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Sociology with Politics BSc (Hons)


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Key Information Set (KIS) Data is only gathered for undergraduate full-time courses. There are a number of reasons why this course does not have KIS data associated with it. For example, it may be a franchise course run at a partner college or a course designed for continuing professional development.


Sociology is the study of people. This subject is full of stimulating debates – from examining the relationship between people and the environment, to looking at how and why social norms develop. By studying sociology with politics one third of your modules will be politics. Sociology and politics are inter-related and co-dependent; politics responds to (and shapes) society and social change.

We’ll take an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of sociology and politics, situating social and political structures, processes and action within wider historical, economic and international contexts.

7 reasons to study sociology with politics here

Fulfilling careers: Top.3 London modern for graduate prospects in Sociology (Guardian University Guide League Table, 2017)
Great teaching: No.2 London modern university for Research Intensity and Research Quality in Sociology (Guardian University Guide, 2017).
Overall excellence: No.2 in London Modern Universities for overall score and graduate prospects in Sociology (Complete University Guide League Table, 2018).
Industry relevant: Recent graduates are now research assistants, school student mentors and charity workers - careers are likely in teaching, social work, marketing, public administration, the voluntary sector, social research, journalism and programme research.
Academic progression: Graduates can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods, MSc Development Studies and MSc Refugee Studies.
Voluntary work placement scheme: Enrich your CV and your awareness of working practice with a voluntary placement in the prison service, legal advice, youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.
Overall excellence: No.3 in London Modern Universities for overall score in Politics (Complete University Guide League Table, 2018).

You’ll cover the key historical and contemporary political, economic, and social issues and processes, and their inter-connectedness; the processes of internationalisation/globalisation and their impact on society, politics and policy; and the practical contribution of sociological and political concepts, theories and forms of understanding to problem solving and forging more socially just and sustainable global futures.

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
5 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus

Case studies


Year 1

  • Issues in contemporary sociology
    Issues in Contemporary Society covers key concepts in sociology and addresses issues such as migration,  race, gender and class. The focus throughout the module is how inequalities are reinforced through the changing nature of citizenship, sexualities, religion and mass media.
  • Social and political problems
    In this module sociology and politics students have an opportunity to explore how particular issues become identified as a social or a political problem.  Moreover they will be encouraged to explore how these problems are contested. In addition they will look at the implications of these problems for society and for politics.  Seminars and workshops will be used to develop students understanding of social and political problems but also to engage them in activities that develop key writing and study skills.
  • Introduction to political theory
    You'll be introduced to key ideas and concepts in political theory. These include democracy, freedom, justice and power. These ideas and concepts are explored in the social and historical contexts in which they developed. You'll also be encouraged to explore the way that these ideas and concept have been transformed historically and the manner in which they are mobilised in contemporary political debates.
  • Researching social life
    This module will introduce you to qualitative (with limited content related to quantitative) methods used by sociologists and other social scientists to conduct investigations. The module will look at a range of qualitative methods and different types and structures of data collected to illustrate how research works. In addition, lecture and other activities will demonstrate to students how to apply basic research methods and present results in a meaningful and informative way. In addition and primarily though the use of seminar reading, this module also aims to expose students to relevant critical issues which arise from carrying out research with a particular focus on issues related to race, gender, and class.
  • The sociological imagination
    You'll be introduced to some of the main questions raised about human societies.  The Module invites you to explore significant aspects of the origins and development of sociological inquiry within a historical context.  You'll be encouraged to read specifically selected pieces about key concepts and approaches to the study of social action in our societies.
  • Politics, decision-making and democracy
    The module is concerned with the key institutions and processes of British politics. It looks at the framework and the dynamics of the British system of government and aims to promote an understanding of the key issues and debates in contemporary British politics. There is a focus on the nature of power and its impact on decision making and policy development. The module looks at formal aspects of British politics including the role of political parties and the key role of ideology. Key institutions such as Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament and local government are investigated and analysed. The module looks also democracy beyond the formal realm including the role of pressure groups in the political process. There is also a focus on specific policy areas. 

