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Sociology courses

Sociology is the study of human social life and you can expect to cover topics such as work, families, gender roles, multiculturalism, media and culture and globalisation. Courses combine sociological theory with developing research skills and can include options to study criminology or social policy. A sociology degree can be useful for a diverse range of careers, such as market research, media, charities, management, youth and community work, the police and the probation service.

Studying sociology at university

Example course modules

  • Observing society
  • Urban sociology
  • Understanding deviance and social problems
  • Individual and society
  • Applied ethics
  • Media and crime
  • Nature and society
  • Sexuality and social control
  • Contemporary work and organisational life
  • Mobilisation, social movements and protest

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 81%
    Male : 19%
  • Mature : 14%
    School leaver : 86%
  • Full-time : 97%
    Part-time : 3%

What students say about sociology

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • geography
  • Media studies

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
Most sociology graduates go straight into work when they complete their degrees, and a lot of graduates go into jobs in social professions such as education, community and youth work, housing and social work. But sociology is a flexible degree and you can find graduates from the subject in pretty much every reasonable job – obviously, you don't find many doctors or engineers, but you do find them in finance, the media, sport, healthcare, marketing and even IT. Sociology graduates taking further study often branch out into other qualifications, like teaching, law, psychology and even maths, so don’t think a sociology degree restricts you to just one set of options.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Other elementary services occupations

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Housing officer
  • HR officer
  • Welfare advisory offier

Other real-life job examples

  • Social Researcher
  • Financial analyst
  • Police officer

What employers like about this subject

Subject-related skills you can get from a sociology degree include a knowledge of sociological theories and how they apply to people and organisations and their behaviour; the way sociology relates to social and civic policy and the methodology, interpretation and communication of social research. Transferable skills you can develop as a student studying sociology include communication, problem-solving, team-working and good time management. Sociology graduates are employed in many industries including social care, hospitals, schools, banking, recruitment, the police, the prison service and local and central government.