BSc single honours Sociology & Social Policy with foundation year 2020/21

Year of entry

Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study

Following the Foundation Year you will go on to explore areas including:

  • key themes in social policy
  • contemporary social issues and problems
  • classical and contemporary sociological theory
  • research methods

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

The Guardian University League Tables 2019

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 course 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.

The foundation year provides you with the fundamental skills and abilities to be able to study at university level, as well as providing a general introduction to the social sciences. On successful completion of this foundation year you can choose to continue to study Sociology or one of the other social science degrees offered at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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 non-governmental 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).

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.

The foundation year would be particularly attractive for students who have had some time away from formal study or are looking to develop their academic skill set before embarking on an undergraduate degree. It will provide you with a broad background knowledge and essential practical skills required for studying at degree level.

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 Graduated 2016

In the foundation year you will study core concepts, theories and issues in the social sciences. These modules are studied alongside a study skills programme which will prepare you for studying at undergraduate level. Completion of the foundation year permits students to progress to Level 4. Once enrolled on the undergraduate degree there is a rich menu of exciting core and optional modules.

The degree 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.

Our course 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 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, Suman Fernanda and Frank Furedi speak on contemporary issues.

Core Modules

Year 0 ­- Foundation Year

Contemporary Issues in Sociology (20 credits)

This module gives students an entry level understanding of key critical issues in the study of sociology, including race, class and gender. The module uses the ‘sociological imagination’ to interrogate these issues in an engaging, innovative and informative fashion. The module also includes coverage of basic academic/study skills relevant to the disciplinary area.

Contemporary Issues in Politics (20 credits)

This module explores key issues and questions in the study of politics – including how political systems function, how political change occurs, and who holds political power. The module takes an exciting and innovative problem focused approach, enabling you to engage in lively and topical debate on the big issues of the day. 

Contemporary Issues in Psychology (20 credits)

This module introduces students to some key areas and concepts in psychology and also begins to explore how psychology may be applied to addressing practical real-world problems and contemporary issues. Students will begin to put into practice the study skills that are required at university level. 

Contemporary Issues in Applied Criminology (20 credits)

This module introduces students to key concepts in criminology through analysis of contemporary issues within the criminal justice system, and addresses key questions concerning crime in our society. The module also includes coverage of basic academic/study skills relevant to the disciplinary area.

Academic Skills 1 (20 credits)

Academic Skills 2 (20 credits)

Together, these two modules will provide you with the transferable skills base you will need to succeed on your degree and become an effective independent learner. They will help you to identify your strengths and the areas you need to work on, and to create a personalised plan for your educational development.

Year 1

Introduction to Social Policy (20 credits, semester 1)

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, semester 1)

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.

Becoming a Sociologist (20 credits, semester 1)

Thinking Sociologically (20 credits, semester 2)

Together, these two core modules will give you the grounding you need to be an effective sociology undergraduate. They will introduce you to: a variety of key substantive sociological topics (such as order and deviance, material inequality and social class, gender and the family, race and ethnicity); the distinctive concepts and theories that sociology uses to analyse social problems; sociology’s own history, and the how this affects the creation of sociological knowledge and understanding. 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 successfully.

Doing Social Research (20 credits, semester 2)

This is an introduction to key research methodologies, which both complements the conceptual material covered in Thinking Sociologically, and prepares students for the optional Level 5 Research Skills module. This module will enable you appreciate the interdependent relationship between theory and research, the ethical dimensions of research, and the part they play in the research process. Single honours and some combined honours students will take this module in semester 2; other combined honours students will take this module in semester 1, depending on the timetabling of their other programme.

Theorising Citizenship (20 credits, semester 2)

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.

Year 2

Welfare and Wellbeing (20 credits, semester 2)

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.

Growing Up In Society (20 credits, semester 1)

This module covers some of the most popular content in the degree – the sociologies of education, families and generations. Through a critical exploration of primary and secondary socialisation, you will develop your understanding of the systematic connections between individuals and social and cultural forces and processes.

Space, Place and Social Exclusion (20 credits, semester 2)

This module examines social diversity and social exclusion, extending what you will have learned in the core modules at Level 4 (first year). The assessment for this module has been designed to give you the opportunity to develop key skills for work as well as university study. In conjunction with a local employer, you will be assigned a ‘live brief’ problem to solve, and will engage with qualitative, quantitative and digital data sources.

Power/Knowledge? Re: Thinking Sociologically (20 credits, semester 1)

This module aims to develop students’ conceptual and reflexive abilities, by a critical engagement with how the sociological project is located in relation to the ‘European Enlightenment’, why this is problematic, and how sociology might go forward into the 21C. It will do this through an exploration of late modern social theory and contrasting forms of social thought, in relation to associated debates concerning science, truth, knowledge and power.

