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.
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.
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.
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
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Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
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
|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)||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)||DMM|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||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|
|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/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.
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.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
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.
Be the first to hear about our Clearing 2016 places and access a range of advice from experts on how to forget a bad exam and survive the summer. We’ve got your back.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||PT||5 years||£1,125 per 15-credit module|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||5 years||TBC|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||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.
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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
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.
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:
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.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|36||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|64||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
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!"
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.
Examples of further study opportunities include:
We’re also currently developing a Masters in Sociology which will be undergoing approval in the near future.
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.
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.
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".
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:
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
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’ are also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.
For those studying the routeway BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation, you’ will 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.
You’ will have access to the University's computer laboratories, while oral presentation of evidence will be set in one of two mock court rooms, and also supported by video recording and playback analysis.
The emerging computer-generated University virtual world development known as 'Shareville', will support case study/crime scene environment scenarios.
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.