Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

BA Sociology

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In this Section:

If you want to …

  • learn about big ideas and social problems
  • explore the changing nature of social relationships
  • study the nature and emergence the consumer society
  • consider new technologies and their effect on social life
  • question what it means to be a ‘good citizen’ in today’s society
  • examine social inequalities, protest, unrest and struggles over power

... then BA Sociology is the course for you.

BA Sociology examines the interconnections between individuals and wider society and how these impact on each other. It entails the bridging of big ideas and practical problems.

In other words, we consider how classical, contemporary and emerging styles of thought or the ideas of key thinkers can shed light on social issues such as crime, disability, family and gender issues, racism, social care and youth unemployment.

Year One

BA Sociology Year One invites you to start thinking sociologically. In doing so, we encourage you to use sociology to question the common-sense explanations of social phenomenon.

In partnership with us, you will discover some key concepts and debates within sociology, giving you a broad sociological foundation for your studies at Years Two and Three.

Compulsory modules

The Sociology of Modern Societies introduces you to some of the main concepts and traditions in sociology. The module will involve ‘thinking with history’ in order to understand the present. You will be taken on an intellectual journey to understand how contemporary society has grown out of earlier societies and points beyond itself to a diversity of possible futures.

Formations of Modernity is concerned with the process of formation that led to the emergence of modern societies, and which stamped them with their distinctive character. It sees modern societies now as a global interconnected phenomenon and the modern world as the unexpected and unpredicted outcome of, not one, but a series of major historical transitions.

Understanding and Researching the City will allow you to engage in a sociological exploration of the city and urban spaces in which they live and learn. You will be able to think critically about your everyday lives in a social scientific way. Students will be introduced to a range of social issues and the local community and be given an opportunity to research areas of interest.

Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society introduces key knowledge and training in the social sciences by teaching you the underpinnings of social research, how to undertake ‘real world’ research and think critically about the social world around you and your own everyday life.

Sociological Analysis of Contemporary Society examines the key features of contemporary global society and culture from a sociological perspective. We consider what aspects of our lives and the social world might be changing, and why such change may occur.

Identities, Inequalities and Policy is based around three strands of, identity, inequalities and policy. The content of the module will focus on specialist debates within these broad areas. In this way you will benefit from interaction with active researchers and contemporary agendas.

Discovery Modules

You also choose one Discovery Module from a wide range across the university.

Year Two

Compulsory modules

Central Problems in Sociology focuses on the important thinkers and traditions within the history of the discipline developing on the Sociological Thinking module at Level One. Central Problems explores how thinkers have elucidated their main ideas and influenced each other. We cover the themes of social integration, power, social change, the individual and society, as well as examining forms of culture, beliefs and consciousness.

Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods allows you to build bridges between big ideas and social problems. Drawing on the research skills developed at Level One, the module provides you with a thorough understanding of how to design and conduct your own social research, and interpret results in an accurate manner. We explore qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches to social research, providing for how these can be applied in routine and rare contexts.

Optional modules

You then select three modules from the list below:

  • Debates in Childhood and Youth
  • DisabilityStudies: An Introduction
  • Drugs: Society, Politics and Policy
  • Race and Hollywood Cinema
  • Race, Gender and Culture
  • Racism and Ethnicity Studies: A Global Approach
  • The Sociology of Culture; Crime, Law and Regulation
  • The Sociology of Gender; Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Tourism and Culture; Emotions, Power and Contemporary Society
  • Urban Disorders, Social Divisions and Social Control

Discovery Modules

You will either study a further three optional modules from the list below or three discovery modules from across the university.

Year Three

Compulsory modules

The Sociology Dissertation brings together the conceptual and research skills developed over the course of your studies. It allows you to complete a significant piece of research on a topic of your choosing.  An academic expert will act as your supervisor mentoring through all stages of the research process. The dissertation will be between 10,000 and 12,000 words.

Optional modules

You then choose three of the following modules.

  • Sexualities and Society
  • Governing Cultures, Identities and Emotions
  • Citizenship, Identity and Social Change
  • Postcolonialism and Critical Muslim Studies
  • State Crime and Immorality
  • Disability Rights and the International Policy Context
  • Education, Culture and Society
  • Organised Crime, Violence and the State
  • Contemporary Children, Young People and Families
  • Urban Regulation, Power and Difference
  • Sociology of Capitalism and Modernity
  • Sociology of Consumerism
  • Class in Everyday Life
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Sex Work: Theory, Policy and Politics
  • Understanding Interpersonal Violence
  • Ethnicity and Popular Culture

Discovery modules

You will be required to study a Discovery Module from across the university.

Further information

It is also possible to study this programme through a part-time route, the programme content is the same but you will study at a lesser intensity. For more information about how to apply, support available and the part-time student experience, please visit the Lifelong Learning Centre’s website.  

For more in-depth information on BA Sociology modules, please see our Programme and Module Catalogue.

Taught by experts

In the School of Sociology and Social Policy, we draw upon our research strengths to provide an inspirational student experience. Throughout, you will be taught by academic experts working a variety of fields and traditions. The curriculum is centred around innovative ways of analysing both the most pressing issues of the day and the problems we face from one generation to the next.

Staff publish their work widely in books, leading academic journals and make major contributions to the policy-making process. The school has a strong commitment to the public face of our disciplines, engaging widely in the established and social media settings. It is here that staff members in the School build bridges between big ideas and practical problems.

Working in Partnership

We promote a meaningful partnership between academic staff and students.  Through paid internships connected to particular research projects students have the opportunity to be involved in research activities throughout their time at Leeds. Such opportunities extend beyond the curriculum and provide essential employability skills.

We work closely with our students through the student-staff forum to ensure that we respond quickly to study needs and that curriculum remains innovative, relevant and exciting. Undergraduate students in the School of Sociology and Social Policy run a group that offers advice and support, and can help you with course choices, module options, careers advice and employability. The group acts as an official link between students, academic staff and the School’s dedicated Student Experience Manager.

Our research focuses on both the national and global context and so will your curriculum. Academic staff in the School of Sociology and Social Policy have research partnerships across the globe and internationalisation is embedded in our work. With this in mind, as part of your degree programme, you will have the opportunity to study abroad as part of our extensive Study Abroad programme coordinated by Dr Shona Hunter.

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