Sociology BA (Hons)
What makes Sociology at Worcester special?
Sociology offers a critical perspective on contemporary society. We explore the way society is developing and the present day social crisis, including the problems of globalisation, inequality, crime and conflict. You will become adept at analysing the influence of social structures, rules and ideas on individual lives; and gain an understanding of the ways in which people respond to these circumstances. Sociology enables you to better grasp the social world you live in and approach it with a sceptical mind.
Sociology at the University of Worcester has a long history and continues to develop a distinctive curriculum that emphasises the international and political dimensions of contemporary society, while offering a specialist focus on themes of sexuality, intimacy, emotions and the body.
The knowledge and skills you will acquire can then be used across multiple sectors of employment and is particularly relevant for careers in areas such as counselling, education, youth work, business and politics.
- Our curriculum emphasises a range of distinctive fields, including gender, sexualities and the sociology of personal life, race and ethnicity, education, and crime.
- Our staff have extensive professional experience in teaching, research and public engagement.
- We are a small and lively course, and you will have extensive opportunities to meet your teachers and classmates, work in one-to-one tutorials, and receive personalised feedback on your learning.
- Within our course, you will have the opportunity to learn a foreign language or study abroad, either for a semester or a whole academic year.
“The academic staff team has been extremely supportive and provided me with valuable feedback, both written and verbal.”
It's not too late to apply!
What qualifications will you need?
UCAS tariff points
104 UCAS tariff points
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com
If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.
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What will you study?
Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.
BA (Hons) in Media & Cultural Studies and Sociology
I came to Worcester from Galati in Romania to study joint honours in Media & Cultural Studies and Sociology. This was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I could have ever taken; the course matched my interests entirely and has been truly inspiring, as I have expanded my knowledge of some really challenging topics. It was also extremely helpful that some of my lecturers happened to teach across both subjects.
Since graduating collaborated with the Institute of Health and Society to deliver a session on moral panics and dementia, worked within the Communication and Participation Department as an administrator and am helping on events such as Open Days and Corporate Events and I have now returned to study on a Masters programme.
BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics graduate
Alice chose her Joint Honours courses because she lived in Worcester, “liked the course information and felt comfortable at the Open Day”. Alice “loved the variety of modules and the lecturers where fantastic”. She is currently volunteering as well as fulfilling family care responsibilities. Alice has applied to undertake a “taught MA at Warwick University in Gender and International Development”, and then plans to “return to Worcester to study for a PhD.”
BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies and Sociology graduate
Nathan graduated in 2010 and decided to study at Worcester “because of the positive things that I had heard about the university and the town of Worcester itself. Also, Worcester offered a greater range of courses that I could study in combination, and this was the main reason why I chose it.” The best feature of the Sociology course was the way that it “broadened how I viewed society and its structures. I found the modules that focussed on race and education the most interesting.” Nathan is currently working as a Behaviour Support Officer in a secondary school, where he is second in charge of an inclusion unit. Nathan also teaches RE and Citizenship unqualified. Nathan will be fulfilling his ambition to become a fully qualified teacher when he takes up a place at the University of Roehampton to complete his PGCE Secondary in Religious Education in September 2014.
Graduate, Sociology BA (Hons)
“Coming to university made me feel 20 years younger. I was just another student, and I felt like I really belonged. I have spoken at several groups and talked about what I have done, with the aim of proving to others that they can do it too. It's amazing how many people say ‘I wish I could be like you’ - and I tell them 'you can'."
BA (Hons) Sociology graduate
Kirsten chose the course at Worcester initially for reasons of convenience, “because I had two very young children at the time and needed to study somewhere within a reasonable distance from my home. The flexible, modular system suited my needs and the University appeared friendly and approachable. As a mature student who had not studied at ‘A’ level, this was important as I didn’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed. The course was excellent with a good choice of modules that covered a wide range of topics within sociology. The lecturers were knowledgeable, approachable and made the effort to get to know their students. The assessments were varied and interesting, offering a variety of questions from which to select. The modular system also enabled me to sample other subjects: I studied a number of History modules which were very interesting and there were modules in completely unrelated subjects that were also available to me.”
Kirsten is currently working as part-time administrator at the University’s Graduate Research School because “it is a job that fits in with my childcare responsibilities. However I would really like to carry on with further study in the future and to complete a Masters or MPhil degree.”
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
You are taught through a combination of;
- Lectures that give an introduction and overview of topics studied as part of the content of each module.
- Seminars, often featuring small group work and/or round table discussion of published and/or audio-visual materials. These support, extend and develop your knowledge of the topics introduced by lecture.
- Workshops focusing on preparation for a range of different types of assignment. These develop your understanding and competence for assignment work.
