This course is open for applications
Page last updated 2 November 2022
Get to the heart of the issues facing society today by taking placements or internships, working with leading experts and developing your own insights into how to make a difference.
Why study sociology?
In a rapidly changing social landscape, studying society and people's relationship with it is increasingly important.
By exploring the nature, causes and effects of people's beliefs and behaviour, we can better understand social order and social change.
Sociologists are particularly good at evaluating, reasoning and communicating. They assess and map the context of social issues and problems skills that employers will value whatever career you choose.
Why UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Sociology focuses on how we can make a difference to 'self and society' using sociological theories and approaches.
Through a broad range of modules, and with the support of our staff who are leaders in their field, you'll engage with real issues, and develop fresh insights and solutions to help improve people's lives.
Learn to evaluate evidence, approach problems from multiple perspectives, and build your expertise in research, analysis and communication.
Carry out your own research projects to develop, test and apply new solutions to contemporary problems. Student projects have focused on the refugee/economic migrant crisis, representations of gender or religion in the media, homelessness, the gender pay gap, the policing of public order and demonstrations, the impact of new technology on cultural industries, and how social class affects attitudes to education. These illustrate just a small number of the types of projects students undertake.
Gain industry insights from guest speakers, and take part in work-based learning through our links with organisations such as the Bristol Youth Offending Team, Bristol Youth Education Service and the police.
Activities such as volunteering, placements and internships will build valuable vocational experience, and deepen your skills and knowledge further, to make you highly sought after when you graduate.
Recent graduate Sophia Hanke was inspired by her course to make a short three-minute film titled 'Welcome to Sociology at UWE Bristol', which features students and lecturers talking about their course.
Where can it take me?
The broad skills and industry-focused experience you'll gain will make you attractive to a wide range of employers.
You could pursue a career in research, education, social work, charity work, counselling, politics, journalism or writing, or work in the justice, legal or media sectors.
You could also go on to do a postgraduate course or research degree.
Graduating in Sociology from UWE Bristol will open up a variety of interesting and rewarding future possibilities for you. In this short film, some of our recent Sociology graduates discuss how their course has helped them to develop their graduate careers.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study:
- Foundations in Social Theory: Provides a solid foundation in sociological knowledge by covering theories from the 'Founding Fathers' (Marx, Weber, Durkheim) through to contemporary feminism and applying their ideas to our everyday lives.
- Social Issues and Social Problems*: Covers diverse 'problems' (poverty, riots, drug misuse) to examine how Sociology makes a difference in the 'real world' by addressing pressing and complex social issues to identify policy solutions.
- Comparing Cultures: Challenges assumptions about our contemporary Western, capitalist lifestyles by comparisons with other 'non-modern' ways of life to raise profound questions around the supposed superiority of our society and its future sustainability.
- Sociological Practice - Becoming a Social Scientist*: Cultivates the sociological imagination to examine how 'the private troubles of individuals reflect and constitute the public issues of our times' (C. Wright Mills) while providing the basics of social research skills.
- Critical Thinking (Sociology and Criminology): Develops critical thinking capacities vital to higher education through symposia designed to enable an appreciation of the ambiguity and uncertainty of knowledge and the importance of advancing structured and coherent arguments to academic success.
- Study exchange (if possible and applicable)
*Accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).
If you choose the study exchange option, you'll spend the first and/or second semester of year two studying at another university.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
You will study:
- Theorising Social Life: Deepens knowledge of sociological theories through applying key theorists (e.g. Bourdieu, Foucault and Ahmed) to a range of stimulating themes and topics (social class, gender & sexuality, 'race', culture, environment and work).
- Nature and Use of Research (Sociology): Develops the research knowledge and skills already developed at level one and starts applying them to your own independent research project undertaken at level three by way of producing a research proposal.
- Developing Self and Society (Sociology): Designed to help make a difference to yourself and society by linking sociological knowledge to work and community-based engagement thereby helping to identify personal qualities, professional skills and career aspirations.
Plus, one optional module from:
- Gender and Society: Examines gendered power relations amongst women and between women and men and explores gender identities and inequalities through focussing on a range of practices and phenomena (dieting, dating, drag queens etc.).
- Difference: Race, Ethnicity and Diversity in Contemporary Society: Uses our multi-cultural city of Bristol as a starting point for exploring diversity in a national and global context through a highly varied set of themes and topics (slavery, immigration, Islamophobia etc.).
and one optional module from:
- Transgression: Uses case studies from diverse fields (religion, sport, sex etc.) to examine how breaking taboos can be intensely exciting and pleasurable as well as if and how transgression is punished socially and legally.
