I remember my biggest worry being not so much the workload but forming a good friendship circle! Even imagining myself in university, with the hundreds of students constantly on campus every day in a new city, was very daunting for me. I was unsure of how I would fit into a new dynamic environment. Yet the international and lively atmosphere of Warwick is what I cherish most and has given me the greatest memories. Since there are so many different people from a range of backgrounds, I got to experience so many parts of different cultures and meet and befriend people I would have never expected to. It definitely opened my eyes to how global a university can be.
I chose Warwick because I was sure I didn’t want to go to a huge city-based campus. Though I never studied Sociology during my sixth form years, I have generally always been interested in people. How societies function has always been engaging for me academically. Therefore, to challenge myself in learning various aspects and characteristics which define our modern society and to realise how they are all interlinked, was a goal I had in mind from the very beginning.
Rachel Lee, BA Sociology 2017
Other Options at Warwick: Study Abroad Opportunities
One of the first things you might notice about coming to Warwick is their great pride in their global connections, and rightly so. The world is so big and full of so many great people, cultures, and food (seriously such good food) why stick to one place? Warwick helps you to get out of your comfort zone and be a part of something fantastic, exciting, and really really fun.
I came to Warwick to study Sociology because of the oodles of opportunities to get out of ‘The Warwick Bubble’ and run away to somewhere sunny either through the annual Study Trip or the Study Abroad programme in-between your 2nd and final year at university. I chose to go and visit Australia for a year, and whilst it was challenging and daunting at first, I am very happy I did. Not only spending a year on the other side of world made me become a more confident, independent, and socially aware person, (all great aspects that employers are looking for, hint hint), I am now full of great memories with an excellent Instagram account!
The Sociology department really helped me through every hurdle, whether it was applying for a visa or when I was feeling a bit homesick, Warwick has these great connections which make you feel at home even if you are 10,000 miles away. Due to the nature of Sociology, they push you to experience and soak up as much culture as possible, (even if it is sitting in a campervan, on a beach, or having a BBQ), in order for you to be fully immersed within the lifestyle. Which means that you can study what you want, do what you want, and not worry about it counting towards your end degree!
Have a year away from the stress of university life, and become a globetrotter to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity! It can seem quite nerve-wracking to take a trip and live somewhere that you have never been before for a year, but by the end of it, I promise you won’t regret it.
Ellie Lavender, Final-year Undergraduate
There’s something very scary about coming into a new university. Who will be teaching me? What are the people there like? And not to mention the department you will be studying in! These are all questions you might find yourself asking, so here is some handy information so you know what the Sociology department at Warwick is truly like from the perspective of a current student, (without the faff of having to work out whether all that stuff online is accurate or not).
If there’s an area you are particularly passionate about then I would suggest having a look on the Undergraduate portal for the specialisms chart when you join. The department has several of these, all of which look pretty darn impressive to employers, and also which really allow you to enjoy your degree!
Advice and feedback hours
Unsure about an essay? There is nothing worse than worrying that you’re not going to be on top of the workload. Go along to the advice and feedback hours in the department and hand in a draft. Not only will you get extensive feedback to ensure you can improve as much as possible, but it means you get to know the people who are teaching you. And if you’re worried, you can always pop along to the common room for a nice chat and a cup of tea. If you’re still unsure, you also have the chance to write practice essays before the real thing, and there is so much opportunity for progression that you’ll save yourself a panic. It’s always nice to know you can sleep easy, and not worry about having to drink one too many energy drinks for those dreaded all-nighters.
Opportunities to get involved
As if gaining a degree from an incredibly prestigious Russell group university isn’t enough, there are so many opportunities to get involved that give you freedom and fun, such as with the Warwick sociology journal, where you can get involved in publishing academic material. (Nobody expects you to be an expert!) There is also the Sociology Society, known by the rather playful name of 'SocSoc'. They hold annual Christmas meals, SocSocSocks at Christmas (literally stockings made by the Society for charity) and the Annual Ball, alongside the Politics Society. This is a great place to meet new people, and of course, have a laugh when everyone is celebrating the end of the year, (and probably making a fool of themselves on the dancefloor).
