Sociology BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

The degree programme is of an excellent quality, incorporating a wide range of modules, making it both challenging and interesting.

What you'll study

As the world grows more complex, so too does the challenge of understanding the intricate ways in which contemporary societies work.

Sociology is increasingly attracting the very brightest, most ambitious minds to apply their intellects to the study of large-scale social trends, the significance of key social institutions and the subtleties of everyday behaviour, lifestyles and identities.

Join us here in one of the UK’s most prestigious sociology departments and we will push you to master the theories and methods of this highly relevant and thought-provoking subject.

Rise to that challenge and you will find yourself in high demand for your ability to combine evidence with inspired insights.

Programme overview

Our rigorous, varied and enjoyable programme is delivered by world-leading experts who keep the content and approach right up-to-date.

We use a range of teaching and assessment methods to put your learning into context, including individual and group projects that enable you to make your own new contributions to the discipline.

We will share our world-leading knowledge of research design and methodology, so you too will become an expert in observation, interviews, statistics and textual analysis.

You will also develop a detailed understanding of sociological explanations for micro and macro social processes across a range of absorbing topic areas.

Such knowledge, skills and understanding will prove highly desirable, whatever your eventual career path.

Read about the experience of Sociology student Sophie Ruffett.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Your first year of study provides a broad-based curriculum to give you a solid grasp of the fundamental concepts, techniques and skills that you will be using throughout your degree. Modules include:

Core modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In your second year, you will study compulsory modules in:

Core modules:

You will also start to explore the particular areas that interest you most, with a choice of four modules from a range of sociology options, including:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

Our Professional Training placement programme gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during your first two years of study in a work environment whilst receiving training and undertaking projects with real responsibilities.

Companies and organisations that have participated in the scheme include:

  • Home Office
  • House of Lords
  • Metropolitan Police
  • British Market Research Bureau
  • Guildford Pupil Referral Unit
  • Marks & Spencer
  • IBM

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

One third of your final year will be spent doing an individual project chosen according to your interests, and written up as an 8,000 to 12,000-word dissertation. Your final year is also an opportunity to extend your studies further into specialist areas of sociology by choosing five options from a range that includes:

Core modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placements

Our Professional Training placement programme gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during your first two years of study in a work environment whilst receiving training and undertaking projects with real responsibilities.

Companies and organisations that have participated in the scheme include:

  • Home Office
  • House of Lords
  • Metropolitan Police
  • British Market Research Bureau
  • Guildford Pupil Referral Unit
  • Marks & Spencer
  • IBM


Sociology at the University of Surrey emphasises the development of your practical and analytical skills in addressing contemporary sociological problems.

You will benefit from a range of teaching methods, including small group tutorials, projects and workshops, as well as lectures and classes.

We find that our students learn most effectively in this environment, and projects will contribute to the development of your personal skills in leadership, effective communication and analytical ability.

You will develop sophisticated skills in conducting both quantitative and qualitative research.

You can take advantage of the Department’s excellent facilities, range of audiovisual equipment and networked computer suite, all available to aid your studies.


Many modules are assessed entirely by coursework, that is, essays, exercises or project work; others are assessed by a mixture of coursework and an examination at the end of the year. Each module in the first year must be passed satisfactorily in order to enter the second year. Your first-year marks do not count towards your final degree result, but are used to check on your progress. The final degree result is based on assessment during your second and final years.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 5 per cent medium group teaching
  • 8 per cent large group teaching
  • 87 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Global opportunities

You have the opportunity to spend the full academic year on an exchange study placement at the University of Maryland in the USA, replacing your second year at Surrey.

Depending on your preference, you may decide to choose one of our European partner universities, such as Copenhagen University (Denmark), with Erasmus+ funding for one semester of your Professional Training placement.

We also have exchanges with:

  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Singapore Management University
  • Seoul National University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of North Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • Monash University
  • La Trobe University
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • University of Victoria, Wellington

If you are more interested in a professional experience, you could have the chance to work for a partner organisation in a foreign country.

The advantages of participating in such exchanges are numerous. Of course, it is an exciting experience but it is also the chance for you to enhance your academic and professional profile.

Discover where our global opportunities can take you.

Career opportunities

Sociology graduates are found across a wide range of occupational areas, with the skills they acquire useful in many different roles.

However, many are attracted to careers that enable them to use directly aspects of their degree studies, applying what they have learned and the skills gained whilst an undergraduate.

