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Sociology BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Society is rapidly changing. Our multicultural and diverse world is becoming increasingly complex - bringing about challenges and problems that we, as sociologists, seek to tackle. At NTU, our role is to deliver you as a sociology graduate ready for the real world, well-prepared to address these changes.

We believe that the study of sociology should not be confined to the university classroom but that you should have the chance to apply your knowledge to do public good, benefiting communities and wider society. You’ll take advantage of our teaching team’s connections with individuals and organisations in the local and international community to learn from active researchers.

Studying with us, you’ll engage in the most pressing contemporary social issues of our time - from gender equality to race and ethnicity, environmental sociology to media, popular and digital cultures. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills to tackle some of today’s most challenging problems. You’ll stand out as an actively engaged citizen. You’ll be ready to make a real difference to society - whether that’s working in the public, private, or third sector.

  • Taking sociology outside the classroom – sometimes literally - in local and national field trips and assessments that ask you to address the connections of what you learn in the classroom with the world in which we live.
  • Employability – Sociology at NTU opens up a wide range of career options in the public sector, Education, Welfare Services, Human Resources, Public relations, or Marketing to name a few.
  • Freedom to build your degree with the choice of a wide range of contemporary modules in line with your specific interests and career aims.
  • The experience of working with a wide range of students in a thriving interdisciplinary environment with research-led and actively engaged staff.

What you’ll study

The BA Sociology degree has been developed to reflect the diversity of our students and to examine social issues. Not just through the dominant ideas of Western sociology, but through the perspectives of scholars from across the globe.

Throughout the course, we integrate the analysis of social problems, social research training and sociological theory with a strong focus on employment. We'll work with you to develop a complex skill set in analysis, critical thinking, digital competency and personal confidence to ensure you’re well-prepared for the future jobs market.

Here’s a breakdown of the core and optional modules you’ll be studying across your course:

Foundations of Social Theory (20 credit points)

  • You’ll develop an understanding of early sociological thought on modern societies and the still pervasive ideas that arose from that thinking.
  • You’ll appraise the ‘modernity thesis’ and its principal ideas emanating from classical sociological thought.
  • You’ll describe and explain the ideas and themes of non-western approaches to the discussion of social life (e.g. Islamic and Southern Theory) and their critiques of Enlightenment sociology.

What is Society? (20 credit points)

  • You’ll examine how a variety of social structures and institutions shape society.
  • You’ll develop an understanding of the relationship between structure and agency.
  • You’ll examine strategies which have been used for challenging structural inequalities.

Identity, Culture and Student Life (20 credit points)

  • You’ll be introduced to key ideas around identity, culture and everyday life.
  • You’ll use student life as a lens to bring together sociological knowledge, and personal experience.
  • You’ll develop your ability to use your sociological imagination to interrogate everyday experiences.

Working Lives (20 credit points)

  • You’ll be introduced to sociological approaches to the study of work and employment, by connecting a reflexive approach to your own experiences of work with an awareness of broad societal trends.
  • You’ll engage with a range of sociological modes of enquiry, including academic literature, fictional and documentary films, and roleplay.

Foundations of Social Research and Academic Practice (20 credit points)

  • You’ll be provided with the foundations of social research and academic practice that you require to study effectively in higher education.
  • You’ll search for and evaluate different kinds of evidence, from primary and secondary sources.
  • You’ll develop effective self-management, improve communication and help you to gain an awareness of how effective study and learning skills promote lifelong learning.

Introduction to Sustainability (20 credit points)

  • You’ll be introduced to the interdisciplinary field of sustainability, its origins and evolution, and its relevance in addressing contemporary social challenges.
  • You’ll learn about how sustainability can be incorporated into social and institutional practices.
  • You’ll consider your own behaviours in relation to helping address the sustainability agenda.

Core Modules

Constructing Modern Societies (20 credit points)

  • You’ll further develop your understanding of the modern world by applying contemporary social theory.
  • You’ll adopt a decolonial approach to knowledge through the introduction to global sociological perspectives.
  • You’ll apply reflexivity and critical awareness skills in the real world by integrating sociological thought and practice.