- Tutorials are one-to-one work with module tutors, usually focusing on assignment preparation or assignment feedback.
- Assessed and non-assessed, individual and/or group classroom presentations. These help you to the build the skills and confidence for presenting ideas and information in a supportive public environment.
In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.
You have an opportunity to gain and reflect upon a work-placement in your second year as part of a Work Project Module, supervised by the module tutor.
In a typical week you will have around 12 contact hours of teaching as a full time student studying four modules in a semester. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.
Typically class contact time will be structured around:
- Four one-hour lecturers or interactive large group sessions.
- Four two-hour seminar/workshop periods.
The three hours of contact for each module may be scheduled as a block, or with the lecture and seminar at different times.
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 28 hours of personal self-study per week in teaching weeks and forty hours in the assessment weeks (when you are working on assignments at the end of the module).
Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.
You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes Dr Luke Devine, Dr Simon Hardy, Dr Mehreen Mirza, Lesley Spiers and Mike Webb.
Teaching is informed by the lecturing staff’s research and consultancy work. Most of the team also have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Formative Assessment methods include class presentations, completion of assignment plans or drafts, tutorials, workshop discussions and exercises.
Each module has one or more ‘summative’ assessments that are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, presentations and a final year independent studies project.
The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:
- Year 1: Book Reviews; short essays; reflective autobiography; group presentation.
- Year 2: Written portfolio; shorts essays; long essays; book reviews; oral presentations; research proposals; work place project reports.
- Year 3: Independent Research Project; long essays; written portfolio; poster presentations; literature review; oral presentation.
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.
Meet the team
Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:
Dr Simon Hardy (Head of Division)
Simon and has lectured at Worcester in Sociology and Media & Cultural Studies since 1995, with specialisms in the history of sexuality, the sociology of pornography and contemporary media coverage of warfare.
Dr Hardy’s current research project addresses social and historical aspects of the development of pornography in modern society.
His book The Reader, The Author, His Woman and Her Lover was published by Cassell in 1998. Since then he has published a series of articles and essays on various aspects of pornography and erotic culture in the journal Sexualities (of which he is a member of the editorial board), and in a range of other journals and edited collections.
Luke is Course Leader and Admissions Tutor for Politics and also teaches in Sociology, having in the past frequently taught in History. Luke enjoys working in partnership with students to create exciting, dynamic and interactive learning and teaching environments.
Luke’s teaching is based on contemporary and classical political philosophies, “race”, gender, anti-Semitism, Shoah, and post-structural and postmodernist perspectives.
Luke is committed to student-led teaching, developing diverse learning, teaching and assessment strategies, and to continued professional development. In 2014 and 2015 Luke won the University of Worcester Student Led Teaching Awards’ “Outstanding University Teacher” award, and was nominated again in 2016. Luke is also a passionate advocate of the University’s Module Resource Lists.
Mike is Course Leader for BA Politics: People and Power. At Worcester, he teaches across Politics and Sociology undergraduate courses with particular emphases on crime, political campaigning, the world of work, and social welfare.
His teaching also draws on his varied background as a former economics researcher, national organiser of a youth movement, special school teacher, and lecturer in media.
Mike is a member of the Social Policy Association and has a long history of involvement in pressure groups and political parties. He has, for example, stood in the Worcester constituency as a General Election candidate.
Lesley Spiers’ teaching and research interests are wide-ranging. Previous research has included examining femininity and discourses of dieting, beauty therapists and their relationships with clients as well as offering critiques on popular culture including the TV programme Little Britain. She has also worked on learning and teaching research projects with her colleagues across the Institute, focusing specifically on the way that academic subjects embed ‘employability’ into their curricula.
Where could it take you?
A degree in Sociology is a gateway to many careers, especially jobs that involve managing and communicating with people, thinking out solutions to problems, and understanding the diverse society in which we live. Our graduates have an excellent employment record and have taken up a variety of careers, including careers in housing, the probation service, youth work, caring professions, social services, the police, business and personnel management, public relations, media, marketing, and teaching.
In order to help you reflect, plan and work on your career and progression aspirations, Sociology provides a number of opportunities for you to discuss and develop them.
During your time at Worcester you will have the opportunity to experience subject-related work experience and volunteering activity. In Year 2 you can choose to register for a Sociology work experience module and to take up volunteering opportunities with local and regional organisations. (These are regularly publicised to students).
Request or download a prospectusRequest now
How much will it cost?
Full-time tuition fees
UK and EU students
The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2018/19 will be £12,100 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
Part-time tuition fees
UK and EU students
The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2018/19 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.
If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.
Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.
We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.
For full details visit our accommodation page.
How do you apply?
Applying through UCAS
Sociology BA - L300
See our Sociology degrees page for Joint Honours options.
UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.