BA (Hons) Sociology

  • Study Abroad Option Available
  • Sandwich Year Option Available
  • International Students Can Apply
  • Work Placement Opportunity

Overview

UCAS Code:L300
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time
Start Dates:September 2017
Department:Department of Social Sciences
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Sociology at Edge Hill University ranked top in the North West for organisation & management and personal development in the National Student Survey 2016;
  • Innovative and creative learning and teaching approaches focusing on cutting-edge areas of the sociology discipline;
  • Develop transferable skills and social knowledge for careers in the private, public and voluntary employment sectors.

Sociology focuses on questions about how we engage in society. It examines how we make sense of, understand, and evaluate the social structures, organisations, processes, cultures and groups we live our lives within. It is a discipline that recognises we are social animals, and that our wellbeing is tied to the welfare of others and society as a whole. This degree encourages you to develop the skills to become a critical independent thinker, exploring and enquiring about social issues and problems. Our innovative and creative learning and teaching approaches enable you to develop the transferable research skills and knowledge you need to expand your sociological imagination, as well as obtain skills for your chosen career path.

Student Profiles

  • Drew West

    BA (Hons) Sociology
    An array of field trips to places ranging from Amsterdam to Belfast has offered me unique opportunities that I will never forget.
  • Jenny McAlister

    BA (Hons) Sociology
    If anyone was to ask my advice about coming to study at Edge Hill I would definitely recommend it.
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Department of Social Sciences

Course in Depth

What will I study?

In Year 1 you will study modules that will give you a strong foundation of sociological knowledge and understanding, as well as the study of transferable skills to achieve highly in your degree.

In Year 2 you will build upon the foundations of Year 1 and develop more specialist knowledge and the skills of research in the social sciences. You will study themes central to the development of contemporary societies, including the sociology of culture, identity, diversity, difference and conflict. There is an emphasis on the development of skills that will enhance employability and encourage participation in local community activism.

During Year 3 you will study more specialised modules which provide a cutting edge research curriculum across a wide choice of themes. Another element of this final year is the completion of a dissertation on a subject of your choice which will develop your project management and independent learning skills.

How will I 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 Budapest.

How will I 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, class tests and examinations.

Who will be teaching me?

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.

Modules

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Year 1

SPY1104 Introduction to Social Policy and Welfare (20 credits)

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.

SPY1105 Understanding Social Concepts (20 credits)

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).

SPY1107 Exploring the Social World (20 credits)

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.

SPY1110 Political Sociology (20 credits)

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.

SPY1111 Thinking Sociologically: Sociological Theory and Applications (20 credits)

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.

SPY1112 Introduction to Cultural Studies (20 credits)

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.

Language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, are available to study as an integral part of this degree. A single Language module can be studied instead of SPY1107 Exploring the Social World.

Year 2

SPY2121 Research Methods One (20 credits)

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.

SPY2136 States, Conflict and Political Violence (20 credits)

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.

SPY2137 Sexualities: Identities, Politics, Cultures (20 credits)

Sexualities: Identities, Politics, Cultures provides a thorough grounding in the study of sexualities in western democracies, with a focus on the social construction of sexualities in sexual cultures and representations and contemporary issues of sexual politics. Foregrounding an understanding of the historical lineages and conceptual perspectives on understanding sexuality is a critical engagement with sexualities, both through the literature and through direct contact with non-governmental organisations and activists. The module provides an in-depth study of sexual cultures and offers cultural, social and political contextualisation. The terrain for conflicts and contradictions and competing explanations of contemporary sexual lives will be discovered.

SPY2138 Cultural Analysis in a Global World (20 credits)

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.

You will select one of the following modules:

SPY2122 Research Methods Two (20 credits)

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.

SPY2135 Broken Britain (20 credits)

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’.

You will select one of the following modules:

SPY2127 Work-based Learning and Employability 1 (20 credits)

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.

SPY2139 Self-Directed Learning (20 credits)

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.

If you studied a Language module in Year 1, you may wish to study a further Language module in Year 2. This would form an integral part of your degree in place of SPY2138 Cultural Analysis in a Global World.

Year 3

SPY3100 Dissertation (40 credits)

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.

