Sociology - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 Years), Sandwich (4 Years), Part Time (5 Years)
September 2017

Sociology helps us understand the societies in which we live and our place within them.

As one of our longest established courses, you’ll benefit from a programme of study taking an in-depth look at contemporary sociological issues, exploring and questioning social norms and discovering the complex issues behind day to day routines and social practices.  

What's covered in the course?

We explore patterns and processes of inequality, examine the structure and dynamics of social hierarchies and power relations and ask why and how people shape their identities and practice their lives. We encourage you to explore how sociological knowledge can connect individuals and how it can provide you with the skills needed to participate in debates not just about what society is but how it could be.

Through the links we’ve developed with work-place organisations such as local School Academies, Citizens Advice Bureau and Woman’s Aid, we help support you to make professional contacts and to apply your studies to real-world situations when taking part in voluntary work or on placement. 

Why Choose Us?

  • You will share a common first year with Sociology and Criminology BA (Hons), allowing you the opportunity to transfers onto the course in your second year.
  • Our National Student Survey results are consistently high, with 97% of students satisfied with the quality of the teaching on the course in 2016.
  • Our focus is on your educational development and employability.
  • On this sociology course you’ll get to think like a sociologist,
  • We are committed to providing you with an understanding of the contemporary social world by practising a form of sociological inquiry that is informed, knowledge-applied, evidence-based and interdisciplinary.
  • In your second year you can participate in the Erasmus scheme, allowing you to take a semester at a university in Europe, and there are also opportunities to study further afield such as in the USA.
  • In your final year, career consultants help you to identify and prepare for suitable employment. Areas of employment for sociology graduates can include: working for local and central government, market research and marketing, fundraising, youth, community and housing work, voluntary sector management.

This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

School of Social Sciences

Discover the School of Social Sciences

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Kings Lynn Academy
  • Options with Scope

And in jobs such as:

  • KS2 Teacher
  • Support Worker

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Typical Offers

A Level BBC or 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 subjects


BTEC D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points


GCSE GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
View Equivalent GCSE Qualifications that will be considered
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2 Pass English Language. Considered in lieu of GCSE English language at grade C+. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) BBBCC Must include English language. Required at the point of enrolment.

Other acceptable UK Qualifications

Please select a qualification from the drop-down list to view our entry requirements:

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Course Enquiries Team

EU / International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

The UCAS tariff has changed

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system has changed.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – has introduced a new system on how points are calculated. This will be different to what you may have seen if you have applied or looked at undergraduate courses previously.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 5 Years £1,542 per 20-credit module

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 Years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

Understanding Society
20 credits

This module provides you with an introduction to sociology, discussing key thinkers and how slavery, genocide and colonialism impacted on the making of the modern world. Through this module, you’ll develop key sociological skills, which you’ll continue to hone throughout the course.

Researching Social Life
20 credits

You’ll be introduced to the principles of social research, gaining a sound knowledge and an understanding of sociology as a whole. You’ll look at research that has examined social institutions, changes and dynamics, as well as looking at contemporary social issues. You’ll sharpen your research 

State and Society
20 credits

In this module, you will critically engage in policy case studies, use international comparisons and examine key policy agendas. You’ll learn about political influences, processes and ideologies, looking at migration, state policy and more. 

Sociological Imagination
20 credits

This module provides you with the tools to develop a critical awareness of a variety of sociological perspectives, along with their relevance to the contemporary social world.  

Social Construction of Crime and Deviance
20 credits

This module will examine the ways in which criminological and sociological theorising help us to challenge common sense in order to widen our understanding of a) ‘deviant’ identities and b) the operation of social control.  

City, Community, Culture
20 credits

This module focuses on key theories of the city, including theories from Black sociologists, as well as providing you with the theories we’ve learnt from the city of Birmingham. You’ll learn to understand and study the city through ethnographic methods. 

Year Two

Classical Social Theory
20 credits

This module explores the key issues of classical social theory, liberalism, Marx’s critique of capitalism and Weber’s focus on religion and rationalisation. Through this module, you’ll understand the origins for different sociological theories. 

Exploring Popular Culture
20 credits

You will examine theories relevant to the study of cultural sociology, with a specific focus on topics such as race, gender, sexuality, music and media. You’ll consider how popular culture can act to confirm or resist dominant ideologies produced in society.

Applied Sociological Research
20 credits

The module begins with questioning what applied sociological research is, and its meaning and value in a social context. In this regard, this module explores the principles of sociological research strategies and designs, and how these principles may be applied in practice.

Contemporary Social Theory
20 credits

This module will introduce you to a range of contemporary social and sociological theories, developing your knowledge and understanding of their origins. By the end of the module, you will have also acquired a range of transferrable and employability-related skills.

Public Sociology
20 credits

This module is an introduction to the field of public sociology, what it is,                        can and should mean and the question of whether or not sociologies can simultaneously negotiate identities as both scholars and activists. Topics to be covered include: public sociology orientations, public sociology student activism, engaged ethnography and participatory action research.

Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Sociology Placement
  • Sociology of the Media
  • Race, Racism and Ethnicity
  • Prisons and Punishment
  • Youth, Socialism and Identity 

Final Year

Globalisation, People and Society
20 credits

The module provides you with an opportunity to explore concepts, research and debates in relation to globalisation, people and society. The module encourages you to develop a critical approach to thinking about globalisation as a set of social and historical processes which shape the economic, political and cultural dimensions of social life. 

