Sociology

BSc single honours Sociology & Social Policy 2019/20

Year of entry

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

Sociology

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.  In the 2017 National Student Survey, 97% of our Sociology students were satisfied with the quality of their course.

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.

Awards

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).

Who is this course for?

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. The course has used its own ‘sociological imagination’ to reflect on how to best deliver the degree, putting emphasis on creating a friendly, supportive and inclusive learning environment. You can gain the skills and understanding to support a range of career choices, including social work, teaching, public administration, and non-governmental organisations.

"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

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 well-informed, 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.

In addition to formal teaching and learning opportunities, the Sociology and Social Policy team organise debates, speakers and employability events. For instance, the Engaging Sociology series has afforded our students the opportunity to hear leading sociologists such as Anthony Giddens, Mike Savage and Frank Furedi speak on contemporary issues.

Work experience

Many third year students engage in volunteering as part of their degree, which can enhance their employability. In fact five of the 22 students who took our volunteering module in 2014/15 were offered employment by the organisation they had volunteered for.

Other information

The Engaging Sociology event series has afforded our students the opportunity to hear leading sociologists such as Anthony Giddens, Mike Savage and Frank Furedi speak on contemporary issues.

Core modules

Year 1

Introduction to Social Policy (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

This module discusses social policy research methods, historical and theoretical developments, and policy­making 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 (40 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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

Who Am I? (core* (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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.

Year 3

Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)

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 cross­national 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 cross­national 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 (20 credits)

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 (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 in­depth study on a topic of your choice. The 40 credit version may also involve original empirical research.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Citizenship and Protest (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

The sociology of medicine is the largest sub­discipline 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 (20 credits)
(optional - prerequisites apply)

This module has both a conceptual and practical dimension to it. At a conceptual level, it will allow you to develop an in­depth 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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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

Citizenship and Community (20 credits)
(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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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

Reading Social Texts (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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.

Many students aim to follow professional pathways into teaching, social work, the police, local government, non­governmental 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

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

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

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and 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

CategoryDescription
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

CategoryDescription
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.

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, supervisions and directed studies. The precise mode of delivery, and the number of contact hours you will have per week, will vary depending on the modules you take in each semester.

You will be expected to attend the taught sessions and contribute to group activities. Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures.  In addition, you will meet with your academic personal tutor. 

You will be expected to undertake independent reading and research throughout your course. You will have access to a wide range of library resources (books, journal articles, and media resources), and you will be supported in making good use of these.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study.  Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class. For some assignments, you might undertake independent research. For this, you will work under the supervision of a member of the course team, and you will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Overall workload

In addition to formal contact hours and directed studies, you will need to devote time to independent reading and preparation. For each 20-credit module, your overall study time will be around 8 hours per week. This will vary according to the timing of assessments: some weeks may require more hours of study, for example when an assignment is due, and other weeks may require fewer. 

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics, with a range of expertise and experience.

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. They are research-active and have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Meet the Team webpage [https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/social-and-applied-sciences/psychology-politics-and-sociology/sociology/meet-the-team.aspx]. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

The Sociology and Social Policy team views assessment as part of the overall learning experience and so places an emphasis on providing frequent, detailed and personalised feedback. The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Ongoing assessment and verbal feedback of your performance in group work, seminar discussions, tutorial sessions when requested, and written feedback on coursework will be used as a means of formative assessment.

All modules include formal, or 'summative', assessments. A range of assessment methods is used, and these vary according to the particular modules. The assessment methods include: essays, workbooks, annotated bibliographies, reflective logs, group presentations, reports, portfolios, dissertations, and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. For each year, approximately 10 per cent of the Sociology course will be assessed by written exams. 

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.

The Sociology and Social Policy 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.

Fact file

UCAS course code

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

UCAS institution code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full time, 6 years part time

Starts

  • September 2019

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited: 09/08/2018 14:34:00