SOCIOLOGY AND GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BASc
Full-time 2019 entry, AAB, IB 36
Apply your passion for Sociology to answering the Big Questions of our time by studying it in combination with Global Sustainable Development (GSD).
Can we end world poverty by 2030? How can we ensure our cities are safe? How can we tackle the effects of climate change on our world? If you’re keen to search for the answers and make a difference to our world, Global Sustainable Development can show you how.
Sociology - the study of humans in society - is at the heart of the roadmap towards a sustainable future. Each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has a sociological aspect, and understanding the social implications of world trade, economic growth, and climate change has never been more critical. Since the birth of the neoliberal era, major global transformations have redefined societies across the world, producing social unrest, increased wealth inequality, and new migration trends. Sociologists are now focusing on why the current organisation of society might itself be unsustainable, researching innovative solutions to develop social-environmental relationships that are less environmentally harmful. By studying Sociology with Global Sustainable Development you will be combining sociological concepts including race, identity, ethnicity, and gender and applying these to your exploration of global issues such as wealth inequality, elite power, and food security. You’ll consider these issues from many different perspectives, understand their complexity and learn to use a variety of approaches to think creatively about potential solutions.
We’ll challenge you to become an active participant in your own learning and help you to develop professional skills through certificates you’ll complete as part of the course. You’ll also have the opportunity to spend part of your second year studying abroad at our partner institution in Monash, Australia – home to the world-leading Sustainable Development Institute.
Year 1: Six core modules - four in GSD worth 60 CATS and four in Sociology worth 60 CATS. You will also have the opportunity to take Certificate of Digital Literacy.
Year 2: For the GSD half, 60 credits of GSD modules comprised of one 30 CAT optional core (Food Systems, Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability, or Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development) plus further module(s) totalling 30 CATS selected from the range of modules available across the University (including from within the Global Sustainable Development Department) which have a global sustainable development focus. You will take 15 credits of core modules in Sociology and 15 CATS of optional cores plus a further 30 CATS of options. There will be the opportunity to take the Certificate of Coaching Practice, Certificate of Professional Communication (alongside a work placement) and Certificate of Sustainability Auditing.
If you opt to travel abroad to study at Monash University for part of the year you take one of two optional GSD core modules in the first term whilst at Warwick together with further relevant second year modules from within or outside of the School totalling 15 CATS. 15 CATS of core Sociology modules and 15 CATS of options. Whilst abroad, you are required to study relevant approved modules equating to 60 credits selected from those offered by the partner institution.
Final Year: Core GSD module 'Dissertation' (30 CATS) plus further relevant modules from within or outside of the School totalling 30 CATS. You will also choose from a selection of optional modules worth 60 CATS in total from the Sociology Department.
You will attend lectures and take part in seminars, workshops and tutorials and work with your fellow students in teams on controversial, topical problems that pose significant sustainable development questions. You will undertake fieldwork, archival research, interviews with members of the local area and engage in peer discussion to propose alternative solutions. You will review the work of your fellow students.
You will be taught by a range of academics, from different disciplines, who will communicate their expertise on a specific issue and describe their methodology for addressing it. Your role is to bring together these various approaches and to develop your own informed stance on each issue.
Core first year GSD modules have 23 hours of contact time each made up of lectures, workshops and, for the 'mini-project' module, group supervision sessions and a field trip. In the second year, optional core GSD modules have around 45 contact hours each for the 30 CATS versions and half this for the shorter 15 CATS versions.
Teaching is via workshops. Optional GSD modules are available with between 20 and 50 hours for scheduled contact time depending upon how the module is taught. For example, some modules have lectures, seminars, film screenings and research supervision whereas others have lectures and workshops. Some modules include field trips.
Seminar groups comprise between 10 and 15 students.
In the first year, two of the GSD core modules have an exam worth 40%. Two of the core first year Sociology modules are wholly assessed by coursework. The other two are assessed by a combination of coursework and exam. The remaining 60% of these modules and the other core GSD modules are assessed by methods other than formal examination. In the second year GSD optional cores and options do not have traditional examinations; assessments for the core and optional core Sociology modules is via coursework. The final year core GSD module is a Dissertation/Long Project and so is assessed via 'coursework'. The overall percentage of the course that is assessed by coursework depends upon the options taken.
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 abroad studying 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.
"The modules in first year have given new perspectives on topics I thought I knew a lot about, and it has helped me think more about my life."
Check out Meredith's blog
A level: AAB - you will also need Grade B/Grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE
IB: 36 to include Mathematics and English
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).
- Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units. Candidates must meet essential subject requirements.
- 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.
Interviews 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.
Economic Principles of GSD
You’ll start your studies with an introduction to the concepts and perspectives related to the measurement of global sustainable development, and the links between economics and policy. You’ll progress to analysing real-world problems, such as the connection between poverty and the environment, to deepen your conceptual understanding of how economic activity relates to development. You’ll be expected to critique alternative economic models and interventions, using theories and explanations based on externalities, game theory, and theories of decision-making under risk and uncertainty. You’ll also learn to use quantitative information to evaluate policy design, this will also improve your skills of oral and written communications and independent learning.