Sociology and Service Learning (20 credit points)

  • You’ll work with social and civic organisations seeking to make a difference in a wide range of contemporary social issues.
  • You’ll apply your sociological thinking to real-world issues and problems, working with practitioners, academics and community members as ‘public sociologists’.
  • You’ll develop your ‘disciplinary identity’ as a public sociologist through the application of theory to practice contributing positively to a social justice issue.

Applied Social Research (20 credit points)

  • You’ll develop your understanding of research in the Social Sciences, and learn how research skills are applied in pursuit of social knowledge.
  • There is a strong emphasis on application to provide an opportunity to highlight your research skills by developing a research portfolio.
  • You’ll learn about research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, data analysis and appropriate presentation of research findings.

Sustainable Futures (20 credit points)

  • You will explore and evaluate what we mean by sustainable futures and how we may engage with everyday issues in a sustainable manner
  • You’ll explore various social issues ranging from food and fuel poverty, sustainable transport, mental health connected to inclusion and exclusion, equality and social justice, social cohesion, and well-being.
  • You’ll develop an understanding of the connection between social sustainability and social justice, both at local level and in the wider context of globalisation.

Optional Modules

Religion, Nonreligion and Everyday Belief (20 credit points)

  • You’ll be introduced to some of the major discussions within the sociology of religion (e.g. concerning secularisation, individualisation and fundamentalism).
  • You’ll consider contemporary debates concerning religion/spirituality (e.g. around issues of gender, sexuality, freedom of speech and violence).
  • You’ll explore the role of religion/spirituality in the lives of believers and faith communities.

Sociology of Education (20 credit points)

  • You’ll develop an understanding of the evolution of formal education, focusing particularly on policy developments designed to combat educational inequality.
  • You’ll explore the sociological characteristics of lifelong learning and how these influence individual ‘learning careers’.
  • You’ll reflect on your own ‘learning career’ as part of your ongoing career development.

Politics and Social Justice (20 credit points)

  • You’ll gain a critical understanding of how sociologists have studied political phenomena.
  • You’ll examine a range of sociological approaches towards the state, society and power.
  • You’ll engage political sociology in the analysis of contemporary politics, policy areas, and social justice.

Gender, Sex and Sexuality (20 credit points)

  • You’ll be introduced to the theoretical, political and cultural perspectives of gender, sex and sexuality.
  • You’ll differentiate and evaluate a range of sociological approaches to understanding concepts of gender, sex and sexuality.
  • You’ll identify and construct accounts of contemporary practices around, and representations of gender within a historical social context.

The Body in Society (20 credit points)

  • You’ll explore how aspects of the human body relate to the social organisation of everyday life from a sociological perspective.
  • You’ll consider the body in sociology through a focus on key theoretical perspectives relating to embodiment, and research addressing related issues.
  • You’ll develop an understanding of the range of social and cultural factors that make the body more central to the contemporary self.

Sociology of Consumption (20 credit points)

  • You’ll identify the social, cultural, political, and economic significance of consumption practices.
  • You’ll consider and critique differing meanings of consumption and a variety of sociological and related theories that account for its significance.
  • You’ll situate consumption practices within a broader analysis of capitalism, past and present, considering its social divisions and locating it in wider debates about power, sustainability and inequality.

Digital Culture and Society (20 credit points)

  • You'll develop an understanding of contemporary sociological perspectives in which the impact of technologies is an integral focus.
  • You’ll evaluate social transition in relation to technological developments.
  • You’ll develop critical skills in evaluating and developing digital content.

Core Modules

Theorising Contemporary Society (20 credit points)

  • You’ll gain an understanding of contemporary sociological theory by demonstrating its usefulness in helping us to understand issues and social practices in contemporary society.
  • You’ll critically reflect upon key concepts and emphases of contemporary sociological thought.
  • You’ll identify both similarities and differences between issues in classical sociological theory and issues found in contemporary sociological theory.

