Studying Sociology (BA) gives you the opportunity to observe, analyse and describe complex social themes through a focus on historical, comparative and contemporary perspectives on social change in a global world. Has capitalism itself become a new kind of religion? Are we living in a ‘medicalised’ society? How do your hashtags make the world you live in? You can explore these issues and more, while developing transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, such as quantitative and qualitative research methods, critical analysis, advanced capabilities in oral and written communication, project management and teamwork.
With the study of social life at its heart, the scope of sociology is almost limitless. This course will introduce you to its broad subject matter, which encompasses family life, education, crime, work, war, religion, capitalism, power, love, the self, human-animal relations, art and the media, to name just a few. Sociology also has an abiding concern with the main markers of social difference in modern society – class, gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexuality and (dis)ability. You’ll explore how these often intersect in shaping the life chances and experiences of individuals. In addition to lectures, interactive seminars will add depth to your learning. You’ll also benefit from the insights of guest lectures by scholars working at the cusp of new subject knowledge and from opportunities to take part in field trips, including a study trip abroad at a partner university in Europe.
In your first year, you will choose one or two modules (30 CATS) from options offered within sociology (or you can even take options from outside the department, if you wish).
By your second year, you will be choosing almost 60% of your material. Your third year will be selected entirely by you; you’ll choose from our list of specialist options and also have the chance to do a dissertation (accounting for 25% of your final year marks). The dissertation will be on a topic area of your choosing, developed and agreed upon with your supervisor.
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. You can follow a specialism in Technologies and Markets, Race and Global Politics, Social Inequalities and Public Policy, Social and Political Thought, research methods or gender studies, or develop a varied portfolio across specialist options.
You will normally take eight different modules in each year, which are taught via lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group work and independent study.
In your first year, you will have 10–11 hours of formal contact time per week, helping you adjust to university life, and thereafter usually 8 hours per week.
Seminars involve smaller groups of 15–17 students, which include some of our joint honours students, giving you the chance to make friends across complementary disciplines. We have a strong personal tutoring system and staff have weekly Advice and Feedback hours in which you can meet with them on a one-to-one basis.
You will be assessed by a combination of essays, reports, podcasts, reflective writing and unseen exams. To support your assessment, you will submit class essays during the year and receive extensive feedback. In the final year, you write a 10,000-word dissertation on a sociological topic of your choice, with one-to-one supervision from staff. This prepares you for the needs of working life by consolidating core and transferable skills, and supports further academic study at MA and PhD level.
Your final degree classification is based on your performance across the modules taken in your second and third years. The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.
There is an option to spend part of the second year studying abroad at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. You may be based at either the University’s Melbourne campus or at its campus in Malaysia.
You will spend the first term of your second year studying at Warwick and will travel to Australia in February to join Monash for the start of its second semester (which spans Warwick’s second and third terms). This arrangement is the integrated terms abroad variant of the course.
During your time abroad you will study approved modules/units and will undertake assessments. The credit gained from this study is used to contribute towards your final degree classification awarded by Warwick. You may also choose to spend a year studying or working abroad (e.g. as part of the ERASMUS scheme).
Marks gained from such study do not count towards the overall Warwick degree but recognition of the time spent abroad is recorded on the HEAR.
A level: ABB
BTEC: We welcome applications from students taking BTEC qualifications, either alone or in combination with A levels. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A-Levels: D plus AB.
- BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A-Level: DD plus A.
- BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: D*DD.
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Sociology of Gender
Through case studies from the gender pay gap to the politics of Christmas, this module will transform how you see gender and its impact on the world. You’ll explore the origins of gender ideas and analyse their effects on areas of social life including: language; media and popular culture; science; work; family relationships; sexuality; violence; education; politics; and feminist movements.
While gender is the focus of this module, you’ll also consider how gender connects to other dimensions of social difference and inequality, such as sexuality, race, class or disability.
Researching Society and Culture
What is society and how do you study it? Is human behaviour governed by rules similar to the natural world that you can study objectively? Or do human beings consciously act upon their environment and change the world through creativity and intelligence, driven by their own understanding and motivations.
You'll be introduced to the core ideas behind sociological research and the practical tools to undertake research yourself. As well as looking at some of the key qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, ethnography, discourse analysis), you’ll also examine the political, ethical and practical issues that social research inevitably entails.
Race and the Making of the Modern World
What is 'race' and why does it matter? This module answers those questions drawing on the wealth of expertise within Warwick Sociology, taught by experts who research and write about race and racism from a range of perspectives. Students will learn about both theoretical concepts and real-world examples that will help them to understand how race and racism shape the social world.
Class and Capitalism in the Neoliberal World
Protest and anger characterise the contemporary era – young people taking part in militant politics, protest parties gaining more votes, and even NHS doctors taking to the streets.
