Houses of parliament at sunset

Politics and Sociology BA

Department of Politics and International Relations

Department of Sociological Studies

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You are viewing this course for 2021-2022 entry.

Key details

Course description

POL - Students taking notes win Elmfield lecture theatre (sociology students)

This course combines political analysis with policy studies, to powerful effect. You'll study modules in the Department of Politics and the Department of Sociology.

The politics part of the course introduces you to political theory and the big issues in contemporary politics. We'll teach you how to analyse political ideas, institutions and practices.

In sociology, you'll study modern industrial societies: patterns of social change, social interaction and the detail of everyday life.

The first year features Introduction to Political Analysis, The Politics of Globalisation, Introduction to Sociology, and Social Divisions in Contemporary Society. Optional sociology modules might include Understanding Inequality, Globalisation and World Cultures, and Science, Technology and Society.

In the third year, you'll research and write a 12,000-word dissertation. You might choose a Work-Based Dissertation, which means you collaborate on a research project with an external partner - like a local government department or a charity - and write about that.

Dual and combined honours degrees

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Politics and Sociology BA course structure
UCAS code: LL23
Years: 2021

Core modules:

Analysing Politics

This module is about (1) politics, and (2) how to analyse it. More specifically, it involves (1) understanding how power and truth operate in the contemporary world; and (2) discovering different ways to research these dynamics so to build compelling and rigorous accounts of the political worlds that we find ourselves a part. Students will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and independent study; and will be assessed on the basis of an essay, a portfolio relating to seminar preparation, and an online multiple-choice test.

20 credits
Classical Sociological Theory

The aim of this module is to introduce foundational theories in sociology. The lectures will describe the ideas of leading theorists Durkheim, Marx, and Weber with reference to the social context in which they lived and wrote. Lectures will analyze the primary texts of sociological throught with reference to the social contexts in which they emerged. This will include a look at the concerns of the first generation of sociological thinkers, their understanding of changes in European societies at the time, and the way in which their ideas inform an understanding of issues and problems in the contemporary world.

10 credits
Exploring Classical Social Thought Seminars

The purpose of this seminar module is to provide a medium for students to discuss, evaluate, assess, and engage foundational theories in sociology. The seminar topics will seek to relate major sociological theories to (historical) events of concern to the theorists themselves, and events of interest to contemporary students of social affairs. The discussions will emphasise ideas and concepts in key sociological writings and their contribution to shaping sociological enquiry.

10 credits
The Sociological Imagination Seminar

Drawing upon the lectures in the accompanying module (SCS100), students will use the seminars to explore a range of everyday life situations - such as mobile phone use, shopping, and travel - from a sociological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on students reflexively exploring their own experience, on the one hand, and gathering exemplary material from print and digital media. Students will be required to do exercises on specific topics.

10 credits
The Sociology of Everyday Life

This module aims to introduce students to basic sociological concepts, such as 'the sociological imagination', 'social interaction', 'social identity', 'deviance' and 'globalisation' and illustrate how these can be applied to everyday life. Drawing on the work of key thinkers in sociology, a range of everyday life situations, such as mobile phone use, shopping and travel will be used as exemplary cases

10 credits

Optional modules:

British Politics

This module will introduce students to key concepts and debates in British politics through an examination of post-1976 British political history. Each lecture will take as its starting-point one day in recent British history and will describe what happened on that day and what happened as a result of that day. Each of the seminars will then follow that discussion: paying particular attention to concepts and ideas within the study of politics which can help us make sense of those events.

20 credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics

This module examines the utility of the comparative approach to politics in an era of the proclaimed 'end of history' and 'global convergence'. It examines executives in a number of political systems. It focuses on 'constitutional engineering' by examining the effect that electoral and party systems have on the structure of executive authority and the types of executive commonly used in political systems. These are presidential, prime ministerial and mixed systems. It considers what is meant by 'strong' and 'weak' executives. The cases examined are: US presidency, Brazilian presidency, UK prime minister, German Federal Chancellor, Russian presidency and the French presidential system.

20 credits
Introduction to Global Political Economy

This module provides an introduction to global political economy (GPE). It covers key mainstream and critical theories and considers critically what GPE is. Following this, the main focus will be on sketching the outlines of the global economy (past and present) by considering particular commodities. This provides a novel way to introducing the student to the major processes of global trade, finance and production. It also considers the political economy of race, class and gender as core theoretical themes that interweave the empirical examination of the global political economy, from roughly 1500 through to the 21st century.

