Sociology BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September 2016

code: L300

Available in Clearing call now 01245 686868


Overview

Look beneath the surface of everyday life. Discover the complexity of modern societies and how they have developed, while gaining critical and analytical skills that will impress your future employers.

Untitled Page
Full description

Careers

Untitled Page

By studying Sociology you’ll learn to think independently and creatively, and question 'common sense' assumptions about the way the world works. These critical and analytical skills are in demand from many employers.

Our past students now enjoy careers in journalism and the media, business administration and management, health management, the civil service, teaching, social care, social research, the police, prison and probation services.

With specialist modules in years 2 and 3, you’ll be able to fine-tune your degree to suit your preferred career. If you take our Preparing for Work module, you’ll even be put on a work-placement and receive specialist advice for your career in social science.

Or you might enjoy your course so much that you decide to apply for our MA Sociology.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • 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.
  • Political Ideologies and Social Controversies
    This module will give you a grounding in major political ideologies and key political concepts for your future study in practical and theoretical aspects of social science. By studying the core elements of ideologies, you'll have the opportunity to engage in basic comparative study and some degree of historical analysis. You'll then use this understanding of key political ideologies to explore different political environments. You'll reflect on forms of classical political thought and locate these in contemporary political settings. Your assessment will be in the form of a 1,000 word critical analysis and a 2000-word essay.
  • Comparing Social Lives
    This module will introduce you to the value of a comparative perspective in sociological study. By drawing on historical, anthropological and cross-cultural studies, you'll explore the material basis and constructed nature of social institutions, practices and belief systems. In particular, you'll consider the potential ethnocentricity of a perspective based on 'western' thinking. Drawing from a range of subjects including kinship and marriage, children and childhoods, health beliefs, settled and travelling cultures, and ways of thinking about time, you'll investigate how and why different societies are organised in particular ways. Focusing on the similarities and differences found across societies, you'll explore the impact of globalisation on these. You'll be encouraged to reflect on your own autobiographies to consider your own life in local, national and global contexts.
  • Inequality and Class
    This module will introduce you to the sociology of economic life and the sociology of inequality. It'll give you an overview of the development and significance of capitalism. Through this, you'll be introduced to the concept of Neoliberalism as part of an account of the shifting relationships between state, economy, and society. Working with statistics, you'll focus on the changing patterns of inequality under contemporary capitalism and examine divisions of class, gender, ethnicity, and age. A recurring theme of the module will be the complex spatial dimensions of inequality and the ways in which capitalism's global processes generate distinct local experiences. You'll be assessed by completion of a stimulus response based around discussion and analysis of data on inequality as well as a summative essay addressing the key features of Neoliberalism.
  • Making Sense of Gender
    This module will encourage you to think about the significance of gender in shaping the social world through three interrelated themes: the examination of the various and contested meanings of gender; the exploration of specific aspects of social and organisational life within which gender is a central concern; and globalisation and gender politics. Using this framework, you'll examine examples from different societies and historical periods to understand the variety and complexity of gender relations. In seminars, you'll apply course material to a specific area of social life in order to uncover the working of gender relations within it. Your progress in taking such collective responsibility will be an explicit theme of class discussion throughout the module. You'll be assessed through a seminar presentation and a 2,500-word essay.
  • The Sociology of Globalisation
    This module will introduce you to concepts of globalisation. You'll be asked to consider how your daily life is affected by processes of globalisation and think critically about theoretical approaches to these processes. You'll cover the various dimensions of globalisation on a lecture-by-lecture basis, also exploring connections between topics. These dimensions/topics will include hard vs. soft globalisation; the globalised economy; the impact of globalisation on the nation-state; migration and diaspora; popular culture and patterns of consumption; and globalisation and ecology. You'll be assessed through submission of a 3,000 word essay.

Year one, optional modules

  • Media and Crime
    Media representations of crime, law and order have always been a matter of public interest, as well as debate amongst people involved in the criminal justice system. You'll explore the ways in which media shapes our perception of crime, and form an overview of the theoretical perspectives on media within criminology. You'll also examine the construction of crime news and the role of politics and ideology, and learn about the concept of "moral panics. Throughout the module, you'll use case studies, reports, and theory, selecting one or more case studies to develop your analytical skills, as well as your presentation skills. You can use case studies to build a foundation for your essay, in which you'll evaluate the debates about the relationship between media and crime, as well as public perceptions of crime.

