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Undergraduate Course

Sociology BA (Hons)

Examine the society we live in and study the greatest social, cultural and political challenges of our time.

Student taking notes at table in seminar

By studying social theory you will deepen your understanding of the world we live in. You will develop your analytical skills by investigating the challenges society faces and focusing on the topics that interest you most. Together we will examine existing and emerging social divisions such as class, ethnicity, gender, age and sexuality. This is your chance to explore how these factors shape society.

100% of Sociology students felt that their lecturers were good at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2021)

92% of Sociology students thought that their course was intellectually stimulating. (National Student Survey 2021)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – 8K9S
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

Your insight into the social world is unique. We will encourage you to explore your own social identity and consider your experiences of the world. You will let this self awareness inform your studies and you may even discover new specialisms you are passionate about pursuing.

In Year 2 and 3 of your studies you can choose from a range of modules covering topics from across sociology and criminology. This allows you to tailor your degree to your interests and future career ambitions.

On specialist modules you will learn qualitative and quantitative research methods that are used by sociologists and apply them to your own research. We will introduce you to the different theoretical perspectives you will use to analyse topics such as:

  • Sexuality
  • Childhood
  • Technology
  • The body
  • Space. 

We will help you develop your critical thinking skills so you can back up your ideas with evidence and reason. Our team of academic staff will support you throughout your studies. They are all active in social research, meaning the material you cover is the most relevant it can be. Work with them in seminars, workshops and 1 to 1 tutorials and let their expertise become your own. 

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time.

In your first year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1 
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Gain the knowledge and skills you need for successful study at university. We will introduce you to different approaches in social science research and support you to develop an awareness of the philosophical, practical and ethical debates that inform them. You will gain skills in academic reading, researching, writing and presenting. By learning these now you will be equipped to make the most of your course and succeed in the field of social science.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the classical theories of sociology. You will learn to identify these theories and discuss how they have developed. Together we will identify the common criticisms of each theory and think about how they provide different ways to perceive the society we live in. Some of the theories we will introduce you to include:

  • Functionalism
  • Marxism
  • Feminism
  • Neo-liberalism.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the world of everyday life. You live it, but we will help you to consider it as a field of sociological inquiry. You will start to make sociological sense of ordinary situations, people, events and things. Your sessions are based around specific objects and artefacts, such as a bank note or a ring. You will explore how these relate to everyday experiences and discuss their relationship to power, the economy, love and the patriarchy.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will consider the social world and its relationship to pleasure, play and leisure. Sociology tends to place primary concern on work. However, through this module you will instead focus on the social world. By using a variety of cultural artefacts, we will unpack how key themes and issues in sociology can relate to pleasure and leisure. Topics may include:

  • Histories of play and pleasure
  • Childhood play and education
  • Volunteering and serious leisure
  • Gaming and communities
  • Deviant pleasures
  • Purchasing pleasure
  • Adrenaline and terror.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore social inequalities, a key part of sociological study. You will learn to recognise the social basis for inequalities and discuss contemporary issues of inequality. We will help you understand how inequalities are reinforced and reproduced in society and help you to recognise that societies are never fixed or inevitable. Some of the social inequalities we will cover include:

  • Gender
  • Education
  • Health
  • Class.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your understanding of social norms and what it means to deviate from them. We will guide you through various themes that highlight how social norms are established, upheld and challenged. You will also explore the complexities of social conformity and deviance. This module will give you practical experience in non-participant observation, where you will observe people without interacting with them. This is an important skill you can use throughout your degree.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module and 2 optional modules in semester 2.

