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

Please note, applications to start this programme in 2021 are still open.

Explore what unites and divides us, how we make sense of our relationships, and understand our place in the world around us. On Goldsmiths’ innovative BA Sociology programme, you’ll look at contemporary global events as you explore issues of social inequality, culture, power, and identity.

Why study BA Sociology at Goldsmiths?

  • Studying at Goldsmiths means you’ll study in one of the world’s leading sociology departments. We are ranked joint 1st in the UK for research intensity in sociology (Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021) and ranked in the top 40 in the world by the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • Sociology gives you the tools to understand the world, but also to think about how to change it for the better. You'll study current events to explore how social inequalities operate and how they might be overcome.
  • You’ll take modules that explore how race, gender, social class, and disability affect our lives, how global social movements combat oppression, how historical processes such as colonialism continue to shape today’s societies, and how the climate crisis requires that we develop new ways of thinking and acting.
  • You’ll be learning about popular culture, representation, multicultural society, and urban studies in the heart of southeast London. For example, if you take the ‘London’ option module you’ll be getting out on the local streets, taking photos and doing visual sociology yourself, rather than just reading about London in a classroom.
  • Our staff teach their own specialisms – they're pioneers in their fields and write the books that are on reading lists across the country. You’ll be learning from sociological experts on diverse subjects such as childhood, race and racism, religion, health, crime, migration, and human rights.
  • You’ll have the chance to pick from a wide range of exciting option modules so you can tailor your own pathway through the degree. Select from options such as: Sex, Drugs and Technology; Prisons, Punishment and Society; Why Music Matters for Sociology; Visual Explorations of the Social World; Food and Taste; Thinking Animals; and Law, Identity and Ethics.
  • Our focus is on helping you to become the type of sociologist you want to be, so in your final year you’ll design your own project and carry out your own research based on what interests you most. Some recent topics include:
    • South Asian youth and the quarter-life crisis
    • Conventional beauty standards and black women’s hair practices
    • Social media influencers as ‘digital capitalists’
    • The negotiation of responsibilities for British-Somali women students
    • Emotional labour in call centre work
  • Because you’ll be generating data of your own, conducting primary research, and analysing lots of evidence, you’ll be developing great transferrable skills and experiencing what it means to be a sociologist from day one.
  • Our BA Sociology degree will equip you with a range of skills, including research, critical thinking and analysis, working with others, tackling inequality knowledgably, and project management.
  • The skills and the knowledge you gain during the degree will enable you to pursue a diverse range of careers including public sector management, teaching, education consultancy, technical creative media arts, human rights NGOs, and environmental science occupations.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

For 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

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. 

Compulsory 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 compulsory 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 six compulsory modules:

Year 1 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Critical Readings: the Emergence of the Sociological Imagination 1A 15 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 1A 15 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Culture and Society 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 1B 15 credits
  Critical Readings: the Emergence of the Sociological Imagination 1B 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

You will take the following compulsory modules:

Year 2 compulsory 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 2A 15 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 2B 15 credits

You also choose 30 credits worth of 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 will take the following compulsory modules:

Year 3 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Identity and Contemporary Social Theory 15 credits
  Confronting the climate crisis 15 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
  Subjectivity, Health and Medicine 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 - 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 2019/20. 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.

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 2021/2022 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: £17050

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 Tier 4 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.

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