BSc single honours Sociology & Social Policy 2018/19

Year of entry

Clearing places available

Combining the study of sociology and social policy enables you to build an understanding of how societies attempt to meet the needs of their populations at different points in time.

The programme is stimulating, innovative and up-to-date, and aims to be highly relevant to your future career. You will gain a strong foundational knowledge of key issues and theories before developing your own research. As well as gaining a deep, practical understanding of social policy, you will engage with a range of intellectual traditions and social science disciplines and apply your knowledge to the study of current policies.

You will explore areas including:

  • introduction to social policy
  • divisions, diversity and difference
  • theorising citizenship


Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction the quality of the course.

The Guardian University League Tables 2019

Our Sociology and Social Policy degree has been designed to foster a ‘sociological imagination’ because, more than anything, we define Sociology as a way of thinking, based on an insatiable curiosity about the world. Combining Sociology and Social Policy enables an understanding of how different societies, at different points in history, have attempted to meet the needs of their populations. You will find that our degree makes you look at the world in new ways and this is why those of us who teach the subject feel so passionately about it. You will learn a range of practical and applied research skills, and develop a transferable critical and analytical capacity which is valued by employers. Our degree programme is distinctive in its approach to learning and teaching, our commitment to personal tutoring, and our emphasis on engagement with public debate and community organisations.

Our teaching staff are all approachable and committed to helping you to achieve your potential. Common to all our modules is a commitment to dynamic, responsive and innovative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment. Almost all the teaching on the course is undertaken by experienced members of staff who are either Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, or are working towards Fellowship.

Top reason to choose this course

Understanding our society is the best way to work out how you want to work and live in it. Studying Sociology and Social Policy will give you the tools to shape your own life, and the world around you.

Work experience

Many third year students engage in volunteering as part of their degree, which can enhance their employability. One of our optional modules contains a volunteering placement, where you can develop an experience of working with a non­governmental organisation.

Other information

Many third year students engage in volunteering as part of their degree, which can enhance their employability. One of our optional modules contains a volunteering placement, where you can develop an experience of working with a non­governmental organisation.


The Sociology team have won numerous awards for their innovative and exemplary teaching practice. Our teaching team is regularly nominated for the Student Union Golden Apple Awards and members of the team have received Canterbury Christ Church University Teaching Excellence Awards. In 2011 we were awarded the National Award for Excellence in Teaching Sociology from the British Sociological Association (BSA) and the Subject Network for Learning and Teaching Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C­SAP).

"Studying Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University has not only enhanced my learning and outlook on society, but it has also changed me as a person through adopting a ‘sociological imagination’. It has given me the opportunity to think critically about every aspect of society in the past, present and future, and the confidence to pursue a career in teaching."

Laura Brown

If you are interested in understanding how human society develops, organises itself and governs its populations, then studying a Sociology and Social Policy degree is for you. Studying Sociology and Social Policy will give you the tools to shape your own life, and the world around you. If you have a passion for studying Sociology and Social Policy, and this sounds like a place you would thrive in, then this could be the ideal course for you.

The Sociology and Social Policy programme is structured around a number of core and optional modules. These are designed to encourage intellectual engagement with a range of issues, historical developments, and intellectual approaches, and to develop academic and transferable skills. You will begin with introductory modules that aim to foster a sociological imagination, and provide a foundational knowledge of key issues, theories and developments in Sociology and Social Policy. As you progress through your degree, you will be able access a range of core and optional modules; develop a range of academic and employability skills; and undertake your own research.

The Sociology and Social Policy programme aims to provide a structured educational experience that combines both coherence and choice. Core modules provide the space to cover essential sociological and social policy material and assist you in making an effective transition to university study; provide support in the acquisition of key study skills; and give guidance in your career planning. Over and above this our menu of optional modules provides the opportunity for you to tailor the degree to your own interests and career aspirations. The curriculum aims to be stimulating, innovative, up to date, and inclusive. The learning and teaching environment aims always to be supportive but throughout the three years you will become an increasingly autonomous learner.