There are also the sociology lunches, sociology film club, sociology seminar series; your inbox will be so full of invitations that you will almost definitely be discussing Marxist theory on a Monday, and then going out to events like Pop!, whilst dressed in 1920s paraphernalia on Wednesdays. There is something for everyone.
So is it daunting coming to a new place? Yes. But is it worth it? Absolutely.
Anna Bray, Second-year Undergraduate
Module Choices and Structure: The Reason I Chose To Study Sociology At Warwick
There are a million and one things that attracted me to Warwick including its ranking in the UK and in the World, the fact that it’s a campus-based university and not a city one and so promotes a community style learning, as well as its location; it is in close proximity to major cities like Birmingham and London and has great transport links.
However, when looking specifically at Sociology, I wanted a university that would capture the essence of the subject; one that would allow me to grow and learn while giving me the space to try new areas of study. Warwick does just this and this is one of the main reasons I chose to study here rather than elsewhere.
Warwick Sociology department offers a variety of modules across all years and there is a very loose structure to what you can do with your options.
From the onset, this seemed like the kind of formation I wanted from my university degree. Below I will outline the top 3 reasons why I like the structure of the Sociology degree:
1. Module choices within Sociology
2. Module choices outside the department
3. 15 CAT modules
Module choices within the Sociology department
There are a range of sociological modules to choose from within the department which cover a variety of concepts and authors. There are more contemporary modules as well as those that cover the historical elements of society and its formation.
I found that this structure and freedom of choice allowed me to learn a range of theories and concepts across my degree. As a finalist, I am planning on claiming a specialism, yet I have not been restricted throughout my degree to choose options that only fall into the specialism category. Rather, I have been able to have a taste of different modules through 1st and 2nd year before choosing what I want to specialise in for my final year.
Other universities I looked at before applying did not have such a loose structure, but more of a rigid one that had little room to manoeuvre as a student. This is the first reason I chose Sociology at Warwick.
Module choices outside of the department
As well as being able to choose modules within the Sociology department, Warwick offers the opportunity to choose outside your degree from other departments. Typically, students choose modules from Politics, Philosophy, Psychology or Economics. These departments compliment Sociology and can add an extra layer or different perspective to the Sociology modules that you study.
I have friends who have also chosen modules from Warwick Business School (WBS), as they want to go into Marketing or similar lines of work.
15 CAT modules
Sociology offers mainly 15 CAT modules. What this means is that you study the topic for just a single term rather than across 2 terms, like 30 CAT modules do. I personally feel this is beneficial as you get the opportunity to study more modules across your degree.
Why you should consider Sociology at Warwick
Choosing which university to study at can be a daunting task and one that is crucial to the next 3-5 years of your life. But I think that the choice of modules and freedom available, in terms of manoeuvrability, is essential especially when studying a degree like Sociology. I feel the Sociology department at Warwick offers the right level of freedom as well as the right focus on your Sociology degree and this is one of the top reasons I opted to study here.
Meena Khan, Final-year Undergraduate
Hello! This is my first blog post so bear with me, but I hope I can give you some helpful advice. My first term at Warwick has been filled with exciting lectures, meeting new people, and adjusting to living on campus.
Making the step to university can be daunting, but Warwick has an excellent support system to help whenever you need it. As a disabled student, I communicate with disability services often. They are very friendly and offer a wide range of support for a variety of disabilities and conditions.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed in your first term, but reaching out for support always helps. The university has a counselling service who offer non-judgemental support to anyone, and have helped me to overcome my anxieties and I am quickly settling in. Students play a key role at Warwick and are at the heart of the university.
A lot of effort goes into making sure that everyone is valued here, and I have been struck by the sense of community. I’m not the most sociable person, but I have never felt alone for long, as there is always someone to help me. For me, it’s difficult not to focus on studying, (I’d be lying if I said the work was easy!), but it’s this combined with the diverse and friendly atmosphere that has made my first term enjoyable.
My first term has been very fulfilling, and I would definitely encourage you to make the most of the amazing opportunities that the Warwick community provides.
