Sociology defined is the study of society, and its structure and problems. The concept of sociology supports many of the welfare systems that are in place in the UK today. As a subject, it deals with topics such as gender, race and class, and how these relate to society as a whole. Students will deal with big questions, like, crime and punishment and class structure, and carry out research on everything from human rights to social change.
Sociology is a scientific study of human behaviour, how it’s created, organised and developed, and what it may be like in the future. It is a social science and uses methods of critical analysis and empirical investigation, which allows students to understand people as they change, and adapt to order and disorder.
Universities do not tend to ask for specific subjects but will look favourably upon the social sciences, and other humanities subjects. Grade requirements will vary dependent on the institution, some may ask for CDD, while others will prefer ABB – Russell Group Universities will usually have higher entry requirements.
Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and degree programmes to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission in terms of UCAS tariff points.
The majority of sociology degrees will last three years, and although some institutions will offer a degree that will last four years – that will incorporate a placement year (Learn more – What if my course has a placement), or a year abroad – the structure will remain the same. Most universities will also offer a combined degree course that will join sociology with similar subjects, such as law, psychology or criminology, as well as many others.
This type of degree is a predominantly academic approach towards studying society, as proposed in social work, which tends to be more hands-on in nature. Most lessons will take place in a classroom setting, and learning is reinforced through seminars, tutorials and group discussions. Students will likely cover a broad range of methods and theories in the first year, to establish a foundation of insight into the subject area. After this, students will be able to choose their modules and to specialise their studies towards an area that interests them, which is why it’s important that students chose the right university and course. Candidates may have the chance to study, the sociology of racism, violence, social harm, social theory and media.
There are many degrees available, as a Bachelors of Arts (BA), and these include, social policy and sociology, social anthropology, communications, media and sociology, and sociology and South Asian studies.
Sociology will satisfy individuals who are curious as to why there may be social inequality in the world, and how different people are treated, both socially and politically.
As the degree will set up a strong foundation, most universities will insist students to complete a handful of core modules – which they need to do to complete the course – there may be courses/modules that individuals take that they do not like. It can be tough to be motivated to study a subject that there is of no interest – and not performing well can affect your final marks.
Students will be assessed in a variety of ways, from written coursework, examinations, group work, presentations, discussions and debates. Typically, a student will produce a research project and/or a dissertation (a long essay) in their final year.
Students who attend university tend to gain transferable skills that they can use in other areas of life after graduating, such as time-management and organisation skills from working towards deadlines, and social skills and communication from working with others and completing presentations.
Sociology is ideal for those that are interested in social relationships, and wish to gain insight into society, and why people think and act the way that they do. It also will not limit job prospects for hopeful graduates. This degree is also well-suited to individuals who like to discuss theories and ideas, chat with like-minded people, and explore and debate issues.
Students of sociology will study interesting questions, such as: what are our morals? How do we solve poverty? How important is charisma? And how important is the class system?
This type of degree will place individuals into the mind of the average Joe on the street and discusses people’s thoughts and processes. It also features on power and governments, and why and how our ‘norms’ have become what they are today.
There are plenty of career options available to sociology graduations; some students pursue roles within the social sector, hospitality industry, or within journalism, charities and event management.
Furthermore, students can study a PGCE degree and go into teaching, or retrain for Law, or study a postgraduate qualification.
Sociology teaches candidates not only how to treat people, but how people think and act, and why they do this too. Understanding people’s behaviours and thoughts will be highly sought after by employers and can be used in an array of careers.
Particular job areas include a community worker, teaching and lecturing, social work, youth work, aid worker, charity fundraising, housing management, press release, or a sociologist.
For students who wish to study a postgraduate qualification, can gain a Masters of Arts (MA) degree in the following subjects; ancient visual and material culture, anthropological research, sociology, civil society, contemporary identity, and conflict and social development.
Jeremy Kyle, from the notorious British television show The Jeremy Kyle Show studied history and sociology at the University of Surrey.
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