BSc (Hons) Sociology


Sociology examines how our actions are shaped by our social environment. It explores the values, beliefs and ideas that people hold, the lives we live and choices we make. Sociology will disturb your taken-for-granted view of the world, making even the mundane things in everyday life seem extraordinary. If you are inquisitive, seek challenges, take pleasure in discovery, desire to see the world afresh, and don’t want to simply believe that things can only be the way you’ve been told they are, then a sociology degree is for you.

You’ll study the organisation of societies, how people become united and divided in different cultural and social arrangements, and how people view their identities and understand their place in the world. Key topics across the sociology degree include violence and conflict, community and family life, society and the environment, technologies and security, and gender and sexuality. As you study sociology, you’ll develop the transferable skills that are sought after by employers, including research and problem-solving skills, and a range of communication skills.


2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
1J13 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
1J13 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A

The first year of your sociology degree is designed to get you thinking sociologically and critically. You’ll be introduced to the ways that sociological knowledge of societies has been produced through a range of applied approaches and theories. First year modules address key problems facing contemporary societies and help you start to understand how sociological investigations can help us account for the complex world we live in.

In the second and third years, you’ll have the chance to develop a rich understanding of specialist topics in more depth, undertake a placement that provides a crucial opportunity to apply and reflect on the skills you’re gaining in a workplace environment, and conduct a supervised research dissertation project where you can further develop and display your sociological expertise and graduate-level skills.

Year One: Sociology Degree

  • Undertaking Social Science Research
  • Understanding Modern European Society
  • Conflict, Crisis and Change – International Perspectives
  • Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion
  • Classical Sociological Theories
  • Sociology of Childhood and Youth

Year Two: Sociology Degree

  • Research Methods in the Social Science
  • Work Experience in Sociology
  • Global Perspectives on Violence and Society
  • Social Justice and Social Exclusion
  • Contemporary Social Theory

Plus one module from the following options:

  • Equality and Diversity
  • Society and the environment

Year Three: Sociology Degree

  • Dissertation
  • Global Conflict, War and Peace
  • Social Policy and Young People
  • Families, Youth and Community
  • Self and Society
  • International Security

Foundation Year

The BSc (Hons) Sociology is also available as a four year course including an integrated Foundation Year, and is designed for students who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry onto the degree. You will start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge before continuing onto the three year sociology degree programme. Find out more: Sociology including Foundation Year (Social Sciences)


The sociology degree is taught through lectures, seminars, and workshops, all of which use established and innovative teaching methods to get you thinking and working together. You’ll be required to work on assignments, read about current topics to prepare for participation in seminars, and attend lectures. Assessment is closely matched to each module’s learning objectives, and a range of different assessments are used in order to fully develop your transferable skills.

For each assessment your lecturers will provide detailed feedback and feedforward in order to help maximise the trajectory of your learning. You’ll be taught by team of lecturers who have an array of expertise in areas such as social policy, nationalism, religion, globalisation, digital technologies, and the politics of climate change. You’ll be exposed to current real world issues and taught by academics who are actively contributing to the discipline and their own specialist field.

As one of our students you’ll have the opportunity to become a member of the British Sociological Association and participate in the USW Sociology Society, which is run by our current students. Our Global Choices series offers inspiring public lectures that address some of the most complex and pressing challenges facing the world today, delivered by people who have witnessed and been participants in major world events. Recent speakers include: Lord Hain of Neath, former cabinet minister; Rt Hon Jack Straw, former cabinet minister; Sir Richard Dearlove, former Head of MI6; and Steven Frank, child holocaust survivor.


The sociology degree is assessed primarily through coursework, with some exams. Assessments include presentations, group and individual projects, marked debates, surveys, portfolios, manifestos and peer assessments.


You may be able to study for up to a year in Europe, the USA, or further afield. Studying abroad is a great boost to your learning and your CV. You’ll gain an international perspective on your studies, and the time you spend overseas can count towards your sociology degree.

Featured Lecturer:
Professor Howard Williamson

Professor Howard Williamson

Professor Howard Williamson is Professor of European Youth Policy and a member of the Centre for Social Policy Research

In 2016, Professor Williamson was honoured with a CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) for his contribution to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity, for whom he served as a UK Trustee for 12 years. He recently became one of its international trustees. He has also served on the Council of the Prince’s Trust Cymru for 10 years, and was a Founder of the Diana Princess of Wales Award for Young People.

Professor Williamson has managed and conducted research projects for local, national and European organisations. His research work has been predominantly on youth issues, notably concerning youth work and youth training, but it has also addressed juvenile justice and youth crime, drug misuse, special needs housing, inter-agency partnerships, mini-enterprise in schools, local economic development and training for enterprise in Europe.

His latest has included action research with schools around alternative key stage 4 curricula, an evaluation of the Home Office On Track initiative, and a formative evaluation of a police-led schools curriculum on drugs, crime and personal safety. 

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Professional Memberships: British Sociological Association £57
Students can become members of the BSA
DBS £53.20
Students will need to pay for a DBS depending on the research and modules they choose. The fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS check and the online admin fee and post office checks
Placement expenses: Work placement £
Students will cover their own costs of a work placement. Costs will vary depending on location.
Other : Textbooks £300 - £400
Students will need to buy course books, eBooks, etc.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Graduates of this sociology degree have entered a range of rewarding careers that include teaching, professional social work training, community and youth work, charity work, and in local authorities, or in police, prison, probation, protection and victim support services. Many of our graduates also progress to postgraduate study and research.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW sociology student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.