Skip to main content

Study information

Programme Specification for the 2024/5 academic year

BSc (Hons) Sociology

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Sociology Programme codeUFS3HPSHPS01
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2024/5
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

By studying for a BSc in Sociology you will gain a thorough analytical understanding of broader developments in a globalised world down to everyday interactions in a wide variety of social settings. In addition to this, you will get a rigorous training in research design in the social sciences and statistical data analysis with R, a software environment for statistical computing and data science. This will equip you for careers in professional and academic fields in which research skills are key, from applied social sciences to marketing, organisational studies and consultancy work. As a discipline, sociology provides a critical understanding of society by examining a wide range of social activities from intimate personal relations to the operation of political and economic institutions. Students will examine cultural and economic issues such as identity, employment, inequality, deviance and health. Our sociology modules cover diverse subjects including music, media, cyborg studies, technology, terrorism, addiction, sexuality, ethnicity and immigration, and other subjects.  You will also benefit from our strengths in the sociology of health and illness and our cross-disciplinary provision in criminology, areas where evidence based sociological expertise is particularly relevant. Studying Sociology at Exeter will equip you with a full range of critical analytical perspectives as well as research methods to start your own exploration of the nature and complexity of human social life.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To provide you with a teaching and learning programme informed by a vibrant research culture.
2. To provide you with excellent learning opportunities for undergraduates in Sociology.
3. To enable you to develop into graduates who will be useful, productive and questioning members of society.
4. To enable you to develop into graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Sociology through a combination of modules which develop a deep understanding of how societies, institutions and practices of all kinds came into being, how they are currently organised, and how they might change in the future.
5. To enable you to develop into graduates who are competent in the specific skills required in Sociology.
6. To enable you to develop into graduates who are competent in core academic skills.
7. To enable you to develop into graduates with a wide range of generic and transferable skills.
8. To offer you a wide range of choice within the programme of study, insofar as this choice is consistent with the coherence and intellectual rigour of the degree.

The Programme will: 

Provide an excellent Honours-level education in Sociology, which meets the criteria for Honours level awards as set out in the FHEQ and the University’s statement of Levels and Awards, and which meets the standards set in the national Subject Benchmarking statements for Sociology. 

Facilitate graduates to become useful, productive and questioning members of society. 

Provide a stimulating and supportive environment for students that is informed by research and scholarship. 

Work in partnership with students to produce graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Sociology through a combination of modules which develops a good understanding of how societies, institutions and practices of all kinds came into being, how they are currently organised, and how they might change in the future. 

Offer a structured framework of study which ensures that within the time span of the programme every student follows a balanced and complementary range of modules, whilst allowing sufficient choice to ensure that students are able to follow individual areas of learning. 

Work in partnership with students to produce graduates who understand the various methods which Sociologists use to study human societies; and who can analyse the organisation and development of societies and gain competence in dealing with the various types of evidence and the methodological problems associated with studying historical and contemporary cultures. 

Develop students’ competence in the subject-specific skills required in Sociology through practical engagement with primary and empirical data. 

Expose students to different teaching and assessment methods within an appropriate learning environment, supported by feedback, monitoring and pastoral care. 

Provide a range of academic and personal skills which will prepare students from varied educational backgrounds for employment or further study, which will foster mental agility and adaptability, and which will enable them to deploy their knowledge, abilities and skills in their entirety, displaying balance and judgement in a variety of circumstances.

4. Programme Structure

The programme is studied over three years full-time. Study is undertaken in three stages, with each stage comprising 120 credits made up of either 15 or 30-credit modules, which contribute towards the degree. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload and one credit is nominally equivalent to ten hours of work. The ‘level’ of a module (designated by the first number in the module code) indicates its position in the progressive development of academic abilities and/or practical skills.

This degree programme contains compulsory and optional modules and as part of the degree programme students may take up to 30 credits a year in another discipline outside their main degree subject, after they have met the compulsory requirements (specified below).

All students must study the specified core modules and the specified amount of optional modules. 

In each year students will normally take modules worth 120 credits in Sociology, in second and third years they may drop up to 30 credits of Sociology options (with the exception of core modules) to take modules that are not listed in the programme specification under the University’s modularity rule.