Ellie Craddock, First-year Undergraduate
Warwick appealed to me because of its friendly, campus feel. I instantly felt welcome when visiting and was impressed by the range of social and cultural activities I could get involved in. The vast array of societies to join at Warwick really excited me as I wanted to have the opportunity to try new things at university.
The Sociology Society provided an easy way for me to integrate into a new life at university, putting on events welcoming new students and helping them integrate and find support among existing members. The small size of the society compared to others on campus means it has an amazing community feel. My experience of the society in my first year inspired me to run for society executive in subsequent years, to taking on the role of President in my final year. I thoroughly enjoy working among a small team of other society executive members to ensure all students in the department, and beyond, experience this same sense of community within our society. We run a range of exciting events, from social events, including our annual ball, and fundraising opportunities to running academic workshops and proving exams advice for first year students.
Not only has joining the society allowed me to meet some of my best friends at university and enjoy some amazing events, it has allowed me to develop personally, improving my confidence and provided me with a range of skills valued by employers. This includes team management, events organising and professional communication skills.
Lizzie Simon, Final-year Undergraduate
More to my Sociology degree?
You are probably wondering if there are other things you can do rather than just going to the library, seminars or lectures. I have good news, there are several things you can get involved in with the Sociology department, for example, the Widening Participation programme, being a student ambassador, department talks, or you can even fly off to another country or even the other side of the world!
For me, all the opportunities within the department, were interesting and exciting. However the highlight of my Sociology degree was being involved in the Study Abroad programme.
The idea of being involved and immersed in a culture different from the one I grew up in, was one the main reasons for me to participate in the programme. It helped me become more independent, try new activities and adventures that I may not have had the opportunity to do in the UK.
Exchange environment and support
I enjoyed the chance of doing this exchange, as being a classic social scientist, I wanted to explore the social issues within the country I did my exchange with; which was Australia. By being able to study in Melbourne, by doing an exchange in this cultural cosmopolitan city, I got the chance to dive into the history of the country, through art galleries and FREE museums within the CBD (central business district). Melbourne is the ‘most liveable city’ circa 2017, for a reason the amount of the things you can do is endless.
At Monash University, the exchange alliance was wonderful; well developed which allowed for pastoral care from the study abroad co-ordinators if you need it. Monash provided a variety of support services, to name but a few: disability and support, people of colour department, environmental and justice department, student welfare and funding, and showed inclusivity throughout the campus, with a vegan co-operative restaurant run by students, which was the heart of the university’s Clayton campus.
Sorting things out?
Overall, there are technical things to sort out, such as visas, health insurance, flight tickets, airport transfers etc. However Warwick is very helpful in supporting you in doing all of this. What I enjoyed the most was the amount travelling I was able to do.
As it is study abroad, you have more time to enjoy yourself. I was able to visit regions, which made me more of a global citizen. Australia is a big country, and yes that sounds like a cliché statement, but it is true. You can visit nearby New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, which really help you gain more of a global perspective. The whole transition was smooth, but this was due to the alliance Monash and Warwick have. There are other places that you can choose to do your study abroad programme. The experience will vary, however for European countries you do get an Erasmus bursary.
Chris Shane Bhatti, Final-year Undergraduate
What I like about the Sociology Department at Warwick
The Sociology department at Warwick is a friendly and diverse environment with a friendly space in which students and tutors alike interact in and outside of class. The common room is a great area to meet with friends and chat in between seminars, and you can meet students from all year groups as well. It is a very busy environment and there is always somebody to chat to while you make that all-important coffee. Also, it is a highly diverse department and you can have the experience of being taught by tutors who specialise in a broad range of research areas, which inform the varied modules you can choose.
The tutors in Sociology are very approachable and hold office hours which are very useful. Do not be scared to knock on your tutor’s door as you're passing and to come along to their office hours if you need advice on a module or assignment. Personal tutors are useful if you are struggling with anything, be it to do with your modules or something more personal, they are your first port of call to access any of the support services campus offers.
