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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2020 entry)

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

Course description

96%overall satisfaction - BA (Hons) Sociology**National Student Survey 2019

“I loved the idea that I could get a degree that covers many areas of interest and not restrict me to one subject. It has opened up so many opportunities for me; I have been to Berlin and Geneva as well as having chances to work with valuable companies and organisations which have cemented my future career decisions”. Chloe Bradbury, BA (Hons) Sociology.

Would you like to explore how the modern world has developed, where it’s going, and ways to bring about change for the better?  While we all have our own ideas about society, our BA (Hons) Sociology helps you build a more accurate picture of the dramatic and diverse changes influencing our lives today.

With flexibility and choice at its core, this degree is structured around the key avenues of crime and justice, youth cultures, politics and social justice, and security and terrorism. It means you can choose to focus on the combination of topics which match your personal interests and career aspirations.

We encourage you to think critically and ethically about social trends, developments and controversies. You will find yourself discussing highly topical issues such as social inequality, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, globalisation, the impact of the digital era, the sociology of childhood and youth, the cult of celebrity, social movements and political engagement, marginal beliefs and the influence of conspiracy theories.

The degree is designed to deliver an engaging and enjoyable learning experience for all students from the outset – for those progressing directly from A-level Sociology and for those who bring other skills, knowledge and experiences to their studies.

Hands-on learning

In your second and third year, our Sociology in the World modules enable you to put your growing knowledge into practice through a work placement – the ideal opportunity to build your employability skills and a network of contacts to help your future career.

Fieldtrips also feature in a number of modules so that you can see how institutions and organisations work ‘on the ground’, developing observational research skills to use in your own projects.

Extra qualifications

If you have a particular interest in youth justice, this course gives you the chance to achieve an additional professional qualification – the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC) – alongside your degree studies.

The YJEPC is the most widely held qualification in youth justice and brings together current theory, practice and evidence. It will not only boost your employability in the eyes of potential employers but also help you to make more effective judgements in your future career.

The opportunity to gain the YJEPC is available if you take two specific modules – Working with Young Offenders and Youth Justice.  

Expert teaching

The BA (Hons) Sociology is taught by a team which includes experienced researchers whose work is shedding new light on some of the most pressing issues facing our society.

They are recognised for their expertise in research areas such as social policy, childhood and war, extremism and counter terrorism, conspiracy theory, humour and society, politics and social movements, Marxism and social theory. They regularly publish their research findings, and deliver conference papers internationally.

As a Sociology student, you can take part in regular guest lectures and departmental research seminars delivered by leading professionals and eminent academics from other institutions.

Real-world research

We give you a thorough grounding in research methods, fieldwork, data collection and the analysis of statistics. Through your independent study module, you will have the chance to conduct in-depth research into the sociological themes that have most captured your interest.

By the end of your degree, you will have developed skills in applying research findings to practical uses, together with the ability to analyse arguments and the confidence to justify your opinions.

Study overseas

The focus of the BA (Hons) Sociology is international in scope and you will have every opportunity to look at the key sociological questions facing communities worldwide. This includes the chance to challenge your perspectives by studying overseas.

We offer you the opportunity to spend a semester in the lively Czech capital of Prague as part of our Erasmus partnership with Charles University. In your final year, you will also be eligible to go on a study trip to Berlin which is included in your course fees. Such experiences make an impressive addition to your CV, showcasing your resourcefulness, confidence and willingness to embrace global outlooks.

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

What you will study

Foundation YearFoundation YearYear 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Year 3Year 3

Code: 3HU502

Study Skills

This module will introduce you to the academic skills needed for study at undergraduate level, and enable you to plan for both your future study and your career. The focus of the module is developing the analytical and critical skills essential to studying humanities and social science subjects at degree level.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 3HU504

Culture and Ideas

This wide-ranging module introduces and explains the cultural, philosophical, artistic and historical evolution and development of society over approximately the last 3,000 years.

