Sociology at Aberdeen opens up your ‘sociological imagination’, as you explore how society shapes us as individuals in all sorts of ways, helping us to understand ourselves, our relationships, and the challenges we face in a changing world. Top-rated excellent teaching and a culture of dynamic research will give you the skills to be a sought-after graduate by employers in many sectors.
This programme is studied on campus.
Sociology at Aberdeen explores the issues and challenges of modern societies and how they have developed through time until the present day. You will gain a deep understanding of how society influences people and explore a range of different themes, including social awareness.
You will study topics as wide-ranging as sociology of the family, work-life balance, crime, religion and the state. And you will become skilled in the social research methods used to gather the evidence to better understand aspects of society – which could be observation, interviews, large-scale surveys or analysing the content of documents and videos.
Your teachers have international reputations for conducting high-quality research in religion and secularisation, conflict and peace, social movements and global political sociology.
The skills you will develop in thinking critically and posing probing questions – skills which have tremendous value to employers across the public, private and third sectors. Recent Aberdeen graduates are working in journalism, management, marketing and advertising, local and national government, social research institutions, teaching, health services, social work, charitable organisations, human resources, market research and university and college lecturing.
You will enjoy our special, warm welcome at the University of Aberdeen, benefit from excellent teaching, research with international impact and a truly global experience as part of our friendly and vibrant international community. You will love our beautiful campus, great facilities for learning, sports and leisure. There are many opportunities to develop the skills and attributes for a competitive advantage in the career you choose.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 48 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time
- Start Month
- UCAS Code
What You'll Study
Sociology at Aberdeen covers a wide range of courses, designed to provide you with an in-depth overview of the subject. You will develop a deep knowledge and understanding of sociology by studying subjects such as identity interaction, inequality, social organisation, conflict, media and politics, consumerism, food and globalization, work and the economy.
- Year 1
- Introductory Sociology I (SO1005) - 15 Credit Points
Sociology is the study of human social groups. It particularly focuses on modern societies, analyzing how they work and how the major social institutions in them (such as religion, the media, government and the economy) operate. The course provides students with a general introduction to the unique manner in which sociologists seek to understand contemporary societies. Students are presented with current and classical approaches to understanding the social processes that underlie self-construction, group formation and social interaction, within urbanizing and globalizing social contexts.
- Introductory Sociology II (SO1507) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introduction to macro-sociology, which analyzes the ways that people’s lives are shaped by large-scale forces, structures, and institutions. Students are introduced to the particular ways in which classical and contemporary sociologists understand social forces in the modern domestic and global environment and learn to think critically about those social forces that impact their everyday lives using the sociological imagination. Substantive topics likely to be covered in this course include the media, politics, religion, surveillance, education, class stratification, international inequalities, and the relationship between humans and other animals.
- Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year
- Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)
This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.
- Select a further 90 credit points from courses of choice
- Year 2
- Studying Social Life 1 (SO2005) - 30 Credit Points
This follows on from level-one sociology. It is designed to highlight the ways that sociological theory informs the research endeavour, not only the questions sociologists raise, but also the particular modes through which we go about investigating them. The module examines these points in relation to a range of micro-level topics – the body, food and feeding, health and illness, the emotions, group behaviour, sex and gender, the life course and death and dying – all of which emphasise the nature of human interaction and sociological efforts to understand it.
- Studying Social Life 2 (SO2505) - 30 Credit Points
This macro-sociology course extends students’ understanding of large-scale social, as well as political and economic, processes and institutions. Particular focus is on the sociological analysis of global issues and socio-political controversies, many of which are subject to topical and, at times, contentious debate at the beginning of the 21st century. The substantive topics include areas of social and political concern such as globalisation; the changing nature of economy, work and leisure; risk and insecurity; multiculturalism; food production and security; social movements; nationalism and identities.
- Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
- Year 3
- Religion and Society (SO3067) - 30 Credit Points
Modernization changes the nature and social position of religion: what was once imposed on entire societies becomes a matter of choice and as societies become more religiously diverse, religion is increasingly confined to the home and the family. National churches are replaced by denominations and sects and the state’s increasing neutrality allows new religious movements to flourish. This course uses secularization to examine such basic sociological concepts as social differentiation, individualism, social cohesion, community versus voluntary association, immigration, conversion, recruitment, gender, and cultural defence.
- Thinking Sociologically (SO3066) - 30 Credit Points
Thinking Sociologically is the department's core sociological theory module. The course offers our students an introduction to a range of key sociological thinkers and bodies of thought, both classical and contemporary, that inform sociological analysis of social life and social institutions. As such, this course is intended to provide our honours students with a conceptual 'toolkit', that can be applied to facilitate understanding, insight and informed critique with respect to a broad range of historical and contemporary social, political and economic phenomena.
- Social Research Methods (SO3524) - 30 Credit Points
Sociologists use a range of methods and techniques to explore and test sociological theory. This module introduces many of these methods and techniques. It aims to ground students’ theoretical understanding of society through the practical analysis of a variety of data. It starts by introducing the varying philosophical starting points of research and goes on to provide foundation level critical analysis skills in the key quantitative and qualitative methods that sociologists have deployed to understand and ‘capture’ the social world.
- Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
- Year 4
- Research Project (SO4049) - 30 Credit Points
This course affords students the opportunity to apply their sociological knowledge and research skills to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the department. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather and analyse data, and write a final report. All students will be guided in the arts of critical analysis, report planning, and report writing. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.
- Select a further 90 credit points, of which 60 credits must be from Sociology Level 4 options
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
Most courses are taught using a combination of lectures and small-group seminars and are assessed by both essays and formal examinations. For Honours students, the year-long Research Project forms a major element in the final assessment.
- Individual Projects
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
- Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
- Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
- Written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
- View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme
How the programme is taught
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
How the programme is assessed
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
Learning Methodscheduled: 25%
Learning Methodscheduled: 14%
Learning Methodscheduled: 12%
Learning Methodscheduled: 9%
Why Study Sociology?
- An international reputation for our sociology research and recognised by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as an outlet for research training and supervision for postgraduate students.
- Consistently rated very highly, including by students in the National Student Survey (NSS), from whom we get great feedback.
- The highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the latest Teaching Quality Assessment.
- Sociology at Aberdeen is rated as 5th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2017.
- Participation in the European Social Survey, one of the largest and most reliable sources of data about Europeans’ attitudes, behaviours and experiences, with data from more than 350,000 individuals across 36 countries since 2002.
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with its top-class study environment, state-of-the-art technology and extensive collection of sociology publications and resources.
- A packed campus programme of student and public events, lectures, café discussions, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers, plus the annual May Festival, British Science Week and Being Human Festival attracting thousands to hear from high profile speakers, scientists, authors and broadcasters and regularly featuring Aberdeen research in social sciences.
You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Please note: entry requirements are different for 2018 and 2019 entry.
Entry Requirements (2018):
SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)
Entry Requirements (2019):
Entry requirements for 2019 will be displayed here shortly.
Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.
Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year|
|Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
The applied skills that you will gain from studying Sociology at Aberdeen will enable you to meet the requirements of employers in a range of different industries. Recently qualified Sociology graduates from the University now work in careers as diverse as journalism, local and national government, non-governmental organisations, social research institutions, teaching English as a foreign language, the health service, social work, human resources, market research and university and college lecturing.
The Department has an international reputation for its research. It is recognised by the UK Government's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as an outlet for research training and supervision for Masters and PhD students
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Globally Renowned Sociology Research
The Sociology department at Aberdeen is internationally renowned for its research.
Based at the University's School of Social Science, you will have the opportunity to study at one of the UK's leading centres for sociology. Our department is internationally recognised for the outstanding quality of our teaching staff and their research. Many of our staff themselves have gained international reputations in specialist areas, including religion and secularisation, social movements, identity processes and global and political sociology.
Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.
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University of Aberdeen