BSc (Hons)

Part-time study available
Overseas study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Sociology at Salford


Sociology helps us understand and tackle difficult social questions, and provides insights into the world we live in and how it works


You will be taught by staff who are internationally recognised experts, which ensures their engaging teaching is at the cutting-edge of academic understanding


You will be equipped with transferable skills in areas such as research, ICT, critical thinking and advanced problem solving, which will provide you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a diverse range of professions

Course Summary

Do you find yourself questioning and challenging conventional assumptions about the world we live in? Sociology is concerned with understanding social life and our place within it. It helps us understand and tackle difficult questions, such as issues of poverty, immigration, privacy and social unrest, as well as providing insights into our cultural and everyday lives. Sociologists have for decades been providing answers to difficult government and policy questions, informing industry and challenging inequalities.

The social sciences have a long and well established history at the University of Salford, having been taught here since 1954, and today, the sociology subject group continues to be extremely strong both in terms of its teaching quality and research excellence.

Course Details

A Sociology degree from the University of Salford will equip you with insight into key theories and approaches to understanding the social world, and transferrable skills in areas such as research, information communication technology, critical thinking and advanced problem solving — all of which will equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a diverse range of professions.

You will be taught by teaching staff who are internationally recognised experts in their fields of research, which ensures you will be at the cutting edge of academic understanding, and you will be able to study a diverse and engaging range of subjects, such as those dealing with crime, the legal system, social unrest and riots, the media and popular culture, cities, bodies and much more — ensuing that your time at Salford will be productive, valuable and provide a platform for future successes.

Course Structure

Year 1

In the first year all modules are compulsory and we will equip you with the study skills needed to get the best out of your degree, and introduce you to both the nature and scope of research in sociology.

Here, you will develop knowledge of the major forms of sociological reasoning and the ability to think sociologically about the major problems and issues in society and social life. You will gain an understanding of key concepts in sociology and of the contribution of sociological inquiry to explaining social dynamics.
You will become familiar with sociological approaches to the understanding of culture, and the relationship between culture, power and identity. You will examine the social and cultural construction of identity and consider the formation of collective and individual identity, as forces of control and opportunity.
You will be introduced to social scientific concepts and theories about the nature of social divisions, diversity and social inequality in advanced industrial societies. You will develop an understanding of evidence about major forms of social division and their causes and social consequences and compare alternative explanations of complexity and differentiation in contemporary society.
The module will develop your understanding of the nature of collective action, conflict and struggle. You will explore the specificities of collective action and subjectivity involved in riots and other forms of resistance, and identify and debate institutional responses to them. You will identify the fundamental forces and factors behind revolutions and examine the novelty of social, political and cultural resistance.
You will be introduced to the key foundational issues, ideas, and ways of thinking within criminology. You will explore the various relationships between crime and society drawing upon contemporary, historical and comparative evidence and demonstrate links between particular theories and concepts and their implications for research methodology and social policy.
You will be introduced to the form, key features and purpose of the institutions of the contemporary criminal justice system in England and Wales and begin an insight into the issues which are comprised in the question of justice and civil liberties.

Year 2

In your second year and third years you will build on these foundations by looking in more detail at different theoretical perspectives in sociology and studying research problems and methods.

Across years 2 and 3, seven options must be taken, a minimum of five from Sociology and a maximum of two from Criminology/Language. However you make your combination, in year 2 you must choose one option for Semester 1 and two options for Semester 2. The modules listed below are usually offered every year, so could be taken either in year 2 or year 3.

Core Modules

You will develop an understanding of competing methodological approaches to social research. The focus throughout this module will be on learning and experiencing applied methods to address “real world” research social problems. You will gain a working knowledge, and practical experience of, alternative methods of collecting,  reporting and presenting qualitative data.
You will gain an understanding of the survey research process, including forming a suitable research question, operationalisation, and types of sampling strategy. You will gain knowledge of key concepts in quantitative research, including statistical significance and probability and practical experience of alternative methods of analysing qualitative data.
You will develop an understanding of the key schools of thought in sociological inquiry and evaluate the contribution of sociological inquiry to social life. You will analyse the relationships between individuals and their social settings and groups, and critically compare different sociological approaches and their implications for understanding the dynamics of social structures.

