Studying sociology at LSBU means learning to see the world though a different lens. You will be guided to dig deep into contemporary social questions by expert, experienced and enthusiastic academics doing cutting-edge research. You will join an academic community committed to social justice and dedicated to helping students fulfil their potential. Sociology at LSBU provides you with the opportunity to grapple with many current issues such as globalisation, gender, religion, sexuality, identity formation, nationalism and more.
The Black Studies pathway is designed to enable you to develop a deeper understanding of race and racism which, thanks to the activism of the #Black Lives Matter movement and its allies, is now back on the political agenda. In Year 2 you will explore the history of empire and analyse its social, political and economic legacies. This will provide a solid basis for understanding the power dynamics of racial inequalities in the present. In Year 3 you will explore the ways in which Black communities have responded to racial injustice. Theories relating to the social construction of ‘race’ will also be explored, enabling you to engage with confidence with issues of identity – notably how identities are formed, lived and expressed.
Here at LSBU we help you focus on your future through our core work-experience module in Year 2. We develop your abilities as an investigator of society and we develop your skills and confidence in key areas to help you turn your degree into an excellent career.
By the end of your time at LSBU you will have a balance of theory, practice and experience that will deepen your understanding of yourself and the world, and, what is more, give you the tools to be an active agent for change across the globe.
Why Sociology (Black Studies) at LSBU?
Ranked 1st for Sociology among London moderns for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide 2022)
Taught by nationally and internationally renowned academics engaged in exciting, cutting-edge research.
Excellent preparation for a career in teaching, social work, marketing, public administration, the voluntary sector, social research, journalism and research.
Be part of an academic community dedicated to social justice and global responsibility - with an inspiring schedule of guest speakers, events, volunteering opportunities and exchange of ideas.
Do a work placement in Year 2 that will enrich your CV and awareness of working practice.
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.
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.
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.
Suggested reading list
It is valuable to do some preparatory reading for the course, we suggest:
Macionis, J. and K. Plummer (2011) (5th edition)Sociology: a global introduction, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Fulcher, J. and J. Scott (2007) Sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Giddens, A. (2009) (6th edition) Sociology, Cambridge: Polity Press
This course provides you with valuable knowledge and the ability to think critically about a range of topics within Sociology. You will also gain transferable skills, which will provide you with a solid background to starting your career in different fields.
We use a range of assessments that include essay writing, critical analyses of websites, blogs and presentations. The Sociology degree incorporates formative assessments in the form of a quizzes, peer assessed presentations and annotated bibliographies. About 75-90% of your assessment will be coursework depending on your year of study and option choices.
Global Issues in Sociology This module provides students with a grounding in key issues in contemporary society, with a particular emphasis on the societal effects of globalization. These effects are dynamic and global in nature and impact on the key themes addressed in the module. These include: migration and 'race', gender, class, the changing nature of citizenship, sexualities, religion and the mass media. An important focus throughout the module is on how inequalities are reinforced but may be challenged via active citizenship and civic engagement around social justice issues.
Power, Inequality in Civil Society In this module we will explore a series of problems related through the general ideas of power and inequality. We will explore how power and inequality are related through a series of case studies. We will examine both how these issues are contested and the implications of these problems for society and for politics. Seminars and workshops will be used to develop students understanding of these related problems in a way that will help develop both analytical and practical skills for learning.
Social Science in the Contemporary World: Themes, concepts and higher education skills. This module is an introduction to some of the major themes and events in modern world history. It begins with an examination of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. It moves on to look at the Industrial Revolution, national unification movements in Italy and Germany in the nineteenth century, Empire, the First World War and the ideologies of Fascism, Nazism and Soviet Communism. It looks at the impact of key historical figures such as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler and their impact on the shape of the modern world.
Researching London life How does sociology actually do research? In this module you will learn some of the major qualitative methods used by sociologists and others. You will develop your understanding of, and skills for, interviews, focus groups and visual contents analysis. We’ll do this through lots of activities from running your own focus group to visiting London city spaces and taking photos. This will not only help develop your methods skills in a really practical and interesting way, but will also set you up with some key employability skills. We will use London as our laboratory!
