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Sociology BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time L300 Clearing 2016
2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2016
2017
Joint honours: see course combinations for UCAS codes

Why choose this course?

  • Study contemporary social issues in London, one of the world's most dynamic cities.
  • Join our vibrant department in making sociology work for change.
  • Tackle global social problems: inequalities, migration, war, climate change.
  • Innovate for the future through creative and cultural practice.
  • Award-winning teaching: 'Taking Race Live'.

National Student Survey 2016

The latest National Student Survey (NSS) results for 2015/16 show that overall 94% of Sociology BSc(Hons) students at Kingston University are satisfied with the quality of the course. This builds on previous year's results and reflects our commitment to engaging with students and responding to their needs.

Develop critical spirit

The world faces an uncertain future. We need to question established ways of addressing social problems and to find new solutions, both locally and globally. Our cutting-edge research at Kingston will stimulate and inspire you to be part of this challenge. You are the rising generation of global citizens. We look forward to nurturing your curiosity and hearing what you have to say.

Employability – a degree that leads to jobs

Today's creative economy demands a range of skills provided by the Sociology BSc(Hons). You will gain experience highly relevant to growing sectors such as think-tanks, NGOs, governmental and international organisations, and local and urban agencies. We offer you a platform to meet like-minded people from different backgrounds on one of most diverse campuses in the UK. Together we help you build new networks and work collectively to translate ideas into practice in order to become an entrepreneur for social change.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

What you will study

Sociology is all about people and society. It is concerned with how we influence one another as individuals and groups, and the ways in which wider social factors affect what we do and how we think. Sociology challenges our prejudices and assumptions.

The Sociology BSc(Hons) explores questions about the nature of society, human relationships and behaviour. It looks at issues around power and inequality, social change, conflict and development.

You will also take part in the annual School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology themed week. During one week, regular teaching is put on hold for a series of workshops, presentations, discussion and reading groups on a contemporary social issue, all led by expert speakers. Our 2014 Gender Week and 2015 War and Peace Week were great successes. We look forward to your participation in 2016's Race and Ethnicity Week.

Watch these short videos to find out why some of our students chose this course:

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • Contemporary Issues in Sociology has two key objectives. The first is to provide the theoretical grounding necessary to becoming a sociologist. It introduces students to some of sociology’s key thinkers and tracks the historical development of sociological theory from ‘classical’ to 'contemporary'. It presents a critical account of theory and by the end of the module students will have a repertoire of theory available to them. The second objective is to make theory ‘useful’ by offering the professional tools necessary to apply it to a range of fresh, contemporary social issues.

    Students are expected to demonstrate their full engagement with the module by keeping a regular, up to date personal research diary. This diary will be used to produce research notes relevant to everyday experiences and students will be expected to reflect on these experiences within the context of the theoretical discussions in the lectures. Students will be expected to discuss their diary entries in seminars.

    The module teaches theory and its application and provides an appropriate theoretical and skills grounding for Levels 5 and 6.

     
  • MODULE SUMMARY  

    A key task of sociologists is to understand the routine aspects of everyday life. This module will focus your attention on how researchers have utilised a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods to develop attentiveness to the seemingly mundane that is everyday life and how lives are lived at the junctures of self, family, culture and social worlds. This module aims to ground your understandings of everyday life through practical application of methods and data analysis. You will gain hands-on experience of research skills throughout the module that can be applied to future study and employability

     
  • This module introduces students to some of the major theoretical and analytical perspectives surrounding contemporary approaches to self and identity, drawing on sociological, psychological and psychosocial perspectives. It explores the inseparable interweaving of the social and the psyche, the individual self and social structures, the psychological and the socio-political. More specifically, the module looks at the complex interrelation between the social, psychic and affective dimensions that constitute human subjects and how they operate to articulate and negotiate relationality, intimacy, material and embodied practices, emotions, belonging and identities. The first part of the module will address and discuss a number of key concepts related to the formation and negotiation of self and identity and how they have been understood and theorised in sociology, psychology and psychoanalysis. The second part of the module will identify a number of key issues which will be analysed with reference to the key concepts and theoretical perspectives discussed in part one.

     
  • Violence, Transgression and Society engages with the question of who is policed and why. It analyses the definition of particular kinds of behaviour as problematic and charts an expansion of disciplinary practices towards transgressive behaviour and violence. It explores responses to transgressive and violent people by governments, policies, organisations and popular culture. It shows that responses are shaped by historical and social context, geographical location, and social identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sex, class, faith and age.