The core modules enable you to acquire a thorough, systematic knowledge and understanding of human social life and the skills to think as a sociologist. This is what Mills (1959) called the ‘sociological imagination’, and we describe this as a critical, analytical, reflexive, and research informed capacity, by which the relationship between individuals and social structures and processes can be explored. These modules will also provide you with a knowledge of Social Policy and practical skills to assess critically the ways that societies provide for the needs of their members. You will gain the ability to link theoretical analysis with empirical enquiry; identify and understand different value positions; and engage with a range of intellectual traditions and social science disciplines.

The Sociology and Social Policy degree aims to be highly relevant and applicable. Together, the sociological imagination and the graduate skills that you will develop will be useful for professional employment and life­long personal development. More than this, we hope that studying Sociology and Social Policy will equip you with the capacity to become well­informed, responsible, ethically sensitive citizens. You will understand the importance of robust evidence and careful theorising to make sense of the social world in which you live and work.

Year 1

Introduction to Social Policy (core)

This module will introduce you to the history of social policy, alongside the intellectual approaches that have informed policy developments from the early twentieth century to the present day. You will explore the links between theoretical analysis and empirical enquiry with respect to a range of contemporary issues, such as health and health promotion, education, work and unemployment, housing, ageing, child care, youth, and disability. 

Case Studies in Social Policy (core)

This module discusses social policy research methods, historical and theoretical developments, and policy-making processes as they relate to the themes and topics discussed in ‘Introduction to Social Policy’. As such, it aims to deepen your understanding, and encourage you to begin to apply your knowledge to the study of social policy in practice.

Sociological Imagination 1 and 2 (core)

Together, these two core modules explore a variety of key substantive sociological topics (such as: order and deviance; material inequality and social class; gender and the family; race and ethnicity), in relation to the research methods that have been used to produce sociological knowledge of these areas. Alongside this, they will also introduce you to classical and contemporary sociological theory. As such, these modules provide the groundwork you will need in order to develop your capacity to think sociologically throughout your degree. Additionally, they will allow you to acquire a range of key undergraduate learning skills, to help you make the transition into Higher Education smoothly and effectively.

Theorising Citizenship (core)

This module explores the notion of citizenship, through reviewing a number of relevant theoretical traditions and related socio-political concepts, and their connections to social policy. 

Who Am I? (core*)

This module draws not only on sociology, but also on cognate academic disciplines, to explore the nature of contemporary identity. It will also help you develop your skills of reflection, through applying insights from the social sciences to your own experiences.

(*students may elect to drop this module in order to take a starred module, when available)

Year 2

Welfare and Wellbeing (core)

This module aims to promote an enhanced understanding of the institutions involved in the development and implementation of social policies, how these have developed over time, and the themes, issues and debates surrounding them. You will explore the construction of social problems, in different historical periods and different national contexts.

Divisions, Diversity and Difference I (core)

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of a number of key themes first encountered in your first year, such as: the relationships between individuals and institutions; social change; politics and power; and social exclusion, inequality, diversity and difference.

Theory and Methods (core)

This module will develop your ability to ask and answer sociological questions, through extending your knowledge and understanding of both contemporary sociological theory and research methods.

Citizenship and Protest (optional)

This module will provide you with an informed understanding of the active practice of citizenship in contemporary Britain, building on relevant concepts and theories. Additionally, it will explore how empowered citizenship relates to structural disadvantage and individual and collective agency. This module also forms part of a ‘citizenship pathway’ in the degree, which is relevant to a future career in teaching.

Crime and Deviance (optional)

This module takes a reflective and critical approach to key perspectives, theories and issues in the field of criminology and social order. It also considers how key axes of inequality such as race and ethnicity, gender and age intersect with crime.

Medicine, Health and Society (optional)

The sociology of medicine is the largest sub-discipline within sociology. This module focuses on two main themes: the history, power and dominance of biomedical knowledge and practice and how this may be interrogated sociologically; and the relationship between social inequalities and health inequalities.

Research Skills: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis (optional)

This module has both a conceptual and practical dimension to it. At a conceptual level, it will allow you to develop an in­-depth appreciation of the strengths and limitations of various approaches to social research. At a practical level, you will get the chance to apply basic quantitative and qualitative research methods, often working in conjunction with local community organisations.

Social Psychology of People and Groups (optional)

With a focus on group dynamics, this module will allow you to develop a knowledge and understanding of social psychology, and of how the discipline relates to the other social sciences.

