Sociology BSc (Hons) – 2020 entry
Why choose this course
As the world grows more complex, so does the challenge of understanding the intricate ways in which contemporary societies work. Study with us, and you’ll join one of the most prestigious sociology departments in the UK. You’ll be encouraged 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.
We’re one of the UK’s leading universities for sociology, with our sociology courses ranked top 10 in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
What you will study
Our highly varied and enjoyable BSc Sociology course is provided 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 will give you the opportunity to adapt and develop your approach to the discipline.
We will share our renowned knowledge of research design and methodology, allowing you to become confident in observation, interviews, statistics and textual analysis.
You’ll also develop a detailed understanding of sociological explanations for micro and macro social processes across a range of absorbing areas.
Professional Training placements
You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
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 gained during your first two years of study in a work environment, while receiving training and carrying out projects with real responsibilities.
Companies and organisations that have participated in the scheme include:
- British Red Cross
- Suffolk County Council
- Stonewall Housing
- Government Social Research
- IFF Research
- Surrey County Council
- Cyprus Green Action Group.
Applying for placements
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out about more about the application process.
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
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our 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 directly use aspects of their course studies.
This centres on an interest in society and the challenges and demands that members of a society face.
Our course 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 are analytical, numerate and communicate well.
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 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 benefits is flexibility in the job market. Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:
- Learning Mentor and Therapy Assistant, St Dominic's School
- Learning Support Assistant, St Luke's School
- Police Constable, Metropolitan Police
- Community Investment Coordinator, AXIS Europe
- Communications Officer, Kent Police
- Mental Health Recovery Worker, Creative Support
- Digital Marketing Assistant, Mirror Max Media.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies 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.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
Depending on your preference, you may decide to choose one of our European partner universities, such as Copenhagen University (Denmark), with the possibility of Erasmus+ funding for one or two semesters 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.
The advantages of participating in such exchanges are numerous. Not only is it an exciting experience but it also gives you a chance 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 (PDF) 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. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
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.
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:
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 Surrey emphasises the development of your practical and analytical skills in addressing contemporary sociological problems.
You’ll 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.
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. 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 Department of Sociology.
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, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development 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.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other 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.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.
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.
UK and EU £9,250
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU £9,250
Professional training To be confirmed
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
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.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
There are no associated costs with this programme.
Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs - £60 approx.
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.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.