Social Sciences - your questions answered
In the below video, Lecturer in Social Sciences, Helen Brocklehurst, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Sciences at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a BA (Hons) Sociology student, you’ll learn through:
- multimedia presentations
- online collaboration
- guest lectures
- class debates
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:
- case studies
- project work
- group work presentations
- online discussions
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional information about your studies
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.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Stage appropriate study skills textbook each year
- Occasional field trips around Derby. International field trip in year 3 - Berlin planned for this year
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Travel to mandatory 2nd year placement - organised by the student, mostly in the local area. Cost not expected to exceed £5.
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Students recommended to purchase textbook 'Making Sense of Society'. Latest edition £33.47 from Amazon.
- Travel to optional 3rd year placement - organised by the student, mostly in the local area. Cost not expected to exceed £5.
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.