Sociology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):

This module aims to denaturalise your understanding of the body and promote a sociological conception of both biology and human emotion. You will become familiar with sociologically thinking about the body, including the gendering and racialisation of bodies and you will explore the impact of modern genetics and other technological advancements on contemporary social life.
You will be introduced to different forms of social connections, from gemenschaft to gesellschaft, and explore the meanings, practices and roles of family, friendship, kinship, and community within the context of capitals, localities, and policy debates.
You will be introduced to the concepts of utopia and dystopia and key debates on these topics. You will gain an understanding of the complex relationship between the material world and utopian projections, and develop a critical approach to a variety of texts which seek to represent various utopias and dystopias.
You will gain an understanding of the features of interactionist sociology and recognise how interactionist sociology differs from other ways of studying the social world. You will look at the ways in which theoretical approaches can be applied in areas such as socialisation and education, work and employment, and health and illness, and gain an understanding of the problems and opportunities of ‘working in a tradition’.
It is the aim of this module is to you with an understanding of the role and location of popular culture, consumption, leisure and media and within contemporary society.  You will consider the historical processes, theoretical and political debates, underlying and informing the nature of these practices, institutions and texts, as well as our understandings of these.
This module examines a variety of themes and issues – practical, substantive, theoretical, methodological, textual and ethical- about the use of visual materials to account for social phenomena. You will address these matters through a range of work in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.
You will look at the origins, development and scope of the principles of human rights. You will gain an understanding of socio-legal mechanisms for promoting and protecting both 'civil and political' and 'economic, social and cultural' rights, and an understanding of the problems posed by their violation. You will also engage with theoretical and contemporary debates surrounding citizenship, activism and social change.

Criminology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):

You will gain an understanding of the construction of deviant labels based on variables of ethnicity, gender and youth, and the relationship between these labels and crime. You will engage with  issues surrounding experiences of crime and encounters with the criminal justice system. You will also compare crime policies on a national and international scale and look at a number of historical and contemporary case-studies.
You will be introduced to issues surrounding the policing and social control in the past, in contemporary society and in the future, and analyse how social control and surveillance are manifested. You will identify the implications for policing and social control studies on wider sociology as well as policy and practice.
You will develop an understanding of the evolution of the modern prison and of the relationship between prisons, probation, the courts and the media and the economic and social environment in which they operate. You will gain an understanding of the impacts of punishment with regard to age, gender and ethnicity and consider criminal justice institutions, policies, and practices in their contexts.
You will develop an understanding of how and why people become victims and of the relationship between victimisation and social and cultural variables. You will critically explore the place of the victim in the criminal justice system, and how they are processed.
An overview of the conceptualisation of “violence”. You will examine debates concerning violence in various aspects of life, consider the contemporary debates surrounding violence in a range of contexts, trace the development of theorisations of violence and consider ethical, methodological and practical issues involved in the researching of violence.
This module addresses the problem of genocide, a problem much more complex than the term ‘genocide’ may initially suggest. Drawing on an interdisciplinary perspective (social theory, sociology, criminology, the sociology of right, political thought) and focusing on a number of historical cases of genocide (including the attempts at transitional justice in the post-genocidal period), the module seeks to provide the conceptual means to be able to understand such complexity, to analyse specific examples of genocide and to evaluate social, economic and political structures in relation to the extent to which they may be conducive to mass murder and genocide.
The typical criminal trial is primarily a contest between the prosecution and the defence over whether or not a crime was committed and whether the accused is guilty.  Each side uses narrative, rhetorical and argumentative strategies to construct its own version of the events and to present claims about the guilt or innocence of the defendant.  Judges and juries must also do the same when they pronounce on a case, and third parties such as the public or the media often engage in a similar exercise.  This module examines the strategies used to construct guilt and innocence, paying particular attention to their sociological underpinnings. Case studies will be an important part of the module’s content, and there will be presentations by prosecutorial, defence and judicial professionals.
You will gain an overview of the philosophy, nature, significance, outcomes and consequences of the criminal justice process and explore how it functions. You will think critically about key aspects of the criminal justice process and examine the interaction between different actors and agencies involved, and between the criminal justice process and politics, the community and the media.
You have the option to study a foreign language through the UWLP, which is practical in content and available at four levels (stages): Stage 1 (complete beginner), Stage 2 (Grade A*-C at GCSE), Stage 3 (Grade C or below at AS level), Stage 4 (Grade D or below at A2 level). The lower stages help you cope with everyday situations abroad or when dealing with visitors to this country, and the higher stages enable you to use the language in more professional contexts.

Year 3

You have one core module in the third year – for this you must choose one of the independent study options (see below). You then have to choose four optional modules from the lists above to complete your 120 credits for year 3: two for Semester one and two for Semester two.

