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BA (Hons) Sociology

  • UCAS
    L300
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: ABB/BBB
    BTEC: DDM/DMM
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Sociology

Course overview

Sociology offers illuminating insights into our lives. This degree examines how societies are organised, how people are united and divided in different cultural and social arrangements, and how people view their societies and their identities.

Why study BA Sociology at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll be taught in one of the UK's top sociology departments; in the most recent official assessment we achieved joint first ranking for the world-class quality of our research
  • In the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS), sociology at Goldsmiths achieved a high score of 91% for the overall quality of our teaching
  • Our academics are responsible for actively shaping the discipline – they're pioneers in their fields, and write the books that are on your reading lists
  • An optional 'Reflective Practice Sociology' module gives you the opportunity to undertake a placement
  • You'll join a dynamic, diverse and motivated student body
  • We co-ordinate a programme of talks featuring distinguished guests and visiting lecturers, so you'll be exposed to a wide range of sociological ideas and issues
  • You'll develop the transferable skills that are sought after by employers, including research and problem-solving skills, and communication skills
  • Our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers in media and marketing, business and management, arts administration, and the voluntary and charitable sector

If you are an international student and you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, you may be able to apply for our BA Sociology with International Foundation

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor, Dr Brett St Louis

Modules & structure

Overview

The first year of the degree gets you thinking sociologically and critically, and introduces the ways in which sociological knowledge of societies has been shaped by disputes about theories and methods. First year modules address problems that have interested sociologists in their attempts to account for the world we live in. You will start to understand how the meaning derived from sociological investigations operates in cultural processes, and look at the methods that have been developed by sociologists to produce sociological knowledge. 

Core modules in the second and third years cover the main approaches to sociological thought, and their implications for understanding contemporary societies. You develop a rich knowledge of the variety of sociological reasoning and research.

In the third year you take a core module in contemporary social theory and society, and you choose four options.

Level 4

You'll be assigned a personal tutor, who also acts as an academic tutor. Tutors oversee your academic work and progress over the year.

You take four core modules:

Module title Credits
  Critical Readings: The Emergence of Sociological Rationality 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 1 30 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Culture and Society 30 credits

Level 5

You take core modules in:

Module title Credits
  Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
  The Making of the Modern World 15 credits
  Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences 15 credits
  Sociology of Culture and Communication 15 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 2 30 credits

You also choose two Sociology options. Those recently available have included:

Module title Credits
  Sex, Drugs & Technology 15 credits
  Leisure, Culture and Society 15 credits
  Space, Place & Power 15 credits
  Art and Society 15 credits
  Organisations and Society 15 credits
  Culture, Representation and Difference 15 credits
  London 15 credits
  Marxism 15 credits
  The Body: Social Theory and Social Practice 15 credits
  Social Change and Political Action 15 credits
  Crimes Against Humanity 15 credits

Level 6

You take the core module:

Module title Credits
  Contemporary Social Theory and Society 30 credits

You also:

  • Write a Dissertation worth 30 credits. This is independent research, supported by classes and subject specialists, resulting in an 8,000-word dissertation in a topic of your own choice.
  • Choose four Sociology optionsThose recently available have included:
Module title Credits
  Race, Racism and Social Theory 15 credits
  Global Development and Underdevelopment 15 credits
  Sociology of Visuality 15 credits
  Childhood Matters 15 credits
  Making Data Matter 15 credits
  Sociologies of Emerging Worlds 15 credits
  Privacy, Surveillance and Security 15 credits
  Philosophy, Politics and Alterity 15 credits
  Subjectivity, Health and Medicine 15 credits
  Philosophy and Power 15 credits
  Migration, Gender and Social Reproduction 15 credits

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of unseen exams, pre-released exams, assessed coursework and projects.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB/BBB
BTEC: DDM/DMM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

If you are an international student and you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, you may be able to apply for our BA Sociology with International Foundation

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: ABBBC/BBBBC (Higher), ABC/BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 77%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A2 B1/A1 A1 A2 B2

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Selection process

We exercise flexibility where entry requirements are concerned, and make offers based on your enthusiasm and commitment to your subject, as shown by your application and personal statement, qualifications, experience and reference. If you don't have academic qualifications may be invited to interview.

We frequently interview mature applicants (over 21) or those with alternative qualifications, and have a long tradition of encouraging students from all social backgrounds to study at our university.