Year 2

  • Social theory and modern society
    What is modernity and how has it shaped society and sociology? Across all the social sciences there is a powerful awareness that western society changed around the 1750s – in a word it began to become ‘modern’. This has been seen as a largely positive change by most people, politicians and sociologists. But what is involved in the change, how did it shape the West, what did this mean for non-Western societies, and has it all been positive? We will engage with all these questions, around issues of class, bureaucracy, rationality, order and the Holocaust.
  • Social research skills 1
    In the first half of this module students are introduced to basic issues in research design and methodology.  Topics covered include experimental design and random assignment, formulating research questions sampling and measurement.   In the second half of the module they learn the basics of statistical analysis and how to use SPSS.
  • Making identities: citizenship, race and nation
    This module examines the processes that have shaped key facets of identity in contemporary societies. It does this by exploring modern sociological approaches to the analysis of three key identities, namely those based on citizenship, race and nation. We'll situate the origins and development of the study of these phenomena in the context of debates about the formation of social identities in modern states and societies. By taking notions such as citizenship, race and nation and examining their inter-relationship we'll provide a critical analysis of key sociological debates about the making of social and political identities. You'll explore important theoretical questions and debates and encourages you to think critically about their utility for the analysis of specific historical processes and contemporary situations. You'll be encouraged to think across the different boundaries of race and nation, gender and sexuality, as well as locality or environment in order to understand the different interrelationships between these forms of identity formation and citizenship in the modern world. 

Plus three modules from:

  • European politics in transition
    The module looks at political processes in Europe in a comparative perspective. It aims to examine the factors that explain the continuity and stability of politics in Europe as well as the changes that have taken place over the last 2 decades. The module looks at ideology, power and decision making. There is a focus on political events and policy processes, looking at both individual nation states and the European Union. An organising theme of the module is the impact of the end of the cold war on the politics of Europe over the last 2 decades.
  • Global governance, regionalism and the nation state
    This module explores the contemporary multi-layered international system. We'll focus on the complex, dialectical (non-linear) economic, social and political relations between nation-states, regionalisation and globalisation. Regionalisation has emerged across the world, but is most developed in Europe. We'll also explore the role of international organisations in the global system, with particular emphasis on the United Nations system, including international financial institutions. In problematising one-sided arguments about the decline of the state, we'll critically reflect on state power and global inter-dependence in the 21st century. Assessment: international news diary (50%) and 2-hr exam (50%).
  • Globalisation and development
    This module introduces key concepts, issues and theoretical debates in development studies. The module focuses on the developing societies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America and seeks to develop a comparative analysis of the divergent developmental experiences of Africa and the BRIC economies. The module locates the debates and issues that it explores within both an historical and global context and encourages students to explore the inter-dependence of the developed and developing world.
  • The environment, sustainability and climate change
    This module provides a grounding in the study of the politics of environmental sustainability. The module focuses firstly on the debate on environmental sustainability which includes the challenge by environmentalists that it is a contradiction. Alternative approaches will also be examined including: green theory, the free market and Marxist approaches. The second part of the module looks at increasing global competition for water, food, energy and oil. The politics of climate change and deforestation; transport and tourism; global security and justice will also be covered. The third part of the course focuses on case studies of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability. We'll look into the IPCC; Copenhagen Climate Council; the Fair Trade Movement; Ethical Consumerism and the Environmental Movement.
  • Social research skills 2
    This module introduces students to the basics of qualitative research methodologies. You learn about central philosophical questions in the philosophy of the social sciences and how they relate to the qualitative/quantitative distinction.  You'll develop a range of qualitative data collection techniques ranging from interviews to archival research.  They are also introduced to different qualitative analytic techniques. Finally we'll investigate the ethical issues that are specific to qualitative research. We teach this module through lectures and workshops where you apply the principles you've learned to specific research questions.
  • Work Placement
    The optional Work Placement module is an opportunity for you to enhance your employability skills and to reflect upon these in a critical manner.