Focusing principally on western Europe from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to the present day, but encompassing a range of world civilisations, religions and philosophies, the module’s teaching will give students a clear framework and contextual understanding of some of the main trends, developments and historical concepts that collectively underpin the values, mores and ethics of modern society, as well as giving students a general foundational understanding of the political, artistic, cultural and historical trends that are important for an understanding of today’s world

 

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 3PO501

Political Studies

This module will introduce you to a range of key issues and approaches taken in the study of Politics at undergraduate level. Understanding Politics as the study of competing interests within society, the module addresses questions such as the differences between - and the different forms taken by - democratic, totalitarian and theocratic political systems; the relationships between foreign and domestic policy; and the influence of economics on political debate and decision-making. As well as introducing you to key debates and approaches, the module will also encourage you to develop the critical thinking, writing and analytical skills you will need to study Politics at degree-level.
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 3SL501

Sociology

This module provides you with an introduction to the study of sociology. It is intended to encourage an understanding of core sociological theories, and to foster an awareness of sociological issues and phenomena. It is designed to develop your appreciation of how we evaluate the social world.
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 2MO500

English

This is a level 2 module. The module is oriented towards providing students with sufficient English skills to enable them to engage confidently with level 4 modules.
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 2MO501

Mathematics

The course is equivalent to GCSE Maths and covers statistics and probability, number work, geometry, and algebra and graphs.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 3HY501

History

This module introduces you to the key methodologies used by historians to understand and explore the past. Using British History 1870-1914 as a particular focus the module explores the primary sources, historiographical debates, and approaches used by historians in order to understand this period. The module is designed to help you develop key research skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to create a persuasive argument.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 3LA501

Law

This module equips you with an understanding of the English legal system. Looking at sources of law and considering the impact of European Community Law, and the European Convention on Human Rights, you will then examine the relationship between law, morality and justice. Finally moving on to explore the fundamental differences between civil and criminal law and process and liability.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4CJ528

Crime, Justice and Society

This module introduces students to some key basic concepts in criminology, including the prevalence of offending; competing explanations of crime causation; and patterns of offending amongst different groups in society. The module places this examination within the context of our wider society and considers the socio-economic, political and cultural context that influences much of our thinking about crime. Exploring the relationship between crime and society, the module considers the impact of social inequalities and socio-economic status on experiences of crime. Issues of gender, race and ethnicity, class, and social exclusion are analysed, and their links with the dynamics of crime and its control are explored. Responses to behaviour labelled as ‘criminal’ are evaluated. In addition, we consider the role of government, governance and political power in shaping how we understand, and respond to, crime in our societies.

This module equips students with the basic skills necessary to study criminology from an interdisciplinary perspective and to develop their understanding of key concepts surrounding crime, crime control and the enactment of justice and punishment.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4SL504

Thinking Sociologically

This module serves as an introduction to the ways in which sociological theory has approached the task of analysing and explaining modern societies by looking at both the academic and the popular and unconscious use of sociological ideas and examining the ways in which this can tell us something about the meaning, assumptions, development and real-world effects of the concepts - both in their professional setting and in their public (mis)use. The extent to which common sense is sociological - and the extent to which sociology is in the business of critiquing common sense - is at the heart of this endeavour as we discover the way in which sociological theories have come both to analyse society and constitute it.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4SL510

Researching Society 1: Methods and Analysis

Research sustains the vibrancy and everyday relevance of sociology by tracking social and cultural change, offering insights into the values and experiences of individuals from different social and cultural groups, and enabling sociology to continue to influence policy and practice. This module serves two fundamental purposes. The first is to equip students with a solid grounding in academic skills and to introduce them to key academic conventions such as reviewing literature, referencing (and plagiarism) and making good use of the library facilities. Secondly, the module seeks to equip students with sufficient knowledge to understand how social research is designed and implemented. Students will learn to formulate and answer sociological questions, interpret and subsequently critically analyse research findings.

In addition, students will familiarise themselves with a range of different research methods and data collection strategies. This aspect of the module will prove useful when students come to conduct their own research in later modules.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4SL511

Patterns of Inequality

This module will provide students with an understanding of the issues relating to the social differences between persons in the contemporary world and the extent to which these differences lead to structured inequalities in terms of income and wealth, ownership of the means to produce goods and ideas, access to education and health care and general quality of life. The module examines a range of social divisions based on a person’s age, sexuality, gender, disability, ethnicity, and so on, and explores how these differences relate to, and are compounded by, social class inequalities. The module will describe the current structure of inequality in Britain and evidence widening inequalities. Throughout, sociological explanations of the patterns of division and how they operate in everyday life will be considered. Finally, the module will consider some of the political dimensions of social inequality and the position that sociology could or should adopt in this context.
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 4SL512