    In the first semester students learn about histories of transgression and violence, and systems of social regulation and control. Students start to think about what behaviours are disciplined, why and by whom. In the second semester we investigate what social discipline looks like today through a focus on contemporary responses to social problems. Students learn about the criminalisation and control of events like riots and anti-social behaviour, and social ‘groups’ like social housing tenants, homeless people, ‘problem’ families, sex workers, ‘chavs’ and gang members.

    Throughout the module, the question of who is policed and why is explored through real-world events and issues. Case-study examples are used to think about transgression and violence in contemporary society as global phenomena, and questions of social and racial justice. Students bring academic knowledge to those real-world events and issues in weekly interactive workshops and the module assessment.

     

Year 2 (Level 5)

  • Module Summary: 

    Through TV, newspapers, and other forms of media we are continually told that we live in a fast-moving globalised world. Yet whilst ‘globalisation’ is now a common term, what it entails and how it affects our lives is often more difficult to discern. Focusing on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of globalisation, this module exposes the different dimensions and implications of global social change. Opening with a critical examination of the meaning and competing definitions of globalisation, it moves on to examine: processes and theories of uneven global development, international inequality, the evolution and changing face of global capital, the significance of global environmental risk, the creation of global cultures and the transformation of local culture, migration and transculturalism, the rise of global cities and the urban experience, and the significance of global networks. Although not a pre-requisite, this module is also a good preparation for students wishing to study Migration and Social Transformation (SO6022) in level 6. The module will help to prepare students for a variety of professions in which knowledge and understanding of international and global social processes is relevant.

     
  • Building on SO4001 ‘Contemporary Issues in Sociology’ and SO4003 ‘Social Selves’, this module will develop the concept of ‘the sociological imagination’, first outlined by the US theorist C. Wright Mills to indicate “the vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society” (1959). Although Mills was writing in the post-war era, the concept can be traced back to the development of the discipline as it emerged in response to the challenges of social life in industrial cities of the 19th century. Hence this module will use a range of classic and contemporary thinkers to address the double role that sociology has inherited from its origins: not just to understand the world, but to try to change it. This problem will be explored within the context of the city as a strategic unit of analysis in order to understand wider processes of modernisation, industrialisation and the subsequent onset of postmodernity and post-industrialism.

    By studying original texts and placing them within their social and historical contexts, students will deepen their understanding of the discipline’s critical engagement with different aspects of social life. There will be a strong focus on London with opportunities for fieldwork.

    The module will be team-taught and will address the underlying questions: what role can sociologists play in tackling different forms of social injustice and inequality?   

     
  • Module Summary

    This module provides students with a critical insight into key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice, social control and punishment.  It encourages students to think critically about the role of the state in the regulation of behaviour and provides an overview of key changes that have occurred in the field of crime control and criminal justice. The first part of the module is dedicated to developing understanding of the concepts of ‘policing’ and the ‘police’. Key issues confronting contemporary policing are explored together with an enhanced awareness of the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed.
    Debates about policing are situated within broader debates of social control and governance, with a critical appreciation of the police function and role. It also considers the implications of globalisation for policing both at an organisational and conceptual level. The second part of the module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a critical examination of contemporary
    debates on the purpose of punishment. Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates on the use of punishment to address criminality and will consider the purpose of punishment in modern societies. This will be accompanied by an examination of different forms of punishment including an in-depth exploration of the use of imprisonment and comparative penal systems.

     
  • This module focuses on historical and theoretical conceptualisations and methodological approaches to researching ‘race’ and ethnicity in contemporary society. Key questions that are interrogated on the module are: In what ways do the researcher and participants’ racial and ethnic identities impact on the research process? In what ways are race and ethnicity shaped, and in turn shape, the experiences of class, gender, sexuality and religion? How do they intersect with other forms of social difference to affect relations of power and privilege? What are the ethical dilemmas of doing such research? How are different social contexts shaped by, and shape, race and ethnicity? What are the ways in which individuals, groups and communities challenge racism in order to raise awareness and contribute to social change? Throughout the module students will work to expand their critical thinking and research skills, make meaningful connections between theoretical concepts and lived experience, and to better understand how experiences of race and ethnicity interact with broader social structures.

     
  • Module Summary

    The concept of creativity and the associated notions of creative industry, class and city have become synonyms of an inclusive, prospering and cohesive society in contemporary neoliberal times. Creative industries such as music, film, media, publishing, filmmaking and the performing arts have become key cultural and economic players in contemporary global societies. At the same time they have also become powerful vectors of gentrification and participated in the reinforcement of racialised and class-based social divisions. Creative industries are also strategic and growing sectors of employment for young people, who are often offered stimulating professional possibilities in exploitative working conditions.

