Thursday, September 26, 2013


A crowd of teenagers watching a band at the Glastonbury Festival, June 2000
What will I learn?
Academics claim sociology is more than a subject – it's a whole way of seeing the world. From the topics studied on sociology degrees, they may just be right.
Sociology is the study of human societies and how they interact to shape people's beliefs, behaviors and identity. The subject is the academic cousin to the more practical social policy, so you will examine different social theories and models (expect mention of Karl Marx at least). You will also explore how society has changed over time, touching on subjects such as industrialization, urbanization, inequality and globalization.
You may find yourself investigating consumer society, looking at classic and contemporary (postmodern) theories of consumerism, and applying these to shopping, fashion or music.
You could look at work and employment, how these are viewed in societies, and how these views have changed over the years. Expect to explore issues of feminism, class and the trade union movement.
You could also study sexuality, religion, or youth culture and identity.
Sociology courses can often be studied alongside other complementary subjects, such as history, social policy, politics, or cultural or gender studies.
Courses will be largely taught in lectures and seminars.
What skills will I gain?
During your studies you should learn how to formulate and investigate sociological questions and theories, and draw your own conclusions.
You should be able to carry out independent research, but also know how to discuss facts and figures within a group. You will have developed good communication skills that allow you to present your arguments clearly in a variety of styles.
By the time you graduate, you should have sharp, critical thinking and good problem-solving skills. And all that time spent in the library sourcing material and tapping out essays will have developed your computer skills.
What job can I get?
Sociology graduates are found in a variety of jobs. Among the favorites are those in the social services, which, with a bit of extra study, could involve becoming a social worker. Alternatively, a job in education, the criminal justice system, in local and central government as a researcher, or in the voluntary sector, perhaps working as a fundraiser, community development worker or counselor, could be more your thing.
You will also have the skills to pursue a career in journalism or management, or in academia.
What will look good on the CV?
· The ability to appreciate the complexity and diversity of social situations
· The ability to make reasoned arguments and interpret evidence
· The ability to undertake and present scholarly work.

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