20 credits
Introduction to International Relations

This module will introduce students to the discipline of International Relations (IR) and therefore the study of global politics. IR is a complex, multi-level and multi-actor field whose terrain spans global to individual issues. To provide a comprehensive introduction to IR, the module will focus on two questions: 1) What is the subject matter of IR? And 2) What is the unit of analysis? Structuring the module as such will introduce students to key debates in IR and provide a broad overview of the subject matter (from global governance to individual activism) and different actors (from the UN to terrorists).

20 credits
Introduction to Western Political Thought

This module provides an introduction to key themes and thinkers in Western political thought. It explores the different meanings of the nature of politics and the political in this tradition. One key theme will be the relation between human nature and politics. This will be explored through a series of deep conflicts between reason and desire, the state and individual, and the public and private. These conflicts are examined through the different visions of politics of a selection of ancient and early modern thinkers. The module will also engage with critiques of the canon of Western political thought itself, in particular from a postcolonial perspective.

20 credits
Gender, Sexuality and Society

This unit intends to address the following questions regarding gender and sexuality and their interaction with society: What do we mean by gender and sexuality? How do we do gender and sexuality? How do we see gender and sexuality? How do we control gender and sexuality?

10 credits
Introducing Criminology

Crime is a major social problem in virtually all societies. In this module, sociological understandings of crime are discussed, often with reference to their implications for policy. The module will introduce you to major research about crime in contemporary Britain and help you to understand the contribution of sociology to its analysis. This module will be of value to anyone thinking about a career in the criminal justice services, journalism, public service, the voluntary sector and anyone interested in understanding the significance of crime in contemporary British society

10 credits
Introduction to Media and Communication in Society

This module examines the relationship between media and society. It examines the nature of influence and persuasion, representation, ownership, and identity in contemporary media environments.

10 credits
Introduction to Social Research

Students will be introduced to theoretical, methodological and practical issues in conducting empirical social research and become equipped with some of the basic skills necessary to undertake qualitative and quantitative projects, from project planning through to writing up research findings. Students will also be given the opportunity to explore different areas of social research in small groups through class presentations and debates

10 credits
Social Divisions Seminar

The aim of this unit is to explore a key concern of sociology to explain how and why material and symbolic rewards are distributed unequally. The unit will focus on how social constraints and opportunities arise from social divisions and will explore how various social divisions interact to produce unequal outcomes. It will evaluate critically sociological research that provides evidence of structured inequality in society. A key aim of the unit is to provide students with a sociological framework to assess critically how social divisions operate in their own lives through the constraints and opportunities they encounter.

10 credits
Understanding Inequality

The aim of this unit is to explore a key concern of sociology to explain how and why material and symbolic rewards are distributed unequally. It will consider the unequal distribution of wealth, privilege and power and, in doing so, will question common-sense understandings of various inequalities in society. It will focus on various social divisions including the `big three' of social class, gender and race, as well as sexuality, age, religion and disability. Major themes will be explored with a predominantly British- and policy-related focus, although global divisions and inequalities will also be included for consideration.

10 credits
Welfare Politics and the State

This unit introduces students to some of the material and theoretical concerns of social policy by focusing on the politics of `welfare'. It is organised around unpacking common contemporary 'welfare myths' - e.g. 'the benefit scrounger', 'welfare tourism' and the need for austerity - by taking a long view of their articulation through history, exploring their ideological roots, examining policy responses and assessing the empirical evidence to support them. In doing so the unit also focuses on the policy making process, examining in particular issues of power in contemporary UK and the role of the media in perpetrating 'welfare myths'.

10 credits


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.

Learning and assessment

Learning

Our lectures and seminars are structured in a variety of ways to ensure a rich, interactive learning experience that you can take with you in your future career. You'll create websites, videos and podcasts as part of your group work to enhance your digital skills. Other uses of digital learning, such as interactive polls, allows collaboration during lectures and seminars, and we use skype so that external speakers can interact with our students.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Assessment

We use different assessment methods throughout our courses this varies between modules. Examples include:

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Dissertation
  • Short forms of written assessment
  • Projects
  • Book reviews
  • Policy reports
  • Oral presentation and group work

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB + B in the EPQ; BBB + B in Core Maths BBB + B in the EPQ; BBB + B in Core Maths

International Baccalaureate | 33 32

BTEC | DDD DDD

Scottish Highers | AAABB AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB B + BB

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject (Business Studies/ Management, Humanities, Law, Social Sciences) with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits and Merits in 15 Level 3 credits. 60 credits overall in a relevant subject (Business Studies/ Management, Humanities, Law, Social Sciences) with Distinctions in 24 Level 3 credits and Merits in 9 Level 3 credits.

