Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655


3 years full-time


Politics and International Relations

Course overview

This degree gives you a thorough grounding in sociology and politics, in methods of social and political research, and in interdisciplinary approaches to political analysis.

Why study BA Sociology & Politics at Goldsmiths

  • The degree brings together the concerns, theories and methodologies of politics and sociology, so you’ll develop a rich, analytical and informed engagement with a range of contemporary problems while also gaining a number of transferable skills.
  • At Goldsmiths, you won't just learn about politics in terms of what happens in the Houses of Parliament and conventional arenas of power, but also what happens on the streets, in art galleries, and in the non-Western world.
  • Our academics are responsible for producing cutting-edge research in sociology and politics, so you’ll be learning from the experts.
  • Our departments are committed to decolonising the curriculum and we offer particular expertise on questions of culture, as well as on radical approaches to race, gender, sexuality, and the organisation of political life.
  • You’ll be able to pursue your own interests and develop your own lines of research, culminating in the final year dissertation on a topic of your choice. Previous dissertations included a study of the impact of stigma on South Asian Muslim experiences of mental health, a feminist critical analysis of the Green Party’s policies and manifesto, and an ethnography of labour practices and workers’ organisation in a Chinese street market.
  • We make use of our London location to consider the social and cultural themes and issues in the local area. Several modules make use of walking tours and neighbourhood observations to illuminate your studies.
  • You’ll join an active community at one of the top political universities in the UK as voted by students (Which? University 2019). You’ll be able to get involved in campaigns, debates, activities and societies and meet other people as passionate about the subject as you.
  • We have a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers, meaning that you'll have the opportunity to hear the latest political and sociological arguments, theories and ideas which bring a contemporary perspective to your degree.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Brett St Louis or Dr Paul Gunn.

What you'll study


Taught jointly between the Departments of Sociology and Politics and International Relations, this degree’s main concern is with contemporary political issues, including the politics of race, gender, class and inequality, the state, nationalism, migration, social movements, the environment and new technologies.

In the first year you'll take sociology compulsory modules that familiarise you with sociological research methods and with the distinguishing features of the subject. For the politics element you study key concepts in political theory – including the state, democracy, freedom, rights, power and authority. You also choose from three option modules.

In the second year you'll look at how to study a society, encompassing issues of agency and structure, class and conflict, political action and social change. The making of the modern world and its sociological context is also considered. Politics modules examine how the subject has become associated with social movements, environmentalism and globalisation, while theoretical debates on the concept of democracy are also studied. You also take a sociology option and a politics option.

In the third year you'll take a compulsory module in Issues in Contemporary Society and study for a dissertation. You also pick a sociology option and two politics options.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Your first year 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. 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.

You will take the following compulsory modules – three from the Department of Sociology, and one from the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Module title Credits
Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
Researching Society and Culture 1A 15 credits
Researching Society and Culture 1B 15 credits
Political Theory and Ideologies 30 credits

Year 1 Option Modules

You are then able to choose 30 credits from the following modules.

Module title Credits
World Politics 30 credits
UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics 30 credits
Colonialism, Power, and Resistance 30 credits
Introduction to Political Economy 15 credits
Introduction to Economic Policy 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

Compulsory modules in your second year 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.

Module title Credits
Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
The Making of the Modern World 15 credits
Social Change and Political Action 15 credits
Modern Political Theory 30 credits

You will then choose 30 credits of Politics and International Relations modules from the following list.

Module title Credits
Making Modern Japan 15 credits
Chinese Politics: The Revolutionary Era 15 credits
US Politics and Foreign Policy 15 credits
Europe Since 1945 15 credits
Ideologies and Interests: Political Thought in Modern Britain 15 credits
International Trade 15 credits
International Monetary Economics 15 credits
Liberalism and its Critics 15 credits
Life: A User's Manual 15 credits
Modern Britain: Politics from 1979 - today 15 credits
Rough Politics 15 credits
Political Economy 30 credits
International Politics of the Middle East 15 credits
Politics of Vision 15 credits
The Politics of Popular Music 15 credits
Armed Politics and Political Violence 30 credits
Feminist Economics 15 Credits

You will also choose 15 credits from the following list of Sociology modules.

Module title Credits
Leisure, Culture and Society 15 credits
The Body: Social Theory and Social Practice 15 credits
Social Change and Political Action 15 credits
Crimes Against Humanity 15 credits
Migration in Context 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

In year 3 we support a strong programme of research in social and political theory, gender studies, and cultural studies of politics and government.

You will take the following compulsory modules.

Module title Credits
Confronting climate crisis 15 credits
Dissertation 30 credits

You will then choose 15 credits Sociology options, and 60 credits of Politics and International Relations options.

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 13% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning, 2% placement learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 50% coursework, 50% written exam
  • Year 2 - 56% coursework, 44% written exam
  • Year 3 - 99% coursework, 1% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

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. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say

Rabia Nasimi

It was at Goldsmiths where she really hit her stride and made plans to build a career through sociology.

Rabia Nasimi is currently working as a social researcher in the civil service, as well as playing a key role in the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, a London-based charity that supports refugees. She studied Sociology and Politics at Goldsmiths, graduating in 2016. Rabia comes from a refugee background, having arrived in the UK in the back of a refrigerated lorry.

Rabia had studied sociology at college, scoring highly. Following this, she decided to pursue it at a higher level, which led her to Goldsmiths. It was at Goldsmiths where she really hit her stride and made plans to build a career through sociology. At Goldsmiths she learnt the key skills of a social researcher, of how to conduct reliable, relevant, timely and robust research. Enjoying it, she has continued with her passion to pursue a masters and MPhil.

As a direct result of her studies, Rabia now works at the civil service as a social researcher. She studied sociology ultimately to learn how to apply it to make a difference and has now found a place she can. In the four months, she has worked for the civil service, she has really appreciated how much the organisation values its staff and the work they do and feels she has really found her niche. Her route to her current role came directly from the skills and experience she gained at Goldsmiths, an experience that will always remain close to her heart.

University was a great opportunity for her, and she advises anyone coming to Goldsmiths to really take the time to enjoy it. Rabia is a bookworm, so particularly enjoyed the opportunities to study in a relaxed setting. Everyone loves the College Green, and sitting outside the Richard Hoggart building there brings back fond memories.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. 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.

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. If you don't have academic qualifications you may be invited to interview.


Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £17560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.


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.


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

  • an understanding of political processes
  • and understanding of current and emerging concepts and theoretical approaches that are central to sociology
  • the capacity to carry out sociological research
  • the ability to examine how social, public and civic policy can be influenced by sociological knowledge
  • the ability to investigate, appraise and communicate empirical information
  • research and problem-solving skills
  • communication skills


Sociologists enter careers that centre on the challenges and demands that members of a society face. This could be jobs in social services, education, criminal justice, welfare services, government, the voluntary sector, management, the creative industries, marketing and policy.


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

  • television
  • the press
  • political research
  • national/local government
  • advertising
  • pressure groups and charities
  • business and management
  • market research


Students who achieve the best results during their undergraduate course may also get the chance to go on to postgraduate research for a higher degree with the aim of making a career in higher education either as a lecturer combining teaching with research or as a specialist researcher.

You can find out more about career options open to you after graduating on our Sociology careers page and by checking out options for Sociology employability. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.