In broad terms, Sociology seeks to understand the relationship between individual people and the wider cultural and institutional contexts within which they live. In doing so, it strives not only to make sense of social and cultural systems but also to bring about transformative social change, drawing upon the systematic study of social issues to challenge inequalities and to inform the development of effective, evidence-based policy and practice.. The curriculum at Durham is informed by our core research themes, including: education and inequality; health and medicine; violence and abuse; and social justice. Alongside these and other substantive topics, you will study sociological theory and its development through to the present day, as well as learn the craft of sociological research and analysis. As well as gaining detailed knowledge of sociological issues, you will also develop a wide range of transferable skills valued by graduate employers, including how to assemble and evaluate different kinds of evidence, how to turn evidence into an effective argument, and how to design social research and analyse different kinds of data. The degree is based on a modular structure, you will be required to take the equivalent of six modules (some of which may be ‘double modules’) within each year of study. Over the course of the degree, modules become increasingly focused on specialist topics and issues, with the chance to undertake a sociological research project on a specific topic of substantive interest in the final year of study. Study Abroad We are part of the ERASMUS programme which encourages students to study for part of their course in a university of another EU country. We currently have links with the universities of Helsinki in Finland and Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Students can also apply to the university-wide international exchange programme with universities in North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For more information on this course, please see our website.
Year 1 You will develop knowledge and understanding of foundational concepts and issues in Sociology and Sociological Research, as a platform for study in Years 2 and 3. Compulsory modules: Classical Sociological Theory Critical Scholarship in the Social Sciences Social Research Methods Societies in Transition. Examples of optional module: Any open module to the value of 20 credits offered elsewhere in the Department (e.g. Introduction to Criminological Theory) or by another Board of Studies, including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the Centre for Foreign Language Study. Year 2 You will develop your understanding of key issues in sociological theory and research, building on work completed during the first year of study. You will also begin to study in detail various topics of substantive sociological relevance that relate to the Department’s major research themes. Compulsory modules: Modern and Contemporary Sociological Theory Research Methods in Action. Examples of optional modules: Communities and Social Justice Contemporary Criminological Theory Crime, Power and Social Inequalities Police and Policing Self, Identity and Society Sociology of Education and Social Inequalities Sociology of Health and Medicine Violence and Abuse in Society Any open module to the value of 20 credits offered elsewhere by another Board of Studies, including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the Centre for Foreign Language Study. Year 3 In the final year of study, you will focus on detailed critical analysis and evaluation of salient social issues drawing upon conceptual knowledge and understanding developed over the previous two years of study. You will also undertake an independent research project related to a specific area of sociological interest through your dissertation thesis. Compulsory module: Dissertation. Examples of optional modules: Community Placement Crime, Justice and the Sex Industry Cyberculture and Cybercrime Inside Out: Issues in Criminal Justice Social Policy Sociology of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation Sociology of Work and Professions Feminist Anti-Violence Activism (short module) Justice, Violence and Abuse (short module) Youth in Crisis (short module) Sociology of Mental Health (short module) Sociology of Reproduction and Parenthood (short module) Any open module to the value of 20 credits offered by another Board of Studies, including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the Centre for Foreign Language Study.
How to apply
This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.
Republic of Ireland
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
Our contextual offer for this programme is A level BBC (or equivalent). To find out if you’re eligible, please visit: www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/contextualoffers/.
Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course
English language requirements
Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.
English language requirements
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Fees and funding
|Republic of Ireland||£9250*||Year 1|
|Channel Islands||£9250*||Year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£9250*||Year 1|
*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.
Additional fee information
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