Making Modern Britain

British society in the early twenty first century is complex and contested and contains many competing versions of what it is to be ‘British’ and what rights we can expect as citizens. The aspirations, inequalities and formations present within it are the product of national, and global, histories. When we speak of our rights, of equality and justice, these, too, are the product of the same histories and the development of ideas in the modern world. This module will enhance your knowledge of the historical processes that have contributed to this complex, interlinked story of Britain and its relationship with the rest of the world. Through lectures and, workshops, and seminar debates, students will draw on scholarly and cultural sources to build up their knowledge of how British society became what it is.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4SL513

Media, Culture and Society

The mass media provide and regulate access to information, entertainment and news stories for global audiences. They do so nationally and internationally. Traditionally, print media, radio, television and film have been understood to shape attitudes and beliefs. More recent media developments such as the increased interactivity of Web 2.0 and digital convergence have drawn fresh attention to debates around the relationship between audiences and media producers. This module will introduce students to core debates about representation, meaning, ‘media effects’, local cultures and global cultures, media ownership and media aesthetics. In doing so, the module will be concerned with the complex and sometimes contradictory relationship between society and culture in addition to the varied ways in which the mass media can both deepen and challenge this relationship.
20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL507

Capitalism, Culture and Class: Social Theory in Classical Modernity

Sociology came into being in the course of the late nineteenth century as an attempt to understand a world that had been utterly transformed by industrial and political revolutions - a world that promised much (freedom, equality, the conquest of scarcity) but which was also pregnant with potential disaster (the destruction of age-old customs and the sense of communal belonging the creation of extremes of wealth and poverty, the misuse of powerful new technological forces). This module traces the ways in which social theory developed in response to the political, economic and cultural changes wrought by the twentieth century, how the main theoretical traditions of sociological analysis understood the forces at work and how they criticised and sought to influence social developments such that the hopes of a just, rational and democratic society might be realised.
20 Credits
core
Exam

Code: 5SL519

Researching Society 2: Qualitative Approaches

This core module is designed to provide students with direct experience of a number of qualitative methods of social research. In addition, it will provide them with the foundations of research design and ethics. The module will introduce students to the kinds of reflective questioning that is necessary to the process of matching the research methodology to the research question being explored. The emphasis here is on qualitative methods and their strengths and weaknesses will be explored through lectures, seminars and workshops. The experiential detail that qualitative research can provide is crucial to understanding the lived experiences of social phenomena and this module will equip students with the skills necessary to produce qualitative data.

As well as empowering students with the ability to design and perform their own research, the module will enable them to assess the value of qualitative data they encounter in professional and other settings.

The assessed research proposal can, but does not have to, be used as dissertation plan.

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20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL520

Researching Society 3: Statistics in Social Research

This module is designed to familiarise you with the use of statistics in sociological research and the power of statistics in influencing opinion in politics, business and the public sphere. It is intended as a ‘beginner’s guide’ and makes no assumptions about prior statistical knowledge or maths ability. It will teach you the basics of survey design in addition to data collection and will introduce to essential data analysis skills including showing you how variables can be used to test a hypothesis. The module will give you a solid grounding in descriptive statistics and basic multivariate/regression analysis. These abilities will enable you to conduct your own statistical research and also to assess the strengths of statistical claims in a range of settings.

The teaching is done via lecture, seminars, and, crucially, hands-on sessions in which you learn to employ computer software such as SPSS to analyse data, including population level made available by the Office for National Statistics. As well as empowering students with the ability to design and perform their own research, the module will enable them to assess the value of quantitative data they encounter in professional and other settings.

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20 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL521

Sociology in the World 1: Putting Sociology to Work

This module offers you the opportunity to put sociology into practice by undertaking 60 hours of work experience in a role of your own choosing combined with academic study. This can take place in a wide range of settings, for example, public service organisations, companies, voluntary, community, and charitable organisations. Throughout the module, you will enhance your employment prospects by practising your job-hunting skills, developing your transferable skills, and acquiring a range of experiences. Your work experience of choice should be of demonstrable benefit to you, either in terms of the opportunity to practice and reflect on transferable skills, or in terms of clarifying future career options and/or postgraduate study.

