This thought-provoking Sociology degree covers everything from death and religious belief to social media use and digital surveillance.

Course detail

Start Date



4 years (full-time)

Award Title

BA (Hons)



Why study Abertay's BA (Hons) in Sociology?

Sociology involves thinking critically about the world around you to develop an understanding of how people engage and interact in groups, institutions and societies. This thought-provoking degree covers everything from death and religious belief to social media use and digital surveillance.

This degree is designed to give you an understanding of how individuals shape and are shaped by the social contexts they inhabit. It’s a challenging but rewarding programme and equips you with the aptitudes and capabilities that public and private sector employers demand, including:

  • How to analyse complex issues
  • How to engage in critical thinking
  • How to communicate to a variety of audiences
  • How to develop innovative solutions to real-world challenges

Are you analytical, curious and ready to question your own assumptions about the world? Are you keen to hone your communication skills, learn how to articulate an argument and shape your own career direction? 

Welcome to sociology.

Missed the 15 January UCAS deadline or changed your mind about where you want to apply? Don't panic, we are still taking applications through UCAS for September 2019 study.

Start a Degree in September 2019

Entry Requirements

Please note: All applicants must have a pass in English in one of the following - National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.  National 5 ESOL is accepted in lieu of National 5 English.

All applicants must have a pass in National 4 Maths or GCSE Maths or Numerate subject such as Science, Biology or Chemistry at grade C or equivalent.

Below are the literate subjects we accept for entry on this course:

  • Business Management
  • Classical Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • ESOL
  • Geography
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology

If there is a subject that does not appear, please contact our Admissions Office ( who will be able to confirm whether or not it would be considered for entry.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher ABBB Literate subject
A-Level BCC Literate subject
Irish Highers H2H3H3H3 Literate subject
International Baccalaureate 29 Points Literate subject at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Health & Social Care
AHEAD Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP Access ABB Access to: Humanities, Arts & Humanities and Primary Education, University Study, Community, Education & Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences and Primary Teaching, Languages, Arts & Social Science, Degree Studies, Celtic Studies
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher ABB Sociology and Modern Studies or History
A-Level ABB Sociology and Politics or History
HNC/HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses
Qualification Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HND courses

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Your Journey Starts Here

Studying sociology will keep you at the forefront of the key political issues and social debates defining the 21st century, from social mobility and multiculturalism to human rights and climate change.

Teaching on the course is informed by our strong staff research profile, and includes substantive areas such as crime, technology, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, the media, and the environment.

You’ll also receive a strong grounding in sociological theory and research methods, along with training in specialist data-analysis software. In the final year of the course, we also offer you a community-based work placement module.

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Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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Entry Requirements by Country

Discover whether you're eligible for entry and learn more about the country-specific qualifications you need to study at Abertay.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2018/19)

Contemporary Social Issues (SOC101)

A sociological examination of key contemporary social issues, challenges and problems. Module content includes: social inequality and social division – social class and social mobility, race, ethnicity and multiculturalism and gender and identity; globalisation and globality – media and culture, identity, nation-states and globalization, terrorism and political conflict; social life and everyday life – the life-course, families and family life, interactionism and education.

Classical Social Theory (SOC201)

An introduction to the work of three key social theorists, Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, which is used to critically illustrate the nature of capitalist modernity and the foundations of contemporary sociological theory and practice.

Contemporary Social Theory (SOC301)

Students will read closely the arguments of leading schools of social theory and develop their analytical capacities by discussing the main developments in social thought over the past 50 years.

Researching Society (SOC305)

Provides an understanding of the importance of empirical research to the social sciences. It will provide students with the skills and capabilities to identify and use appropriate data collection tools, apply analysis techniques to data generated and reflect upon their meaning, relevance and ethical implications.

Sociology of Gender and Sexuality (SOC302)

Provides students with an understanding of: the social construction of gender and sexuality; the relationship between gender and sexuality; and the way in which unequal social relations are produced and reproduced through gender and sexual identity.

Political Sociology (SOC401)

An advanced level module which focuses on the question of power in modern societies. Four interconnected subjects are covered: sociological and political theories of power; social configurations of power; alternative visions of power relations; social movements and the contestation of power.

Honours Project (SOC400)

Offers students the opportunity to conduct and present a simple investigation into a sociological topic of their choice, the result of which is a 10,000 word dissertation.

How the Course Works


Learning and Assessment 

You’ll learn through a combination of teaching modes, including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, online discussion forums, video screenings, guest speaker presentations, directed and private study, and student-focussed group work.

You’ll be assessed through a number of methods, including supervised examinations, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, project work, class and online tests, reflective analyses, and a final year dissertation.

In your final year, you’ll also complete a research project under the dedicated supervision of a member of academic staff.

Around a third of the course is assessed through examination, although the precise proportion will be dependent on your module choices.

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme Information - BA (Honours) Sociology 

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 


Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Career Opportunities

Our sociology degree provides you with the knowledge and skills required for a variety of careers, particularly those characterised by working and managing people and groups.

Whether it’s working in collaborative groups, assessing evidence, writing reports, acquiring skills in qualitative and quantitative research or completing project work, your studies will contribute towards your employability. Our work placement module enhances this advantage.

Classroom environment - group of students sitting listening


After graduation, students typically find employment in areas such as government, social research, marketing, social work, youth and community work, human resource management, public relations, journalism, policing, teaching and the probation service.

Your sociology degree will equip you to succeed in completing professional qualifications such as town planning, primary/secondary teaching and social work. In addition, this degree provides a strong foundation for further academic study at Masters and PhD level.

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Industry Links

Abertay’s teaching staff incorporate a number of external speakers within their modules. These speakers are drawn from the media, business, the criminal justice system, the voluntary sector and local community groups.

The Community Links module offers you the opportunity to participate in a work placement in your final year. In the past, after graduation, some students have progressed to full-time employment with their work-placement organisations.

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Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Get inspired

Meet some of our graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

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David Proctor

David realised journalism was the right pathway for him during his time at university.

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Catherine Law

Catherine has attained a Fulbright scholarship to study in the University of South Florida.

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Evie Dalrymple

Evie works as a Prison Psychologist at the Scottish Prison Service.

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Programme Leader - Sociology

Dr Donncha Marron

Dr Donncha Marron

School of Social and Health Sciences | Lecturer

View profile

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