Year two, core modules

  • Knowledge and Belief
    On this module you'll consider the argument that, since the turn of the 20th century, different forms of knowledge have transformed not only the way in which we understand the social and natural worlds but the very nature of our lives. You'll begin by evaluating Max Weber's distinction between formal and substantive rationality and his claim that, since the start of the last century, formal rationality has undermined other human value systems. In relation to this, you'll consider what consequences the rise of bureaucratic and rational processes has had upon traditional faith-based beliefs. In the second part of the module, you'll focus upon two issues of debate in contemporary social and philosophical theory: the progress of science and technology and debates concerning the modern and the post-modern. Your assessment will comprise of a group presentation and a 2,000 word essay.
  • 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.
  • Social Theory
    On this module, you'll discuss the contribution of key social theories to our understanding of the distinguishing features of modern societies, individuals, changing social structures and processes of modernity and 'post-modernity'. The key themes you'll consider will include: sociological perspectives and debates on the self and identity; sociological debates on social power and authority; changing sociological conceptions. You’ll look at how sociological knowledge can contribute to our understanding of contemporary social and political issues. The theorists that you'll study may include Habermas, Bourdieu, Giddens and Foucault. You'll be assessed through a research essay of 3,000 words.

Year two, optional modules

  • Contemporary Work and Organisational Life
    This module will give you an in-depth analysis of contemporary theories and key issues related to work and organisations from a sociological perspective. You'll focus on major organisational and technological changes in industrialised societies such as McDonaldization, debureaucratisation, delayering, the information revolution, post-Fordism, de-skilling and professionalisation. These are linked to broader social transformations: the decline of manufacturing industries and the rise of the service sector in the West, the rationalisation of public services, and the global triumph of capitalism. You'll investigate the impact of these changes on workplace structures, experiences and opportunities at work, and the relative strength of work identities. You'll also consider whether individuals in industrialised societies now have a greater potential to choose, map out, and control their work biographies. You'll be assessed through a mid-semester class test and a case study.
  • Learning from Work Experience (incorporates work placements)
    This module will prepare you for the transition from education to work by helping you apply skills gained through your studies in a practical way, and by investigating possible careers for which your degree would be relevant. Through 70 hours of work experience, you'll explore how work and learning interact, increasing your employability by improving your sector knowledge, self-reliance and confidence. Appropriate work placements will give you the relevant experience in sectors and roles in which social science students are likely to find future employment, such as the Citizen's Advice Bureau. Your work placement will be accompanied by an agreement between you, your employer and the module leader. You'll then apply your sociological knowledge, skills and concepts to the analysis of your work experience. You'll also produce a reflective workplace diary, logging activity and supporting an analysis of the learning achieved in the report. You'll also attend a series of workshops to support your work, and receive supervision from the Module Leader or Tutor.
  • 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.
  • Policing and Crime Control
    Laws don't have an impact unless they're enforced, or unless there is an anticipation of enforcement. The Police is the most visible of enforcement agencies and organisations, and debates and controversies about their role in society are never far from legal, political and public attention. On this module, you'll reflect on some of the key sociological and political issues surrounding the maintenance of social order. You'll consider the development of the police and their contemporary role, and examine continuities and changes in public attitudes and expectations of the police, as well as the impact of technological and organisational changes in styles of policing and maintaining social order. You'll consider the growth of paramilitary-style policing, as well as community policing initiatives. You may take part in a local field trip to see an element of police training that will form the basis of one of your assessment tasks. Your assessment will take the form of a patchwork submission comprising five elements: a review of a key text; a critical analysis of policing styles; a summary of a documentary; an observation/reflection on an element of police learning and development; and an in-class test.
  • Body Politics: Health and Illness
    The vulnerabilities and strengths of, and 'differences' between, human bodies are not only experienced by all of us in our daily lives but are increasingly at the forefront of political and social media debates and controversies. Beginning with the body in history, you'll examine the ways in which biological and sociological understandings of the body underpin various religious, medical and political forms of knowledge and power. You will ask how ideas of the healthy body feed into ideas of agency and personal responsibility that often serve to legitimise forms of social stigma, marginalisation and health inequalities. You'll also examine the ways in which the body is the focus of new forms of technology and the ways in which this technologised body is dissected, bought and sold for medical, cosmetic and sexual purposes. You’ll look at how bodies are deployed as political weapons and expressions. You'll be assessed through a presentation as well as a 2,500-word essay.
  • Theories of Deviance, Crime and Social Control
    On this module, you'll explore explanations of deviant behaviour throughout the 20th century and theories of crime that are of both historical interest and contemporary relevance, identifying and policing the parameters of 'normality' in late modern, Western society. You'll also look at specific questions relating to the transgression of social norms and whether it is the result of specific environments. You'll not only gain a historical understanding of social explanations, but also learn to demonstrate the relevance of these theories to contemporary understandings of deviance and social control. You'll also explore Labelling Theory and Radical or Marxist Criminological theories, as well as more practical or policy oriented views of both Right and Left Realism, before going on to look at two recent and very influential approaches to understanding crime. You’ll then focus on the role of "power" and social control, and the role of "culture" and the recent work of cultural criminologists. Your assessment will comprise of a test and an essay.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • 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.
  • Sociology of Popular Culture
    On this module, you'll look at various contested definitions of 'popular culture' and consider the role it plays in contemporary lives. You'll engage with a range of critical perspectives on popular culture. Some theorists suggest that it is an inferior or 'dumbed down' form of culture, including Matthew Arnold and the Leavises, through to the Frankfurt School of social theorists, and to key writers in the British culturalist tradition. You'll also examine more recent trends in theorising popular culture including globalisation, 'glocalisation' and 'Americanisation'. You’ll look at structuralist and post-structuralist semiotics as well as the theories of Gramsci and more latterly writers such as Barthes, Fiske and Eco. You'll apply these ideas to areas such as popular music and youth subcultures. You'll also look at the relationships between popular culture and gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity before considering how postmodern theories might contribute to our understanding of 'the popular'.