Find out more about our selection process.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
8th in the UK and 35th in the world for this subject area**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research***

Sociology

The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2016
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers

Skills

The BA Sociology programme will help you develop the following skills:

  • an understanding of current and emerging social problems and theoretical approaches central to sociology
  • the capacity to carry out preliminary sociological research
  • the ability to examine how social, public and civic policy can be influenced by sociological knowledge
  • the capacity to compose and analyse sociologically informed questions
  • the ability to investigate, appraise and communicate empirical information
  • research and problem-solving skills
  • communication skills

Throughout your degree you'll be encouraged to reflect on how the skills you are gaining can be useful to your future career.

We work closely with the Goldsmiths Careers Service, part of the University of London Careers Service – the biggest in the UK. Through the Careers Service you'll have access to a wide range of facilities to help you plan your future effectively. You'll have the opportunity to meet our Department’s graduates and find out how their sociology degree gave them skills intrinsic to careers development.

We also work closely with the College’s ’s Synapse programme, which provides workshops that will help you to develop both your employability and personal skills in critical and creative ways. In the context of a rapidly changing social and economic climate, these workshops provide you with valuable thinking time in which you can develop practical skills and also explore your ideas for your future.

Careers

This degree enables graduates to go on to a wide range of careers, covering areas including:

  • media, marketing and corporate communications
  • market research
  • business and management
  • the public sector
  • the health services and government
  • the voluntary and charitable sector
  • arts administration
  • museums
  • teaching
  • social work
  • youth and community work

You can learn more about career options open to you after you graduate on our Sociology careers pages. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles

Tristan

"Goldsmiths is a great place and I never worried about securing a job. The world is my oyster."

"Goldsmiths has been three years of a combination of fun and a lot of work. If you get the right combination, you'll have a great time. I'm now working in a publishing firm. Goldsmiths is a great place and I never worried about securing a job. The world is my oyster. The advice I'd give to new students is head to the Students' Union, go to the bar and order a drink and then turn around and talk to the person behind you. They'll end up being your friend for three years."

Lisa Cherry

"Goldsmiths had a rawness about it assisted by its location in New Cross and the tension between being a somewhat grand building plonked in the middle of an area that has a complexity and vibrancy all of its own."

After an adolescence spent in foster homes and children’s homes, a two-year spell of homelessness, and entry into AA at the age of 20, Lisa Cherry studied for a Sociology degree at Goldsmiths, where she developed a lifelong passion for people, society and transformation that has led to her career in social work, education and social inclusion.

Lisa says:

"I applied to all sorts of places in a rather random fashion but I knew in my heart that I wanted to do . I visited all the various establishments but I fell in love with Goldsmiths.

My tutor at Goldsmiths was Paul Gilroy and my passion in Sociology was predominately around race, gender and politics so along with Paul Gilroy, tutors like Caroline Ramazanoglu and  were deeply important to me in helping me to explore my thinking and develop my own theoretical perspectives. My life experiences influenced me hugely in wanting to make a difference and work with people in distress in a more meaningful way and this led me on a career path in social work, education and social inclusion. What I truly learnt to value and love even more now that I work for myself, is how I can connect the theory with the practice, the personal with the professional, and the excluded with the included. We are all of it; not just some of it or one side of it. We are everything and nothing all at once.

The one thing that I wish I’d known back then as I reflect back 20 years would be that the purpose of it all is to find out what makes your heart sing and your belly burn like fire. Find out what that is and then find a way to make money doing it. I kind of did that by accident but I do wish that someone had told me that when I was younger and I might have been focused in what I was doing and not have taken myself quite so seriously all in one go!”

Adrian

"Through Goldsmiths I gained a love of London, lifelong friendships and a chance to mix with creative people from diverse backgrounds." 

"I set up my business in 2010, after leaving my previous role of 3 years as editor of Hospitality Interiors. Collecting rare automobilia and bicycles has been a passion of mine since childhood, but making the move from amateur collector to buying and selling professionally and making a living required a real leap of faith.

Today I have an online ebay shop stocked with several hundred rare car and bicycle parts and as my business continues to evolve and grow. The model works, though sometimes perhaps more inconsistently than I'd like. 

I am currently selling refurbished and custom bicycles all over the world. Being based in North London, I service a steady stream of people looking for something a little different. The cycles I sell were mostly manufactured in the 70s and 80s, and are either refurbished or used as the basis to create something a bit more exotic. 

Running a small business can be very satisfying but is always demanding and very busy. What you get out really is all about your input. Finally, nothing can ever be taken for granted...customers who seek interesting and unusual products can be fussy and even then there's no guarantee they'll buy! Goldsmiths prepared me for my future in so many ways. I learnt about creative thinking and relationship building and I gained a love of London, lifelong friendships and a chance to mix with creative people from diverse backgrounds."

See more profiles for this programme

Fees & funding

How to apply

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University statistics for this course