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. Not all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build on the skills you gained in your first year module, Research and Presenting. You will develop your knowledge, skills and techniques in qualitative research. You will examine and evaluate a range of qualitative methods, considering their strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the module we will encourage you to reflect on the ethical issues involved in qualitative research.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will focus on gender, sexuality and the media. You will develop your awareness of contemporary debates in gender studies and consider the media's impact on representations of gender and sexuality. You will apply the theories you learn to different art forms from popular culture, including:

  • Literature
  • Film and TV
  • Graphic novels
  • Music.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will consider the changing nature of work and employment. Together we will discuss power and workplace inequalities in the UK. You will think about how power and inequality can affect the lived experiences of people working in this country. You will also develop an understanding of debates in the sociology of work and employment, mapping how they have changed over time.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will further develop your understanding of social inequalities as you examine contemporary debates in inequality. You will move beyond the traditional forms of social division and consider how other factors are impacting the way of life in the 21st century. These factors will include:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sexuality
  • The body.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will familiarise yourself with debates in politics, focusing on social elements you may not have considered before. You will look at topics such as:

  • The state
  • Democracy
  • Capitalism
  • The environment
  • Social movements
  • Major political ideologies.

These topics will be studied alongside the ideas of key political and social thinkers such as Marx, Rawls and Nozick.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to some of the biggest social, cultural and political questions of our time. Build on your knowledge of social theories as you apply them to extreme events. You will look at topics such as war, genocide, climate change and terrorism and think about how society shapes their causes and responses. By studying the very worst that can happen, you can consider how to prevent disasters. This is your chance to learn about society through the most extreme events it creates and endures.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will study quantitative research. You will look at the different sources relevant to sociological study, the quantitative research process and identify the most commonly used methods. We will support you to obtain your own primary data through surveys and to access and evaluate secondary data. You will also perform basic descriptive statistics on the data you gather and write up your findings.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is your introduction to developments in social theory from the late 20th century to present day. We will encourage you to think about the limitations of some classic sociological theories. You will discover how social concerns evolve to reflect social change. This will allow you to explore the social world by using the most up to date sociological concerns and examine the relevant risks. You will learn how society has shaped developments in technology and how their invention has changed society.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 1 Sociological Investigation module across semester 1 and 2
  • 2 optional modules in semester 1
  • 2 optional modules in semester 2.

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. Not all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This module is your opportunity to apply your knowledge and focus your studies on the topic that interests you the most. You will choose an issue of sociological importance and conduct detailed social research as you follow your line of enquiry. You will conduct your research in a systematic and ethical way, drawing on the skills you have learnt. An academic tutor will support you throughout the module, offering 1 to 1 advice and guidance on your research.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will examine the historical, legal, social and cultural elements of the sex industry. You will develop an understanding of the current politics of prostitution reform, both locally and globally. Together we will evaluate research studies on crime, justice and the sex industry. In seminar groups you will investigate and debate the major criminological approaches to sex work, including feminist and queer theories.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will gain an understanding of the theoretical foundations of critical criminology. You will examine new views of crime, power and control and consider how you can use these to understand local and global crimes. You will analyse power structures, inequalities and surveillance systems through the perspectives of feminism, Marxism and abolitionism.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will bring the body to the centre of your sociological analysis. We will encourage you to think about how bodies are considered as a sign of identity and an embodiment of success as they are measured against social values. This will lead you to think about how different bodies experience privileges or discriminations. You will consider how bodies are thought about in relation to:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Race
  • Health
  • Class.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will critically examine the most serious crime: murder. The module will see you discussing different types of murder and the explanations given for committing it. You will also analyse how different societies around the world respond to murder and those who commit it. Topics covered include:

  • The historical landscape of murder
  • Domestic murder
  • Infanticide
  • Murderabilia and serial murder
  • Murder at war and sanctioned killing
  • Punishment.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will give you the skills needed to analyse the relationship between the social and the spatial. You will consider different theoretical positions on the value, issues and ideas of space. Together we will explore how space is connected to other social concerns such as power, culture, the everyday and deviance.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will apply your knowledge of social theory to technology. Electronic devices, social media and data are a huge part of everyday life, and you will assess why they are so important to society. You will examine our digital society by exploring:

