Sociological Studies student Tom Whittell in the Students' Union.

Sociology with Social Policy BA

Department of Sociological Studies

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You are viewing this course for 2021-2022 entry.

Key details

Course description

Sociology students in a seminar

This course covers the fundamentals of sociological and social policy analysis. You'll explore research techniques and information retrieval while developing your presentation and analytical skills.

Social policy is a cutting-edge discipline. Alongside exploring a range of sociological issues, you will also have the opportunity to learn more about complex global challenges such as social inequalities, health, welfare, income, labour and migration.

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: Sociology with Social Policy BA course structure
UCAS code: LL34
Years: 2021

Core modules:

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
Doing Social Research

This module builds on the knowledge and skills acquired by students in the module Introduction to Social Research. Students will be given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of theoretical, methodological and practical issues in conducting empirical social research through a staff interview project. The project will be introduced and explained in lectures, and students supported in interviewing their assigned Departmental member of staff via tutorial sessions and guided independent learning. Students will produce a portfolio of research work and a final 1,500 word project report which they will present to the class. The module will equip students with some of the basic skills necessary to: undertake empirical social research, from project planning through interviewing to writing up research findings; develop their collaborative and presentational skills; and enhance their appreciation of the relationship between research, teaching and the concepts of sociology and social policy more broadly. An additional positive outcome of the module will be the familiarisation of students with the research interests of all staff in the Department, preparing them for study at levels 2 and 3 and, in particular helping them in their choice of dissertation topics at level 3.

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
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 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
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
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
SCS@UoS

This `zero credit module is designed to support students as they transition onto their degree programme in Sociological Studies (SCS) at the University of Sheffield (TUoS). In particular, it is designed to support student awareness of the high quality learning environment within which the programme aims and outcomes will be delivered. The module will introduce students to the notion of the Sheffield Graduate, and what it means to be a student at TUOS. Through a range of online activities and tutorials, it will induct and introduce them to the support services provided by the department and the University. Helping them to articulate their learning requirements, it signposts opportunities for personal, professional and peer support. In doing so, it will help to create a solid foundation for the distinct communities of learning that will help to sustain them throughout the course of their degree at Sheffield.

Optional modules

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
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


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

You'll learn through a mix of interactive lectures and seminars, with time for independent study.

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

The special character of social policy at the University of Sheffield is its sociological grounding and close collaboration with both sociology and social work disciplines.

Based on teaching from leading experts in the field who are actively involved in shaping future policy options, this course applies sociological insight to social problems and policy solutions, exploring the role of the state and other agencies in responding to them.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams. Working closely with your dissertation supervisor, your final year will see you undertake a research project on a topic of your choosing.

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:
BBB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBC

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBC + B BBC + B

International Baccalaureate | 32 31

BTEC | DDM in a relevant subject (BTECs in Public Services and Uniformed Services are not accepted) DDM in a relevant subject (BTECs in Public Services and Uniformed Services are not accepted)

Scottish Highers | AABBB ABBBB

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

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with Distinctions in 24 Level 3 credits and Merits in 21 Level 3 credits 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with Distinctions in 15 Level 3 credits and Merits in 30 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

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 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 Sociological Studies

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

Research Excellence Framework 2014


Student profiles

I think it's a really good department, the staff are very hands on and they all have their special subject knowledge.

Sarah Langford
Sociology

Graduate careers

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.

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

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

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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Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022