Year 3

  • Sociology research project (double module)
    The final year project is a two semester independent research project.  Students have the opportunity to carry out a piece of in-depth research on the subject of their choice.  It gives students the chance to make use of knowledge gained on the course, for example: subject knowledge as well as research methods knowledge.  In addition students have the opportunity to show their ability to engage in more independent learning by helping to develop their own research question, finding appropriate background literature, conducting a research project that they have designed and writing up their findings.
  • Politics and protest: new social and political movements
    This module examines forms of social and political conflict located within contemporary western societies. The main focus is on understanding social movements and forms of political contention in the changing social structure of these societies. Although it has a contemporary western focus, we'll situate discussion in the context of historical and comparative material on social movements. Our emphasis throughout will be on examining the ability of social and political theory to understand the nature of political identity and its expression in social movements both in the past and in the present.
  • American politics: ideology and power
    The module looks at the government and politics of the USA including selected aspects of political economy and society. Attention will be given to historical developments by examining political culture and the notion of American exceptionalism. There will be a focus on ideology and its link to religious and cultural values including an analysis of such phenomena as the 'Tea Party Movement'. Key institutions and issues analysed include the Presidency, Legislature and Supreme Court, the federal system, elections and electoral demography and political parties. 

Plus two modules from:

  • Race culture and identity
    This module addresses the centrality of race and ethnicity to social relations. We'll analyse race and ethnicity within a changing scholarship and within their historical, cultural, political and theoretical contexts. Theoretical understandings of the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality will also be explored, highlighting their impact on all aspects of people’s lives. The complexities of analysing race, gender and sexuality are applied to representations in cultural forms, such as media and film. We'll also demonstrates how the concepts covered have been influential in shaping public policy.
  • Sociology for the 21st century
    The world is changing. Huge advances in areas such as information technology, computing, communications, mobile devices, transport, and building techniques are changing the way we interact, do business, build cities, and go about our daily lives. How do the theories that have dominated sociological thinking relate to and comprehend these changes? Do we need new theories? This module will look at the latest sociological theories that are trying to understand what these changes are, how they affect society, and how sociology itself might have to change.
  • Contemporary dynamics of the world system
    This module explores the structures, dynamics and transformations of world orders and provides students with an understanding of international relations since the demise of the nineteenth-century Pax Britannica. We'll explore successive world orders, analysing the period of rivalry between the major powers (1875-1945), and the era of Cold War bi-polarity and Pax Americana (1945-1990). We'll focus on post-Cold War developments, including the rise of China, the debate on US empire and hegemony, and processes of globalization and transnationalisation. We'll also explore contemporary patterns of international disorder, including the developing multi-polarity and the rise of transnational Islamic activism. Assessment: seminar presentation (20%), 1,000-word book review (30%) and 2-hr exam (50%).
  • Diplomacy and conflict resolution
    This module examines the historical, theoretical, normative and practical aspects of diplomacy and conflict resolution, Having defined the key concepts, we'll explore a range of approaches to the subject, including political and legal approaches. Our primary focus is on the role of states but we'll consider international institutions and non-state actors, such as NGOOs, too. Key topics covered include: the nature and history and nature of diplomacy, the history of conflict resolution, the processes of conflict resolution including peace-keeping, humanitarian intervention, and responsibility to protect, including a critique of liberal interventionism. Assessment: blog on a recent international conflict resolution effort (50%), presentation (30%), participate in model UN event (20%).


As a graduate you’ll have developed critical skills: the ability to synthesise a range of information and data from a variety of sources; the ability to critically analyse a range of concepts, principles and practices within sociology and politics – and apply them at national and international levels; and you’ll have practical understanding of the requirements for initiating and carrying through sociological research in an analytical and theoretical way.

Career paths

A sociology degree can lead you down many routes – it depends where your passion lies; possibly working to help people or marketing and business. A sociology degree gives you the freedom to choose any number of career paths. This degree will prepare you for a variety of careers, including teaching, social work, marketing, public administration, the voluntary sector, social research, public relations, advertising, management, and media-related work, including journalism and programme research.

LSBU Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search.

As an LSBU student you have access to the Employability Service and its resources during your time here and for two years after you graduate.

Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or a placement/internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the career you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

  • Direct engagement from employers who come in to network with students
  • Job Shop – daily drop in service to help with, tailoring CVs, cover letters and applications, sourcing online resource, mock interviews and general job searching. One to one appointments for further support also available
  • Mentoring and work shadowing schemes
  • Higher education achievement report - The HEAR is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording student achievement, which acknowledges fully the range of opportunities that LSBU offers to our students.
    It pulls into one certificate: Module grades, Course descriptions, Placements, LSBU verified extra-curricular activities
  • Employability workshops - delivered free to students all year round on a variety of related topics
  • Careers fairs throughout the year to really focus your thoughts on a career after university

Find out about any of these services by visiting our student employability page


Voluntary work placement scheme

In keeping with our applied approach to social and policy studies this Department has a strong voluntary work placement scheme. Our students have found their voluntary work experiences to be highly valuable. Through them they contribute to real world situations linked to their subject of interest. In many cases such involvement has enabled students to maintain a relationship with the organisation, by becoming a topic for their dissertation or a continued working relationship. Placements ground a student's experience, provide confidence and immeasurably bolster a CV.

The importance of a placement

Work placements are encouraged for Sociology and Politics students. Last year students successfully completed varying placements including working in Simon Hughes consistency office (Bermondsey and Old Southwark) and a placement at the European Parliament in Brussels. Academic staff actively develop their networks with external organisations to enable placement opportunities.

Our social policy students have taken up work placements at Chance UK (a unique early intervention mentoring organisation who provide adult volunteer mentors to work with children aged 5-11 years at risk of developing anti-social behaviour in later life); Kairos in Soho (a pan-London LGBT Community Development Organisation); the Naz project London (a sexual health organisation that works to mobilise Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in relation to HIV and other sexual health concerns); Richmond Advice and Information on Disability (RAID); and Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) one of the UK's largest charities and voluntary organisations who aim to give older people the opportunity and choice to get more out of life.


Teaching and learning

You can expect to be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, small group exercises, individual and group projects/activities. These are supplemented by guest speakers from public, private and third sector organisations, as well as academia, which provide additional specialisms and real world contextualisation.

Interactive seminars and workshops support the lectures and encourage you to actively participate in free and open debate, with your peers,  sharing your knowledge and support amongst the diverse student body.

Scheduled teaching is supported and consolidated by private study structured by provision of comprehensive reading lists and core electronic resources, and the use of Moodle and other online teaching methods and resources.


Assessment methods are varied and include:

  • Annotated bibliography
  • Book review
  • Briefing paper
  • Case-study  
  • Content analysis
  • Data/statistical analysis
  • Document analysis
  • Essay
  • Exam - seen and unseen
  • Group presentation
  • Group report
  • Development of blog/forum articles
  • Literature Review
  • Organisational analysis
  • Journal log
  • Portfolio research proposal
  • Role play, eg model UN seminar presentation
  • Work-place report/log
  • Work-shop report
  • Project.

Entry requirements

2018 Entry

  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
  • A Level BCC or:
  • BTEC National Diploma MMM or:
  • Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits or:
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points

Visit UCAS for guidance on the 2018 tariff.

How to apply

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
5 years
Start date
Application code
Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

All full-time undergraduate students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using the University's Institution Code L75. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.

All part-time students should apply directly to London South Bank University and full details of how to do this are given on our undergraduate How to apply webpage.


Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £9250International fee: £13125
AOS/LSBU code: 4830Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK/EU £27750
International £39375

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Possible fee changes

Current regulatory proposals suggest that institutions will be permitted to increase fee levels in line with inflation up to a specified fee cap. Specifically, LSBU may be permitted to increase its fees for new and existing Home and EU undergraduate students from 2017/18 onwards. The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually, and additionally the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with inflation up to 4 per cent.


We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct tuition fee discounts and we encourage all eligible students to apply for our Access Bursary. New home full-time undergraduate students meeting eligibility criteria could receive a £1,000 cash bursary by joining us in the 2017/18 academic year. Find out more about all our scholarships and fee discounts for undergraduate students.

International students

As well as being potentially eligible for our undergraduate scholarships, International students can also benefit from a range of specialist scholarships. Find out more about International scholarships.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.

Applicant Open Days

To help you and your family feel confident about your university choice we run Applicant Open Days. These are held at subject level so students start getting to know each other and the academic staff who will be teaching them. These events are for applicants only and as an applicant you would receive an email invitation to attend the relevant event for your subject.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.

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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK/EU

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6100

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch
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