This centres on an interest in society and the challenges and demands that members of a society face.

Our Sociology degree will prepare you for a wide range of jobs which require the ability to analyse complex issues and reach policy conclusions.

Our graduates are in a strong position in the job market because they have good analytical skills, are numerate and communicate well.

A recent report from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (2013) confirmed the good employability record of social science (including sociology) graduates, which were even better than those graduating in arts and humanities and science subjects.

Depending on what kinds of courses you concentrate on, you can use sociology to develop expertise for a range of different occupations. Specifically:

  • It provides the knowledge and analytical skills needed to pursue a professional degree in the public sector, business, education, health and medicine, social work, or counselling
  • It offers preparation for fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse people, such as journalism, politics, marketing, business, human resources or public administration
  • It provides the strong research-skills preparation needed for positions in business, social services and government
  • It is a first step for future graduate study in sociology and allied disciplines in order to become a researcher or lecturer

Graduate prospects

Given the broad education that a degree in sociology offers, one of its virtues is flexibility in the job market. Actual entry-level job titles of recent sociology graduates show this diversity:

  • Programme assistant for a social service agency
  • Teacher
  • Programmer
  • Production coordinator for a publishing firm
  • Social worker
  • Communications technician for a telecommunications company
  • Sales representative
  • Government analyst
  • Health intake counsellor
  • Operations planner for a defence firm

The occupations of alumni who have been in the workforce for a few years reveals even more opportunities. Some examples are:

  • Magazine editor
  • Contract and grants administrator
  • Attorney
  • Personnel manager
  • Probation officer
  • Career counsellor
  • Marketing director
  • Information specialist
  • Senior lecturer
  • Political consultant

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years L300 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years L301 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

Major/minor Courses

What does it mean to study a course as a major or minor?

A Major/Minor degree lets you build in-depth knowledge of one subject (your Major) while also studying another topic (your Minor). At Surrey, your Major/Minor degree also includes an integrative module that allows you to develop a unique understanding of how your two chosen subjects relate to each other.

The type and title of the degree conferred upon you will reflect your Major subject while acknowledging your Minor. For example, you could receive BA (Hons) English Literature with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Politics with Creative Writing, BMus (Hons) Music with Digital Media Arts, etc.

What are the pros and cons of studying a Major/Minor course?

A Major/Minor degree gives you the opportunity to build a much broader base of knowledge than a traditional single-subject degree, but without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire real expertise in a particular field. You will come into contact with students, academics and ideas from two disciplines rather than one.

There are a small number of careers that require graduate membership of a chartered institute, for which an accredited single-honours degree may be necessary, or which require particular postgraduate or doctoral qualifications that may only be gained after completing an undergraduate degree in a specific, single-honours subject. However, for the overwhelming majority of career paths this is not the case and in most cases there are conversion courses or equivalency allowances should you later decide you wish to follow a career with these requirements. Please speak to a careers advisor for further clarification.

What would studying a Major/Minor course mean for my job prospects?

Modern employers rarely demand a specific degree relevant to their field or sector, instead preferring culturally aware people who can place their knowledge in a wider context, who have used their time as a student to develop personally and intellectually as well as academically, and who leave university with impressive professional workplace experience already under their belt.

Because of this, it is the graduates who have combined academic achievement with the development of critical skills, who have acquired the capacity for independent learning across a range of subjects and who are comfortable dealing with a wide variety of colleagues and clients who will find themselves in greater and greater demand.

How will my time be split on a Major/Minor programme?

As you'd expect, the majority of your degree modules, exams, coursework and assessment marks will come from your Major subject. As a guideline, we would expect you to spend around 70% of your time studying for your Major, with the remaining 30% dedicated to your Minor. However, our Major/Minor framework allows you to choose from a flexible range of optional modules, so the actual balance will depend on your own preferences and requirements.

Remember also that Surrey Major/Minor degrees include our unique integrative modules, which bring you together with your fellow students to reflect on how your Major and Minor subjects complement each other.

See all Major/Minor courses

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

BSc (Hons) Sociology


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Professional Training Placement

Study placement: Sociology

Sociology student Michelle MacDonagh talks about her study placement in Maryland, USA.

Our alumni

Contact Us

Phone: +44 (0)1483 681 681

General undergraduate enquiries

Undergraduate admissions enquiries

View Larger Map