Modules and other study components can be taken only with the approval of the College; options are offered each year at the discretion of the Colleges. A module may be taken only if the necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, if the timetable allows, and if the module or an equivalent module has not been taken previously.

Assessment at Stage 1 does not contribute to the summative classification of the award which is based on a degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for Stages 2 and 3, combined in the ratio 1:2.

In exceptional circumstances you may exit this award with a Certificate of Higher Education in Sociology where you have achieved 120 credits at Stage 1 or a Diploma of Higher Education in Sociology where you have achieved 240 credits across Stages 1 and 2, with at least 90 of these from Stage 2. 

 

5. Programme Modules

https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/studyinformation/modules/?prog=sociology

The BSc Sociology degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits in years 2 and 3 in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Stage 1


The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of sociological theory, methods and concepts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

90 credits of compulsory modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOC1001 Social Analysis 30No
SPA1000 Imagining Social Worlds 30No
SSI1005 Introduction to Social Data 15Yes
SSI1006 Data Analysis in Social Science 1 15Yes

Optional Modules

30 credits of optional modules.

View option modules here

 

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

 

Stage 2


In the second year you will advance your grasp of sociological knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

60 credits of compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOC2005 Theoretical Sociology 30No
SSI2004 Research Design in the Social Sciences 15No
SSI2005 Data Analysis in Social Science 2 15No

Optional Modules

60 credits of optional modules.

View option modules here

 

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

 

Stage 3


The centre-point of the final year is the 30 credit Dissertation module. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. In terms of optional modules, you must choose 90 credits worth of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SSI3019 Quantitative Dissertation 30Yes

Optional Modules

90 credits of optional modules.

View option modules here

 

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

 


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate an analytical understanding of Sociology, taking into account different sociological perspectives, modes of social analysis and their concomitant theoretical and conceptual frameworks
2. Indentify the social, political, historical, and economic origins of Sociology.
3. Show knowledge of a variety of methods of social investigation, including ethnographic and survey methods, questionnaire and interview design
4. Exemplify and explain social, psychological and personal issues in a specifically sociological manner
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the social organisation, economy and cosmology of a range of societies
6. Show knowledge of some of the main challenges in obtaining and conveying information about a range of societies
7. Demonstrate understanding (at increasing depth, according to level) of issues (increasingly complex, according to level) arising from the subject matter of the elective modules taken.

 

1. Is developed on all modules, and is a core aim of the whole programme.

2.-4. are developed initially through lectures, seminars and essay work for,SOC1001, SPA1000, and are developed on subsequent modules.

5-6 is developed through similar methods on, SSI1004 and SOC1001, SPA1000, and further developed on subsequent modules.

7. Is developed through the optional modules taken. The level of competence expected of students intensifies at each stage of the programme.

1-7 are assessed through term-time essays, oral presentations, examinations, Project and Dissertation work

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources
9. Show awareness of contrasting approaches to research
10. Understand and demonstrate the different uses of qualitative and quantitative data, and evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages
11. Show awareness of the basic philosophical questions arising from academic research.
12. Develop and deploy arguments grounded in theoretical frameworks.
13. Identify problems of reliability and bias in, and more generally evaluate, empirical evidence
14. Produce accurate reference to sources in written work.
15. Answer questions concisely and persuasively in written work
16. Present work and answer questions orally.
17. Deploy complex terminology in a comprehensible manner
18. Focus on and comprehend complex texts.

8-18 are developed throughout the degree programme, but the emphasis becomes more complex as students move from stage to stage. They are developed through lectures and seminars, written work, and oral work (both presentation and class discussion).