Sociology of Work and Career (20 credit points)

  • You’ll make explicit sociological links between ‘work’ and ‘career’ – where the concept of ‘career’ will enable you to understand how work relates to other activities undertaken through the life course (e.g. volunteering, formal and informal learning, leisure.)
  • You’ll apply career development theory as a means of understanding your personal experiences of ‘work’ and ‘career’.
  • You’ll engage with formative and summative assessment opportunities that serve to facilitate your career and personal development.

Research Project (40 credit points)

  • You’ll bring together your learning across your degree into a sustained piece of independent learning which can be delivered in the format of a dissertation or a research-based report for a local organisation.
  • You’ll be supported with one-to-one supervision from a member of academic staff.
  • You’ll develop analytical and presentation skills for future employability.

Optional Modules

Race, Culture and Society (20 credit points)

  • You’ll critically analyse the construction of ‘race’, racial identity and racism in a historical and contemporary context.
  • You’ll use sociological perspectives to investigate the relationship between ‘race’, other social identities and contemporary social issues including decolonisation.
  • You’ll explore the contestability of apparently fixed concepts like ‘race’ ethnicity, culture and identity in order to understand how ‘race’, racism and colonial logic feature in contemporary social policy.

Identities and Intimacies (20 credit points)

  • You’ll develop your understanding of the construction and management of personal and social identities in contemporary western society, and globally through the lens of personal life.
  • You'll explore sociological approaches to the study of intimacy, sex, and love and their relevance to contemporary discussions of well-being.
  • You’ll analyse a variety of contemporary close and personal relationships (e.g. marriage, family, friendship, sexual partners) across cultures and traditions.

Popular Culture (20 credit points)

  • You’ll expand your understanding of the social and political, to questions of power which shape our everyday experiences and the cultural representations of the world in which we live.
  • You’ll be provided with the theoretical resources to critically analyse a range of cultural texts, including screen and other media cultures, youth cultures, and fashion, as well as the everyday experience of the home, sites of consumption, sport and leisure.
  • You’ll draw on a wide range of theoretical traditions and empirical case studies from around the world, including cinematic, TV and musical traditions.

Sociology of Harm (20 credit points)

  • You’ll interrogate social harm as a lens through which to understand and explain injustices in contemporary society.
  • You’ll take a broad sociological approach to (in)justice, moving beyond individualistic, legalistic, and traditional criminological explanations.
  • You’ll develop a critical appreciation of crime, the possibility of agency and importantly new and emerging social justice insights.

Environmental Justice (20 credit points)

  • You’ll cover a range of sociological theories which have come to underpin the developing area of environmental sociology, and explore how they help us understand and respond sustainably to major social and environmental challenges of today.
  • You’ll adopt a reflexive sociological standpoint towards how environmental change can be explained and addressed.
  • You’ll develop transferrable and applied knowledge and skills and apply these to address environmental justice in contemporary policy, social practices and institutions.

Cities and Urban Life (20 credit points)

  • You’ll examine a range of social, political, economic and cultural issues and theoretical perspectives within an urban context.
  • You’ll gain an appreciation of global sociology, by integrating perspectives on urbanism and urbanization derived from beyond Europe and North America.
  • You’ll critically reflect upon your own urban experience of living and/or studying in Nottingham.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Jermaine Tchama

Sociology is a course that makes you think a lot about yourself and the world around you, especially in times like these where there is a lot of political and social turmoil which is one of the reasons, I decided to take it.

Harriet Argyle

I have felt so supported by the lecturers and I have found real success within my passions. I cannot recommend this place enough, it has been truly life changing.

Charlotte Hateley

I wanted to learn about the power of media and religion, and the institutions that constitute society - then further develop that into employment.

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How you’re taught

To make sure you get the most out of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods.

Structured teaching will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and computer room sessions. The smaller group seminars and workshops provide opportunities to develop problem-solving skills, group work, analysis, debating skills, presentation skills and discussion about a wide range of views.

Tutorials with staff

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions, you'll have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and gain feedback about your work
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances or your university experience.

