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.
By taking the social policy pathway, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of policy-making processes and social issues. You will tackle emerging questions about solving inequality, welfare, education and healthcare. You will learn how to use your knowledge and skills to make and influence policy at local, national and global levels. You will analyse the most pressing contemporary social policy issues and gain vital experience in how to respond to and shape the policy agenda. On the social policy pathway, you will be wrestling with crucial emerging social debates and getting hands-on experience of doing policy work. This pathway is ideal for anyone who wants a career pushing for changes to improve the lives of millions of ordinary people all over the world.
Here at LSBU we will help you focus on your future through our core work-experience module in the second year. We will develop your abilities as investigators of society and we will 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 (Social Policy) at LSBU?
- Ranked 1st for Sociology among London moderns for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide 2022)
- You will be 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.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
|ModeFull-time||Duration3 years||Start dateSeptember||Application codeL300||Application method UCAS|
London South Bank University student union is located at 103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA.
Walk or bicycle
The University is in easy walking distance of underground and leading overground stations. We are only 20 minutes away from the Thames. We encourage walking and cycling and have bicycle racks on campus. Please check the Transport for London cycling website for London cycling maps and route planners.
LSBU is very well connected, and a large number of buses travel to and connect in the Elephant and Castle area from across London.
By train or tube
The Bakerloo and Northern lines stop at Elephant & Castle underground station, which is right next to campus. The closest rail stations are Elephant & Castle, London Waterloo and London Bridge. To plan your train journey, visit the National Rail website.
London South Bank University does not provide public parking space. There is a limited amount of parking in the area, so we strongly advise using public transport.
Do consider the Congestion Charge if you are driving through London to reach the campus. Find out if you'll be crossing the Congestion Charge zone to reach our Southwark Campus.
TfL journey planner
You can travel to Southwark Campus by using public transport, plan your journey using the Transport for London journey planner.
Entry Level Requirements
- 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
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
Choose your country
Select country here:
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
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.
The course is not currently open to international students.
International (non Home) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
|Mode Full-time||Duration 3 years||Start date September||Application code L300||Application method UCAS|
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.
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 and 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 Sciences in the Contemporary World
This module provides an introduction to the study of social sciences and their global significance through an examination of key concepts and approaches to the subject. Each year, the subject matter will explore topical issues, current examples of which include the rise of #BLM, COP26 and climate change and sustainability. The selected issues will form the basis for the development of academic literacy and higher education skills in weekly workshops.
- 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).
- Contemporary Policy Making
This module introduces students to social policy, covering the mechanisms, actors, and organisations involved in policymaking. It will look at the frameworks within which policy makers act. The module will encourage students to apply and develop their understanding of policy through following contemporary social policy issues as they unfold during the module. Students will analyse and critique the developments in their areas of interest during the course of the module. By engaging with policymakers and policy processes, students will gain practical experience of seeking to make and shape policy.
- 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.
- Social Justice and Social Policy
This module will take an in depth look at some of the most significant issues in contemporary British Social Policy in recent times. It will use in-depth case studies, which chart the development of and previous attempts to solve policy issues, before looking at the current state of the field and future needs. Students will be able to develop detailed knowledge of areas of interest to them, and use this to deepen their knowledge of policy processes. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to place the case studies within the context of social justice and British society.
- 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.
- Challenges in Global Social Policy
This module will take an in depth look at some of the most significant issues in contemporary British Social Policy in recent times. It will use in-depth case studies, which chart the development of and previous attempts to solve policy issues, before looking at the current state of the field and future needs. Students will be able to develop detailed knowledge of areas of interest to them, and use this to deepen their knowledge of policy processes
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.
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 taught by research active academics whose work is internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum. Recent work includes work on identity, race and gender, and an investigation of the British Aristocracy that has had national media attention: https://inews.co.uk/news/long-reads/aristocrat-uk-britain-families-double-wealth-empire-exclusive-study-498179
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.