Sociology helps us make sense of 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 that has been honed over several decades.
You’ll explore and question social norms, and discover the complex issues behind day-to-day routines and social practices.
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. We also enjoy close links with the city of Birmingham itself, a diverse community perfect for sociological examination.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 30 June 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid. Terms and conditions apply.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
*National Student Survey 2017
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
|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.|
|England, Wales and Northern Ireland|
|City and Guilds Level 2||N/A||Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.|
|Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2||Pass||English Language. Considered in lieu of GCSE English language at grade 4+. 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.|
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
|English language requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|Other accepted qualifications||Visit our English language page|
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
We've put together a whole host of resources including student tips and expert advice to help you nail your exams. You can even get a free revision guide.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 Years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||SW||4 Years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||PT||5 Years||See below|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 Years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||SW||4 Years||£12,000 per year (excluding sandwich year)|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
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. You can apply until 30 June.
There are three ways to apply:
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.
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.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement 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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
If you study this course part-time or via distance learning, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis. This means your fee will be calculated per module.
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.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Classical Social Theory
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
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
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
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.
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.
The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:
Globalisation, People and Society
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
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)
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.
The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:
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.
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.
Former Students' Union President Stephen Harrison-Mirfield has certainly not let international boundaries get in the way of his career development.
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).
Examples of further study opportunities include:
We’re also currently developing a Masters in Sociology which will be undergoing approval in the near future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
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.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
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) Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, 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. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.
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.