politics and sociology

Course Profile

This degree lets you study in the Department of Sociological Studies alongside your study of politics. The sociological perspective emphasises the need to understand how individual attitudes, beliefs and life chances follow wider patterns, how people's personal experience relates to wider structural forces and social processes. Sociologists are especially interested in social change, and how the forces of modernity such as globalisation and the information revolution affect people's everyday lives.

Key Information

UCAS Code: LL23

Duration: Three years full time, starting in September.

Information about teaching and learning can be found under the "learning and assessment" tab on this page.

How to Apply | Entry Requirements | Fees and Funding


Here you can find out more about the modules that are currently taught in the Department of Politics.

Each year we review our modules. We make sure we're teaching the most up-to-date topics that match the latest research conducted by our academic staff. The option modules for your second and final years may have changed by the time you reach that point - but we hope you'll agree this is a good thing, rooted in our ethos of research-led teaching. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform you in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Your first year

Throughout the year you will take three modules from the Department of Sociology.



Analysing Politics                               Choose two from:
Plus 6o credits in dual department                                 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Relations
British Politics
Introduction to Global Political Economy
Introduction to Western Political Thought                                           

 Your second year

Throughout the year you will take three modules from the Department of Sociology.



Political Analysis: Research Design & Data Analysis               Choose two from:
Plus 60 credits in dual department International Relations Theory
Political Theory in Practice
Contemporary Security Challenges
The Political Economy of Global Capitalism
Rights (new for 2019/20)
Democratisation (new for 2019/20)
The Environment (new for 2019/20)
Oppression and Resistance (new for 2019/20)
The Future of the British left in an Age of Populism (new for 2019/20)                                  
The Politics of EU Integration (new for 2019/20)

Your final year


Choose one from:
Dissertation in Politics and one taught module
Dissertation in Political Analysis and one taught module
Work-based learning dissertation and one taught module
Research project 1 and two taught modules
Plus Sociology modules

Taught modules

Anti-Politics and Democratic Crisis
Animals, Ethics and Politics
Britain and the European Union
Civilisation, Empire & Hegemony
Contemporary Chinese Politics
Contemporary US Foreign Policy
German Politics: Domestic Contestation and Global Impact
Justice in World Politics
Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence
Liberalism and its Critics
Marx and Contemporary Marxism
Never Mind the Ballots: State and Society in the UK Today
Pandemics and Panics: Health Security and Global Politics             
Parliamentary Studies
Party Politics: Competition, Strategies and Campaigns
Peacekeeping, State-Building and International Intervention
Political Ecology: Power, Nature and Society
The Political Economy of Africa
Political Realism
Political Theory in an Age of Total War
Politics and the Quality of Life
The Politics of Asylum
Sex, Race and Death: Feminist Perspectives on War, Violence and (In)Security                 
State Failure
Terrorism, Violence and the State
The Ethics of Political Leadership
The Making of the Modern Middle East
War, Peace and Justice

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Global Experience

When you come to Sheffield, you’re joining a global community. That’s so important because in today’s world, you might end up living and working far from your home country.

Study Abroad and Erasmus+

On most of our courses you can apply to study for part of your degree abroad, at one of our partner universities. The University’s two schemes, Study Abroad and Erasmus+, give you opportunities across Europe, Australia, Canada, East Asia and the USA.

Find out more about Study Abroad

Find out more about Erasmus+

Find out more about the current Erasmus+ options in the Department. Please note these may change in future years.

Global Leadership Initiative

This offers you the unique chance to attend major international summits taking place during the academic year. You'll get the chance to gain first-hand experience of international policy debates at the highest level, to attend press conferences and produce policy analysis that is read by an international audience, enhancing your research skills and employability.

Find out more about Global Leadership Initiative

Languages for All

There’s also the exciting opportunity to learn a new language, either as part of your degree or alongside it. Our Languages for All programme gives you the chance to learn a new language or enhance existing language skills. This includes a wide range of European languages, including Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Czech; as well as languages you may never have had a chance to study before, such as Japanese, Mandarin, Korean and Arabic.

Find out more about Languages for All

Career Experience

Make the very best start to your career with the skills you learn at Sheffield.

Transferable Skills

Our innovative teaching gives you the skills modern employers are looking for, especially through our core Political Analysis modules. We make sure you’ll have experience including team-work with people from a range of academic backgrounds, important IT skills such as developing websites and using specialist research software, and public presentation skills. You’ll also learn how to make practical use of statistics to provide and analyse evidence to make strong and coherent arguments.

Degree with Employment Experience

This option lets you add an extra placement year in the middle of your degree. You might want to do something directly relevant to your studies – perhaps working in Parliament – or find a placement in another sector where you want to build a career. You don’t have to decide now – you can take up the option once you’re here.

Work-Based Learning Dissertation

This special option gives you the chance to work closely with an outside organisation to conduct research that they really need. It’s a great thing to put on your CV—proving you can apply your Politics degree in a real work-place setting. Previous examples include advising a UK housing association on the impact of welfare changes and working with a US multi-national company to lobby the EU.

Full Support from the Careers Service

Throughout your degree you can book appointments with the careers service - from advice on how to structure your career path, to help with your first CV, they have the expertise to help.

Find out more.

What our graduates do

Our graduate go on to a diverse range of careers - but what they have in common is success.

“I’ll soon be joining the Business Intelligence team at JustEat, after working at a market research company specialising in higher education. It was my studies at Sheffield that gave me a real interest in quantitative research. I chose to write a Dissertation in Political Analysis, for which I received the YouGov prize – I was really pleased to get this recognition for my specialism in statistics. Being able to analyse and communicate data has been instrumental to my career.”

"As part of my Degree with Employment Experience, I completed a placement year with a leading management, engineering and development consultancy. As a result of my placement, I was offered a graduate position as a socio-economic researcher working for the same company, in the Economic and Social Development team. It’s because of the skills, experience in connections I gained on my degree at Sheffield that I got my career off to a flying start."

“At Sheffield I gained a broad understanding into how things in the real world might actually fit together, coupled with sharp skills of enquiry. My career’s been with YouGov - the UK’s most-quoted research company. I was a founding director in 2000 and after a variety of senior positions - including two and half years in Baghdad as Director of YouGov’s operation in Iraq - I’m now leading the Political and Social Research team. My advice for university? Be prepared, be different, be resilient – but most importantly: do it all.”

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