The sociological imagination: from revolutions to big data Students will be introduced to some of the main questions raised about human societies. The module invites students to explore significant aspects of the origins and development of sociological inquiry within a historical context. They will be encouraged to read specifically selected pieces about key concepts and approaches to the study of social action in our societies.
Social justice in action This module develops students’ understanding of the concept of social justice (as a goal and a process) and its wider implications. The module also encourages students to focus on their interests, motivations, skills and abilities in employability terms and make connections between their studies and their future careers. Central to the module is a career and networking event. This event will provide students with the opportunity to meet and speak with individuals working in organisations concerned with social justice, particularly individuals who have themselves overcome challenges relating to their gender, race, class, age, sexuality, religion etc. Front line staff such as police officers, probation officers, social workers; activists, campaign work, researchers to voluntary sector representatives will be involved. Alumni will also contribute to the event.
Gender, sexualities and society This module focuses on sociological understandings of the related concepts, gender and sexuality. It offers comprehensive theoretical overviews of gender and sexuality. It challenges the binary distinction of gender construction by exploring alternatives such as transgender and gender fluidity. The module explores the intersections of gender and sexuality with race, ethnicity, social class and geographic location and how they can reproduce inequalities. An in-depth approach to the study of gender and sexuality is provided by covering the following areas: masculinities, femininities, bodies and sexualities: homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality and their historical, cultural, social and political dimensions
Social Research Methods This module introduces students to key concepts, methods and techniques used in social research. Students learn how to evaluate the methodological choices of researchers and to conduct their own social research. Students are introduced to both qualitative methods in the first half and quantitative methods in the second half. Within each half the module focuses on evaluative criteria (e.g. ethics and measurement validity) for social research, data collection methods (e.g. qualitative interviews and surveys) and data analytic methods (e.g. grounded theory and statistical methods).
Decolonisation and Legacies of the British Empire The contested legacies of the British empire shape both Britain and the spaces it formerly colonised. This module allows students to explore the social, cultural, political and economic impact of British imperialism across a range of geographies, as well as their interconnectedness past and present. Post-colonial theory will serve as a basis for understanding how the history of colonialism has shaped ideas about race and nation, and material realities in the colonies and the metropole. Students will consider the impact of empire on the colonised communities that lived through and with it, including the issues relating to religious and ethnic identities, the division of land and the establishment of new nations. Students will also consider how the experience of empire has shaped the politics of whiteness in the present.
The Making of Modern Society: the dark and the light Modern societies see themselves as beacons of light and ‘goodness’. But is there darkness, danger and harm built in to being modern? This is the fundamental question of this module. Along the way we will also ask: How did societies become modern? What does being modern mean? Have modern societies lived up to their own ideals of liberty, opportunity and respect for the individual?
Working in the Social Sciences This module provides an opportunity for students to work in settings related to their studies and, more generally, gain meaningful workplace experience in which to apply their social scientific learning. It will also reinforce their studies through the application and integration of relevant workplace experience into the academic context. Voluntary and community sector organisations, charities, academic research and most political organisations are particularly suitable for work placements, although much can also be learned from placements in commercial settings. Students who do not secure a formal external placement will form groups to work on an applied project related to LSBUs 9 identified UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Environmental Justice, Sustainability and Climate Crisis This module addresses the social and political dimensions of ecology. It examines defining features of the concept of (environmental) sustainability, introducing various political perspectives. We will see how local and global environmental risks demand new forms of urban, national and international governmentality. The module will discuss how societies affect and are affected by changes in the natural environment. Finally, we will engage with how climate change impacts on our understanding of time, including how we imagine the end of the world. Throughout the module, we will research and look at the activities of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability.