- Love, Intimacy and Personal Life: The Sociology of Families: Investigates continuity and change in intimate personal relationships and family life through a focus on a range of phenomena (online dating, weddings, refugee parenting, pets as kin etc.).
Placement year (if applicable)
If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.
Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
You will study:
- Sociology Project and Placement Module: Produces an independent research project conducted under the supervision of an expert in the sociological field in which the project is located. A short placement may, if chosen, form the basis for this research.
Plus three optional modules from:
- Stop, Look, Listen: A Sociology of Culture: Uses cutting edge theory to problematise what culture is across a range of cultural fields, but with a particular emphasis on popular music as reflects the academic expertise of the module leader.
- Protest, Policing and Public Order: Uses key concepts to produce a case study analysis of the mobilisation and policing of protest groups and social movements ranging from gay liberation and animal rights through to Extinction Rebellion and #Blacklivesmatter.
- Childhood Disorder and Disordered Childhood: Explores elements of contemporary childhood (e.g. poverty, medicalisation, fatherlessness etc.) through the lens of order/disorder within the framework of a late modernity that may be producing the over-regulation of children.
- Psychoanalysis Society and the Irrational: Applies psychoanalytic ideas such as repression, the unconscious and phantasy to varied phenomena (celebrity culture, adolescent self-harm, narcissistic individuals) to understand especially the irrational elements of social life.
- Digital Media and Society: Investigates the main social effects on our everyday lives of the proliferation of new communication technologies and computational devices within the context of an informational capitalist society dominated by networked power.
- Contemporary Critiques of Modern Society: Utilises advanced sociological theory to explain the crisis of modernity and discuss its possible resolution in relation to the big global issues (genocide, environmental catastrophe, economic collapse, war etc.).
- Seeing and Society - Applied Visual Sociology: Enables a different form of academic expression and assessment: a short documentary film on any topic of personal or public interest thereby deepening sociological understanding while also developing digital and media skills.
- Sustainable Futures: Analyses real-world case studies (car-free cities, craft production, upcycling etc.) to consider how the creative efforts of urban citizens, in Bristol and beyond, are constructing alternative and sustainable lives in the contemporary City.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
Learning and Teaching
Develop your academic and practical skills through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops, technology-based learning, media presentations, independent project work and reflective diaries.
Explore technological, cultural and psycho-social processes through an impressive range of modules. We offer modules that differ in learning approach, so you can choose those that match your style.
You'll get to interact with different organisations and social groups, and attend regular presentations from visiting practitioners so you can learn about industry challenges and best practice.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study||% check|
Community and public projects
Get involved in our Social Science in the City series of events, which engage the public in research and ideas being pursued across the University.
You'll have at least 12 hours of teaching and related activities each week.
We'll assess you using essays, seminar presentations, timed assignments, group and individual projects, literature reviews, and computer-based assessments.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment||% check|
Students who undertake work experience, or a study exchange overseas, tend to graduate with better degrees and with improved employability skills, making you a sought after graduate.
We have links with lots of employers, including the Alzheimer's Society, Bristol Children's Playhouse, Bristol Fair Trade Network, Bristol Refugee Rights, Claremont Special School, Lifeskills Centre or The Big Issue.
We also offer volunteering and other work-based experiences, to deepen your knowledge and skills.
You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
Grow your personal and professional network and develop specialist subject knowledge by spending a semester or academic year at one of our partner universities abroad.
Increase your confidence, intercultural communication skills and boost your employability.
Explore our study abroad pages to find out more.
Learn in modern, well-equipped facilities to support your study of sociology.
Enjoy 24 hour access to our main university library, which has spaces for silent and group study, and rooms you can book.
You'll have use of books, trade press, academic journals, and industry databases both on and off campus.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
Our graduates are increasingly in demand by employers for their research and IT skills, their literacy and numeracy, and their understanding of individuals, social institutions and processes.
Many students choose to go into the public sector in local or central government or the civil service. Others take their skills into healthcare, the justice service, education, journalism, politics, public relations or human resources.
Many students also progress to postgraduate study and research degrees.
Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.
We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.
Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.
Part Time Course
Full-time; sandwich course
Supplementary fee information
This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.
- Tariff points: 112
- Contextual tariff: See our contextual offers page.
- GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in English Language or Literature and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as alternatives to GCSEs.
- English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*). *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit http://uwe.ac.uk/englishlanguagerequirements
- A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
For information on required Guided Learning Hours please see our minimum entry requirements page.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
- Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
- T Levels: No specific subjects required.
If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Sociology (with Foundation Year).
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages. If you are an international student and do not meet the academic requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.