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, 6 year part-time

Department

Sociology

Course overview

Our innovative BA Sociology programme will equip you with the practical tools to understand the world around you, and to think about how to change it for the better.

Why study BA Sociology at Goldsmiths

  • You’ll be joining one of the world’s leading sociology departments. We are ranked joint 1st in the UK for research intensity (Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021), 13th for Research Excellence (REF 2022), and in the top 40 in the world by the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.  
  • You’ll study contemporary local and global events to explore diverse issues, such as:
    • how social inequalities operate and how they might be overcome
    • how concepts of citizenship and human rights are contested
    • how social and technological practices impact health
    • how historical processes such as colonialism continue to shape today’s societies
    • how the climate crisis requires us to develop new ways of thinking and acting.
  • Our staff 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.

Your Personalised Learning Journey

  • We help you to discover the type of sociologist you want to be. You’ll ‘get messy’ with hands-on research methods modules in your first two years of study. In your final year, you’ll design and carry out your own research project based on your own interests. Recent projects ranged from Social Influencers as Digital Capitalists, to Conventional Beauty Standards and Black Women’s Hair Practices.
  • You'll tailor your journey from your first year of study by choosing from a wide range of option modules. Our options are grouped together under three research-led pathways meaning you'll be working directly with experts on Culture, Identity & Inequalities; Law, Rights & Justice; and Health Environment & Global Change.  You'll also have the opportunity to do a work placement and to take a module in another department.

Equipping you with the Skills to Succeed

  • Diversified assessments will support you to consolidate your learning, and develop transferable skills. You’ll explore research design, data analysis, critical thinking, project management, working with others, and tackling inequalities knowledgeably and ethically, giving you an understanding of what it means to be a sociologist.
  • The skills and the knowledge you gain during your degree will enable you to pursue a diverse range of careers. You’ll have transferrable skills that could allow you to work in the public and voluntary sector, the culture and media industries, marketing and corporate communications, arts administration, social research, and teaching. You’ll also be well-equipped to undertake postgraduate study in sociology, media, cultural studies, human rights, and related fields.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

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.

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
Critical Readings: the Emergence of the Sociological Imagination 1A 15 credits
Culture and Society 15 credits

Optional modules

You'll also take two of the following optional modules.

Module title Credits
Critical Readings: the Emergence of the Sociological Imagination 1B 15 credits
Culture and Society B 15 credits
Imaginative Criminology 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

Compulsory modules

You will take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Methods of Worldmaking 2 15 credits
Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences 15 credits
Governing Everyday Life 15 credits
The Goldsmiths Elective 15 credits

Optional modules

You also choose 45 credits worth of Sociology options. Those recently available have included:

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
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
Culture, Representation and Difference 15 credits
Art and Society 15 credits
Migration in Context 15 credits
The Sociology of Intimacy and Personal Life 15 credits
Food and Taste 15 Credits
Disability: Power, Embodiment and ‘Normality’ 15 Credits
Knowledge and Subjectivity 15 credits
Rationality and Its Discontents: Culture, Politics and Philosophy 15 credits
Gender, ‘Race’ and Crime 15 credits
Explaining Crime 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Compulsory modules

You will take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Dissertation 30 credits
Confronting climate crisis 15 credits

Optional modules

You'll then take 75 credits of optional modules, which can include a Sociology Work Placement (if not taken in year 2).

Optional modules change on an annual basis, and recent options have included:

Module title Credits
Citizenship and Human Rights 15 credits
Race, Racism and Social Theory 15 credits
Globalisation, Crime and Justice 15 credits
Crimes of the Powerful 15 credits
Privacy, Surveillance and Security 15 credits
Identity and Contemporary Social Theory 15 credits
Analysing the Complexity of Contemporary Religious Life 15 credits
Visual Explorations of The Social World 15 credits
Childhood Matters: Society, Theory and Culture 15 credits
Thinking Animals 15 credits
Migration, Gender and Social Reproduction 15 credits
Global Development and Underdevelopment 15 credits
Practising Urban Ethnography 15 credits
Subjectivity, Health and Medicine 15 credits
Prisons, Punishment and Society 15 credits
Making Data Matter 15 credits
Philosophy, Politics and Alterity 15 credits
Sociologies of Emerging Worlds 15 credits
Work, Society and Culture 15 credits
Law, Identity and Ethics 15 credits
Social Theory Through Film 15 credits
On Time 15 credits
Thinking with Others, Philosophy and Cultural Difference 15 credits
Experiment Earth Sciences Politics Disasters 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 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 12% scheduled learning, 84% independent learning, 4% placement 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 - 63% coursework, 38% written exam
  • Year 2 - 50% coursework, 50% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*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

Marta Maria Nicolazzi

"One of the things I found extremely fascinating was how free, open, supportive, stimulating and friendly the entire campus was, from the students to the professors, to the entire staff."