Sociology of Education (optional)

This module explores sociological insights into educational policy and practice in the UK, and how this relates to social stratification, social status and meritocracy. If you are considering teaching as a possible career choice, then this module will be of particular interest.

Sociology of Family Life (optional)

Building on the core year one Sociological Imagination modules, you will explore continuity, change and diversity in intimate relationships, and current transitions in families. This module should be particularly relevant if you are considering entering social work or teaching as a career.

Year 3

Comparative Social Policy (core)

This module aims to explore the ways in which different societies have attempted to tackle social problems and inequalities at different points in history, and to analyse to the impact of policy developments within national and cross-­national contexts. You will engage with core theoretical approaches and more recent policy trends and intellectual developments to understand the evolution of welfare systems within distinct national contexts; the cross-­national diffusion of welfare models and policy developments; and the ways in which welfare systems have changed over time to meet the demands of a globalised world.

Divisions, Diversity and Difference II (core)

This module will extend your understanding of the key sociological themes which were explored in Divisions, Diversity and Difference I. It specifically focuses on the intersections between different axes of social division. It will also help you prepare for life after university and develop your employability skills.

Individual Study (core (either 20 or 40 credits) – prerequisites apply)

This module aims to consolidate and deepen your knowledge and understanding of social policy through autonomous work. Supported by a supervisor you will define, design and execute an in-depth study on a topic of your choice. The 40 credit version may also involve original empirical research.

Citizenship and Community (optional - prerequisites apply)

This module, which is part of the degree’s ‘citizenship pathway’, combines academic study with practical engagement. You will research, identify and negotiate a volunteering placement in a community setting, and then use knowledge gained in class and through independent research to reflect upon your experience. Please note: it is likely that you will need to secure Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearances in order to take up your volunteering position, and you may need to meet any associated costs.

Globalisation and the Environment (optional)

This module will consider contemporary and historical aspects of globalisation, with a focus on the economic, political and cultural dimensions. It will go on to consider how these impact on current environmental concerns, and how such debates can be theorised and conceptualised.

Mind, Body and Society (optional)

This module explores the intersections between key debates in the sociology of mental health, and the sociology of the body. It will allow you to develop a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which social, historical, cultural and political contexts influence notions of mental and physical normality, focusing on topics such as: schizophrenia; anorexia; obesity; ageing.

Race, Ethnicity and Society (optional)

This module will provide you with a firm grounding in the sociology of race and ethnicity, through an in-­depth conceptual, theoretical, and empirical exploration of the roles played by processes of racialisation and othering.

Reading Social Texts (optional)

Designed to help you hone your critical reading and independent research skills, this module will give you the confidence and skill to engage successfully with challenging theoretical primary texts. If you are considering applying for a Master’s degree or a PhD, this module would be a good choice.

Sexuality and Modernity (optional)

This module focuses on the relationship between sexuality and modernity. It problematises naturalistic understandings of sexuality, exploring questions of desire, pleasure, identity, sexual normativity and power in modernity from a broadly social constructionist perspective.

Work, Self and Society (optional)

This module explores the major sociological perspectives on work, and considers how work intersects with a number of key areas of substantive sociological interest, such as class, gender and technology. It will also give you the opportunity to reflect sociologically on any paid work that you have undertaken while at University, or before taking your degree. 

Youth and Popular Culture (optional)

Through reviewing historical, social and economic factors, this module will explore the contingent and dynamic nature of youth social action, within a context of social divisions.

"My research examines the ways in which social policies are shaped by ideas about youth and age, gender and family, work and retirement, and a range of other questions. To me, Sociology and Social Policy is about how we understand the world and our role in it: this is what makes it such a fascinating field."

Dr Jennie Bristow, Senior Lecturer and author of The Sociology of Generations: New directions and challenges.

Many aim to follow professional pathways into teaching, social work, the police, local government, non-governmental organisations, or postgraduate study, and our programme is designed to support you across all these areas of interest. The comparative study of policy trends and organisations will be helpful for you if you wish to pursue careers in the international arena. With a degree in Sociology and Social Policy you will also develop the skills, knowledge and attributes that can be applied in a wide range of other areas of employment, and we support you in considering these various career and personal development opportunities.