    In this module you will use a range of analytical tools from sociology and cultural studies to examine the structure, history and workings of the creative industries. You will explore how creative sociological methodologies can respond to the challenges posed by researching creative societies. You will gain hands-on experience of research skills that can be applied to future postgraduate study and careers in the creative industries by drawing on research and professional expertise from academics and creative professionals working at Kingston University and in the London creative industries. The module will provide you with internship opportunities (to be pursued in the context of the placement module) in a range of leading creative enterprises and organisations

     
  • Crime, Media, and Policy is designed to provide second year undergraduate students with a critical introduction to the field of crime and the media.  The module provides a historical foundation to the subject before reviewing key media and criminological debates against twenty-first century concerns about crime and deviance. The syllabus develops to explore criminological theory, crime in media culture and the complex interactions between consumers and producers.  The module is designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to critically engage with debates about crime news reporting, media and moral panic, media constructions of women and children, crime fiction, film and television crime drama, crime and surveillance society, and crime online.  Direction to core factual material and substantive material will be provided via StudySpace, with weekly lectures and seminars used to explain and explore key concepts, and present visual material for dissemination and discussion.   

    On completion of the module you should be able to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the concepts of crime and deviance within the media, and the ability to engage critically with debates and developments within this controversial sphere of criminological theory and public policy. You should also be able to undertake a content analysis and show that you can apply appropriate context and theory to set questions on crime, media and associated policy.

     
  • This module provides students with a critical insight into key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice, social control and punishment.  It encourages students to think critically about the role of the state in the regulation of behaviour and provides an overview of key changes that have occurred in the field of crime control and criminal justice. The first part of the module is dedicated to developing understanding of the concepts of ‘policing’ and the ‘police’. Key issues confronting contemporary policing are explored together with an enhanced awareness of the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed. Debates about policing are situated within broader debates of social control and governance, with a critical appreciation of the police function and role. It also considers the implications of globalisation for policing both at an organisational and conceptual level. The second part of the module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a critical examination of contemporary debates on the purpose of punishment. Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates on the use of punishment to address criminality and will consider the purpose of punishment in modern societies. This will be accompanied by an examination of different forms of punishment including an in-depth exploration of the use of imprisonment and comparative penal systems. 

     
  • This module considers what is understood by the term youth, as a social category and life stage, and explores young people’s lived experiences. As such, it examines the history of youth culture and subcultures and styles, and critically considers the notion of ‘problem’ youth and societal responses to this including intervention and multi-agency working. Bringing together sociological, criminological and cultural studies theory from Level 4, the module considers youth from both an individual and structural view point. We will also look at how we have come to deal with young offenders in the youth justice system and considers the contradictory messages about welfare, diversionary measures, human rights, punitive justice, managerial and crime prevention discourses and strategies.

    Semester One:

    Semester one considers the social construction of youth, and the important role that social structures play in the establishment of social identities and subcultures, and how youth create a sense of belonging, which will be explored through gang culture and radicalisation.  In doing so, students will engage critically with key social and political debates effecting young people’s lives, and this will include notions of conformity, crime and deviance. It will also look at street culture, the war on terror and imprisonment with some insights from international perspectives and globalisation. 

    Semester Two:

    Semester two will further develop these notions of ‘deviance’ and explore concepts of ‘problem youth’.  Students will examine how young people are constructed and understood in policy and political discourse and managed as ‘offenders’ and ‘victims’ of crime. This second part will include an international perspective on youth justice, requiring students to consider how the criminal justice system can provide ‘justice’ for young people. It will look in more detail at youth crime intervention, multi-agency working and ‘policing’ youths.

     

Year 3 (Level 6)

  • Module Summary

    This module provides students with an opportunity to develop their own sociological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of their choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. These skills, involving an ability to organise and plan work effectively and autonomously will enhance their employability.

     
  • Module Summary:

    This is a level 6 core module that draws upon both criminological and sociological debates and knowledges. Students will learn by observing and undertaking work-based practice. The principle underlying this module is that worksites are important contexts for students to test, validate, expand upon, supplement and enrich their academic learning. The module requires students to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork in an organisational setting. The form that the fieldwork will take will depend upon the type of placement secured, but, typically it may involve interning, shadowing or volunteering in subject relevant placements (for example across social justice, criminal justice/crime prevention, welfare and support fields). Whilst in their placements students are encouraged to think about the social aspects of organisations and working life, including their structural forms, interpersonal relationships and their practices. Students will be supported in securing their placement at level 5 in preparation for the commencement of the module at level 6.