SPY3110 Critical Terrorism Studies (20 credits)

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.

SPY3112 Desire: Law, Politics, Ethics, Difference (20 credits)

Desire: Law, Politics, Ethics, Difference explores the question of how we understand sexual desires, how they shape our identities and relationships and how our practices make erotic, social and cultural meanings for us and others. The module also examines why we permit some sexual pleasures while regulating or prohibiting others and questions what rationales explain how these lines of distinction are drawn in contemporary societies. Whilst law clearly provides a coda of what is regulated or prohibited, it rarely explains why. You will explore these issues, develop a critical sense of enquiry and reconstruct ethical, cultural and political arguments for why society might wish to regulate or prohibit, or perhaps even encourage and celebrate, different desires and pleasures.

You will select two of the following modules:

SPY3101 Self-Directed Study (20 credits)

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.

SPY3107 Issues for Professional Practice (20 credits)

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.

SPY3108 Ageing and Society (20 credits)

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.

SPY3109 Arts in Society (20 credits)

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.

SPY3111 Social, Cultural and Political Ideas (20 credits)

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.

SPY3118 Childhood and Sexuality (20 credits)

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.

SPY3122 Superdiversity and Community (20 credits)

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.

SPY3125 Socio-Cultural Issues and Questions (20 credits)

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.

SPY3127 Work-based Learning and Employability 2 (20 credits)

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.

If you studied Language modules in Years 1 and 2, you may wish to study a further Language module in Year 3. This would form an integral part of your degree in place of one of the optional modules above.

Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme 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.

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

112 UCAS Tariff points on the new UCAS Tariff. No specific subjects are required.

Example Offers

Some typical examples of how you can achieve 112 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

  • A Levels – BBC;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) – Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM);
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – successful completion of Diploma to include at least 45 passed credits at Level 3.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

As long as 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 the Welsh Baccalaureate and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

Graduates find employment across the range of private, public and voluntary employment markets and careers, in sectors as diverse as social and health services, general administration and management, media and entertainment industries and the retail and leisure industries. The degree also offers prospects for further study and research.

How can I enhance my employability?

It is useful to consider, even before you apply, how you will spend your time while studying and make the most of your university experience.

Optional, additional activities may be available on this degree which could help to prepare you for a stimulating and rewarding career. These include:

  • Sandwich Year – you may have the opportunity to apply to complete a sandwich year placement as part of your programme (usually the third year of a four year degree) and gain highly relevant work experience;
  • Study Abroad – you may have the opportunity to apply to spend an additional year (usually the third year of a four year degree) studying or working abroad;
  • Language Learning – you may be able to select language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, as an integral part of your degree (for which you will gain academic credits). Alternatively, it may be possible to select the language modules as additional study.

Please note, the availability of these additional activities cannot be guaranteed for all students. Depending on availability and the number of students wanting to participate, there may be a competitive application process for sandwich year placements or study abroad opportunities or you may be required to secure a relevant placement yourself.

Finance

Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2017/18, we expect tuition fees to increase to £9,250 per annum but this is currently subject to Government approval. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2017/18 are £11,575 per annum.

Financial Support

Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2017/18, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2017/18 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradfinance2017.

Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.

Scholarships

ScholarshipsEdge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students. These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

Additional scholarships, which you may qualify to receive, reward outstanding grades and are available to eligible UK and EU students.

To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.

Apply

How to Apply

Apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas to find out more about the application process.

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.

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/bookanopenday.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective undergraduate students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradevents.

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
  • Enquire Online
  • Live Chat
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Course Changes

This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented since 1st September 2015.

9th June 2016 - New Module Added

A Language module is now available as a Year 3 option, providing Language modules were studied in Years 1 and 2.

23rd May 2016 - Change of Modules

Although the broad themes of the programme remain largely the same, the majority of previous modules have been replaced with a suite of new modules. This new programme structure is being implemented from September 2016 entry.

There is also now the option of selecting a Language module in French, Spanish or Mandarin as an integral part of this degree in Year 1. A Language module is also available as a Year 2 option, providing a Language module was studied in Year 1.

17th December 2015 - New Module Added

SPY3111 Social, Cultural and Political Ideas (20 credits) added as an optional module in Year 3.