Year three, optional modules

  • Sport, Globalisation and International politics
    This module will develop your understanding of the relationship between sport, processes of globalisation, and the sphere of international politics. Broadly speaking, the key themes that you'll consider are ideology, power and control. More specifically, you'll be introduced to a set of key theoretical and conceptual insights relating to globalisation, nationalism and commercialisation early in the module. In later lectures and seminars, you'll apply these insights to particular instances from the sporting world. Specific topics you'll consider include 'race' and racism in sport; the Workers' Sport movement, the role of sport in the colonisation of Africa, the history and politics of FIFA, and a number of national case studies including Catalonia and South Africa. You'll be assessed through a 3,000 word essay.
  • Nature and Society
    On this module, you'll explore the relationship between social and natural worlds and, in the process, consider sociological debates about how best to engage with biological knowledge. You'll look at how sociological approaches can take account of the ways in which people are at once social and biological beings, how the natural environment can constrain and enable personal and social development and how ideas about 'nature' feature in contemporary social, cultural and political life. You’ll consider the importance of recent developments in the life sciences and how they may challenge existing views and experiences of self, life and kinship. These are some of the issues you'll consider in relation to three case studies: biocitizenship, biology and group difference, and global warming.
  • Preparing for Work
    This module will act as a bridge between your higher education and future employment. Your learning achievements will be evaluated, identifying their strengths, weakness and skills and preparing you for the next step in your career in an orderly and planned fashion. You'll be assessed through submission of a progress file that demonstrates your achievements in Higher Education, either in printed form or as an e-portfolio.
  • Sexuality and Social Control
    On this module, you'll explore the range of discursive practices used to explain sex and sexuality in Western culture. You'll examine long-standing claims about the 'naturalness' of heterosexuality as a reproductive drive linked to the survival and reproduction of the human 'species', and the implications of this for the gendered sexual order, various non-conventional sexualities and particular social groups. Drawing on a 'social constructionist' approach, you'll examine religious, biological, psychological and sociological explanations of sexuality. You'll uncover how sex and sexuality are understood, practised and regulated, and in doing so, expose the ideological and discursive foundations of ideas about sex and sexuality in relation to gender, ethnicity, age and disability. You’ll look at how ideas about sex and sexuality are shaped historically, how they vary cross-culturally and how they impact on us as individuals and members of particular social groups. You'll be assessed through a 3,000 word essay.
  • Concepts of Good and Evil
    What role, if any, does the concept of evil play in our moral vocabulary? Is it a narrowly theological notion or does it usefully describe certain kinds of act and/or character? On this module, you'll examine contemporary accounts of evil, as well as looking at the concept of evil in the history of philosophy from Leibniz to the present. In addition to considering theoretical discussions of evil, you'll also consider phenomena such as war and terrorism and ask whether the concept of evil helps us to understand them.
  • Specialist Subject: Social Sciences
    This module will familiarise you with problems and issues that are of particular interest to contemporary sociologists. You'll either be offered the chance to engage in depth with an important recent sociological work, or your studies will be theme-based i.e. founded upon an area of sociology which is not taught elsewhere on the curriculum. The approach you take will be similar to a research seminar, in which you'll subject a particular text or theme to close scrutiny, with guidance from the module leader. You'll engage in a detailed study of the arguments presented in the work or topic under consideration, as well as examining responses by others working in the field. Examples of texts that you might consider include: Archer, Realist Social Theory; Fevre, The Demoralization of Western Civilization; Joas, The Creativity of Action; Butler & Scott, Feminists Theorise the Political; and Castelles, End of Millenium.
  • Feminist Theory and Practice