Work, Self and Society (20 credits, semester 1)

In this module you will explore major perspectives from the sociology of work, and how these intersect with other key sociological themes such as class, gender, technology, culture and personal identity. The module also has a focus on employability, and includes work shadowing as part of the assessment.

Year 3

Comparative Social Policy (20 credits, semester 2)

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.

Colonial Worlds, Decolonial Sociology (20 credits, semester 1)

Building on the sociological understandings explored in the Level 4 and 5 core modules, this module aim to critically explore how different axes of difference and disadvantage intersect, and are located in relation to specific social, political, cultural and economic processes, at a global level.

Gender, Sexuality and Modernity (20 credits, semester 2)

In this module, students will explore the complex relationships between gender, sexuality, identity, desire and power in (patriarchal, colonial, capitalist) modernity. To achieve this, it will engage with classic and contemporary debates at both the substantive and theoretical levels.

Individual Study (various formats – details below)

All Sociology and Social Policy students must undertake an individual study, but can choose from three different formats.

1)      The 20 Credit Individual Study aims to consolidate and deepen your sociological knowledge and understanding through autonomous work. Working with a designated supervisor, you will be required to define, design and execute an in-depth, literature based, study of your own choice. This module normally runs in semester 2, except for students who have selected the Citizenship and Community option, who must take it across both semesters.

2)      The 40 Credit Individual Study is similar to the 20 credit version, in that you will work with a supervisor to define, design and undertake autonomous, literature based research on a topic of your choice. Such projects will be more conceptually / theoretically focussed than the 20 credit studies, and will pursue their analyses to a greater degree of detail and sophistication. This module runs across both semesters, and would be well suited to students considering post-graduate study.

3)    Students may register for a combination of two linked modules, Individual Research Design (semester 1) and Individual Empirical Research (semester 2)*. Together, these two modules give you the opportunity to engage in 40 credits worth of individual empirical study. Working with a supervisor, in Individual Research Design you will produce a viable research proposal, including a literature review and detailed methodology, on a topic of your choice. In Individual Empirical Research, you will undertake the research project in semester 1, and produce a research report.

* You must pass Individual Research Design in semester 1 to be able to complete Individual Empirical Research in semester 2.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Citizenship and Protest (20 credits, semester 2)

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.

Crime, Deviance and Law (20 credits, semester 2)

Building on discussions of social order and deviance begun at Level 4, students who take this module will develop an understanding of the role of law in constructing, maintaining and challenging narratives of crime and deviance, in specific socio-historical contexts. This module will support students in preparing for careers in policing, criminal justice and local government.

Research Skills: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis (20 credits, semester 2) 

Building on the Level 4 module Doing Social Research, this module is designed to equip you with practical research skills. It will allow you to develop an in-­depth appreciation of the strengths and limitations of various approaches to social research, and also to apply quantitative and qualitative research methods in practice, often working in conjunction with a local community organisation.

Social Psychology of People and Groups (20 credits, semester 2)

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 Sport (20 credits, semester 2)

On this module you will critically examine key issues in sport, both nationally and globally, in relation to key sociological themes such as gender, disability, race, body image, violence, and crime, as well as exploring legal and ethical issues in sport such as doping.

Year 3

Citizenship and Community (20 credits, across both semesters) (­prerequisites apply)

This module 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. Students who take this module must also take a 20 Credit Individual Study.

Contemporary Controversies (20 credits, may be run in either semester 1 or semester 2)

Sociology is not a static discipline, but must constantly adapt and apply its distinctive perspectives and insights to emergent, ‘live’ issues. In this module you will get the opportunity to explore a contemporary, sociologically relevant issue in-depth, grounded in current staff research. As such, the content of the module will vary from year to year depending on what ‘live’ issue is being studied. Students will advised of the details of the each year’s offer at the end of Level 5 so they can make an informed choice as to whether they’d like to take this module.

Globalisation and the Environment (20 credits, semester 2)

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.

Medical Power and Knowledge (20 credits, semester 1)

Medical sociology – the largest sociological sub-discipline - provides an analytical context for understanding health, illness and health care. Drawing on the wealth of empirical and theoretical work within this sub-discipline, this module provides a critical analysis of medical practice and institutions, the production of what counts as medical knowledge, and the social, political and cultural effects of medical practice.

Reading Social Texts (20 credits, semester 1)

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.

Youth and Popular Culture (20 credits, semester 2)

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 course 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


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

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

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.


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. Discussions in smaller groups will enable you to 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 []. 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. 

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.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

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

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • L213 Sociology and Social Policy with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full time

    Professional placement option available


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 32 UCAS tariff points.

    GCSE Mathematics grade C or above, or equivalent

    Our published entry requirements are a guide only and admission to the course can be based on a consideration of your previous work and study experiences. Contact us for further information.

    Non-UK entry requirements




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Last edited: 12/09/2019 12:37:00