Social Principles of GSD
You’ll engage with the social and political principles of global sustainable development, and use stimulus and simulation techniques to grapple with the ideas through a combination of practical activities, groupwork, seminars and online collaboration. By the end of this module, you will be able to offer well-informed, evidence-based evaluations of key global challenges, and to explain how particular forms of economic development cause social problems. You will be able to provide ideas for strategies that could tackle problems of social inequality in food, education and health, and be able to write competently and proficiently on topics such as goal-based development, in preparation for your second-year.
Environmental Principles of GSD
You’ll investigate a range of perspectives on sustainable development from the standpoint of environmental studies, to equip you with the capacity to engage in critical discussion of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, as outlined by the framework of the nine planetary boundaries. You’ll demonstrate your understanding of the causes and impacts of anthropogenic activities, and appraise discourses of environmental decline and sustainability from a rigorous and interdisciplinary perspective. You’ll also gain important employability skills, such as independent research and persuasive communications, through creating and presenting a briefing paper and policy pitch.
During this module, you will collaborate with your peers on a task of investigating the High Speed 2 rail line (HS2). Immersing you in a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data that you will gather, examine, analyse and critique. As well as deepening your understanding of the economic case for HS2 and the social and economic perspectives it has generated, you’ll be strengthening your academic research skills to deconstruct a major problem, formulate and test hypotheses, evaluate the evidence, and undertake field research, including interviews and focus groups.
Quantitative Methods 1
This module introduces you to the range of quantitative methods of analysis used in the social sciences focussing on the tasks of conceptualisation, operationalization and measurement. You will gain hands-on experience of using software for data analysis.
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 will 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.
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 will engage with when you consider the history of sociological thought. You will 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.
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.
Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development
Your starting point on this module is the sustainable development goals for health and well-being, gender equality and reducing inequalities, with an overarching theme of how our bodies relate to various forms of development. You can expect to articulate your knowledge of major global inequalities and apply your understanding across different cultural and social norms. Asking provocative questions and critically engaging with the way the environment is affecting health outcomes, and critiquing the efficacy of policy measures that aim to address health-related global crises. You’ll also improve your research skills by generating original, well-researched arguments for policies that address health and inequalities outcomes.
Food Systems: Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability
At least 800 million people are chronically undernourished globally, and the global population is projected to increase to a staggering 10 billion by 2050. From this challenging starting point, you’ll be working with active researchers from across various disciplines at the University of Warwick, especially those involved in the Global Research Priority on Food. You will become acquainted with contrasting disciplinary approaches to the investigation of food systems, and be able to analyse scholarly concerns surrounding food security, sovereignty and sustainability. You’ll evaluate competing solutions, and research, evaluate and synthesise academic and other credible research and analysis in order to respond critically to the essential topics and questions in this exciting field.
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.
You may choose from a range of Sociology modules to study those aspects of the subject that interest you most.
Selection of optional modules that current students are studying:
Sociology - Becoming Yourself: The Construction of the Self in Contemporary Western Societies; Punishment, Justice and Control.
Global Sustainable Development - Keeping the Phoenix Flying or Clipping its Wings?: Learning through Student Research into the Praxis of ‘Local’ Sustainable Development; Extinction & Survival; Inequality: Wealth, Behaviour and Society; Surviving the Apocalypse.
Our degree programmes have been developed to provide you with a set of skills that will enable you to compete for existing and emerging roles across a variety of professions. Your options are varied across a range of industries, from working in the United Nations to advising small businesses on issues that will affect the local community.
You will also learn valuable transferable skills that will help you with your employment prospects including:
- Analytical and problem solving: Through your study of economic principles and models, you’ll learn how to extract the essential features of complex systems, providing useable frameworks for evaluation.
- Critical thinking: Assess arguments, make judgements, formulate reasoned debates and generate feasible solutions.
- Communication: Develop advanced communication skills that enable you to communicate with a variety of audiences and in different settings.
- Research: An integrated programme of research skills training, teaching you how to source, evaluate and use different forms of information and data.
- Organisational: Through a rigorous assessment schedule and a compulsory dissertation module in your final year, you’ll learn the essentials of time management, prioritisation and how to be well organised.
- Team working: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with others and nurture your emotional intelligence, developing a professional attitude.
- Project work / lobbying for international organisations, NGOs and charities
- Advisory / consultancy roles in public services, education or the environmental or energy sectors
- Roles in communications, public relations and the media
- Sustainable finance
A level AAB - you will also need Grade B/Grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE
IB 36 to include Mathematics and English
Degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)
3 years full time
24 September 2019
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry and optional study abroad term in Year 2 at a partner institution in Australia.
Find out more about fees and funding
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course.
This information is applicable for 2019 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.
Economics and Global Sustainable Development
Global Sustainable Development
Global Sustainable Development and Business Studies
History and Global Sustainable Development
Life Sciences and Global Sustainable Development
Philosophy and Global Sustainable Development
Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development
Psychology and Global Sustainable Development
Theatre and Performance Studies and Global Sustainable Development
Sociology and Quantitative Methods
History and Sociology
Law and Sociology (4 years)
Politics and Sociology