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.
This course will provide you with a richer understanding of the complexity and diversity of modern life. Sociology explores human societies, cultures and behaviour from a global perspective. You'll study cultural diversity and the construction of social identities based on sexuality, religion, race, gender and class.
We 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.
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2019.
Why Sociology with Politics at LSBU?
- No.2 in London Modern Universities for overall score and graduate prospects in Sociology (Complete University Guide League Table, 2018).
- 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.
- Graduates can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods, MSc Development Studies and MSc Refugee Studies.
- Enrich your CV and awareness of working practice with a voluntary placement in the prison service, legal advice, youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.
- No. 1 in UK for teaching in Politics (National Student Survey 2018).
You’ll cover the key historical and contemporary political, economic, and social issues, considering the processes of internationalisation/globalisation and their impact on society, the practical contribution of sociological and political concepts, as well as how to forge more socially just and sustainable global futures.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 will examine forms of social and political conflict characteristic of contemporary western societies. The main focus will be on understanding social movements and forms of political contention in the changing social structure of these societies. Although it has a contemporary western focus the course will situate discussion also in the context of historical and comparative material on social movements. The emphasis throughout however will be on examining the ability of social and political theory to understand the nature of political identity and its expression in social movements.
- 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%).
A sociology degree gives you the freedom to choose any number of career paths, 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.
However, it is the social and welfare profession – working as a social workers or a counsellor – which is probably the most popular career choice for sociology graduates.
Counsellors spend time with people, generally on a one-to-one basis, helping them to talk about themselves in a safe and confidential environment. Social workers provide support and assistance to a host of individuals, families and groups, from the homeless to people with learning and physical disabilities.
The starting salary for full-time counsellors is usually around £19,000-£26,000 a year, although part-time and voluntary work is quite common. Private practice counsellors generally charge £30-£50 an hour. (National Careers Service)
Improving your employability
We’ll enhance your employability through our thriving volunteering project, where students can work for the police service, the prison service, legal advice, victim support, domestic violence and child abuse agencies, as well as for youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.
Recent graduates from this course have become Research Assistants, School Teachers, School Student Mentors, Charity Workers and Marketing Assistants.
If you graduate from this course, you'll be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level, including for a place on our full-time or part-time MSc Refugee Studies.
The academic strength of this course means that you can also consider entering the field of academic research.
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Dr Matthew Bond is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Course Director of the Sociology undergraduate programme.
Dr Budd specialises in International Relations, with interests in international theory, imperialism, and globalisation. His last book analysed neo-Gramscian international relations theory.
Dr Chris Magill is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and the Course Director for the MSc in Criminology and Social Research Methods in the School of Law and Social Sciences and Course Director for the MSc in Criminology and Social Research Methods.
Edwin is a Lecturer in the Social Sciences Division, teaching and conducting research in politics and criminology.
Teaching and learning
Year 1 class contact time is typically 9 hours per week. In addition, you'll be expected to devote time to independent study and attend personal tutorials.
Research active academics
You'll be taught by research active academics whose work is internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum.
Online learning resources
We also provide extensive virtual learning resources with access to core texts whenever you need it. You'll be assigned a personal tutor to help you settle in, and a wide range of support is available through LSBU's student services.
Personal Academic Tutoring
As an undergraduate Law and Social Science student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first semester at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will have appointments with your personal academic tutor at least three times a year for 15 minutes throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional support by email or sign up for an appointment slots advertised outside your tutor's office.
- 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.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
For full-time courses, please send your applications through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using our code L75. UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.
For part-time courses, you can apply directly to the University.
For more details on how to apply (full-time and part-time) see our how to apply page.
Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
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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.
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £13125|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4830||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.
Select a story 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
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Welcome Week pages.
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