Why do people riot? Do tighter social boundaries govern the ‘right time’ to become a mother more than they do the ‘right time’ to become a father? How is consumption produced, and is there a global consumer culture? How is the internet changing power relations and dynamics between patients, publics and professionals inside and outside the health care arena? What role has media played in structuring knowledge and power in modern society? Does science need public relations?
Central to how we practice Sociology at Warwick is our interest in developing pioneering ways of understanding the relationship between the individual and society. You will be encouraged to develop a ‘Sociological Imagination’. This means not only exploring the patterns, ideas and findings of Sociology in books and articles, but learning to think as an active sociologist.
Your core learning will provide you with the strongest possible base to understand how society and people have changed over time whilst also learning how the subject itself has grown and built. You’ll learn how new techniques, perspectives and traditions have developed on the knowledge of those before them, and learn to think critically yourself about them. You’ll understand ideologies, technologies and issues that have directly affected society and behaviour, and how people themselves have changed over time. Material will cover countries and societies across the world, looking at these comparatively and the interactions between countries and the global society.
You’ll learn about the social analysis through which sociology developed as a subject, and the further techniques and methodologies now available to us today. In applying these for yourself, you will build and gain the skills to undertake your own research. You will become ‘research minded’, critical and involved; and you will be guided and inspired by academics who are energetic, forward-looking and passionate as researchers, sociologists and teachers.
From the outset, you’ll be able to choose options from a range of specialist topics. This will allow you to develop a feel and understanding for how different fields approach important sociological questions at large. First year topics such as the media, gender, race, and the building of identity allow you to gauge your interests in these areas and build a base for more in-depth material in later years. These later years of study are tailored by you and consist of: core research modules; a dissertation chosen by you in discussion with your supervisor; and a choice of specialist module options.
Develop and follow your interests through modules such as: Crime and Society; Commercial Cultures in Global Capitalism; Race, Resistance and Modernity; Transnationalism and New Media; Educational Inequalities; and Sociology of Health and Medicine.
You can follow one of the specialisms in the below list, or develop a varied portfolio across specialist options:
- Social and Political Thought
- Technologies and Markets
- Social Inequalities and Public Policy
- Race and Global Politics
- Research Methods
- Gender Studies
You select these once you are already here and studying by following a pathway of optional modules and completing a dissertation in the relevant area. You will then receive a degree certificate awarded with the relevant specialism. Selections of specialisms are confirmed at the beginning of your third year, so you can try a number of topics before choosing this route.
If you do decide to follow a specialism, you’ll still have room to choose modules outside of your specialist pathway. You might try a module from within a specialism pathway alongside other choices in years one and two. This way you can keep your options open, and find out which areas you enjoy before you finalise your decision of whether or not to take a specialism.
The student experience
"As I hadn't studied Sociology at A Level I was especially apprehensive about beginning the course. The lecturers are aware that Sociology is a new topic for some and the readings set are given to introduce topics and challenge you."
- Savvy Hersov, BA Sociology (2015)