Sociology - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years), Part Time (5 years)
September 2016, 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 the excellent industry links we’ve developed with organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Woman’s Aid. You’ll have opportunities to make professional contacts and apply your studies to real-world situations when taking part in voluntary work or on placement.

On this sociology course you’ll get to think like a sociologist, and look at the link between certain types of punishment and the increased likelihood of repeat offending. You’ll also discuss the effectiveness of modern day techniques, such as ASBOs.

New for 2017/18

Sociology - BA (Hons)*

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

*This course is subject to approval.

Summary of our new course

This degree course has been designed to ensure that you graduate not only with a deep understanding of the workings of social groups, individuals, and society as a whole, but also with a wide range of transferable skills and expertise to help you succeed in your chosen career whether it be within the public, voluntary or private sectors.

Experienced and enthusiastic lecturers, with research expertise in their field, provide you with a solid grounding in sociological theory, research and practice, as well as the opportunity to choose from a wide range of options covering subjects as diverse as power and inequality, the social role and significance of music and the social construction of identities.

The course also gives you a chance to benefit from the cutting-edge thinking of the University’s Centre for Critical Social Research and provides you with opportunities to enjoy field trips, study overseas, or undertake a work placement through one of our many links with local voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations. 

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

Sociology explores and questions social norms and discovers the complex issues behind everyday routines. What makes the society we live in? Who are the people in charge? Who controls the media? Who controls the people in control? If you’re interested in answering these questions, a sociology degree is a good place to start.

You’ll share a common first year with all Sociology courses, giving you a wide range of understanding and letting you explore your interests. You’ll examine social hierarchies and inequalities, in the workplace and at home, how we spend our leisure time, and why and how people shape their identities and practise their lives.

You’ll cover topics including: sociological theories; crime and deviance; popular culture and the media; gender, race and sexuality; research methods; and globalisation.

You’ll also explore how sociological knowledge can connect with a range of non-academic audiences and how it can equip you with the skills needed to participate in debates about what society is and what it could be in the future.

“I left the University with a deep understanding of social problems and social policy. I believe that the course transformed my world view. The course improved my research, campaign and advocacy skills. It further expanded my taste for activism and desire to change society for the better.” Lamin Jassey

Why Choose Us?

  • We have strong links with local voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations such as Sifa Fireside and MACRO, giving you the chance to undertake a placement and develop your practical skills.
  • Our National Student Survey results are consistently high, with 88 per cent of students satisfied with the quality of their course in 2016. Our focus is on your employability and professional development. In your final year, career consultants help you to identify and prepare for suitable employment.
  • 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.
  • Our lecturers, such as Dr Kehinde Andrews and Dr Gary Hazeldine, have a wealth of experience across the subject and are actively involved in various research and development projects.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 8 October 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

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.

UK students

At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language at Grade C or above.  Equivalent qualification will be considered, however Adult Literacy is not accepted.

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level 280 UCAS Tariff points from a maximum of 4 subjects (minimum of 2 at A2 Level or equivalent), excluding General Studies.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits including 45 at Level 3, of which 18 Level 3 credits are at merit / distinction on a Social Sciences/Humanities pathway. If you do not hold GCSE English at grade C or above, then credits must also include English at Level 2.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) DMM
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points.
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 points including 4 Higher Level passes. Points will be taken from a maximum of 4 subjects.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 points from a maximum of 4 subjects.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 26 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Advanced Diplomas and Progression Diplomas are accepted as all or part of the required tariff points.

Entry at an advanced stage of the course with credit to prior learning or experience may be considered on an individual basis.

The UCAS tariff is changing

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

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

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

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 5 years £1,125 per 15-credit module
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 5 years TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

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.

Sample modules

Crime, Community and Culture

You’ll be introduced to a range of sociological ideas and themes in relation to Birmingham as a city, including the socio-spatial aspects of the city, inequalities in the city (for example, class and gender) and its diversity.