     
  • Global migration has intensified rapidly since 1960, with the UNPD estimating an increase from 80 to 210 million by 2009. It has become a contentious political topic with far-reaching consequences for contemporary societies, and arguably for established sociological paradigms (e.g. methodological nationalism). The module will equip students to understand and investigate in depth the social dynamics of migration and its consequences, and enable them to offer informed and critical comment on contemporary debates (e.g. media coverage of migration, on the economics of migration, and on migration’s consequences for social solidarity). It offers students the opportunity to build on interests and skills developed at Level 5 (e.g. in International Perspectives and Sociological Approaches), and broadens the department’s offering at Level 6 to a new area of contemporary social relevance.

     
  • This module provides students with an opportunity to develop their own sociological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of their choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. Students will also work together to organize a student conference at which they will present their work, thereby learning the skills of event organization and management as well as have an opportunity to disseminate their dissertation to a wide audience. These skills, involving an ability to organise and plan work effectively and autonomously will enhance their employability.

     
  • The module studies the role played by race in all aspects of the criminal justice systems in the United States and United Kingdom. It takes as its point of departure Professor Paul Gilroy’s 1993 concept of the ‘Black Atlantic’ as a cultural-political ‘space of hybridity’ involving Africa, America, Britain and the Caribbean, and we use that concept to examine the extent to which crime and the criminal justice system have been politicised.

    The module concerns itself with the shifting politics of race within the criminal justice system. Among other topics, it explores historical representations of race and crime; press and media depictions of black male offenders; racial profiling and the ‘othering’ of female offenders; and the commodification of prison that has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world.

    Other focal areas include racial disparities within the criminal justice system, the politics of punishment and sentencing, and empirical, theoretical, practical and policy issues. The module addresses issues of representation, the production of knowledge, the historical contexualisation of minority experiences in theoretical perspectives, and the ethical duties of criminologists working within minority experiences.

    The module includes a field trip to Bristol to explore the history of immigration and emigration as it relates to crime. 

     
  • Many social theorists argue that the prospect of ‘endless war’ will be an abiding feature of the 21st century. Terms such as ‘securitisation’ and ‘militarisation’ are increasingly used to describe the condition of contemporary societies, whether or not their armed forces are engaged in combat and/or ‘peacekeeping’ roles in other parts of the world. As the lines between ‘war’ and ‘peace’ become increasingly blurred through the idea of the ‘war on terror’ and so-called ‘hybrid’ wars, the impact of past and present wars on our social imaginaries can often remain hidden or unexamined in the study of key sociological and criminological themes.

    This module aims to encourage students to develop a critical awareness of the ways in which war, militarism and militarisation influence contemporary social relations and culture.  Taking the UK as a primary case study in a variety of comparative contexts, this module will explore the effects of war in shaping nationhood, identity, class, gender, race, culture and citizenship in postcolonial European societies. The focus will be largely on civil societies and noncombatants although the political, social and cultural aspects of military institutions will be a significant component.

    While the module will be based within a sociological and criminological framework, a variety of disciplinary and methodological approaches will be used, including cultural history, social policy, visual analysis, media studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies and citizenship studies.

     
  • This module will explore various sociological theories of consumer society. It will examine consumption within national and international context and will look at the development of consumerism throughout the twentieth century to the present day with a particular focus on the escalation of global ‘branding’. A range of approaches will be employed to study and understand consumption within a political, cultural and historical setting.  Students will also consider key cultural, social and political processes involved in consumer behaviours and practice and contemporary sociological debates of commodification, commercialisation, capitalism and globalisation. The module also examines deviant and sometimes criminal consumer practices such as looting, shopping ‘addiction’ and international trading laws.

     
  • Module Summary:

    This module explores the social intersections between gender, race and class. It begins by examining historical conceptualisations of these terms and intersections, and the social and civil movements that challenged how these terms were considered in both women’s and men’s lives. From the beginning, the module will introduce you to a wide range of feminist approaches in order to make sense of various intersections of gender, race and class. In this module you will consider how such categories and intersections contribute to identity constructions and contestations. You will reflect on these elements within contemporary examples of everyday life – for example, consumption, families and intimacies, education and sport. Upon completion of this module you will have expanded your skills in critical reflection and analysis of social intersections and inequalities.

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Clearing hotline

0800 0483 334*

If you are calling from outside the UK, please call:

+44 20 8328 1149

*Calls are free from a landline. Mobile charges may apply – please check with your provider.

Ask a question about this course

Arts and Social Sciences Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2378/2361
Email us

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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