"Looking back, studying at Goldsmiths has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. It completely changed the way I think, perceive, analyse and feel the world around me. One of the things I found extremely fascinating was how free, open, supportive, stimulating and friendly the entire campus was, from the students to the professors, to the entire staff. I could feel around me the energy of some of the greater academics in the world while having a strong sense of familiarity. It has been a wonderful bubble that I called my second home.

As I graduated several years ago without having the chance to hang out in the area much recently, I might not be the best person to suggest places around campus. The pubs, restaurants and café I use to attend might have shut down or changed management. That is because South East London is one of the most real, exciting, funny, attractive, diverse and vibrant areas of London. But this also makes it one of the most at risk of, or better, subjected to gentrification. I really hope people will talk to each other if they are queuing for the same thing for a long time, and that special sense of neighbourhood will last too... just enjoy it!

At the moment I am a social researcher, writer, educator and activist. After Goldsmiths, I undertook a MA in Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights at UCL. Now I am working part-time for Unicef in Milan while collaborating with independent magazines, writing my feminist blog and planning a PhD. I am not sure about what the future will hold for me but so far it has been great also thanks to what I have learnt during my BA. I surely would not be the person I am or doing what I love.

Arriving at a university in London can be somehow frightening, disorientating and overwhelming. A huge city, new teaching methods, strong critical thinking, many interesting opinions, hot topics of discussion, meeting different people and their cultures: a lot to take in. But at the end of your journey, those will be the things that will make you richer and stronger."

 

Gavriel Nelken

"The 3 years spent in the Sociology Department really made me feel the existence of a community of critical scholars."

"Some courses were amazing (at Goldsmiths), especially among the optional modules, such as those on Migration and Gender, The Philosophy of Race, Sociology of Underdevelopment, and Political Sociology. The teachers were sharing knowledge on the specific fields they research/reflect on, and the modules were really well structured. They have shaped the way I think about the world.

The 3 years spent in the Sociology Department really made me feel the existence of a community of critical scholars. Admittedly, at times negative aspects emerged, such as the perceived disconnect between radical theoretical stances and concrete commitments. In general, though, it was inspiring to realise that such a community of scholars existed, it worked together, and it worked hard to develop a specific form of knowledge.

My favourite thing about studying in New Cross was that it's gentrifying, but it's still cheaper and less intense/hectic etc than Central.

I am now doing a PhD in Sociology at Bristol University. I particularly enjoy the freedom of controlling my own work, and the support offered by experienced scholars.

I would advise current students to focus on what you like. Through a variety of courses or events, curricular or through societies, at Goldsmiths or in other Unis in London, you have the opportunity to explore loads of different topics, issues, etc. Delve in that variety, then focus on what you're interested in."

Alfred Ridge

"Studying in London provides the opportunity to sample a multitude of cultures within one mega city."

"I found that writing coursework can become really enjoyable when I am well engaged in a topic. Studying at Goldsmiths University is an uplifting experience as the curriculum is generally well versed and inclusive. My department of sociology have constantly been of great help and have always been extremely professional. Studying at Goldsmiths University has therefore motivated me and also spurred me to seriously consider my future.

I would advise anybody coming to Goldsmiths University to engage in as many extra-curricular activities or workshops that they can whilst studying. I would also advise them to really engage with their degree.

Studying in London provides the opportunity to sample a multitude of cultures within one mega city. This is what makes studying in London so amazing in my opinion."

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

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 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.

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

We continuously review the how we integrate the academic and employability content of the course to reflect changes and innovations in the graduate labour market. Students benefit from Goldsmiths’ dedicated Careers Service who can help you identify your career goals, review your CV or prepare you for interviews. In the Graduate Outcomes Survey (2017-18), nine out of 10 of Goldsmiths students go into work or further study after they graduate.

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.

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