Why study this course
Highly interactive and practical hands-on degree where you are taught in real world settings. Less theory based work than other similar courses.
Assignments are driven by your practical skills and applied to real world situations, as you will undertake client briefs.
Collaborative work with other students is encouraged and standard classroom settings are replaced with highly practical and interactive learning.
Encouraging your personal development, this course offers you the opportunity to grow and gain self-confidence as you advance your oral and presentation skills.
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.
BGU’s Sociology programme provides a comprehensive and exciting introduction to the study of all aspects of the social world. The course takes you on a journey from the 19th-century foundations of the discipline through to the social, cultural and political changes that are reshaping our globalising world. Along the way, you’ll see how sociological thinking is crucial for people who want to understand the world around them, whether as students, tuition-fee payers, citizens, employees (or via any of their other social roles).
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this course
Studying Sociology at BGU means you won’t ‘just’ be studying sociological theory – you’ll be exploring the ways theories help demystify phenomena like terrorism, nationalism, sexism, surveillance, globalisation and multiculturalism. Similarly, when you study research methods you won’t ‘just’ be studying research methods – you’ll be looking at how those methods are used in the real world by marketing agencies, governments, local councils, advertising agencies, PR companies, polling companies and many others.
The course showcases sociology’s relevance beyond the confines of academia. Sociology at BGU will provide you with state of the art understanding of key classical and contemporary social, cultural and sociology theories as well as rigorous training in social research methods that are in demand from employers. On completion of this course, you’ll leave us equipped with a wide range of transferable skills that work successfully in an array of public, private and third-sector settings.
At BGU our commitment to small group teaching and one-to-one supervisions means that you’ll never be an anonymous face in a large lecture theatre. Over the course of your degree, you’ll benefit immeasurably from such direct access to academics. We believe that students learn best when they’re being taught by staff who are actively engaged in high-quality research. That’s why our staff have drawn upon their own extensive research experiences to create this degree programme.
What will you study
During the course of your foundation year, you’ll cover the following modules:
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practice and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practice locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Enrivonment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
You will receive an introduction to the nature of undergraduate study, and specifically undergraduate sociological study. During scheduled and independent/virtual learning sessions the course will address issues such as: using the internet as an effective research tool; taking effective notes during lectures; how to guard against plagiarism; and successful literature reviewing.
This module is designed to give you a positive view of the impact that the social sciences have had, and will continue to have, on modern societies, polities, cultures and economies. A broad range of classical and contemporary social and sociological theories are presented with the aim of showcasing the power, promise and potential of a sociological imagination for anyone wishing to understand the world around them and their place within it.
A diverse range of qualitative and quantitative research methods for studying two key types of social data (i.e. textual and interactional data) will be discussed, as will their respective strengths and weaknesses. You will also use guided independent study time to produce five minute oral and visual presentations which will be presented to the rest of the class during an assessment session.
During this module, you will become familiar with methods for reading films/television programmes sociologically; that is, as cultural artefacts that can be made to reveal a great deal about the particular economic, political, cultural and social contexts within which they were produced and consumed.
You will be introduced to a range of the central yet diverse theoretical approaches to the study of society that have been, and still are being developed within sociology. The module will provide you with a critical and reflexive understanding of the importance (as well as the fallibility of) modern and contemporary social and sociological theories to and for understanding and explaining social life.
During this module, you will gain a sense of how academics have been able to influence policy debates, and learn how to apply the social science understandings developed in lectures and workshops to the critical analysis of public debates. You will also develop the ability to explain some of the ways in which their studies have wider relevance to society.
The module begins with a very broad definition of identity as something that involves the ways in which people display who they are to each other. It then examines a range of environments in which people do ‘identity work’: everyday conversations, institutional settings, narrative and stories, commodified encounters and various spatial locations from the local and the national, to the ‘online’ and ‘offline’.
This module will consist of five scheduled workshop sessions that will focus upon career skills and pathways. It will also include a work placement, that is designed to give you an opportunity to explore an area of work and develop (or confirm) your career planning.
The aim of the module is to equip you with the skills necessary to undertake empirical social research using both primary and secondary data drawn from online and offline contexts. You will also construct a research proposal suitable for your level 6 dissertation and will undertake empirical social research that draws on primary and/or secondary data.
You will be introduced to the attractions and challenges of interdisciplinary investigation in the arts and humanities, in this case with particular reference to sociology and media studies (as broadly conceived). You will engage with materials and practices within and beyond your chosen subject(s) of study.
This module is hands-on, practically-oriented and built around a form of problem based learning. Upon completion of this module, you will know how to make most types of video and poster presentations media, and you will also have developed a portfolio of content that may well assist you in entrepreneurial work in the creative and cultural industries.
You will study aspects of the chronological development of surveillance in Western Europe and North America. The module will offer you a range of teaching and learning contexts in which to build understanding of key sociological (and societal) issues.
The module begins by considering key social theories of the body, highlighting perspectives drawn from medical and historical sociology, medical and cultural anthropology, social and political theory and the history of science. You will then consider how those concepts and theories can be put to use ‘in practice’ by examining a series of case-studies drawn from every day, media and popular culture.
The aim of this module is to provide you with a general introduction to the study of persuasion, before identifying and discussing the major discursive and rhetorical approaches to the study of persuasion as something attempted by various forms of communication. The module will also include ‘practical data sessions’, in which you will put your analytic skills into practice on real world data.
The independent study module provides an opportunity for you to build upon and apply the key intellectual, transferable and practical skills gained at Levels 4 and 5 of the programme to an appropriate study or research project that falls within the remit of sociology. This may be carried out ‘the field’, or it may be library based.
This module will offer you a range of teaching and learning contexts in which to build and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a key past or present topic that falls within the orbit of sociology. You will also acquire and develop intellectual skills and transferable skills that are relevant to contexts beyond academia.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GSCE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year. International applicants are not eligible to apply for an undergraduate course with a Foundation Year.
How you will be taught
There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.
You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.
Placements are a key part of degree study at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
In Sociology, we see assessment as a powerful driver of student learning and a means for demonstrating what students have learnt. We believe it’s a great way to develop the employability skills that employers demand from graduates. As a result, the course incorporates a range of assessment methods which will allow you to demonstrate a wide range of skills whilst providing a selection of post-degree career paths. These assessment methods include coursework, small group work, report writing, oral presentations, multi-modal presentations (posters, videos, print), examinations and individual dissertation projects. Where appropriate, assessment tasks are designed to mimic the type of challenges faced by employees in graduate-level jobs.
Careers & Further study
The wide range of graduate-levels employment related opportunities and positions available to BGU Sociology graduates include activism and campaigning, advertising, arts, bankers (e.g. investment bankers, analysts), charity administrators, community and youth workers, curators, entrepreneurs, film makers, financial analysts, journalists, lawyers, lecturers, marketing, police officers, public relations (PR), researchers, school and college teachers and social workers.
Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.
We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.
Fees & Finance
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.