Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

BSocSc Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

Sherita Tam

Manchester gave me the chance to pursue the degree I yearn for.

For this reason, I made it my first choice.

Sherita Tam / BSocSc Sociology

The BSocSc Sociology degree is the study of social life and social change.

It adopts the perspective that individual behaviour can only be understood by studying people's social context and their webs of connection.

An investigative `myth-busting' discipline, we critically examine core assumptions about social life.

Research and teaching are often motivated by the desire to improve or challenge the conditions of life and society, and sociology provides a critical perspective on how and why we might change our social worlds.

Lecturers are engaged in research on a range of sociological topics, specialisms include:

  • social division and inequality;
  • social movements;
  • sustainability and environment;
  • social theory;
  • globalisation and social change;
  • cultural practices and consumption;
  • media and technology;
  • work and economy;
  • personal life (family, intimacies and sexualities);
  • survey methods and qualitative research;
  • cities and urban life; and
  • ageing and social gerontology.

Special features

  • Our teaching received a 90% satisfaction rating from students and was ranked top in the country for research.
  • Excellence in research feeds into teaching so you are taught by experts with a real passion for their subject.
  • We give you guidance on study skills and employability throughout your degree with the `Sociology Futures' programme. It has a successful peer mentoring scheme and student society.

Professional experience opportunity

You have the option of boosting your employability through a paid professional placement year.

You can apply in Year 1 or 2, extending your course to four years. You will complete your placement in your third year, before returning to University to finish your final year.

The degree title will include 'with Professional Experience', giving you the added advantage of relevant work experience when entering the competitive graduate jobs market.

Paid placement opportunities

You can apply for a paid Q-Step internship between Years 2 and 3. This is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience and make future contacts. Recent placements include the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, and the College of Policing.

Study abroad

You can apply in Year 1 to spend a semester abroad in Year 2. If you are successful, you will put together a package of course units at your host university in consultation with your Academic Exchange Advisor in Manchester.

Teaching and learning

Course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars where you explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are also key elements in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing, and presentations.

You are assigned an Academic Advisor who can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

The range of methods is designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding, including:

  • essays, coursework and other mid-term evaluations;
  • dissertations;
  • presentations and group projects; and
  • exams.

Course content for year 1

Each year of study consists of 120 course credits. Each course unit is worth between 10 and 40 credits.

Year 1 introduces you to sociological theory and methods of enquiry.

The aim is to offer something new to those who have completed A Level Sociology, as well as providing a basic foundation to those who have not.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Contested Foundations of Social Thought SOCY10421 20 Mandatory
Contemporary Social Thought SOCY10432 20 Mandatory
Researching Culture and Society SOCY10440 20 Mandatory
Crime and Society CRIM10001 20 Optional
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society SOCY10401 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10442 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional
Understanding Social Media SOST10012 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you will develop your theoretical and substantive knowledge and receive training in research methods that prepares you for conducting independent research in Year 3.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Mandatory
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Mandatory
Explaining Crime and Deviance CRIM20412 20 Optional
Work, Economy and Society SOCY20031 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20232 20 Optional
New Media SOCY20241 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20282 20 Optional
Social Class and Inequality in Britain SOCY20601 20 Optional
Family, Relationships and Everyday Life SOCY20701 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20961 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Year 3 focuses on the specialist units which build on the research expertise of our staff, as well as the opportunity to conduct your own piece of research.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Drugs and Society CRIM30601 20 Optional
Gender, Sex and Politics POLI30232 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 20 Optional
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30042 20 Optional
Urban Sociology SOCY30061 20 Optional
Body and Society SOCY30141 20 Optional
Secrets, Lies & Mass Deception SOCY30152 20 Optional
Identity, Power & Modernity SOCY30171 20 Optional
A Sense of Inequality: Everyday Understandings of Inequality SOCY30241 20 Optional
Alternative Economies - Ordinary Economies SOCY30252 20 Optional
Power and Protest SOCY30461 20 Optional
Visualising Society & Social Life: Photography in focus SOCY30522 20 Optional
Dissertation (20 credits) SOCY30920 20 Optional
Dissertation B (40 credits) SOCY30930 40 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

If completing a year professional placement, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.


The University of Manchester Library is one of only five National Research Libraries and one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country. It includes:

  • more than 4 million printed books and manuscripts;
  • more than 41,000 electronic journals;
  • 500,000 electronic books;
  • several hundred databases.

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state-of-the-art study and learning centre featuring:

  • exclusive group learning rooms;
  • flexible break out and work spaces with multimedia facilities;
  • workstations with live update availability information so you don't have to wait;
  • Wi-Fi access throughout the building, including outdoor areas;
  • charging stations;
  • workshops on library and information literacy, academic and study skills, and career and employability skills clinics.

Whether you want to take in a performance, delve deep into our past or view works of art, we've got something that will entertain you. Attractions include:

  • John Rylands Library
  • Whitworth Art Gallery
  • Manchester Museum

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: