Social Care Practice
Sociology with Foundation Year
School of Health and Society
In a nutshell
The Foundation Year programme will help you develop an understanding of the key subjects in the social sciences so that you can continue to successfully study your degree in Sociology or a related subject.
This foundation year is part of a four year pathway which will prepare you to study your chosen social sciences course. There will also be a limited number of places on our BSc Social Work programme for suitable students of this foundation year.
The key areas of study are effective communication and study skills, combined with fundamental subjects in the social sciences. You will study modules on sociology, criminology, social policy and social care to explore inequalities associated with gender, class, race, disability and health, using different theories to understand social change and how societies try to address inequalities and discrimination.
- Be introduced to basic theories and concepts within the disciplines to provide a basic knowledge in all related subject areas
- Use different theories to understand social change and how societies try to address inequalities and discrimination
- Examine key ideas in political and social thought, discussing ideas of citizenship and democracy and learning about the development of policy
This is for you if...
You want to continue on to any of our undergraduate social sciences courses, including Sociology
You need extra support to help you progress
You have a keen interest in changing society
All about the course
The aims of the programme is to:
- Improve competence in essential areas of social sciences necessary for progression onto social science degrees
- Develop factual, theoretical knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for progressing in social science subjects
- Develop analytical, critical and problem-solving skills in social science subjects
- Develop IT skills
- Develop communication and study skills.
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.
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.
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.
This module aims to introduce you to key ideas about social care practice. Key models of practice and values will be explored in order to equip you with the knowledge to meet the requirements of this level of study. The focus on culturally competent practice and service user led provision will help you to understand the needs for practice that recognises a range of needs and is able to respond to individuals living within the community. The assessment strategy is designed to measure academic knowledge and communication skills with an explicit relationship between the lectures, seminars, learning outcomes and assessments.
Introduction to Sociology
The module aims to provide you with a firm grounding in sociological substantive and factual knowledge, help build interpretive capacity, and encourage the development of evaluative thought. You will also be encouraged to develop a range of allied transferable skills. Teaching will include formal delivery of material via lectures, supported by online materials, alongside seminars, for which you will be expected to prepare and in which you will be expected to actively participate. Tutorials will give you the opportunity to speak one-to-one to members of the teaching team to discuss any issues, questions or queries they have pertaining to aspects of their learning and development.
Understanding Social Policy
This module aims to introduce you to key ideas in social policy. The focus on the British experience of welfare services is designed to encourage you to examine welfare provision from different perspectives, use theory to explain social change and critically assess existing institutions such as the NHS, benefits and housing systems. Lectures include topics such as; meeting needs and the different welfare providers, introduction to social divisions; researching race/ethnicity in the media, political and ideological influence on policy, the feminist perspective (worker, wife, mother, carer), disability and education, poverty in the UK, tax and benefits, the winners and losers.
The module introduces fundamental questions in criminology: What is crime? What causes crime? How does crime and criminal justice affect us? How should we best respond to criminal behaviour? In addressing these questions, key concepts will be explored. You will have the opportunity to choose a particular type of crime or deviance, then apply the various fundamental questions raised by the module week by week. The case studies will help you to apply concepts to contemporary issues. You will have the opportunity to consider different policy and practice solutions for criminal justice ‘industry’.
Introduction to Counselling
What is counselling? What does it mean to be an effective citizen? Counselling skills of active listening, empathy, respect and genuineness, identifying our values, beliefs and barriers to communication, enhancing personal development. This module introduces you to basic counselling skills and the skills and qualities required to be an effective citizen. The assessment strategy will prepare you for interview for admission to undergraduate Counselling and Psychotherapy programmes. The assignment is a personal learning statement which will require you to make your own learning plan for the future.
This module has been designed to promote a positive and supportive transition from further to higher education, focusing initially on the importance of wellbeing to successful study. The module will provide a firm grounding in the key skills required to be able to read, write and present in the academic world. You will embed your learning through a series of large and small group activities using a problem-based approach. Small group work will allow for regular, tailored feedback specific to small group tasks and group dynamics with a focus on your future chosen vocation. Following the completion of the module, you should feel very prepared for your journey at level 4 and beyond.
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.
Culture, Power and Identity
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.
Social Divisions and Inequality
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.
Becoming a Social Scientist
This module introduces you to the ways in which sociologists and criminologists work and aims to develop the critical, interpretive, reflective and academic skills required to succeed on the programme.
Crime, Conflict and Society
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 crime policy.
Criminal Justice and Human Rights
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 exploration of the issues relating to justice and civil liberties.
Research Problems and Methods: Qualitatively better
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.
Research Problems and Methods: Making it count
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.
Understanding the Social World
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.
You will develop an area of interest through an extended sociological or criminological essay, 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.
Work: Practice and Reflection
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.
Sociology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):
Bodies: Biology to Blushing
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.
Identities and Interactions
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’.
Culture and (Deviant) Leisure
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.
Human Rights, Genocide and Resistance
This module addresses the complex and often paradoxical relationships between human rights, extreme human rights abuses, particularly genocide, and resistance to such abuses. Its distinctiveness lies in providing students with interdisciplinary, theoretically informed approaches to human rights, genocide and resistance.
Criminology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):
Intersectionality and Crime
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.
Policing and Social Control
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.
Prisons and Punishment
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.
Understanding Victims and Victimisation
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.
Violence in Society
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.
Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice
This module offers a broad introduction to the gendered dimensions of crime/criminality, criminal victimisation, criminal justice, and penology, and of the gendered theorising which attempts to account for this. It looks at the significance of gender to our understandings of and responses to crime and deviant behaviour.
Constructing Guilt and Innocence
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.
The Criminal Justice Process (only available in year three)
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 will also have the opportunity to engage with professionals working in each stage of the criminal justice process.
You have the option to study a foreign language through the UWLP (University Wide Language Programme), 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.
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.
What will I be doing?
A wide range of teaching methods is used according to the nature of the module e.g. lectures, seminars, reflective practice, guided study, teamwork, and oral presentations. A number of alternative learning technologies are applied throughout the programme including podcasts, VLE, Facebook, YouTube and student response system to provide an interactive experience for you.
You will be assessed during the foundation year through the methods below:
- Group presentation and Individual reflective essay
- Personal learning statement essay
- Written exam
- Essays x 2
- 5 minute presentation
- Portfolio project
- Reflective portfolio
To find out more about assessment on the remaining three years, please visit the relevant course page:
School of Health and Society
The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.
Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.
What about after uni?
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.
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
What you need to know
This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.
You would have a keen interest in changing society with perhaps some experience of the social sciences from school or college. If you have practical knowledge of a change in the systems that provide welfare services, economic, political and social structures this programme can assist you in the development of your ideas and progression. Career opportunities are widespread across all sectors dependent on the degree path chosen.
English language and Maths at grade C/ grade 4 or above.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
80 points from a minimum of two A2 subjects.
BTEC National Diploma
MMP (BTEC Extended Diploma), MM (BTEC Diploma)
Irish Leaving Certificate
80 UCAS points equivalent
Access to HE
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.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID L305