"I am just writing to update you on the positive impact of your sociology programme on my job prospects and future employability/development. I am now working for Notting Hill Housing, a not-­for­-profit housing association in London. The Citizenship and the Community module really did help to make me more employable by widening my understanding of the world, and giving me practical experience which directly translates into employable skills. Throughout the interview process for my job, the fact that I had the practical applications of the volunteering gave me the confidence to discuss charities/ not­-for­-profit organisations and I believe my employers were very impressed when I told them about the Citizenship module and the experience I gained from it."

Andy Alcock, Graduated 2012


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,500
Part-time * £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) We offer an optional one day field trip to Margate. This requires the purchase of a return train ticket from Canterbury to Margate (to be purchased on the day of the field trip), the cost of which must be borne by the students. At the time of writing an off-peak return ticket is £5.50
Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements This applies to one module only (Citizenship and Community, level VI). Such travel costs will vary depending on the location of the student’s home address and of their placement.
DBS / Health Checks

This applies to one module only (Citizenship and Community, level VI). Students may have to undergo a (DBS) check. There is a charge for this process of £52. To date such costs have been borne by the host organisations, although it is conceivable that a student might have to fund their own. However, as part of this module students are expected to research and identify their own volunteering placement, so they will be aware of any such costs before committing to the placement.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

The precise mode of delivery will vary from one module to another. Formal contact time will include lectures, seminars, practical workshops, group and individual tutorials, and guidance and feedback on assessments. You will also be expected to engage self­directed study alongside each taught module.

Academic input

The Sociology team currently comprises eight full­time and two part­time members of academic staff, all of whom are actively engaged in research, across a range of applied contexts. All staff hold higher qualifications and are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy or are working towards Fellowship. The team has an established track record of teaching excellence, expertise in all sociological research methodologies, and experience of working outside academia (e.g. in journalism).

Surprising terms

Individual Study

You will be required to take either a 20 or a 40 credit individual study in your third year, but this choice is subject to conditions. Specifically, approval for registration on the 40 credit Individual Study will also be dependent on evidence of good attendance, the ability to meet deadlines, academic achievement (usually in the upper second category) and commitment. You will require approval of a sound, workable proposal, clearly based on appropriate levels of preparatory reading and thought. Additionally, ethical approval will be required before any student can embark on empirical research.

The team reserves the right to move any student from a 40 credit to a 20 credit Individual Study if they consider that the student has not met these prerequisites.

Citizenship and Community

Students who select Citizenship and Community in year three are also required to undertake a 20 credit individual study.

The Sociology team views assessment as part of the overall learning experience and so places an emphasis on providing frequent, detailed and personalised feedback. We will use a variety of assessment techniques to develop your academic skills and enhance your employability. These include essays (timed, formal and extended), examinations (seen and un­seen, short answer and multiple choice formats), presentations, group work, portfolios, reports, reflective journals, and independent research. The team provides targeted support prior to assessments (including very detailed assessment criteria) and extensive written and verbal feedback.

A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points

If you are a mature student without previous qualifications, you may be accepted in special circumstances subject to interview and we encourage applications from students in this category.

In line with standard University entry requirements for undergraduate programmes, if you are an international student wishing to study Sociology and Social Policy, you will be required to have a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each section. Find out more here.

The specific academic requirements from each country are indicated here.

Our course is delivered in lecture spaces designed to encourage discussion and debate, and facilitate group presentations. You will have access to an impressive library and book shop, and a range of electronically­ available resources, including books and journal articles.

The Sociology team has links with various local community groups and voluntary agencies, and with Thanet District Council, through both curriculum related contexts, and ongoing research by members of the team.

Our local third sector and community contacts will afford you the opportunity to apply your academic knowledge to practical contexts – through, for example, our second year Research Skills module, and our third year Citizenship and Community module. The programme also houses ‘Engaging Sociology’, a vibrant series of public lectures and debates, which you can get involved in.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • LL34 Sociology and Social Policy
  • L213 Sociology and Social Policy with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full time, 6 years part time


  • September 2018

Entry requirements




90% of Sociology and Social Science graduates were in employment or further study six months after completing their studies.

Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Report 2013-14

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Last edited: 09/08/2018 14:33:00