In this module, we’ll explore the social consequences of the economic and political transformations associated with neoliberalism that have taken place in recent decades. We will ask why these changes might be responsible for the global rise in urban unrest and dissatisfaction.
Topics will include growing inequality and elite power, militant policing, consumerism, anxiety, debt, the destruction of industrial communities, class identity, the marketisation of education, and the diminishing spaces of public life.
History of Sociological Thought
What holds societies together? How do societies change? And how is politics in the conventional sense affected by factors such as class, status, ethnicity or religion, or the state of the economy? These are some of the questions that you'll engage with when you consider the history of sociological thought. You'll gain skills of research, analysis and debate by considering to what extent sociology may be considered a science and how the evolution of sociological thought has been shaped by events and the cultural, economic and political problems of the day.
Introduction to Social Analytics 1
In the age of ever-increasing data availability which is paired with a growing sophistication of statistical techniques, the opportunities for social science research are vast. This module will give you an understanding of the basic elements of core descriptive and inferential statistics which will allow you not only to critically engage with quantitative findings in existing social science research, but also conduct quantitative analysis yourself. The module covers the topics of conceptualisation, operationalisation and measurement, as well as the principles of sampling and the basics of statistical inference. You will be introduced to the statistical methods and process of social science research in one hour lectures, and then explore these in extended seminars (2h) both through readings, and the statistical software STATA. We will be working on real data sets, such as the World Development Indicators, but you will also conduct your own little survey amongst other students and analyse the data in class afterwards.
Designing and Conducting Social Research
This module will teach you the core concepts and practical skills to undertake qualitative social research in academic and professional settings. These include research design, ethnography, in-depth interviewing, documents and discourse. As well as practical skills, you’ll investigate how social research has changed in recent decades, considering:
• ethical questions when researching life online
• how (and whether you should) study Twitter
• effects of social media on social interactions
• how to engage diverse audiences
You'll also gain analytical skills to critically evaluate previous research, and develop your ability to collect and analyse data using a range of qualitative methods.
Modern Social Theory
This module will introduce you to the main thinkers and movements in critical social theory. Topics include Marxism, post-structuralism, class and culture. The changing conceptualisation of power and class is a focus throughout the module. This helps you to see how the different theoretical approaches relate to each other, and to historical and political events.
Practice and Interpretation of Quantitative Research
Quantitative methods can help you answer questions such as:
• Is income inequality in the UK growing?
• Does marriage improve health?
• Does growing up in a poor neighbourhood affect your life chances?
Analysing representative, large-scale social surveys is crucial for sociologists to understand social processes. This module will introduce you to quantitative methods and how to analyse large data sets using SPSS Statistics software. It will help you engage with published quantitative sociological research and to undertake your own basic quantitative data analysis.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
Race and the Making of the Modern World; Punishment, Justice and Control; Educational Inequalities; Racism and Xenophobia; Commercial Cultures in Global Capitalism; Cultures of Diaspora; Social Movements and Political Action
In addition to core modules, you have the option to specialise your degree through one of six pathways.
BA Sociology with Specialism in Social and Political Thought
Develop literacy in social and political theory. Understand the key critical concepts and theories for a variety of sociological concerns, which may include;
BA Sociology with Specialism in Research Methods
Develop practical research skills and methodological understanding of core research traditions. Gain experience in developing social research projects, research, and design. Understand how to develop and apply quantitative and qualitative research methods and instruments.
Modules in this specialism address;
- practicalities of undertaking data gathering and fieldwork
- questions of research ethics
- analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
- writing reports
- presenting research findings
BA Sociology with Specialism in Gender Studies
Gain a critical understanding of feminist thought, how it's formed, and how it informs sociological enquiry.
Learn about social divisions such as; gender, class, sexuality and race. Understand how this applies worldwide and in cultural and historical contexts.
BA Sociology with Specialism in Race and Global Politics
Understand race and ethnicity theories and how they relate to historical contexts and contemporary global politics.
Develop a critical understanding of;
- how race and ethnicity are informed and inform sociological enquiry
- how race and racism relate to other social divisions such as; class, sexuality, and gender.
BA Sociology with Specialism in Social Inequalities and Public Policy
Develop a critical understanding of social inequalities and public policy. Understand contemporary social concerns relating to education, crime, health, welfare, and social movements. Examine historical and comparative contexts, and the implications social divisions have on policy.
BA Sociology with Specialism in Technologies and Markets
Draw upon media studies, science and technology studies, and economic sociology. Learn the theories and philosophies of science, knowledge, commerce, economics, work, the body, animals and the environment, constitute sociological concerns.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to pursue careers such as: welfare and housing professionals, teaching, researchers, marketing and public relations professionals, and finance and investment analysts and advisers.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Make Your Mark - Careers with a degree in Sociology
- Working for More than Profit
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Your Sociological future: Sociology Alumni Evening
- My Sociological Future- What next? Career planning for undecided Sociology finalists
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
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