Course aims

To develop your theoretical understanding of sociological issues and research methods used by sociologists to gather information on human behaviour (e.g. educational achievement, religious beliefs, political ideology).

Entry requirements

You will require a grade 6 or higher in English language and a grade 6 in a humanities subject.

Course content

Year One

Unit 1 – Education with methods in context

Topics include:

  • Sociological theories and research methods and their application to the study of different sociological issues
  • Education including the difference in achievement between different social groups, sociological theories of education and changes in educational provision in the UK since the 19th century.

Unit 2 – Research methods and family and households

Topics include:

  • The different sociological research methods, their strengths and limitations including practical, ethical and theoretical issues
  • The family and households including sociological theories of the family, changes in divorce, marriage and cohabitation, changes in family structure, family diversity, single parenthood, single person households, the development of childhood, the change in roles of family members and social policies and their influence on the family.

Year Two

Unit 3 – The Media

Topics include:

  • The new media and their significance for an understanding of the role of the media in contemporary society
  • The relationship between ownership and control of the media
  • The media, globalisation and popular culture
  • The processes of selection and presentation of the content of the news
  • Media representations of age, social class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability
  • The relationship between the media, their content and presentation, and audiences.

Unit 4 – Theories and methods and crime and deviance

Topics include:

  • Different sociological research methods, their strengths and limitations including practical, ethical and theoretical issues
  • The different sociological theories and sociology as a science
  • Crime and deviance including theories of crime, differences in criminal participation between men and women, social classes and ethnic groups and global crime
  • Crime statistics and how they are constructed, the differences in levels and types of crime in different areas.

Course assessment

Written examinations.


Recommended text books to be advised by the tutor.


Higher Education, work in teaching, probation, police, nursing, social work, human resources and research.