Self, Identity and Society
20 credits

The aim of this module to provide you with a critical understanding of how the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘identity’ are continually shaped, regulated and maintained through varying aspects of identity formation, social divisions and inequalities.

The module focuses on sociological approaches to exploring the ‘self’ and ‘identity’ in a social context. You are encouraged to develop an appreciation of the ways that identities are fluid, complex and, multifaceted. Within the teaching and learning aspects of the module you are encouraged to consider the ways in which cultural, political, social and economic contexts impact on your own and others identities through mediated practices, processes and discourses.

Integrative Project (Dissertation / Community Project / Social Entrepreneurship Project)
40 credits

The dissertation provides an opportunity for you to undertake an applied, or library-based, piece of research in an area that is of particular interest and relevance to your own intellectual needs.

The module will enable you to complete a small scale piece of social or library-based research. This will help to make you aware of the processes that go into the production of social research. You will have the opportunity to show what you can achieve in an independent project.

Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Power and Inequalities
  • Visual Sociology
  • Gender and Crime
  • Hate Crime
  • Music and Society
  • Activism, Social Movements and Social Change
  • Crime, Media, Culture
  • Black Arts Movement UK

Course Structure

We will ensure you graduate with in-depth sociological knowledge, as well as a wide range of academic, personal and professional skills.

We employ a wide variety of learning and teaching methods to ensure you are exposed to a range of learning styles, including traditional lectures, workshops, student-led sessions and our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

As well as the wide variety of learning and teaching methods employed by the programme team, we also utilise a broad range of diverse assessment methods, ensuring you acquire the relevant academic and transferrable skills required to succeed after graduation.

Our assessment methods, as with our learning and teaching methods, also share the common aim of encouraging engaged, independent and deep learners who are highly successful, knowledgeable, critical and reflective, who can demonstrate a range of relevant skills.

The course team are very committed to ensuring that you are supported in making the right choice of subjects for your needs. The programme is designed to allow you to change after your first year, so that you can be sure that the pathway meets your needs and future career aspirations.

Trips and Visits

There are opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom. Our focus on ethnographic research will encourage you to draw from the ‘everyday’ world in and around Birmingham. Additionally, study visits are planned to support your studies on topics such as slavery, the historical response to class oppression and governance.

Student stories

Stephen Harrison-Mirfield

Former Students' Union President Stephen Harrison-Mirfield has certainly not let international boundaries get in the way of his career development.

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus/study abroad exchange programme. Students have spent a semester at a number of institutions abroad, including, in the USA, San Diego State University and Western Illinois University, and in Europe, the universities of Agder (Norway) and Linnaeus (Sweden) and the Public University of Navarra (Spain).

Further Study

Examples of further study opportunities include:

  • MA Criminology
  • PhD research degrees

We’re also currently developing a Masters in Sociology which will be undergoing approval in the near future.

Enhancing employability skills

The programme is committed to excellent employability outcomes for its students. To this end, the programme team ensure that all students are actively encouraged to engage in semester-long work placements, as well as a year-long placement opportunity between the second and third year of study.

Employability and professional skills are embedded throughout the programme, including communication, research and time management. 


During your second year, you have the option to undertake a semester-long placement, allowing you to draw upon our many links with local voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations.  Additionally, between your second and third years of study you can elect to work for a placement organisation for up to 12 months. Assistance will be given.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate Jobs

Recent graduates have entered education, teaching, the media, social services and health administration, within organisations such as Birmingham City Council, Woman’s Aid and the Refugee Council.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Andrew Dixon

Senior Lecturer

Andrew Dixon teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the School of Social Sciences. He is presently the Erasmus (study abroad) tutor for the School.

Gary Hazeldine Profile Picture - 100x150

Dr Gary Hazeldine

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Gary Hazeldine has been a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Birmingham City University since 2007. Prior to this he taught at the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex, and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Dr Kehinde Andrews

Associate Professor in Sociology

In 2013, Dr Kehinde Andrews published his first book 'Resisting racism: race, inequality and the Black supplementary school movement'. He is now director of the Centre for Critical Social Research, founder of the Organisation of Black Unity, and co-chair of the Black Studies Association.

Dr Steve Garner

Head of Criminology and Sociology

Dr Steve Garner has studied and worked around the globe, in countries such as England, France, Ireland, and the USA, focusing on questions such as "What does ‘race’ mean?", "How does racism work?", and "How can racial equality be achieved?".

Dr Denise Noble

Senior Lecturer of Sociology

Denise has taught  media, cultural studies, sociology, African American and African studies, and social work in the UK and USA. In addition to her academic career she has extensive experience of community activism and community work.

Dr Eugene Nulman

Senior Lecturer

Dr Eugene Nulman joined the Sociology division of the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University in 2015. He researched the policy outcomes of climate change activism in the UK for his PhD.

Lisa Palmer profile

Dr Lisa Palmer

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Lisa Palmer's research interests include Black Studies in Britain, the cultural politics of Lover's Rock music; community archiving and heritage; the intersections of gender, sexuality, racism and decoloniality. 

Dionne Taylor

Lecturer in Sociology

Dionne Taylor is a Lecturer in Sociology interested in issues relating to gender, identities, race and ethnicity and popular cultures. She is currently completing her PhD at the University and has work experience in youth volunteer management, project co-ordination, advice and guidance.

Dr Karen Wilkes

Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Karen Wilkes's research is concerned with analysing visual culture (tourist brochures of the Caribbean, advertising, television and films). Her work examines how gender, race and class work together and are represented in popular culture.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295