practice and the critical study of ideas before focusing on three particular issues and/or theoretical positions and perspectives. Topics might include democracy and democratisation, neo-liberalism, models of justice, consumerism, governance and globalism, cultural Marxism, Orientalism, post-colonialism, or post-Marxism. The balance of generality with specific focus allows for a detailed and critical approach to social, political and cultural ideas.
Module code: SPY3111
Socio-Cultural Issues and Questions
Socio-Cultural Issues and Questions provides you with the opportunity to intensively study a particular society and culture through some of its contemporary issues. The module allows for the comparative cultural analysis of a different society to the one you live in, focused around some preparatory lectures and reflective sessions and an intensive study trip to that country. The focus of the study trip will be to explore both comparisons and contrasts, and use the experience of difference to explore social and cultural issues and problems.
Module code: SPY3125
Superdiversity and Community
Superdiversity and Community explores the theoretical and conceptual platform of (super)diversity as well as its implications for policy and practice. (Super)diversity has slowly gained ground as an important concept in explaining the diversification of urban areas in the North Western world as a result of increased immigration and the contact between people of various backgrounds. At the same time, superdiversity research and the broader social science literature consider diversification a topic worthy of investigation in its own right. Recently the attention of scholars concerned with issues of diversification has turned to the implications that conceptual and societal developments linked to (super)diversity have for communities and practitioners. The module will analyse these implications in light of burgeoning literature in the field of diversification and community and social relations.
Module code: SPY3122
Work-based Learning and Employability 2
Work-based Learning and Employability 2 is designed to bridge the world of higher education with the world of work. You will develop a critical understanding of issues related to organisational structure, leadership and culture. There will be an opportunity to apply theory and disciplinary specialist knowledge to practical experience within a work-based setting through undertaking a 60 hour placement. You will develop your personal and professional profiles through continuous reflection on practice using student-centred learning opportunities. Throughout the module you will also develop your employability profile in preparation for career entry.
Module code: SPY3127
Language 3 further enhances your language skills in French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish and introduces you to a new culture and way of life. It is suitable if you have studied the prior language module in the previous year of this degree or if you can demonstrate equivalent knowledge of your target language (though you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in). The language levels available will be determined by the continuation of corresponding groups from the previous language module. You will develop language skills to a level of proficiency that will enable you to spend time living or working abroad. Classes will be conducted as much as possible in the target language. They will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be on speaking and listening, with appropriate attention also being paid to other skills. Other work will include a variety of tasks which may be completed in the Language Centre.
Module code: TLC3000
Optional modules provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.
How you'll study
You will benefit from a range of learning opportunities from conventional lectures and seminars to the more innovative workshops, investigative project work and information retrieval and analysis. You will be encouraged to make full use of the superb student network and computer facilities on campus in order to support your studies.
Field trips are a central component of study, with trips planned both within the UK and Europe. Currently the department has established field trips to London, Northern Ireland, Amsterdam and Krakow.
Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.
How you'll be assessed
Your achievements are assessed throughout the programme. Modules use a variety of methods including essays, case studies, portfolios, oral presentations, e-log books, completion of directed tasks and class tests.
There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this degree.
Who will be teaching you
The department has a large number of full-time staff and prides itself on the quality of its tutorial support. Staff are engaged in cutting-edge research in a number of crucial areas including themes around issues of conflict, identity and childhood. They have also presented numerous papers at international academic conferences in recent years and published books, book contributions and journal articles.
Your degree will be supplemented by a series of research seminars and other talks. These will feature academic staff and visiting guest speakers from a range of professions and organisations.
Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points. No specific subjects are required.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications)
Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma
45 credits at Level 3, for example 9 credits at Distinction and 36 credits at Merit or 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.
Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.
If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.
English language requirements
International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.
If your current level of English is half a band or one band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.
Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.
Did you know?
If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the
offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.
The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.
Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.
Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.
Your future career
What kind of job can you get with a sociology degree? There’s plenty of exciting and diverse career options.
You’ll be equipped for roles that involve an understanding of how societies and different cultures operate and how they are likely to change. Being able to carry out and analyse research is also a skill that will boost your employability.
Our sociology graduates apply their skills to a range of rewarding roles including:
primary/secondary school teacher
post graduate researcher
managerial or activist posts in charitable or voluntary organisations
local authority or civil service posts
Our graduates have also taken their studies further by going on to complete a Masters or PhD, while others have gone on to study for a PGCE and enter teacher training.