    This module will allow you to explore the development of feminist theory and practice from the early 20th century, with a particular focus on the period from the 1960s to the present. You'll predominantly cover British and North American feminism, but will also consider perspectives and activism from other global regions. You'll explore and locate different feminist perspectives including liberal, socialist, intersectional, post-structuralist and post-feminism, but with a particular focus on radical feminism. You'll explore these perspectives in relation to key topics that have been central to feminist struggles, such as the family; male violence against women; concepts of masculinity and femininity; sexuality and reproductive rights; media representation; employment and participation in public life. The key themes include: - Feminist strategies, activism and impact - Men's roles and relationship to feminism - Current issues and the future of feminism. You'll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, and will need to read in preparation for the seminars. Within seminar discussions, you'll assume collective responsibility for applying course material to a specific area of social life in order to elucidate the development of feminist theory and practice within it, and taking such collective responsibility will be an explicit theme of class discussion throughout the module. Your assessment for this module will take the form of a 500-word case study summary and an essay of a maximum 2,500 words.
  • Independent Learning Module
    This module will allow you to prepare and submit your own independent learning project on a topic not provided within existing modules, with clearly defined parameters: You should already have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice You can choose any topic within the subject area that staff can supervise Your work will be facilitated by individual tutorials You'll need to carry out in-depth research for your topic and engage with current critical debates. You'll be assessed by either a 3,000 word essay or a 3,000 word report, depending on the topic chosen.

Optional modules available all years

  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Assessment

You’ll show your progress through a combination of exams, essays, individual and group presentations, book reviews, project work and personal portfolio production, as well as your final-year Major Project.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences is an academic community of nearly 800 students and teaching staff. Our students are supported by leading practitioners, so you'll always have access to the latest theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as invaluable career advice. Subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences lead to work in many roles you might not have considered, maybe as a politician, chief executive – or even an inventor.

We organise many activities to help our students prepare for their future, like work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Study abroad options

You’ll have the chance to spend a semester at Umeå University in Sweden, or the University of New Brunswick in Canada, broadening your experience to make you stand out to future employers.

Specialist facilities

In our campus library, you’ll have access to an expanding collection of social science books and digital resources, as well as many computer rooms for group or private study. 

Fees & funding

Course fees

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

£9,000

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,000

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

Untitled Page

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

Untitled Page

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

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
Untitled Page

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:

Untitled Page
Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Untitled Page

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 answers@anglia.ac.uk 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.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Untitled Page
International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Untitled Page
English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Untitled Page
Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

Criminology and Sociology BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September 2016

Sociology BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

University Centre Peterborough

September 2016

Tourism Management BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)

Cambridge

January 2017, September 2016

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online