Core modules (choice of one of the following):

You will develop an area of interest through TWO pieces of extended Sociological or Criminological prose, without having to meet the demands of research-based activity associated with the Dissertation., examining topics of your choice.
You will examine a Sociological or Criminological topic of your choice in an independent piece of research, exploring an area of your own academic, professional or personal interest.
You will engage in work based learning, making practical and conceptual connections between the academic study of sociology and criminology and work based activities. You will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of critical reflection.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Diploma in Foundation Studies (Sociology) Overall pass
GCSE GCSE or equivalent Level 2 certificated qualifications in English
UCAS tariff points 104-112 points
GCE A level 104-112 points
BTEC National Diploma DMM
Foundation Degree Applicants will be considered for entry into year 1.
Scottish Highers 104-112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-112 points
International Baccalaureate 25 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

The English language requirement for this course is an IELTS average score of 6 or above, and for each component, 5 or above. For further information check the international entry requirements for all our courses.

Applicant profile

An ideal student would have:

  • A critical mind (with a sprinkling of scepticism). This will require you to think about things in ways that look beyond the taken-for-granted assumptions
  • A desire to understand, and challenge conventional assumptions about the world
  • A willingness to develop your understanding via reading and engaging with books written by leading sociologists.


We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to cater for all styles of learning. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials - usually in groups
  • Seminars - in groups and based on a lecture subject or allocated reading
  • Presentations - including those given from someone in the field
  • Student-directed study - where work is assigned and deadlines given
  • Site visits

We place emphasis on the acquisition of individual transferable skills as well as the development of knowledge and skills important to those working in field.

We also have a virtual teaching and learning resource, called 'Blackboard'. We will post module handbooks, summaries of lectures, messages to students and any other relevant materials on Blackboard. You will be enrolled for modules on Blackboard, and can access the corresponding web pages, both on and off campus.


A variety of assessment methods are used including:

  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Presentations (both group and individual)
  • Reports
  • Dissertation (optional)


Career Prospects

A degree in Sociology provides a strong foundation for a range of occupations from policing to prison and probation work to journalism and social administration. It is also a good general social sciences degree providing you with the skills vital in jobs such as administration, public service, and research.

You will be equipped with transferable practical skills including conducting research, delivering presentations, report writing and team work.

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers including commerce, management and administration. Others undertake postgraduate vocational training in teaching, law or social work or go on to further academic study.

Graduates of the course have gone on to work for the Racial Equality Council, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Disability Rights Commission, HM Prison Service, and the Probation Service. Other common career paths of our graduates include:

  • The civil service
  • Legal professions
  • Community, health and social work
  • Journalism and media
  • Postgraduate courses, research and teaching
  • Government advisory departments
  • Investigating justice and victim support
  • Policy and administration

Alumni Profile

Nawal Ammar, PhD, MSc and BSc (University of Salford)

I have two degrees from the University of Salford; an undergraduate degree in Sociology and an MSc in Urban Studies (an interdisciplinary degree between Geography and Sociology). Looking back at what Salford offered me, I can recall a solid sociological education that inspired me to seek knowledge to quench my curiosity about the world around me. This education has given me a firm foundation towards a successful academic career.

Our curriculum was very innovative. We read original theorists and were introduced to the basics of the sociological method, both quantitative and qualitative. Our curriculum had a good balance between class-room instruction and independent learning. It was difficult back then for me, especially as an international student - to whom English was a second language - to manage all this learning. However, the professors were patient and caring, but at the same time non-compromising in their standards. I learned from my professors that all students are entitled to a quality education. I eventually understood that because they had expectations of me, I rose to those expectations. I am appreciative of the lessons they gave me about self-respect, my strengths as a woman, and my ability to overcome fearsome challenges. From Salford I have taken confidence in my abilities and courage to pursue my dreams. For this I shall be forever grateful.

Links with Industry

This course responds to the needs of industry, in developing both subject expertise and skills that can be used for practice in the field. We have close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:

  • The European Commission (DG Regions and DG Enterprise and Industry)
  • Greater Manchester Police
  • Amnesty International
  • Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture
  • Peace Brigades International
  • Salford Youth Offending Team
  • Salford City Council
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Working Class Movement Library
  • People’s History Museum

This provides you with a number of benefits such as field visits, portfolio surgeries, guest lectures, seminars, workshops and placements.

Placements and voluntary work are also available. These offer the opportunity for you to undertake a period of professional practice within industry in order to understand the dynamics and constraints of applying your subject knowledge in the real world.

Placement Opportunities

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees for entry in 2017-18 will be published as soon as possible.

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£13,300

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.