Sociology

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If you're interested in social issues and behaviour, then Sociology, which is the study of society, could be the degree for you.

In our fast changing world, Sociology is an exciting and increasingly relevant subject. Sociology at Bath Spa University is taught in an varied, interesting and supportive way by a small enthusiastic team. The Sociology programme will help you understand more about the world around you, give you insights into social problems and debates and also give you important skills that will prepare you for the workplace or postgraduate training.

Sociology is the study of societies, cultures, and groups. We live in complex societies with laws and informal rules that govern how we interact. Sociology helps you to understand more about yourself, others and the way society is organised.

Why study Sociology?

Do you want to know more about the world we live in, do you care about the world and do you want to make a difference? 

Sociologists understand social behaviour, social change and how social systems work. Sociology helps you become more informed and to think smarter. If you have an enquiring mind or find it easy to appreciate different points of view, then you will probably find that you have a flair for sociology.

Course structure

We work hard to provide supportive and flexible learning that can be tailored to your individual needs. We make a large part of our lecture materials available on-line. 

As well as learning Sociology you will enhance the skills that you will need when you begin work or start on your career.

In the first year you will be introduced to Sociology as well as to the techniques and philosophies of the social sciences. We focus on the concept of identity and you will learn more about yourself and others. We do not assume that you will have studied Sociology before, (but if you have, you will be able to access learning that is appropriate for you).

The second year builds on the first and allows you to begin to specialise in more specific areas of Sociology such as education, health, crime, work, age and gender. We also provide practical training in research skills – essential for your final year project work and these are the sorts of skills that employers value.

In the final year you can concentrate on an aspect of sociology that most interests you in a dissertation with the support of a member of staff as a supervisor. You can also focus on more detailed subjects such as globalisation, the state, families, the environment or ethnicity and racism.

Modules

Year 1

  • Discovering Sociology
  • Society, Space and Welfare
  • Exploring Childhood

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Sociology: Perspectives and Debates
  • Social Science Research Methods

Optional modules:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Sociology of Education
  • Social Diversity and Social Divisions
  • Issues in Mental Health and Illness

Year 3

Compulsory modules:

  • Dissertation

Optional modules:

  • Globalisations: Crises and Opportunities
  • Global Work and Organisation
  • Ethnic Diversity and Racism in Britain
  • Community Engagement
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Disability - A Life Course Approach
  • Religions and Spirituality in Society

Course assessment

Assessment methods vary and include essays, reports, book and article reviews, seen and unseen examinations, portfolios, learning journals, individual and group presentations. You'll never be assessed without our making it clear exactly what we expect and you always know at the start of the year how - and when - you'll be assessed. We work constantly with you to help you improve your performance. As well as learning more about sociology, you will find that the range of assessments are designed to enable you to reflect on your own strengths and abilities. This will be of value in helping you to develop the sort of skills that employers need, for example, professional-standard communication, analysis, evaluating evidence, problem-solving and decision-making.

Sociology at Bath Spa provides plenty of choice within a flexible structure with opportunities to gain a good general grounding in a broad range of social science subjects. This can be an advantage if you’re not quite sure exactly what you want to study.

Teaching methods

Sociology is taught by a small, enthusiastic team who will get to know you and be able to provide appropriate support. Students often comment on how much they enjoy studying sociology at Bath Spa, we work hard to foster a friendly atmosphere where everyone can feel welcomed and valued. We use a range of teaching and learning strategies: lectures, classes, workshops, group work and individual study.

The department has a range of resources available to sociology students. We make a large part of our lecture notes and supporting material available on-line and we also have a film club that provides an opportunity to explore issues raised in your learning in a more informal setting.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

To contact the department directly, please call Rosemary McKechnie on 0122 587 5559 or e-mail: r.mckechnie@bathspa.ac.uk

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

A Sociology degree is useful for any career that involves working with people, either in the private, public or 'third' sectors, typically:

  • Management or administration in the public or private sector
  • Human resource management or marketing
  • Media or journalism
  • Social work
  • Health education or nursing
  • Law
  • The police
  • Penal institutions
  • Probation and working with offenders
  • Work in the voluntary sector
  • Social research

Since 2011, employers such as the National Osteoporosis Society, the Ministry of Defence, Wiltshire Council and Truro College have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Assistant Education Officer, Student Services Assistant and Relocation Advisor.

What students say...

Graduate profile: Anna Brent, graduated 2004

“I studied Sociology alongside Study of Religions. After a year in recruitment I decided to move into HR to focus on more of the ‘people’ aspect, and got a job as a HR Administrator at KPMG. I am now a HR Business Advisor and continue to work and enjoy my time there.

I look back at my three years at Bath Spa with a smile. There were some turbulent times, financially, meeting deadlines and dealing with the mix of different personalities, but overall the experience made me stronger and prepared me well for the world of work in building relationships, managing my income and helping to organise and prioritise my work. After 10 years I am very proud to say that all the girls I living with in hall of residence we are all still friends and have attended each other’s weddings and see each other at 2–3 times a year. You all hold a special bond with the people you go to university with.”