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • BTEC relevant subject areas required are either Applied Law, Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Personal and Business Finance, Applied Psychology, Applied Science or Environmental Sustainability. No other subjects are accepted

  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C or equivalent

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Department of Politics and International Relations

We are proud to be one of the UK's leading departments for research and teaching in politics and international relations.

We have over 50 specialists in the key areas of politics and international relations working at the cutting edge of the discipline on issues such as: Brexit, transgender politics, animal rights, environmentalism, populism and Middle East Politics. This research directly shapes and inspires what you're taught on all levels of our programmes.

We were the first department to pioneer the 'Parliamentary Studies' undergraduate module that's accredited and co-taught by the House of Commons.

Department of Politics and International Relations students are based in Elmfield building, but we timetable teaching across the whole of our campus.

Teaching may take place in Elmfield, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space. Many of the University buildings are close together so it’s easy to walk between them and it’s a good way to get to know the city.

Department of Politics and International Relations

Department of Sociological Studies

You'll learn about key concepts like community, identity and welfare. Our degrees explore important sociological issues including crime, migration, gender and poverty.

Our world-leading research shapes our teaching, so you're always challenged and up to date. Our interdisciplinary approach brings sociologists, social policy analysts and social workers together under one roof.

Our staff are experts in their field and work with organisations in the UK and worldwide, bringing fresh perspectives to your studies. They'll give you the advice and support you need to excel in your subject. There are around 130 places available on our courses.

Department staff also play key roles in the Faculty of Social Science's Digital Society Network (DSN), an active group of researchers working on all aspects of digital-society relations. The DSN hosts events and activities to stimulate and support research in this area.

Our courses develop students who are socially aware, with strong analytical skills and a flair for approaching problems in new ways. You'll become skilled at research and bring your own insights to key issues that affect our lives. In your third year, specialist modules allow you to investigate current thinking on a wide range of topics. You'll learn about the latest research from subject experts and explore your ideas in workshop-style sessions.

Department of Sociological Studies students are based in the picturesque Elmfield building where our staff have their offices and some seminar and small-group teaching takes place. Teaching may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

All the University buildings are close together so, it’s easy to get around. The University Sports Centre is just next door, and accommodation, the Information Commons and the award-winning Students’ Union are all within easy walking distance.

Department of Sociological Studies

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017

  No 1 in the north for graduate employment
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020


Department of Politics and International Relations

UK top three for research

Research Excellence Framework 2014

UK top 10 for politics

The Complete University Guide 2020
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Our politics and international relations courses are ranked 7th in the UK

The Complete University Guide 2020


Department of Sociological Studies

79% of our research is world-leading or internationally excellent

Research Excellence Framework 2014


Graduate careers

Department of Politics and International Relations

A politics degree from Sheffield can set you apart from everyone else. You'll have many opportunities across all levels of your course to add valuable work experience and transferable skills to your CV.

Our degree programmes are designed so you can tailor your course to your own interests and career aspirations. They also provide a foundation to go on to work in a wide range of professional, political and administrative organisations across the world, in local, national, and international government, the charitable sector, education, the media, public relations, research and the private sector.

Department of Sociological Studies

Our graduates work in a range of sectors including broadcasting, the police service, teaching and social work. They are also employed in local government, the civil service, charity and campaign organisations and market research.

Some have carried out graduate training with national and international companies, and are employed around the world. Many go on to masters courses in sociology and social policy and other areas such as human resources.

You could pursue a career in marketing, communications and PR, or work in museums, theatres or charitable organisations.

Placement and study abroad

We have a range of options for studying abroad within Europe or further afield - including the USA, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. In addition, on most of our degrees you can upgrade to a four year Degree with International Experience, during which you spend your third year abroad studying or working - or a combination of the two.

We also offer the Degree with Employment Experience option. This allows you to spend a year taking a work placement in government, a private company, an international organisation or a charity.

In your final year you can also choose to write a work-based learning dissertation, a piece of research that solves a real-world problem for an organisation.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you're eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

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How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

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    2021-2022