Independent study

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout the three years of your course the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to undertake an independent research project in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors and if necessary ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Virtual learning environment

You'll also use our virtual learning environment, NOW, which is a flexible web-based system that allows you to have 24-hour access to module learning materials and reading lists. It allows you to discuss work with tutors and other students and submit coursework electronically from anywhere in the world.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by enthusiastic, engaged and expert staff. The courses all draw upon their expertise, research interests and experience and many have also published textbooks in their specialist area of interest. You'll develop specialist knowledge based on the teams’ expertise in several areas including:

  • gender equality
  • race and ethnicity
  • work and career
  • environmental sociology
  • media and digital cultures
  • identity and intimacy.

Make connections

As part of the Department of Social and Political Sciences and the wider school of Social Sciences, you’ll join a large community of students and staff across multiple disciplines, including Criminology, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, Social Work and Education. Sharing some of your classes with students from across the school will enable you to draw upon insights from these other subjects and develop an appreciation of the connections across the social sciences.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

How will I be assessed?

Your work will be assessed through a diverse range of activities, including coursework-based essays, reports, individual and group presentations, posters, exams and research projects

In response to student feedback, the University has introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (78%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (78%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (16%), independent study (83%)

Staff Profiles

Nick Foard

Principal Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Nick Foard is a senior lecturer in Sociology, with over twenty years’ experience of teaching and research. He has previously taught research methods, and now focuses on the interactions between…

Ricky Gee

Senior Lecturer

Sociology

Ricky Gee

Michael Keenan

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Michael Keenan

Michele Grigolo

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Dr Michele Grigolo is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University. He has researched and published on human rights, and especially human rights cities.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (67%), written (25%), practical exams (8%)
  • Year 2 coursework (60%), written (32%), practical exams (8%)
  • Year 3 coursework (67%), written (25%), practical exams (8%)

Careers and employability

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent Sociology graduates are following:

  • Youth and Community Support Worker
  • Education Professionals
  • Asylum Worker
  • Peer Mentor
  • Charity Officer
  • Social Researcher
  • Events and Resources Officer
  • Human Resource Managers
  • PR Coordinator
  • Sales Executive.

Excellent work experience opportunities

Employability is integral to this course and the modules it offers, helping you to develop a range of vital transferable skills that employers demand.

From your first year, this course will help you to develop skills for career development. You will gain opportunities to complete project work for a local, national or international organisation and acquire valuable experience by working in collaboration with one of our community partners on a social justice project. Such experiences will provide the opportunity to apply sociological knowledge gained from the degree as well as gaining important transferable skills that will be desired by future work, voluntary and educational organisations.

Your career development

This is a major part of this course. You'll develop key transferable skills, including:

  • communication
  • time management
  • problem-solving
  • teamworking
  • the ability to retrieve, manipulate and present information.

You'll also have the opportunity to develop links with relevant organisations and potential employers.

This course opens up careers in a wide range of fields in the public and private sectors. You may be keen to pursue a career in:

  • human resources
  • marketing
  • education
  • third sector work in areas such as welfare and housing
  • non-government organisations
  • youth and community work.

You may need to complete further training for some of these roles.

You may also consider studying a postgraduate sociology course to continue the intellectual curiosity and imagination the BA (Hons) Sociology will have fostered.

Our Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability team located on the City Campus. The team are well placed to give you specialist guidance and practical help that will really make a difference to your prospects once you do graduate.

Campus and facilities

As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings, including:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to:

  • Microsoft Office
  • email
  • web browsing
  • networked file storage
  • high-speed online printing services

The University’s main resource room in the library is available 24 hours a day.

Book and library resources

In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Criminology. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our:

  • electronic resources
  • journals
  • books.

We have a liaison librarian who is available to give you detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources. They can also help you with things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

City location

The location of the City Campus also means that you have easy access to:

  • sports facilities
  • shops
  • student accommodation
  • music venues
  • cafés.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 104 – 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.


Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form.

What are we looking for?

  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications.
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Tuition fees for September 2023 entry

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government. Visit our fees page for more information.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Students completing the four year degree may choose to apply for a study abroad option instead of a work placement (or a mixture of study abroad and work placement) during the third year of the course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on study abroad/placement. Travel grants and Erasmus funding may be available to help fund international travel costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

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