Guide to Studying Sociology

What is Sociology?

  • Sociology is the scientific study of behaviour by people in the society in which they live, how it came about, is organised and developed, and what it may become in the future.
  • Sociology is a social science. Studying it uses methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis, which allows you to understand people as they adapt and change to order and disorder.

Why study Sociology?

  • Sociology grapples with some of the most exciting, interesting and pertinent questions in a modern society. What are our morals? How important is charisma? How do we solve poverty? Try to answer them all.
  • Sociology puts you inside the mind of the average folk on the street, and it is a very interesting place to be. Sociology discusses what people think, so there is an awful lot to discuss.
  • It teaches you to be a quick thinker, coming up with answers to complex issues in double speed. There aren't too many jobs which would turn a person down with those skills.
  • Sociology teaches you to hold those in power to account. Why do governments do as they do? Why should we accept these norms? If you like a good argument, sociology is right up your alley.
  • This is one of those subjects whose contact hours are, shall we say, limited. If you're a fan of independent learning, of thinking for yourself, then give this a go.

Coursework, assessment and exams

  • Courses are assessed via a variety of ways. These include: exams (both open and closed book), presentations, reviews, posters, policy briefs, essays. A dissertation in final year is common, and some courses offer work placements as part of study.

What degree can I get? 

  • BA Social Anthropology
  • BA Social Policy and Sociology
  • BA Sociology and South Asian Studies
  • BA Communications, Media and Sociology

What qualifications do I need?

  • Grade requirements depend on the university and course.
  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular institution you are interested in.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Sociology courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include straight MAs in Sociology, as well as masters in Ancient Visual and Material Culture, Anthropological Research, Civil Society, Confilct and Social Development, and Contemporary Identity.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Sociology degrees teach students transferable skills, such as presentation, research and communication, as well as how to produce complex written work swiftly and accurately, on difficult intellectual topics.
  • Particular job areas, as well as sociologist, include community worker, teaching and lecturing, aid worker, social work, youth work, charity fundraising, housing management, HR and PR.
  • Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, including Think Ahead.