Sociology BA (Hons) (with Foundation Year)UCAS Code: L301|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park|UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
Contemporary society is becoming ever more complex and the need to understand how it works is increasingly important. Sociology is the study of how society is organised, how this influences the attitudes and behaviour of individuals and the impact this has on social relationships, both within and between societies. Accordingly, sociology is now commonly regarded as an essential discipline for understanding the development of all modern societies. The Sociology degree at Liverpool Hope will help you to think critically and constructively about the key questions relating to modern society.
Our sociology degree is based around a core that provides inputs from social theory and from the comparison of different forms of society. The degree will help you to examine ‘common-sense’ assumptions about the world by exploring the issues that confront society, both nationally and globally, and by studying the theories and methods that help to explain and understand these issues. It also examines and evaluates the methods of research which make the study of society possible. The degree enables you to study a range of additional topics which cover the whole spectrum of sociological inquiry.
Staff are enthusiastic and dedicated and will help you to get the most out of your degree. In line with Liverpool Hope’s commitment to social justice, both nationally and internationally, Sociology attempts to understand social issues and problems that confront the modern world and, in so doing, challenges received wisdom.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together; seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students; and tutorials, which typically have no more than 10 students. You will also have workshops, guided reading activities and use the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. You will also have the opportunity to go on a number of field trips, and to meet regularly with your personal tutor.
If you are studying Sociology as a Single Honours degree, in your first year of study there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 teaching hours in your second year and approximately 8 teaching hours in your third year. If you are studying Sociology as part of a Combined Honours degree, in your first year of study there are approximately 6 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 5 teaching hours in your second year and approximately 4 teaching hours in your third year. Your remaining teaching hours at first, second and third years will be spent in your other subject as a Combined Honours student: again, approximately 6 hours at first year, 5 hours at second year, and 4 hours at third year.
On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours studying independently each week, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments that you may have.
In your third year you will also be expected to attend one-to-one meetings with your dissertation supervisor, who will guide you through the process of conducting an independent research project.
Assessment and feedback
Throughout your three years of study, you will have a number of assessments, including essays, portfolios, reports, individual and group presentations, and written exams. In your final year, you will also complete a dissertation research project on a topic of your choice.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments and will also have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor. You will also receive regular formative verbal feedback on your academic performance from your tutor.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
Introduction to Sociology
Your first year of study provides you with a complete overview of the subject and encourages you to ‘think like a sociologist’ by developing your sociological imagination through a range of skills-based activities designed to foster critical understanding of the social world and our place within it.
You will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches and research methods within the discipline, as well as to a wide diversity of areas of human life to which sociological knowledge and practice has been applied: from social divisions (of class, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, dis/ability and age) to the effects of globalisation, de-industrialisation, media, climate change, poverty and social exclusion.
Explorations in Sociology
In your second year, you will explore the core themes of ‘Key Sociological Thinkers’ and ‘Social Research in Action’. You will begin to develop an applied understanding of the ideas of key social thinkers, both classical and contemporary, that have shaped Sociology as a discipline. In the first half of the course , you will explore the ideas of Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel, among others, reflecting upon their present-day relevance as well as their influence upon contemporary social theory. In the second part of the course , you will study the ideas of contemporary social thinkers such as Elias, Goffman, Foucault, Butler, Marcuse, Bourdieu, Bauman, Sennett and Baudrillard, applying their theories to real-life examples and evaluating their significance.
You will also be introduced to different types of research approaches and techniques, learning how sociological research is planned, designed and carried out. You will participate in a wide-range of group activities and projects, learning about sociological scholarship by undertaking and presenting elements of research. You will learn, for example, how to conduct interviews, design questionnaires and engage in ethnographic studies. Your employability skills will be enhanced through a series of carefully sequenced study skills activities embedded within the weekly tutorial system.
If you are studying Sociology as a Single Honours degree, you will also explore contemporary issues in Sociology, focusing on inequalities, identity and social divisions within society. You will examine the bases of identity and issues of cultural diversity, including factors that perpetuate inequality and exclusion versus those which promote equality and inclusion. Social inequalities will be explored in terms of the social classifications of social class, race, ethnicity, dis/ability, religion, nationality, gender, sexuality, citizenship and age.
Advanced Studies in Sociology
In your final year, you will explore the interconnection between local and global social processes and problems by investigating the ways in which daily life is governed in contemporary societies. You will be introduced to various sociological theories of power and resistance, which will enable you to both critically evaluate mechanisms and patterns which drive and sustain social inequalities, and to meaningfully reflect upon a variety of individual and group challenges to the status quo. You will explore a wide-range of sociological approaches towards consumer culture and advertising, social media, surveillance, terrorism, violence and social movements.
If you are studying Sociology as a Single Honours degree, you will also study the nature and extent of austerity within the context of neoliberalism - especially its impact on social relations. You will explore the sociological significance of the politics of austerity by engaging with key contemporary readings and in-depth case studies. You will also examine a range of global social issues, such as human trafficking, and the ways in which today’s global processes affect the everyday lives of ordinary people.
You will also have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of specialist courses that reflect the research interests of staff within the School of Social Sciences. These choices range from courses on animal rights, poverty and precarious employment, and the sociology of stories, to health inequalities, , migration, and social aspects of death, dying and bereavement, as well as many others besides.
All students will also undertake a dissertation research project on a topic of their choice.
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
A degree in Sociology provides you with a wide skills base that is transferable to a variety of employment and career opportunities.
As well as detailed subject-specific knowledge, you will also learn skills that are vital for employment in a wide range of careers, such as critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making, effective written and oral communication, time management, and the ability to work both in a team and independently. You will also gain the ability to reflect critically on a wide-range of social issues and to research and analyse data in a variety of forms. Many employers find these skills essential and they recognise the value in employees having had a sociological education.
As the British Sociological Association (BSA) notes, a typical career pathway for graduates in Sociology has typically been social work or some other kind of public sector welfare employment such as the probation service. In practice, however, Sociology graduates now enter a wide variety of careers that include (but are by no means limited to) work within: the social services and wider caring professions; the civil service and local and national government; teaching and lecturing; third sector advocacy; think tanks and policy development; the police and criminal justice system; human resource management; media and creative industries; health promotion and public health; business and finance; ICT development; environmental campaigning; and international development. There is also the potential to go on to Postgraduate study and to become a professional Sociologist.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2022/23 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
On top of your tuition fees, you also need approximately £100 to purchase core textbooks.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2022/23 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is also available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: