BSc(Hons) Sociology with Psychology (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications.
Page last updated 27 September 2021
Work with leading social researchers to develop your own ideas and insights to help improve lives and the social structures around them, while gaining an excellent skillset that will put you in a strong position in the job market.
Why study sociology and psychology?
Studying people and society, and the science of the mind, helps us understand what shapes different behaviours, beliefs and attitudes in different communities and parts of the world.
By exploring the cultural, political, economic and human factors that influence the way we live, we can we can engage with, research and formulate solutions to social issues from a more informed place.
You'll an in-depth understanding of sociology and psychology plus research, presentation, writing, critical analysis, and listening skills. You'll learn to use a diverse range of information sets to employ a contextual and holistic approach to social issues and problems.
Why UWE Bristol?
BSc(Hons) Sociology with Psychology focuses on making a difference to 'self and society' by exploring aspects of both of these disciplines.
In the first year, you'll split your time equally between both, before choosing to specialise in one subject.
Through a broad curriculum, and 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 from a social and psychological perspective.
Learn to evaluate evidence, approach problems from multiple angles, and build your expertise in research, analysis and communication.
Carry out your own research projects to develop, test and apply new solutions to contemporary social and psychology-related issues. Students have done projects on body image and the media, anxiety and depression in young adults, impressions of mental health in education, the psychological power of fascism, and social insecurity in the job market for young people. These are a small snapshot of the types of projects that 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 or counselling, or work in the legal or media sectors.
You could also go on to do a postgraduate course or research degree.
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.
Year zero (Foundation year)
All foundation year students study together and will take four compulsory modules covering introductions to Sociology, Criminology, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, and university level academic and study skills.
This will ensure that you have the necessary grounding across all the social science disciplines, enabling you to develop a range of perspectives that will enrich your learning at Year one and beyond.
You will study:
- Essentials of Academic Practice
- Exploring the Social World and the Problems of Crime
- From Plato to Nato
- People and Social Science.
You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into year one.
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.
- Introduction to Psychology - Provides the fundamentals of the discipline through an examination of theories, approaches and themes ranging widely from biological psychology and neuroscience through to infant and child development, and individual differences, group behaviours and identity.
- 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.
- Sociological Practice - 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)
If you choose the study exchange option, you'll spend the first and/or second semester of ear 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.).
- 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.).
- '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.).
Plus one optional Psychology module from:
- Mind, Brain and Development - Focuses on the development, biological underpinnings, cognitive processes, and neuropsychology involved in aspects of cognition such as attention, memory, language, executive functioning and decision making.
- Identities in Psychology - Covers topics in developmental and social psychology considering individual differences to explore conceptualisations of the person. The approach begins with the individual and broadens to include social and cultural approaches to identity.
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 two 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.
And two optional modules from:
- Advanced Developmental Psychology: Theory and Practice
- Applied Developmental Psychology
- Clinical Aspects of Mental Health
- Cognitive Neuropsychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Constructing Gender in Society
- Health Psychology in Practice
- Human Sexuality
- Methods in Neuroscience
- Neurodevelopmental Disorders
- Neurophysiology and Brain Imaging
- Principles of Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Psychological Perspectives on Political Violence
- Psychology and Social Justice
- Psychology in the Community
- Psychology of Addiction
- Psychology of Appearance and Embodiment
- Psychology of Consciousness
- Psychology of Sport and Exercise
- Psychology of Work, Business and Organisations
- The Arts and Mental Health.
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
Learn through a mix of formal lectures, seminars, workshops, one-to-one tutorials and ICT-based learning.
Seminars have a maximum of 20 students, to give you a good level of tutor input and support.
The course give you the chance 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.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
Community and public projects
Benefit from our close links with local schools, to take part in education-focused projects, apply your knowledge and engage with the local community.
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.
It will be approximately half coursework and half controlled assessments, although this varies module to module.
Coursework includes essays, journal article and book reviews, research reports, literature review, computer based tests and a personal reflective journal. Controlled assessment includes unseen and seen examinations, timed assignments and group and individual presentations.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, 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.
You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
Study year abroad
You'll also have opportunities to study overseas on courses that are taught in English and are relevant to your degree. The study year abroad is not a paid placement.
Study exchange allows you to take the first and/or second semester of Year two at a different university. Unlike the study year abroad, you'll complete modules to achieve equivalent credits. These modules will be decided in advance with your programme leader.
Explore our global study partners to find out which institutions participate in our exchange programme.
Learn in our modern, well-equipped facilities to support your study of sociology and psychology, including our specialist labs and computing facilities with statistical and specialist software.
Carry out social and psychological experiments, using the latest technology and analytical instrumentation, supported by dedicated psychology technicians.
Investigate perception and eye-movements related to psychological experiences in our eye-tracking labs.
Use our advanced driving simulator to assess the impact of different factors on driving performance.
You'll also have access to our fantastic health and social care library, which is one of the largest in the UK.
Our virtual learning environment is a big part of all our courses, too. You'll get to engage online with study materials, students and staff, and access blogs, videos, podcasts and discussion boards.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
This course gives you an understanding of people, society and social groups that will help you make a valuable contribution whatever career you choose.
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
Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.
You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the five year course and then transfer to the four year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.
Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.
Additional costs are for 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: 48
- GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in English Language or Literature, Mathematics and Double Science, 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.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
- Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
If you exceed the entry requirements you may be eligible for BSc(Hons) Sociology with Psychology.
If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through our International College, which upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to year one of the degree.