Sociology of the Media

There is increasing recognition that how we view society locally, globally and nationally is to some extent determined by how it is presented in the media. This module will consider some of those factors that help decide how the media are structured, what material is broadcast on them and how audiences perceive this material.

Music and Society

You’ll learn a range of social theories concerning music, along with social histories of music. You’ll also develop your critical thinking, listening and communication skills.

Understanding Popular Culture

In this module you’ll start by looking at theory relevant to the study of culture and especially popular culture. This theory will then be used to look in depth at a number of topics including ‘The Body’, Sport and Music.

Social Identities

This module provides an opportunity for you to develop an appreciation of the ways that identities are fluid, socially shaped and performatively produced. You’ll consider the ways that inequalities are socially produced and how wider cultural, political, social and economic contexts provide possibilities and limits as to how individuals can realise their identity.

Course Structure

Taking a Single Honours degree in sociology will enable you to look in more depth at contemporary sociological issues. You’ll also be able to choose a number of complementary modules from other courses while keeping sociology as the dominant part of your degree.

Your first year will give you an introduction to sociology and the key areas of study, giving you a wide range of understanding and letting you see your options. This will include things such as examining social hierarchies and inequalities, in the workplace and at home, how we spend our leisure time, and why and how people shape their identities and practise their lives.

The Sociology team recognises that everyone learns differently, which is reflected in the variety of ways the course is delivered (including electronic learning) and the assessment methods used.

Teaching breakdown

36 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
64 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

13 Written exams DarkOrange
87 Coursework FireBrick

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.


These independent reviews show what our students really think:

"I do sociology and I love it! The lecturers make it even more interesting as they engage with you whilst teaching; there is a lot of essay writing involved but there is always direction; if you try and take advantage of your resources there's no way you can fail because the lecturers genuinely care; they even know our names!"

Read all Which? Uni reviews

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

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.

Student stories Reena Jaisiah

Curriculum Support Officer

Reena Jaisiah was recognised as one of the Alumni of the Year in 2013 for her work on Community Engagement and Leadership. She is involved in a number of projects which help to bring diverse communities together, fitting the work around her full-time role as a curriculum support officer in an inner-city school.

I was attracted to the course because I wanted to tackle social issues, but I wasn't expecting to go to university because I wasn't a very academic person and people had told me that I couldn't do it. However, Birmingham City University was very supportive.

Read more about Reena Jaisiah

David Wilson at The Future of Murder

The Future of Murder

Crime is changing and social media is altering how killers operate. Our academics, Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley, debated what murder looks like in the 21st Century during our free Future of Murder talk. They were joined by columnist Erwin James, a convicted murderer, and prison governor Jamie Bennett.

Watch again

Enhancing employability skills

People who study sociology progress into a wide variety of jobs. You’ll gain a range of relevant and valuable skills that can be applied to both an organisational or community context. Companies our graduates now work for include Kings Lynn Academy and Options with Scope.

You’ll learn how to work independently and, through team exercises, in collaboration with others. You’ll also learn how to work effectively without close supervision. You’ll learn how to find information, extract what is important from it and turn it into an argument. These skills and your insights into the workings of society will lead to a degree that a very wide range of employers see as highly relevant.

Beyond this, many people today study sociology for the personal enrichment it brings them, broadening their minds and enabling them to see their world in new and interesting ways. Recent graduates have entered education, teaching, the media, social services and health administration.

You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and write effective CVs.


There are several opportunities throughout the course to take on placement work within a variety of organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Sifa Fireside and MACRO.

Dr Gary Hazeldine, Course Director, said: "Third-year students have undertaken placements at a variety of organisations across the West Midlands and further afield, including Freshwinds, NACRO, Sifa Fireside, local primary and secondary schools, Birmingham A’s Basketball Team community involvement team, and a range of other third sector organisations developing their practical skills in real life environments".

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

Dr Gary Hazeldine

Programme Director and 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 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.

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