You will also be introduced to the role sociology could (and should) have in the world, some of the issues around the sociology of work and workplaces, and be provided with reflective concepts to help make sense of your work and experiences to equip you with the know-how that can assist your career after graduation.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5SL508

‘Race’ and Ethnicity in Modern Britain

Despite increasingly frequent calls for tolerance and a greater move toward so-called multicultural societies, ‘race’ and ethnicity nevertheless, continue to be sources of running tensions and debates. Drawing on sociological, historical, and geographic perspectives, this module will examine how ‘race’ and ethnicity have come to be conceptualised and constructed in the modern British society. It will address a range of contemporary issues related to ‘race’ and ethnicity including integration, multiculturalism, Islamophobia, and nationalism and national identity. Students will be encouraged to apply the concepts and theories introduced in the module to their understandings of both their own ethnic identities and those of others, as well as to their personal exposure to issues related to ‘race’ and ethnicity in everyday social and cultural contexts.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL522

The Sociology of Childhood and Youth

This module focuses on the construction of childhood and youth in modern society - and the contribution that sociology can make to their understanding. The module traces the ways in which childhood has come to assume the significance that it has in modern Western societies and beyond. It explores the historical emergence of ‘childhood’, seen as a distinct and separate stage of life, at a particular historical moment. It looks at how a specific understanding of childhood was and continues to be shaped by powerful social and political institutions and disciplines (the state, medicine, education, psychology, the media) and the ways in which the hopes and anxieties of our society are projected onto young people - imagined as the living embodiment of the future - with consequences for their own experiences of freedom, autonomy, surveillance and control.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL523

Globalisation and Social Change

The concept of ‘globalisation’ is one of the most prominent - and controversial - ideas current in contemporary social science. We will begin with an overview of the contribution of major social theorists to debates about the nature and impact of globalisation and in particular social networks of communication and cultures of consumption. We will focus on the development of a global capitalist economy and the impact of globalisation on everyday working lives. We will investigate forms of, and challenges to global culture and expose the hierarchies of identity that permeate global power relations. Throughout the module, we will critically evaluate the extent to which global phenomena are experienced evenly around the globe and question if national dimensions of power are waning.

Through contemporary case studies we will look at the construction of ‘global threats’ such as terrorism, the reality of global pandemics - and the grave danger posed by a lack of effective global institutions. More recently the nature of the threat presented by global warming has provided sociologists with stark insights into the nature of social change. Is the ‘environmental threat’ better understood as a social - rather than straightforwardly biological - problem that is a matter of definition and social and political construction - demanding a ‘global’ response and the development of a ‘global’ consciousness? Finally we will investigate the nature of social change and reconfigurations of individualisation and community in a digital age.

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20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 5SL524

Urban Sociology

Although associated with the industrial revolution and nineteenth century migration from rural areas, urbanisation is an ongoing, global process. Urbanisation and cities continue to provide the spaces in which social, economic and cultural change are played out as well as being active agents of change in how we live our lives. This module will provide insight into the historical development of the modern city in addition to more recent and current forms of urban life and living. Additionally, we will explore the city as a ‘living laboratory’ and draw on students’ experiences and publically available data to examine different ways of using sociology to help understand the city. Although we will take a global perspective, the City of Derby will also be used to show global trends are reflected in local contexts. Students will take part in active lectures, seminars, city walking workshops and group debates.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL525

Society, Government and Policy

Every society sees some issues as social problems, but there are often arguments about which issues are social problems, about the causes of the problem or how the government should respond to issues and problems as items on policy agendas. Whereas poverty, poor health, bad housing, lack of opportunities and hunger were seen as fundamental social problems during the early and middle 20th century in the UK, recently emergent issues such as social care, immigration, racism, inequality, work-life balance, teenage pregnancy have comparatively attracted more media and public attention. Therefore, it has become important to understand how social science uses evidence to ask how and why attention paid to a social issue means it is justified as a social problem(s).

