Sociology BA (Hons)

Part-time undergraduate (6 years)

University Centre Peterborough

September 2017


Gain an in-depth understanding of how human societies and individuals behave, then use your knowledge in a wide range of careers.

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Full description


Many of our graduates have gone on to media or civil service careers, but the range is getting ever-wider and now includes financial services, HR management, teaching and general business management. Specialising in years two and three makes certain you’re prepared for your chosen career.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • Researching Social Issues
    This module will introduce you to the range of research instruments available to social scientists. Through sustained consideration of one issue - the policing of ethnic minorities - you'll learn the value of empirical research as a means to understanding social issues. You'll discover how police-minority relations can be analysed using a variety of methods, including observation, experiment, quantitative surveys, official statistics, qualitative interviewing, ethnography, archive research, case studies and life histories. By discussing these approaches, you'll develop an understanding of the potential strengths and limitations of each method, the practical issues around effective data gathering, sensitivity to cultural difference, and the ethical and political dimensions of the research process. Throughout the module, you'll develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to locate, use and evaluate research findings appropriately.
  • The Sociological Imagination
    Sociology focuses on the relations that connect individuals, groups and institutions within societies. This module will introduce you to the sociological 'cast of mind' and allow you to explore the specific contribution of sociology to understanding the past, present and possible futures of modern societies. The module is divided into two parts: 'sociological thinking' and 'sociology in action'. In the first part you’ll look at the theories of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. You'll examine how these thinkers analyse work, power and politics, as well as how they each seek to explain and remedy the social and psychological burdens placed on individuals who live in modern societies. The second part of the module will introduce you to the ways in which sociologists combine theory and research to make sense of contemporary social life.

Level 5 modules

  • Social Divisions
    On this module you'll consider the dynamics of inequality and difference in the contemporary world. Focusing on the interplay of divisions of class, gender, ethnicity and age, you'll explore four key themes: continuity and change in patterns of social inequality and identity; the developing economic, political and cultural context; the relationship between global processes and varied, localised patterns and experiences of inequality; and the sometimes complex relationship between material inequalities and social and political identities. After a broad conceptual introduction, you'll study a series of case studies of contemporary social divisions. For your assessment, you'll research and present material on a chosen case study and include this in an essay, relating it to wider patterns of social division.
  • Social Research Methods
    This hands-on module will help you develop the practical skills to carry out research in the social sciences. You'll focus on developing evaluative skills and practical competence in both qualitative and quantitative methods. You'll further your ability to critically assess the published research findings encountered in your reading for other modules, and to select and apply appropriate methods in dissertations or projects as well as future employment. The assignment will allow you to generate and analyse data that addresses the same issue using different methodologies. For the qualitative part of the research report, you'll devise and carry out a semi-structured interview, then analyse the interview transcripts using manual methods. You'll choose data-generation methods, put these methods into practice in a small pilot study, analyse the results, reflect on the experience and draw conclusions. The second part will introduce you to key quantitative techniques commonly used by social researchers. You'll discover the processes involved in the structured questionnaire method, which is needed to generate a relatively large dataset. You'll learn the methodology required to translate research questions into a questionnaire format, then carry out a pilot questionnaire survey and critically analyse the practical experience.
  • Sociology of Education
    This module will introduce you to key sociological perspectives on schooling and education. Schooling systems and strategies are instrumental in shaping individual and collective identities, and in reflecting and reinforcing dominant societal values. On this module, you'll engage with the central scholarly and political debates that surround these issues. More specifically, you'll explore how experiences of schooling are shaped by social dimensions such as class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality. You'll consider the basic functions of education, before exploring topics such as the micro-politics of everyday school life; higher education; employability and the knowledge economy; schooling and the negotiation of masculinities and femininities; schooling and sexuality; and schooling, ethnicity and whiteness. Your assessment for this module will be a 3,000 word essay.

Level 6 modules

  • Race, Racism and Cultural Identity
    On this module, you'll explore the sociology of 'race', racism and ethnic divisions. You'll consider three related themes: the social origins and significance of racial and ethnic divisions, the varied causes, contexts and consequences of racism and antiracism, and the cultural consequences of migration. Although your primary substantive focus will be on race relations in contemporary Britain, you will also draw insights from historical and international comparisons. You'll also attend a series of student-led workshops, in which you'll apply sociological knowledge and understanding to current questions of 'race' politics and policy. The topics of these workshop will relate to key module themes, such as: the collection and use of racialised data in the criminal justice system, debates about the usefulness of the concept of institutional racism, and globalised Islam.


We’ll assess your progress using exams and essay assignments, as well as your presentations, group work, book reviews, portfolio and dissertation.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE), whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, as well as nine international research clusters, such as the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

University Centre Peterborough
University Centre Peterborough

University Centre Peterborough (or UCP) is our modern campus in the heart of an historic city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


Important fee notes

The course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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200 UCAS tariff points. Required subject(s): 2 A levels in related subjects. BTEC/Access required: a BTEC National or 30 credits Merit at Access Certificate in a related subject. GCSEs required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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