Sociology BSc (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
As the world grows more complex, so too does the challenge of understanding the intricate ways in which contemporary societies work. Study Sociology at Surrey and you will join one of the UK’s most prestigious sociology departments where we will encourage you to apply your intellect to the study of large-scale social trends, the significance of key social institutions and the subtleties of everyday behaviour, lifestyles and identities.
Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for Sociology, with our Sociology programmes ranked top ten in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
What you will study
Our rigorous, varied and highly enjoyable Sociology programme is delivered by world-leading experts who keep the content and approach up-to-date.
Using a range of teaching and assessment methods we put your learning into context and include 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, allowing you to 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.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||L300||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||L301||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
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
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
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
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
- 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 reveal even more opportunities. Some examples are:
- Magazine editor
- Contract and grants administrator
- Personnel manager
- Probation officer
- Career counsellor
- Marketing director
- Information specialist
- Senior lecturer
- Political consultant
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. To check where you can go, visit our Global Exchanges pages.
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.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course, you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students take two options from each semester, four in total.
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students take the dissertation (45 credits) across the whole year plus THREE options from Semester 1 and TWO from Semester 2.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
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 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 audio-visual equipment and networked computer suite, all available to aid your studies.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
HARMAN V Dr (Sociology)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||£9,250||£15,800||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||£9,250||£15,800||£1,850|
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.
There are no associated costs with with programme.
Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs - £60 approx.
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.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
"Studying Sociology allows you to think about what you are learning in a different way to many other subjects, and allows you to link these ideas with the world around you, both in the past and present day."
"I have grown to be a more confident and adaptable person, surrounded by a community of supportive individuals at the University of Surrey."