The module aims introduce the key concepts, theories and ideological perspectives to identify social problems and examine competing accounts of the development of the relationship between society and government in Britain. More specifically, the module seeks to address three questions: firstly, how does an issue come to be defined as a social problem? Secondly, what kind of problems are seen as a social problem? Thirdly, how are social problems presented in the media, government investigations, and professional discourses and in the public imagination? Students will gain knowledge of how social problems emerge and UK policy responses to them, how we can analyse these social problems from a social policy perspective, as well as how the UK compares in broad terms with approaches to the construction of welfare provision in other countries.

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20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL527

Sociology of Gender and Sexuality

This module provides an introduction to the sociological study of gender and sexuality. Over the past two centuries the roles, relationships and identities of men, women and those living outside gender norms have changed dramatically, and this module will investigate these changes, with a particular focus on today’s world. The impact of feminism and sexual liberation movements will be a key focus of the module, since they made a major academic contribution to the study of sexuality and gender since the 1960s. The module will investigate what it means to see gender and sexuality as social constructions, and will go on to explore the ways gender and sexuality are interpreted and lived out in social settings and communities.

We will consider the social construction of masculinities, femininities and queer or alternative forms of gender and sexuality, and while the module will be focused primarily on post-industrial societies like the UK, we will also investigate sexuality and gender in a global context. The module will also address recent developments in gender and sexuality theory including queer theory, post-feminism and post-colonial feminism.

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20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SL528

Religion and Society

The aim of this module is to explore the role and significance of religion in the contemporary world from a sociological perspective. It provides an introduction to the sociology of religion examining religious phenomena embedded in culture and explores the sociological methods of enquiry employed in the field by both classical and contemporary thinkers. The module will explore the changing role of religion in society, the nature and extent to which theories of secularisation, globalisation and religious economy impact on societal thinking and our understanding of religious identities and religiosity. The module will examine useful measures of social change looking at how sociologists research religion and the methods they adopt. This will allow students the opportunity to bring their theoretical understanding and research skills together to conduct a small-scale research project.

Additional interests in the field include religion in contemporary Britain, religious conflicts, religiously inspired extremism, the impact of the media and, the influence of religion on ethnicity, gender and sexuality. It will also explore emerging new religious movements and alternative spiritualties. Today sociologists who study religion perform crucial roles in helping to increase understanding of religious political and personal issues such as homosexuality and abortion. They are also concerned with trends in religious and spiritual beliefs, including, in the UK context, the decline of traditional Christianity and the rise of Islam and alternative spiritualties.

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20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6SL516

Sociology Independent Study

The Independent Study is viewed as the culmination of students’ studies in Sociology, and as an excellent opportunity to bring together the skills, knowledge and interests developed over the course of their studies. It enables and requires an in-depth study of a sociological topic chosen by each student, with opportunities to either undertake a desk-based study or to conduct primary research using one or more of surveys, interviews, participant observation, online research methods or visual methods, for example. Students work largely independently on this through-year module, but also receive advice from a supervisor to whom they will be allocated at the start of the module.

This module also encourages students to reflect on their development as a sociologist and the preparation which this has given them for life post-graduation. Consequently, this module is also supported by input in relation to personal development planning (PDP), addressing topics such as career planning, reflective skills and postgraduate study opportunities.

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40 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6SL521

Sociology in the World 2: Life After Graduation

In a highly competitive graduate marketplace, this module aims to give you an edge through the opportunity to spend 70 hours in a work experience position of your choice, and to critically reflect on your experiences in the job market. Your placement could take place in a wide range of settings, for example, public service organisations, private companies, voluntary, community and charitable organisations. However, you will be required to consider your future career goals before securing work experience, and you should be able to demonstrate how the one you have chosen will be of benefit (eg skills that will be acquired, networking opportunities, etc.). The aim will be to enhance your ‘work-ready’ employment prospects by practising your job-hunting skills, developing your transferable skills, acquiring of a range of experiences, and developing a graduate CV.

It will also you require to critically evaluate your skills, experiences and abilities and to be able discuss these with reference to sociological perspectives of work.

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40 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6CJ510

Youth Justice

This module brings together the current state of theory, practice and evidence to give you the knowledge, confidence and knowledge base and transferable skills around working with young people at risk of offending. It will also give you the framework to assess new ideas and evidence arising in the future. The module is taught in three blocks; block one introduces you to the youth justice system operating in England and Wales providing you with a historical perspective on how the system has evolved over time and how it compares with systems in other countries. You are encouraged to reflect on political and social attitudes to young people and their impact on responses to youth crime. The second element focuses on theories of youth offending and provides you with an opportunity to consider the question, ‘why do young people commit crimes?’.

