BSocSc Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

What I love about Sociology at Manchester are the range of options that were able to study. From the Sociology of Human Animal Relations to Sustainability, Consumption and Global Responsibilities.

There's always something new to learn and the chance to expand your sociological thinking. The lectures are engaging, and tutorials give a chance to explore ideas further and have exciting discussions. My degree has given me the chance to take research into my own hands and explore a topic that I'm passionate about.

Georgia Shaw / Sociology student
BSocSc Sociology 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:

  • decolonial thought;
  • race and ethnicity;
  • migration;
  • 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

Award-winning teaching

Sociology staff have won Faculty of Humanities Outstanding Teaching Awards, and have been nominated for various teaching awards including the Manchester Students' Union Awards.

Excellence in research feeds into teaching, so you are taught by experts with a real passion for their subject.

Professional Experience Year opportunity

You can apply in Year 1 to do a Professional Experience Year. If you meet the criteria, the Professional Experience Team and Careers Service will work with you to find a placement in your second year.

You will then complete your Professional Experience Year in third year extending your degree to four years. Your degree title will be extended to include 'with Professional Experience'.

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.

Study abroad  

You can apply to study overseas for a year at one of our partner universities.

You apply in Year 2 to spend a year abroad in Year 3.

If successful, you will put together a programme of study at the host university in consultation with your Academic Exchange Advisor, to complement your studies at Manchester.

You will then come back to Manchester to study for a fourth year and graduate with a degree title including ‘with International Study'.

See The University of Manchester Study Abroad pages.

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;
  • exams.

Course unit details

Each year of study consists of 120 course credits.

Each course unit is worth between 10 and 40 credits.

Course content for year 1

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
Environment and Society SOCY10201 20 Optional
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society SOCY10402 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10442 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Optional
Getting Personal: Intimacy and Connectedness in Everyday Life SOCY10471 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional
Understanding Social Media SOST10012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

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 SOCY20032 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20231 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20281 20 Optional
Decolonising Sociology SOCY20302 20 Optional
Politics, Power and Everyday Life SOCY20311 20 Optional
Youth, Politics & Activism in Contemporary Europe SOCY20411 20 Optional
Families, Relationships and Everyday Life SOCY20702 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20961 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

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
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30042 20 Optional
Cities and Urban Life SOCY30061 20 Optional
Racism and Resistance in Education SOCY30102 20 Optional
Identity, Power & Modernity SOCY30171 20 Optional
Material Culture: The Social Life of Things SOCY30192 20 Optional
A Sense of Inequality SOCY30242 20 Optional
Sociology of Mental Health & Illness SOCY30261 20 Optional
Connections matter: Sociological Applications of Social Networks SOCY30292 20 Optional
Security, Radical Uncertainty and Global Pandemics SOCY30352 20 Optional
Power and Protest SOCY30462 20 Optional
Social Thought from the Global South SOCY30501 20 Optional
Art and Society SOCY30731 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 16 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

If you complete a professional placement or study abroad in Year 3, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.

Disability support

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