  • The digital economy
  • Data and surveillance
  • Technology and the environment
  • Digital health.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will examine the emergence of social problems and explore how social policies attempt to tackle them. You will explore different perspectives of what a social problem is, focusing on contemporary issues in Yorkshire and the North East, such as:

  • Migration
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Health.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will study crime in the media in a way that goes beyond the traditional topics studied. You will draw on new developments in criminology to explore how crime is presented in video games, wound culture and the aesthetics of crime. You will not stop there though. You will also think about the role crime plays in stories, about voyeurism and the impact the media has on policymaking.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will focus on imprisonment and penal policy. You will engage with debates about the value of prison as you critique arguments on prison as punishment, as a deterrent, and as rehabilitation. By engaging with the theory, practice and history of imprisonment you will evaluate the development and use of prisons within the justice system. You will also examine the philosophy of punishment and explore how social control is fundamental to aspects of social relations.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will investigate how cities shape social life, influence behaviour and determine how authoritative structures operate within their borders. You will engage with the idea that urban criminality is directly related to the geographical, developmental and political decisions a city makes. As you explore how space is unequally distributed based on factors such as race, income, tourism and history, you will start to understand how the built environment is a form of social control.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Understanding youth is an essential part of understanding societal vulnerabilities, policies, cultures and inequalities. This module gives you the opportunity to build that understanding. You will engage in discussion about the nature and construction of youth and explore the cultural aspects of young peoples' lives. Focusing on youth justice, you will also analyse aspects of contemporary youth policy and different sociological perspectives regarding young people's resistance.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to the sociological understanding of migration through the ages. You will consider migration alongside political and economic processes. This will allow you to understand how migration has shaped and challenged the formation of states and the concept of nationhood. You will also consider how it impacts national and local economies.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module gives you the chance to study the sociology of health and illness, a key area of sociological study. You will apply your knowledge of sociological concepts to discuss topics like:

  • Illness and self identity
  • The doctor-patient relationship
  • Therapy cultures
  • Power and privilege in healthcare
  • The placebo effect
  • Heath inequalities.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to key discussions in economic and digital sociology. From health and self-tracking to forming relationships on apps like Tinder and using Bitcoins on cryptomarkets, the rise of digital media and technologies present important sociological questions. You will examine these questions and discuss the impact of technology on society. You will examine case studies from services and enterprises that have changed the way we live.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the social context of death by analysing how societies define, interact with and portray death. You will develop an understanding of the role death plays in contemporary cultures and societies, examining how attitudes to death are changing. You will cover a range of themes including:

  • Death tourism and death in museums
  • Consuming death, murder, and murderabilia
  • How death is managed on social media
  • Obituaries and the cultural dissemination of death
  • Corpses, cremation, burial and disposal.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We deliver your modules through:

  • Lectures - explore different Criminology themes and issues
  • Seminars - discuss, debate and analyse material from your lectures
  • Workshops - discuss a topic with your coursemates.

You will usually study 3 modules per semester. Each has 2 to 4 hours of contact time a week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9:00am and 8:00pm, Monday to Friday. You will need to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include reading, writing tasks and research. You can also arrange academic tutorials with your module tutors throughout the year to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

Assessment types vary from module to module. Some of your assessments might include:

  • Annotated bibliographies
  • Essays
  • Online portfolios
  • Open exams - where you can take in research materials.
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations
  • Research proposals.

For each assessment you will have the chance to talk to a tutor about your work before submission. Each assessment will be returned with feedback so you can improve your academic writing.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Sociology

On this course you will gain valuable skills which can lead to a variety of different career paths, some of which are directly related to sociology and some allow you to apply your skills more broadly. You will gain research, analytical and presentation skills that are in high demand in a range of careers.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Charity officer
  • Community development worker
  • Family support officer
  • International aid worker
  • Social researcher
  • Youth worker.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Postgraduate courses

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

This course is available with a foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Law, Policing and Social Sciences foundation year

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

Course highlights

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