You will develop your understanding of the theoretical perspectives introduced at Level 4 that have emerged in an attempt to explain youth crime and will have the opportunity to apply these theories to the case studies of five young people that will be introduced to you during this module. The final block looks at current practice in youth justice and how the ‘what works’ movement has developed, you will also consider some of the frameworks that have been developed for judging the quality and reliability of research and the challenges this raises.

You can undertake this module alongside the sister module - Working with Young Offenders in the Spring Semester - to build towards the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate, an industry recognised practitioner-based certificate, awarded by UNITAS and endorsed by Skills for Justice. Since it was introduced in 2012 the YJEPC has been used by over half of Youth Offending Teams to enhance their members’ skills and knowledge. It is also used by the secure estate, individuals seeking to advance a career in youth justice and volunteers looking to widen their knowledge.

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20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6CJ542

Working with Young Offenders

This module provides you with the practical skills as well as the theoretical underpinning to work with young people at risk of offending. It will give you the knowledge that you need to make informed decisions about the interventions which offer the best prospect of success in a particular case. It will also guide you to ways of implementing interventions that will engage and involve young people and hence has an applied element. The module is taught in two blocks, with an optional third if you wish to undertake the Certificate. In the first block you will consider the structural cycle of interventions and the key components of assessment, planning and review. You are encouraged to explore different approaches to assessment and consider the importance of linking assessments to intervention planning.

You will also evaluate safeguarding issues and the diversity of young people in determining the most appropriate interventions. Having looked at the cycle of intervention, block two explores the significance of building and sustaining relationships with young people at all stages of the cycle in order to promote positive outcomes. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of communication strategies by young offenders as well as enhance your own applied skills with a practical focus.

You can undertake this module alongside the sister module - Youth Justice - in the Autumn Semester to build towards the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate, an industry recognised practitioner based certificate, awarded by UNITAS and endorsed by Skills for Justice. Since it was introduced in 2012 the YJEPC has been used by over half of the Youth Offending Teams to enhance their members’ skills and knowledge. It is also used by the secure estate, individuals seeking to advance a career in youth justice and volunteers looking to widen their knowledge.

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20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SL504

Humour and Society

Humour is a vital element in social interaction and an important part of individuals’ self-identity. Humour is also something that reinforces group-identity and helps define ‘us’ against ‘them’ - a potentially divisive and socially-dangerous business that is reflected in our anxieties about racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes. On top of that, humour can deliberately target widely-shared beliefs and break age-old taboos, giving rise to grave offence but also potentially raising questions about the validity of our beliefs and hallowed customs. Humour is a serious and morally ambiguous phenomenon and this module examines how we might understand its role, significance and development in modern society.

The module critically examines a range of social, philosophical, psychological, anthropological and cultural theories devoted to the meaning and function of ‘humour’ and looks at the social-historical context in which these ideas were developed. It considers the changing forms of offence and acceptability by way of examples drawn from the mass-media and popular culture and it asks why a ‘sense of humour’ is seen to be such a good thing in contemporary society - does it reflect our willingness to conform to the status quo or a sly capacity for subversion?

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20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6SL505

Power, Discourse and Danger: Social Theory Today

How can social theory begin to understand contemporary society? Has the tradition of sociological analysis that was key to the understanding of ‘classical’ modernity been swept away with so many of the institutions and assumptions of that era - a faith in the benefits of science, confidence in the unassailable power of the nation-state, taken-for-granted identities of class, gender and race, an understanding of ‘nature’ as infinitely-renewable raw material? This module traces the ways in which social theory has both drawn on its traditions and radically renewed itself by responding to the key features of the contemporary world.

It looks at how sociological thinking responds to a world dominated by the imagery of the electronic media; how we might analyse a society where the power to shape lives and futures seems to lie with non-political experts, corporations and technocrats rather than politicians; how, in an era of globalisation we are reminded of the deep roots of Western ethnocentrism and the discursive construction of the oriental ‘other’. Finally, the module explores the ways in which social theory has been galvanised by the challenge of understanding the meaning and implications of the confrontation with apparent global environmental disaster, giving rise to a renewal of its rational-critical and ethical-political vocation.

