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

BA Sociology and Politics programme equips you with the practical tools to understand the world around you, but also to think about how to change it for the better.

By bringing together the concerns, theories and methodologies of both sociology and politics, you’ll develop rich, analytical and informed engagement with contemporary local and global events in departments with active research centres, excellent teachers and an engaged and friendly student body.

In sociology, you’ll explore how social inequalities operate and how social movements might combat oppression; you’ll analyse how historical processes such as colonialism continue to shape today’s societies and how the contemporary climate crisis requires us to develop new ways of thinking and acting. And in politics, you won’t just learn about voting systems, parliaments and conventional arenas of power in the West since you’ll be part of a department that brings into focus the politics of everyday life right across the world.

Why study BA Sociology & Politics at Goldsmiths

  • You’ll be joining one of the world’s leading sociology departments. We've been rated top 10 in the UK for Sociology in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
  • Staff in both the Department of Sociology and the Department of Politics and International Relations are specialists and pioneers in their fields. They write the books that are on reading lists across the country and you’ll be working with them directly.
  • Our focus is on helping you become the type of sociologist and political scientist that you want to be. You’ll tailor your own learning journey from day one by choosing from a wide range of exciting option modules, including work placements.
  • You'll ‘get messy’ with hands-on research methods modules in your first two years of study, before designing and carrying out your own research project in your final year. Recent projects have explored stigma and South Asian Muslim experiences of mental health, Green Party policies from a feminist persepctive, and an ethnography of labour practices and workers’ organisations in a Chinese street market.
  • Our departments are committed to decolonising the curriculum and we offer expertise on questions of culture right around the world, as well as on radical approaches to race, gender, sexuality, and the organisation of political life.
  • You’ll join an active community and have the opportunity to get involved in campaigns, debates, activities and societies and meet other people as passionate about the subject as you.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

Year 1 compulsory modules

In your first year, you'll take the following compulsory modules.

Module title Credits
Methods of Worldmaking 1 30 credits
Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
Political Theory and Ideologies 30 credits

Year 1 optional modules

You will then take 30 credits of optional modules in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Optional modules will be published annually by the department, and may include the following:

Module title Credits
UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics 30 credits
World Politics 30 credits
Colonialism, Power, Resistance 30 credits
Introduction to Political Philosophy 15 credits
Issues in Political and Cultural Economy 30 credits

Year 2 compulsory modules

In your second year, you'll take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Social Change and Political Action 15 credits
Methods of Worldmaking 2 30 credits
Modern Political Theory 30 credits

Year 2 optional modules

You'll then choose 30 credits of Politics and International Relations modules and 15 credits of Sociology modules including the possibility of a Sociology Work Placement.

You may also choose a relevant elective from another department the Goldsmiths Elective module, or Goldsmiths Social Change module.

The list of modules will be published each year depending on staff availability and student demand.

Politics and International Relations optional modules

Module title Credits
Political Economy 30 credits
International Trade 15 credits
International Monetary Economics 15 credits
An(other) Japan: Politics, Ideology and Culture 15 credits
Chinese Politics: The Revolutionary Era 15 credits
Contemporary International Relations Theories 15 credits
Europe Since 1945 15 credits
Global Governance and World Order 15 credits
Ideologies and Interests: Political Thought in Modern Britain 15 credits
Liberalism and its Critics 15 credits
Life: A User's Manual 15 credits
Modern Britain: Politics from 1979 - today 15 credits
International Politics of the Middle East 15 credits
Politics of Vision 15 credits
Rough Politics 15 credits
US Politics and Foreign Policy 15 credits
Challenges to Democracy 15 Credits
Security Studies 15 credits
The Making of Global Capitalism 15 Credits
Politics and Technology 15 Credits

Year 2 Sociology optional modules

Module title Credits
Law and Contemporary Society 15 credits
Religion, Crime, and Law 15 credits
Crimes Against Humanity 15 credits
The Making of the Modern World 15 credits
Explaining Crime 15 credits
Criminal Justice in Context 15 credits
Knowledge and Subjectivity 15 credits
Social Change and Political Action 15 credits
Leisure, Culture and Society 15 credits
London 15 credits
Sociology of Culture and Communication 15 credits
Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
Migration in Context 15 credits
Food and Taste 15 Credits

Year 3 modules

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, as well as 60 credits of optional modules in the Department of Politics and International Relations and a further 15 credits in the Department of Sociology.

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 2022/23. 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.

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

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information 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 2023/2024 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: £18440

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 under a student visa. 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.