Sociology

Sociologists study all aspects of the human world including social actions, structures, beliefs, power and representation. A Bristol sociology degree offers you a thorough grounding in the subject, as well as opportunities to specialise in new areas of research conducted by academics at the forefront of the discipline.

You will receive a world-class education in a friendly and intellectually vibrant community. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad, allowing you to develop an understanding of sociology that goes beyond national boundaries.

Why study Sociology at Bristol?

Bristol is home to some of the UK's leading sociologists, with research strengths in citizenship, modern slavery, multiculturalism, gender, family, migration, theory and culture. All staff contribute to teaching on our undergraduate degrees.

Sociology courses at Bristol are located within the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, giving them an international flavour and making you part of a larger group of peers with interests in both the social and the political.

Forms of assessment include essays, presentations, seen and unseen examinations, case studies and research projects (dissertations).

On our Single Honours Sociology courses you have the chance to spend a year or semester studying abroad.

Sociology is a partner in Bristol Q-Step, which is part of a national initiative offering enhanced skills training in the social sciences.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Sociology students are as diverse as the subject itself. You are interested in the world around you, from small-scale interactions to large-scale economic and ecological phenomena. To you the world is a puzzle: why are things the way they are, and how could they be different?

You are inquisitive and independently minded, questioning rather than automatically accepting what you are told. That independence also feeds into your working practices, and you will be able to find and critically engage with a range of sources that reflect the diversity of the subject.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Most units are taught through a combination of lectures and small group seminars. Each unit has three timetabled hours and lecturers hold two open office hours per week for further discussion.

Units are assessed in a variety of ways, including seen and unseen exams, essays, case studies, presentations and reports. Normally, each unit will include two pieces of assessment. In the first year the balance of essays and exams is roughly equal. Most second-year units and specialist units have mixed forms of assessment.

What are my career prospects?

Sociology students acquire excellent research and analytical skills, equipping them with a valuable skill set for employment.

Our graduates are in great demand and go on to a wide range of careers, including publishing, the media, journalism, teaching, public relations, social work and market research. Most enter full-time employment within six months of graduation. Around 20 per cent continue in education, progressing on to higher degrees and courses in sociology, law and teaching.

Read more about what students from sociology go on to do after graduation

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

Subject leaflet

Download the Sociology leaflet 2017 (PDF, 360kB)

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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