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20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SL517

Digital Futures and the Global Networked Society

The relationship between technological change and societal change is complex and bidirectional. Recent advances in computing have been rapid. Moore's law relating transistor density to time predicted exponential growth in the computational capacity of integrated circuits; this growth has now held broadly true for 50 years. This has resulted in massive and unforeseen change in how we work, how we play, where we socialise, how we socialise, how we wage war, what we understand by privacy, our relationship with information, as well as many other aspects of personal, professional, and social life. But does this mean that existing social structures and divisions have changed as a result?

Sociology has responded to the new digital worlds with fresh methodologies, reformulations of existing theories as well as the identification of novel social formations and fields of activity. In this module, we will explore these new frontiers together.

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20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SL518

World in Conflict: War, Terrorism and Societies

The module begins with an overview of war as a concept and contrasts theories which emphasise our human disposition to violence and competition with approaches that evidence our ability to cooperate and using other forms of power and exchange. We will look at the major wars that have shaped the 21st century - from the geopolitical legacy of both world wars through to the construction of the enemy ‘other’ that dominated the cold war and the so called ‘war on terror’. We will then consider aspects of globalisation and the digital age which may be exposing us to conflict in different ways as victims, agents and bystanders.

In the second part of the module we will use contemporary examples to look at how war impacts on individuals and societies through various institutions and practices. We will consider war’s different roles for men, women and increasingly youth. As wars become more deadly for civilians and many combatants, we will ask where does war begin and end in today's societies and across lifespans? How and when can we engage meaningfully in debate about the legitimacy of war and responses to it?

Finally, we will look at the blurred boundaries of war and peace in the context of new constructions of war, terrorism and ‘terrorist’ that arguable inform and shape our everyday decisions and actions.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SL522

The Sociology of Politics and Protest

Political participation is a very important aspect of everyday life in current societies as well as an essential part of political sociology. Sometimes, participation takes place in the form of voting (or non-voting), but it can also adopt other forms such as demonstrations, petitions, boycotts, flash-mobs, online and offline political discussion, etc. This module deals with questions that concern the way in which people participate in politics (when and if they do), and how this has changed over time. It will, therefore, examine different forms of political participation. Attention is paid to elections and voting in relation to factors such as social class, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, ideology, identity, political campaigns, party leadership, economic conditions and crises. Secondly, the module will focus on social movements and collective action.

It will thus deal with questions such as: how does it become possible to mobilise people and to face the risks and costs of social protest? What forms of organisation do social movements take? What conflicts do social movements address? What strategies are used to organise social protest? And how and why have social movements changed over time?

More information
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6SL523

Gender and Inequality in the Global Age

How does globalisation affect the lives and status of women in the world? How do the processes of economic restructuring, political instability, environmental degradation and cultural change impact upon women - particularly in the ‘developing’ world? Does globalisation distinguish between men and women as it appears to do between rich and poor? How divergent are life expectancies and experiences of violence for men, women, boys and girls? How do constructions of boyhood and girlhood impact on access to education or protection from militarism or sexual abuse? Six case studies will form a central pillar of the module: and reflect changing pressures throughout life stages across the globe focusing on: female infanticide and discrimination in China; education and girlhood in Pakistan; exploitation and forced labour in Europe, masculinity and sexual violence in Latin America, access to water in Africa and women’s health globally.

We will ask if understandings of patriarchy and feminism are shared across borders and illustrate interconnections of age, culture and tradition. We will assess what commonalities might exist in how gendered inequalities are experienced and resisted? How dominant are Western and postcolonial signifiers of innocence and vulnerability, strength and paternalism in everyday and institutional responses to inequality? In conclusion, what is the outlook for greater empowerment and progress?

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SL524

Health, Illness and Social Justice

In this module we look at the contribution of sociology to the study of health and illness. We explore the rise and evolution of the dominant 'medical model' of health and investigate some of its basic assumptions. This model (and the associated authority of the medical profession) would seem to be under attack from many different quarters: patients and self-help groups, religious and faith-based perspectives, the women's movement, 'alternative' therapists, disabled people, and so on. We examine these challenges from quarters outside of medicine and the potential ‘threat to reason’.

Further, we shall see that medical science (which is often considered objective and beneficial) is itself socially and politically constructed and potentially jeopardised by its own logic. For instance, we shall explore the tensions between the pursuit of medical excellence and profit, the tendencies to 'medicalise' and control aspects of everyday life, and persistent inequalities of health in terms of class, gender and ethnicity. Attention is also focused on the public understandings of medicine, doctor-patient relations and the idea of the patient as 'healthcare consumer’. In this way, the module shows that medical science is under threat and at the same time has become a potential threat unto itself.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SL528

Populism, Extremism & Violence

There has been an increasing awareness that a great many violent acts committed in the UK, North America, Europe, and Australasia are motivated by ideologies of hate. There is an increasing reluctance to readily describe the actions of individuals such as Anders Breivik, Dylann Roof, Thomas Mair, or Brenton Tarrant as simply psychological in nature. Instead, these acts are more typically now seen as terrorist attacks motivated by differing forms of white supremacism and neo-fascism.

In addition to these extreme acts, Western societies have also witnessed an increased awareness, and rising levels, of hate crime and hate incidents. Much scholarship suggests that the ideas contributing to these ideologies exist on a spectrum that includes the ‘populist turn’ in Western politics and the violence committed is an extreme form of the anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and ethnonationalist sentiments that define populism.

This module examines the histories, cultures, and ideas that sustain and fuel both these violent acts and the new populism. It will also consider the deeper question of what kind of social and cultural environments are productive of populist sentiment and in what circumstances does that become expressed in violent ways. The module will take an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the best scholarship in the field, with an emphasis on the following disciplines: sociology, criminology, and political studies.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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How you will learn

As a BA (Hons) Sociology student, you’ll learn through:

We are determined to keep things fresh and interesting, and involve projects that include the close reading of music videos, the design of your own conspiracy theory, the production of wikis and an extended final year piece of research in which you showcase your sociological interest in a topic of your choice.

How you are assessed

You will be assessed through a broad range of methods which allows you to demonstrate your individual strengths and abilities. These include:

Who you’ll meet

We pride ourselves on being approachable, welcoming and supportive. A personal tutor will help and advise you throughout your degree, providing an exceptional level of support which has been commended by external examiners.

The teaching team is made up of specialists with expertise in a wide range of modern social issues including economic inequalities, religion, the family, culture, gender, media, crime, politics, ethnicity, terrorism, childhood, health, social policy, extremism and alternative beliefs.

They include:

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr Phil Burton-Cartledge
Programme leader

Dr Phil Burton-Cartledge is Course Director for the School of Law and Social Sciences and Programme Lead for Sociology. Prior to joining the University in 2013, he previously had worked for a Member of Parliament. A regular commentator on current affairs, his teaching and research interests reflect these concerns.

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Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK

£9,250 per year

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree

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Fast track to Clearing

If you don’t have a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or maybe your gap year plans are on hold – don’t worry. Register with us today and fast forward to your future.

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Careers

Because the BA (Hons) Sociology delivers such a broad spectrum of skills and insights, it is no surprise to find our graduates excelling in a wide variety of careers where critical thinking, analytical know-how and research abilities are valued. 

Our graduates have used their degree to become teachers, lecturers, social workers, probation officers, civil servants, social researchers, business owners, marketeers, counsellors, charity workers, and community officers – to name but a few roles. They have also found work in retail management, public relations, banking, welfare advice, accountancy and systems analysis.

A growing number of our graduates secure competitively funded places on postgraduate courses too, especially in the fields of social work and teaching.

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.

The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.

Further study

You could consider taking your studies to the next level, and if you have a particular interest in research, our MRes Social Sciences and Humanities enables you to undertake an original research project in a specialist area of your choice.

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) Understanding Radicalisation which explores vital issues around terrorism, security and intelligence.

As a graduate of the University of Derby, you can benefit from a 25% Alumni discount on your postgraduate course fees. Terms and conditions apply

“I have been able to immerse myself into a world of research and study in areas that I am passionate about. I really respect every academic who has taught me. They are very approachable and have a great sense of humor which is so important when doing a course as intense as a Masters.” Danielle Roe, MA Social and Political Studies.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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