Another feature I like about the Sociology department is the wide range of modules on offer. This term I am taking a module on the Refugee Crisis, one on Race and one on Animals and Society. This shows how broad the choices are and there really is something for everyone. The thing I have loved about Sociology at Warwick is that you can really open yourself up to new ways of thinking and seeing the world. Furthermore, the department is a very accepting place in which you feel able to be yourself.
The Sociology Society
Joining your course society is a brilliant idea, you have even more opportunity to meet people from across the year groups. It is student led and so gets you out of the department and taking part in social events such as nights out, meals, pub quizzes and even and a yearly ball. This range of events means there is something for everyone and there is no pressure to drink. These events really helped me to settle into the sociology department in my first year, and now I have made wonderful friends who I still attend these events with.
Overall, the Sociology department at Warwick is a really fun place to study and meet new people.
Laura Neil, Final-year Undergraduate
Module Credits and Assessment:
The modules you choose should total to 120 CATS over the year, and this is made up of modules that are normally either 15 CATS, or 30 CATS which are spread over two terms. Choosing these modules are integral in providing a stimulating study experience and so you want to pick the ones you like, but also the ones you feel you will succeed in. This is why finding out the form of assessment is important: if you prefer exams over essays, it might be useful to choose a module with an exam assessment as it plays to your strengths.
The first question you want to ponder when picking your modules is “Am I interested in this?” If you are, great! If you find other modules more exciting, then it’s worthwhile going for those you’ll want to get out of bed and go to that 10am lecture for, rather than ones that you don’t want to study for a whole term. Speaking to friends on the same course is another great way to think about module choices, as if you discuss course content and find it engaging, it might be the right module for you. BUT don’t feel like you should pick the modules your friends have chosen… although you might not want to separate from your friends, at university you’ll constantly be meeting new people and they’re also in the same position as you!
Information and Advice
Picking your modules can be a daunting process, but there are many ways to get support when choosing. One of the most informative ways is to speak to the lecturers teaching the module. By having a quick chat or sending an email, they could provide you with the course content which might make the decision easier, if it’s interesting to you, it might be worth choosing! Aside from lecturers, the Sociology society is made up of students from various years, and so asking a student in the year above who has taken a specific module you are interested in, can tell you about the module from a student perspective and also provide support.
Take advantage of the large scope of modules that the Sociology department provide; it can be overwhelming, but it’s important to study what you find interesting and want to learn more about, rather than a module that might look impressive on paper, but doesn’t hold your attention at all. Whichever modules you do eventually choose, enjoy them. They might get tedious at times but in the end it’ll all be worth it!
Simran Grewal, Final-year Undergraduate
I arrived at the University of Warwick in the first week of October, which was Freshers’ Week, with my sister. This week could also be described as the ‘moving-in’ week because all the first years are coming in and trying to settle in their respective accommodation. I met a few of my flat mates, (not all as there are 16 of them; I live in Rootes), and they were all really nice and friendly.
Freshers’ Week is exciting for freshers, mainly because of the parties! The Student Union organised events for each freshers’ weeknight as a way of meeting new people and making friends. There was a welcome party on the first night of the week, which I went to, and made some amazing friends! I did not attend other SU events because I do not like partying, but there were events every single day and you could get a Freshers’ Pass to attend these.
During this week I was busy settling in and decorating my room to make it more home-like; I got some posters from the on-campus poster sale. We were all aware that our official lectures and seminars would commence from the second week, and so we were also in preparation for that. On the course I met more people and made friends with them; making friends on your courses is easier as you see them every day.
Weekends, for me, were very exciting, as there has not been a single weekend spent on campus in my first term. I have always travelled to a new city on weekends with my sister, and simultaneously managed to do all my homework for the upcoming week. Yes, sometimes it became stressful as I have assignments and essay deadlines, but I still managed to enjoy it! Travelling itself is easy once you get a hold of it; at first I was scared because I am an international student and didn’t know how everything worked, but now I would say it has become easier for me as I know where I am going!
Overall, looking back at my term 1 experience, I would say that even though I had a lot of work, I still managed to submit my assignments on time and at the same time have fun! Fun is not just partying and clubbing, I had fun by exploring new places and cities with friends and family.
Hamna Waseem Cheema, First- year Undergraduate (History and Sociology)