8-18 are assessed through Term-time essays, oral presentations, examinations and, where applicable, Research Methods Project and Dissertation work,

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

19. Undertake independent research and ability to work to deadlines. Present an argument orally in a clear, organized and effective manner
20. Develop familiarity with research and writing software relevant to the discipline
21. Digest, select and organise material for written work and oral presentations, and write to varying word lengths.
22. Evaluate your own work.
23. Participate in oral discussions; present and evaluate complex arguments and ideas orally; digest, select and organise material for oral presentations.
24. Work with others as part of a team.
25. Contribute to group work, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups.
26. Plan the execution of work over a long time scale.
27. Think and write broadly about large themes
28. Use library and the world-wide web to find appropriate and relevant information.
29. Collate data from a range of sources

19 is an essential part of the successful completion of the programme but is addressed in the dissertation.  
20 is developed through training and application of relevant software throughout the programme

21 is developed through essay and presentation work throughout the programme.

22 is developed throughout but especially in SSI2004 and the dissertation (and through the self-appraisal in the inter-semester week).

23 is developed through seminars, which form part of all modules.

The skills in 24 and 25 are developed to some extent in all modules, through interaction in seminars and in discussion with tutors about essay work, and in response to criticism both collective and individual. However, there is particular emphasis on

26 is especially developed in SSI2004 where students  design and conduct a piece of sociological research.

27 is developed through the Dissertation at stage 3, which has a single end of year deadline, and also in SSI2004.

28 and 29 are developed through all modules.

 

The skills in 19, 20 and 21 are assessed in all modules. 21 is covered by the fact that students write essays, which are formatively and summatively assessed, of differing lengths and in the Dissertation. 22 Is assessed implicitly throughout, and aided through the student self-appraisal system that takes place in the inter-semester week of Spring Term. 26 is formally assessed in SSI2004. 27 is covered by the Dissertation. 23, 24, 25, 28 and 29 by all modules.

7. Programme Regulations

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

Classification

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

As an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies you will be allocated a Personal Tutor at the commencement of your studies.  In normal circumstances your Personal Tutor will remain your tutor throughout your study programme. Your Personal Tutor is normally available through scheduled office hours, but should also see you as a matter of course three or four times a year (depending on your year of study); these meetings may typically commence soon after registration. These meetings will take place once or twice mid-year to discuss your progress and to perhaps consider Personal Development Planning (ePDP) and once to discuss your overall performance. The ePDP is a particularly useful developmental tool which you are encouraged to utilize and which is accessible though the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

You should feel that you are able to approach your personal tutor for advice, pastoral support or academic support in a wider sense.

Library, ELE and other resources provided to support this programme:

The Library offers you core services for learning and research.  Whilst the various locations house a large collection of materials and services, many of our resources are available online through this website  http://as.exeter.ac.uk/library/  for you to use at home, work or wherever you are located for your study. Each discipline has a subject librarian on hand to help you to find resources and we also work with tutors to digitize reading lists for inclusion in the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) is used throughout the University to make course materials

available online. You will be able to access module information, presentations, handouts, reading materials as well as interacting with other students and your tutors. Many tutors use ELE to run assessments and set coursework assignments. In addition to the materials provided by your tutors, there are various other resources available on ELE to help you in your studies, for example, you will be able to access your ePDP, the University’s online PDP system, which has been developed to help you keep an ongoing record of your academic, work and extra-curricular experiences, and help you develop action plans and personal statements.

The University provides a range of IT services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis). In the Social Sciences and International Studies College this includes a 24/7 suite in Amory, based in the Law Library and a second one in the St Luke’s Campus Library. These suites are accessible by swiping your university card.  The majority of the College also has access to the university’s wireless network. Network access is available from the majority of rooms in University halls of residence through the ResNet system. At St Luke’s there is also a college-based open access suite (South Cloisters 14) providing access to another 20 machines. Entry is again made by use of your university card and it is open from 8.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday. All of these suites have the standard ‘palms’ printing systems in them (printing from credit held on your university card).  At the St Luke’s Campus there is also a cash-based printing service at the GSE Print Unit based in South Cloisters. Please see link below for further information on the IT Services facilities on the Exeter Campuses: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/forum/public/Study_map_A4_2pp_Term3.pdf

Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and Cornwall campuses.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee  enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

10. Admissions Criteria

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Sociology

19. UCAS Code

L303

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits

360

ECTS credits

180

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Sociology
[Honours] Anthropology

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/10/1995

Date of last revision

22/03/2023