Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

L300

Entry requirements

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

Length

3 years full-time

Department

Sociology

Course overview

Sociology is a craft and a vocation, and engaging with it can be life-changing. Once you’ve acquired a sociological imagination, the world is never quite the same.

Why study BA Sociology at Goldsmiths?

  • 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.

  • You'll use innovative methods to study everyday life and contemporary phenomena. These methods could include interviews, visual sociology (photography and film), ethnography (researching and recording an environment from the point of view of the group you’re studying), big data surveys, or small focus groups.

  • Because you’ll be generating data of your own, conducting primary research, and analysing lots of evidence, you’ll be developing some great skills and experiencing what it means to be a sociologist from day one. 
  • Our staff teach their own specialisms – they're pioneers in their fields and write the books that are on reading lists across the country.
  • Recent employers of Goldsmiths sociology graduates include the BBC, Big Issue North, Holocaust Educational Trust, Oxfam, Tate and the civil service. They’re working as researchers, human rights campaigners, teachers, diversity officers and producers.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

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.

Year 1 (credit 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:

Year 1 core modules Module title Credits
  Critical Readings: The Emergence of Sociological Rationality 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 1 15 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Culture and Society 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

You take core modules in:

Year 2 core modules 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:

Year 2 option modules 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
  Migration in Context 15 credits

Year 3 (credit 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:
Year 3 Sociology modules Module title Credits
  Race, Racism and Social Theory 15 credits
  Global Development and Underdevelopment 15 credits
  Sociology of Visuality 15 credits
  Childhood Matters: Society, Theory and Culture 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
  Medicine, Culture and Critique 15 credits
  Philosophy and Power: The Philosopher and the Colonies 15 credits
  Migration, Gender and Social Reproduction 15 credits
  Thinking Animals 15 credits

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 - 11% scheduled learning, 89% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

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

  • Year 1 - 38% coursework, 62% written exam
  • Year 2 - 50% coursework, 50% written exam
  • Year 3 - 75% coursework, 25% written exam

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2017/18. 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 latest 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.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
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. 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.

 

Fees & funding

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

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.

Over the last three years, some of the graduate level careers for Goldsmiths Sociology graduates have been:

  • Events co-ordinator
  • Grants officer
  • Housing and welfare officer
  • Learning support worker
  • Local Government graduate trainee
  • Marketing Manager
  • Personnel manager and officer
  • Public relations officer
  • Researcher
  • Social and youth worker
  • Sustainability officer

 

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 learn more about career options open to you after you graduate on our Sociology careers pages and by checking out options for Sociology employability. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths