|Typical offer||AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM|
Sociology is a fascinating subject providing a critical understanding of all aspects of society and social life.
In studying Sociology you’ll develop an understanding of the contemporary world, human behaviour and the forces shaping society. You’ll examine social, political, historical, cultural and economic issues and study topics as diverse as class and social inequality, health and disability, globalisation, crime, countercultures, family life, gender and the development of cities.
The programme is specially designed to help you develop an understanding of how societies, institutions and practices came into being, how they work and might change in the future. This highly relevant discipline is particularly concerned with social transformation and in developing an insight into the major challenges facing contemporary society.
In addition to the core modules which will provide you with the theoretical framework and practical skills you need, you will be able to choose from a wide range of options reflecting the considerable research expertise of our academic staff.
Our flexible Single Honours programme gives you the opportunity to study for a BA or BSc depending on your particular interests. Both benefit from Exeter’s distinctive emphasis on cultural Sociology and you’ll be able to take modules on topics such as the Sociology of music, sport, warfare, religion, science and technology, health, addiction, and the media.
Your degree will provide you with the insight into contemporary society, practical and transferable skills sought after by major employers and relevant to a wide range of careers in the private, public and third sectors including business, journalism, marketing, social research, teaching, retailing, human resources, overseas development, government and the Civil Service.
Each year, you can elect to take options outside of Sociology, for example to develop skills attractive to employers such as language proficiency; to examine an issue you’ve covered in one of your Sociology modules from a different disciplinary perspective; or to widen your horizons and challenge yourself intellectually.
In your core modules you will learn to use logical and systematic methods of analysis to reveal patterns of social action. These will include qualitative research methods such as conducting interviews, focus groups and visual analysis; learning how to design your own research projects; and obtaining an overview of the use and interpretation of quantitative data.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The 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 each year 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.
Entry requirements 2019
AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.
*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.
International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Humanities, Law and Social Science.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and practical exercises, with an increasing emphasis on seminar discussion and project work in the second and third years. You should expect around 10 contact hours per week in Year 1 and will need to plan additional hours of private study per module. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time.
Regular tutorials will give you the opportunity to discuss oral and written assignments with your tutor, together with a small group of other students. These personal contacts are very important in developing staff-student relations and for getting to know your fellow students. Our programmes help to develop skills and understanding so that you can take increasing responsibility for your learning in more specialised seminar-based modules.
We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with academic staff who are at the cutting edge of research and academic debate and you’ll benefit from an innovative curriculum inspired by leading research.
A Personal Tutor will be assigned to you to give advice and guide you through your studies. The Student-Staff Liaison Committee gives you the chance to discuss and review the degree programmes, including existing and planned module content, through regular meetings with departmental staff.
Our undergraduates have established a popular Sociology Society which meets several times a year and organises a seminar series with members of staff to provide an arena outside the formal teaching structure in which staff and students can discuss sociological issues.
You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.
Assessment includes formal exams and assessed coursework, including essays and projects as well as practical assignments and field work notebooks. Formal exams contribute about 40 per cent of your overall assessment.
A four year ‘with Study Abroad’ degree programme is available. A full year abroad, at one of our partner institutions, is generally taken in the third year of a four year degree programme. You can apply directly for the four-year 'with Study Abroad' programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at Exeter. An opportunity to study for one semester at an overseas partner institution may also be available to those studying over three years. More details about study abroad options and destinations can be found on the College of Social Sciences and International Studies study abroad web pages.
Sociology provides you with an excellent all-round education, combining subject-specific knowledge and expertise with a wide range of transferable skills sought after by employers. These include:
- Qualitative research skills including interview techniques, focus groups, sensory analysis
- Interpretation and use of qualitative and other data
- Research project design and the use of appropriate methodologies
- High standards of written and oral communication including formulating an argument, presentation and interpersonal skills
- Collation and interpretation of evidence
- Organisational skills and ability to meet deadlines
- The ability to work independently and within a team
Our programmes are demanding and encourage you to develop personal skills such as initiative, open mindedness, and creativity. The aim is to ensure that you’ll be well equipped with a range of academic, personal and professional skills, which will prepare you for future employment or research in a wide variety of fields.
Many of our graduates choose to follow their degree with employment or further study in people-focused fields in the public and not-for-profit sectors, such as central and local government and with charities. Others choose to use the more generic skills developed on the course to follow careers in business and management. Here are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates of University of Exeter Sociology programmes:
- Audit Assistant, KPMG
- Teaching Assistant, Exeter Academy for Deaf Education
- Broker, ICAT
- Legal Service Manager, Law at Work
- Graduate Library Trainee, Bodleian Libraries
- Client Officer, Immediate Financial
- Intern, Tickets for Troops
- Graduate Trainee, National Skills Academy
- Marketing Assistant, Scholastic
Examples of further study followed by our graduates:
- MRes and PhD (ESRC studentship) University of Leeds
- MSc Research Methods, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- MA Gender Studies, University College London
- MA Philosophy and Sociology of Science, University of Exeter
- MA International Relations, University of Exeter
- Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law, Guildford
- MA Marketing, Business School, University of Exeter
Developing your skills and career prospects
We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. As a student within the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, you will be able to access a range of specific activities such as careers skills sessions and employer-led events, or seek bespoke advice and support from our College Employability Officer. The University of Exeter's Employability and Graduate Development Service also organises a busy schedule of activities including careers fairs, skills workshops, and training events, and can advise on graduate opportunities and volunteering. Visit our employability web page for more information.
You have the option to undertake a work placement through the Learning from Work Experience in Social Sciences module (SSI2001).
You will be encouraged to research and reflect on a range of work-related questions such as the nature of an organisation and your role within it, employment practices including induction, health and safety procedures, self-appraisal and continuing professional development.
By practising specific skills for employment, including the writing of CVs, application forms and supporting statements, you will become better prepared for the world of work beyond university.