London: crime and social exclusion This module uses London as a case study for a discussion of the cultural, social, and spatial effects of crime and social exclusion. Using both historical and contemporary examples the course will discuss the following themes: poverty & crime, spatial stigma, race & policing, gender, sexuality & crime, security and urban design, the city at night, cultural representations of criminal London. Through these themes the course will explore how social difference and criminalisation interact to produce the city. Students will develop the capacity to relate debates surrounding crime and criminology to the spatial & social politics of urban space.
Youth, crime and delinquency This module provides an overview of the development of youth crime as a specific area of criminological inquiry and a distinct jurisdiction within the criminal justice system. The Module considers the development of ‘delinquency’ as a specific field of intervention and investigation. It gives particular attention to the evolution of youth justice policies and examines current literature in relation to the strengths and limitations of the contemporary youth justice system.
Research project This level six double module covers two semesters and consists of the research for and completion of an academic project with a 9000-word limit. Each student chooses a subject relevant to the study of Sociology or Criminology in which they wish to specialize, and then uses the skills and knowledge that they have accumulated and developed through modules studied at previous levels to undertake and complete the project. During the whole process, from choice of subject to final submission, each student will have the support and guidance of a supervisor allocated for this purpose.
Sociology for the 21st century: from networks to artificial intelligence 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, work, organise 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.
Black Political Thought and Activism This module explores the Black political thought and the ways in which it has shaped different forms of activism over time. You’ll critically examine concepts relating to the construction of race including theories of ‘political blackness’, the ‘Black Atlantic’, ‘Pan-Africanism’, ‘intersectionality’ and ‘decolonisation’. You will explore key areas of political campaigning including antislavery, decolonisation, civil rights, education, criminal justice and Black Lives Matter. Films, documentaries, music and political speeches will be analysed. You’ll visit libraries and archives including the Black Cultural Archives.
Research project (continued)
Politics and protest 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.
Race, Culture and Identity This module addresses the centrality of race and ethnicity (including whiteness) to social relations. It provides an analysis of 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. The module also demonstrates how the concepts covered have been influential in shaping public policy.
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.
A sociology degree gives you the freedom to choose any number of career paths, including, and media-related work, including journalism. Our courses –prepare you for a range of careers in the media, education, local government, the civil service, research, public relations, advertising, management, marketing, teaching, social work, public administration, the voluntary sector and more. Enhance your employability by taking part in our employability events and choosing a work placement module in Year 2.
Our graduates have forged exciting careers in research, public relations, teaching, advertising, retail, management and the civil service. Others have continued their studies with Master programmes.
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.
Our academic staff actively network with external organisations to enable placement opportunities. We hold relationships with MP constituency offices and parliamentary offices, as well as various voluntary organisations. Relationships are being built with the likes of Lambeth Council and Race on the Agenda (ROTA).
Optional Work Placement
Students will complete a work-based learning module as part of their second year where they will complete an optional work placement or take part in other forms of work-based learning. In the past, our students have volunteered with charities and criminal justice agencies, with local authorities, on programmes ranging from rehabilitation of offenders to victim support and campaigner groups. Through these, students contribute to real world situations linked to their subject of interest. In many cases, students maintain a relationship with the organisation they volunteer for. Placements ground a student's experience, provide confidence and bolster a CV immeasurably.
Our 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)
Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS)
Teaching and Assessment
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.
Brief assessment outline
All modules are assessed by a combination of coursework, essays, exams, presentations, reports, case-studies, reviews and final year dissertation. About 75-90% of your assessment will be coursework depending on your year of study and option choices.
Research active academics and Open Research Groups
You'll be encouraged to attend and participate in the research seminars and events organized by various different research groups including;
Race, gender and sexualities
Space, place and society
Crime and justice
Critical autism/disability studies
Sustainability: policy, practice and pedagogy
Law and access to justice
Education and social justice
Sociology staff are actively engaged in research and organise research events, conferences and seminars at LSBU and other universities throughout the year. There are several research groups regular research discussion, and occasionally larger events open to the public. Over the past two years we have welcomed Prof. Alex Vitale from New York as a visiting professor and held a public event with Prof. Alex Vitale and Gary Younge, editor-at-large for The Guardian newspaper.
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.