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Human Rights and Sociology BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time LL23 2019
2020
4 years full time including sandwich year LL26 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year L2L3 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to University 2019

Why choose this course?

How does gender and race influence human rights? How does global inequality impact human rights?

This course focuses on the social factors which affect human rights, examining human behaviour, relationships and society. This course is taught in collaboration with Kingston University's new Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice Practice. You will engage with current issues as a researcher, activist, campaigner and blogger, under the supervision of human rights and social justice specialists at the centre.

The course has flexible modules so you can study a combination of politics, sociology, criminology and history to suit your own areas of interests. You will develop comprehensive skills in research, numeracy, data collection and analysis, teamwork and communication.
Kingston's proximity to central London enables you to participate in lectures, workshops, talks and political events in the capital and expand your knowledge beyond the classroom.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say:

What you will study

In Year 1, you will be introduced to key concepts in sociology and human rights, to understand and engage with issues in social justice. There is a focus on developing key study skills, such as the ability to read critically.

In Year 2, you will continue to develop your study skills, and engage in comparative analysis. You will take two core modules in Securing Human Rights, and How to Change the World. You will also start to specialise in your main interests through a choice of flexible modules.

In Year 3, you will undertake an advanced research project with a real focus on expanding your research skills. You will also choose from a range of specialist modules such as Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, and War and Society.

Foundation year - Social Sciences

You can also study this course with a Foundation year. Find out more >

Module listing

The course has flexible modules so you can study a combination of politics, sociology, and criminology to suit your own areas of interests. 

Year 1

  • This module for first year undergraduates in the Department of Politics is designed to support them in adjusting to higher education studies. It contains four main components which are meant to work together towards this goal:

    1. Study and research skills section;

    2. Substantive section on political ideologies and revolution;

    3. Personal tutorship scheme;

    4. Academic peer mentor scheme.

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  • This module is core for students doing Politics or International Relations full fields and Human Rights as a half-field (either internal or external). It can be taken as an option by some students in related fields who are interested in learning about human rights. The module outlines the central themes in the history and evolution of human rights and introduces students to theoretical debates within the field. Through case studies of particular forms of human rights violations, it evaluates the political and legal structures in place to address these violations and assesses the degrees of success human rights actors have with enforcement. Over the spectrum of international, regional and local institutions and mechanisms, this module explores a range of organisations working within the field of human rights and looks at how they operate. This module embeds employability skills relevant to the field of human rights by providing students with the opportunity to apply their conceptual knowledge to practical situations designed to simulate working for human rights organisations. As an introduction to the subject, this module looks at the relationship between theory and practice within the field of human rights, and uncovers the challenges faced in defending, protecting and promoting human rights in the 21st century.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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Year 2

  • This module is a core requirement for students taking Human Rights at level 5, and can also be taken as an option by students in related fields. The module introduces the contested and evolving relationships between the theory and practice of securing human rights.

    It starts with an overview of key frameworks and mechanisms designed to secure rights at the international, regional and domestic levels.  A central feature of the module is to introduce key critical themes, from which issues can be dissected and analysed through a range of contemporary and international case-studies.

    Themes may include:

    • Human Rights, Security and Forced Migration', which analyses the way in which the issue of forced migration brings together a variety of legal, political and security debates.
    • The Politics of Human Rights in Development', which examines the recent convergence of the fields of human rights and development (inclusive of ‘the right to development' and the proliferation of ‘rights-based approaches to development').
    • Rights in the aftermath? Truth, Justice and Reconciliation', which examines the globalization of transitional justice discourses and the propagation of different mechanisms (ranging from International Criminal Tribunals, to national truth commissions, to local justice initiatives).
    • And, ‘Indigenous Peoples, Rights and Beyond' that engages with central issues surrounding indigenous peoples' claims, whilst also probing the gravity of particular contested issues (such as ‘the right to self-determination' and broader ‘sovereignty' challenges).

    The module concludes by asking: what is the future for human rights? 

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  • 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?   

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Year 3

  • This module is the 'capstone' module for all half-field Politics, International Relations or Human Rights students. Working in small groups, students will be provided with the skills and support necessary to embark upon, complete and present a final year research project. The initial focus of the module will be on small groups of students working to familiarise themselves with an area of staff research expertise, under close supervision of that subject matter expert. This will be made possible through the establishment of a range of staff-led, research-orientated 'reading groups', to which students will sign up. During the first half of the module, students will also receive training in project design and implementation, to complement and consolidate the research methods training received at Levels 4 and 5. The research skills and foundational subject knowledge acquired in the first part of the module will allow students to embark upon their own research project as the year progresses. Individual projects will reflect student interests and desired focus, but will remain embedded within one of the areas of Politics, International Relations and/or Human Rights offered by staff as an initial 'reading group'. The student-led research projects will be presented at the end of the year in an undergraduate academic conference: Themes and Issues in Politics, International Relations and Human Rights.

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  • 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.

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Optional year

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.

Most 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).

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020 3308 9929*

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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