BSc single honours Sociology & Social Policy 2017/18

Year of entry

Our Sociology and Social Policy degree has been designed to foster a ‘sociological imagination’ because, more than anything, we define Sociology as a way of thinking, based on an insatiable curiosity about the world. Combining Sociology and Social Policy enables an understanding of how different societies, at different points in history, have attempted to meet the needs of their populations. You will find that our degree makes you look at the world in new ways and this is why those of us who teach the subject feel so passionately about it. You will learn a range of practical and applied research skills, and develop a transferable critical and analytical capacity which is valued by employers. Our degree programme is distinctive in its approach to learning and teaching, our commitment to personal tutoring, and our emphasis on engagement with public debate and community organisations.

Top reason to choose this course

Understanding our society is the best way to work out how you want to work and live in it. Studying Sociology and Social Policy will give you the tools to shape your own life, and the world around you.

Work experience

One of our optional modules contains a volunteering placement, where you can develop an experience of working with a non-governmental organization.


The Sociology team have won numerous awards for their innovative and exemplary teaching practice.

"Studying Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University has not only enhanced my learning and outlook on society, but it has also changed me as a person through adopting a ‘sociological imagination’. It has given me the opportunity to think critically about every aspect of society in the past, present and future, and the confidence to pursue a career in teaching."

Laura Brown

The Sociology and Social Policy programme is structured around a number of core and optional modules. These are designed to encourage intellectual engagement with a range of issues, historical developments, and intellectual approaches, and to develop academic and transferable skills. You will begin with introductory modules that aim to foster a sociological imagination, and provide a foundational knowledge of key issues, theories and developments in Sociology and Social Policy. As you progress through your degree, you will be able access a range of core and optional modules; develop a range of academic and employability skills; and undertake your own research.

The Sociology and Social Policy programme aims to provide a structured educational experience that combines both coherence and choice. Core modules provide the space to cover essential sociological and social policy material and assist you in making an effective transition to university study; provide support in the acquisition of key study skills; and give guidance in your career planning. Over and above this our menu of optional modules provides the opportunity for you to tailor the degree to your own interests and career aspirations. The curriculum aims to be stimulating, innovative, up to date, and inclusive. The learning and teaching environment aims always to be supportive but throughout the three years you will become an increasingly autonomous learner.

The core modules enable you to acquire a thorough, systematic knowledge and understanding of human social life and the skills to think as a sociologist. This is what Mills (1959) called the ‘sociological imagination’, and we describe this as a critical, analytical, reflexive, and research informed capacity, by which the relationship between individuals and social structures and processes can be explored. These modules will also provide you with a knowledge of Social Policy and practical skills to assess critically the ways that societies provide for the needs of their members. You will gain the ability to link theoretical analysis with empirical enquiry; identify and understand different value positions; and engage with a range of intellectual traditions and social science disciplines.

The Sociology and Social Policy degree aims to be highly relevant and applicable. Together, the sociological imagination and the graduate skills that you will develop will be useful for professional employment and life-long personal development. More than this, we hope that studying Sociology and Social Policy will equip you with the capacity to become well-informed, responsible, ethically sensitive citizens. You will understand the importance of robust evidence and careful theorising to make sense of the social world in which you live and work.

Year one

Core modules

Case Studies in Social Policy

This module discusses social policy research methods, historical and theoretical developments, and policy-making processes as they relate to the themes and topics discussed in ‘Introduction to Social Policy’. As such, it aims to deepen your understanding, and encourage you to begin to apply your knowledge to the study of social policy in practice.

Introduction to Social Policy

This module promotes an exploration of the history of social policy, alongside the intellectual approaches that have informed policy developments from the early twentieth century to the present day. In line with this aim, you will gain the ability to link theoretical analysis with empirical enquiry in relation to a range of contemporary issues, including the promotion of health and the treatment of illness, education, work and unemployment, housing, ageing, child care, youth, and disability.

Sociological Imagination

This module explores both what makes Sociology distinctive and how research methods and sociological knowledge are connected. The module begins with an exploration of the capacity and potential of the ‘sociological imagination’, and is then organised around five key sociological concerns of: order and deviance; inequality and social class; gender and the family; race and ethnicity; social change. The module is designed then to introduce you to key sociological concerns, a range of research strategies, and an appreciation of the importance of ethics in research.

Theorising Citizenship

This module introduces you to the core concept of citizenship, as well as the different theoretical traditions that provide variable normative interpretations. Central to the aim of the module is the exploration of socio-political concepts that are directly linked to an understanding of citizenship, appreciations of which are necessary to understanding the development of social policy.

Theorising Modernity

This module covers the key social and economic changes that occurred with the coming of modernity, and the birth of Sociology to comprehend these changes. Contemporary social change is discussed in the second half of the module, accompanied by a review of key theoretical developments within the discipline to establish the continuing relevance of Sociology and its adaptability. The module both introduces you to foundational sociological concepts and theoretical approaches, and begins to establish that there is a relationship between knowledge and the social, political, economic, and cultural context in which it is produced.

Who Am I?

This module takes the contemporary interest in identity and the self and establishes that even such highly individualistic concerns are rooted in historical, social, economic, cultural and political structures and processes. This module draws on Sociology and other cognate social science disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, and political theory, to provide a dynamic learning environment in which you are encouraged to recognise and appreciate theoretical diversity and appreciate the remit and capacity of Sociology for an understanding of the self.

Year two

Core modules

Divisions, Diversity and Difference I

This module explores core sociological themes of social divisions, difference, exclusion and power, and examines them both theoretically and empirically. This module also serves as a platform to develop transferable employability skills and to offer support in the transition to this level of study.

Theory and Methods

This module has been designed to extend your knowledge of social theory and research methods, and builds explicitly on the foundation established in the ‘Sociological Imagination’ module. It aims to provide both a comprehensive knowledge of sociological theories and an applied understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Welfare and Wellbeing

This module aims to promote an enhanced understanding of the institutions involved in the development and implementation of social policies, how these have developed over time, and the themes, issues and debates surrounding them. You will explore the construction of social problems, in different historical periods and different national contexts.

Year three

Core modules

Comparative Social Policy

This module aims to explore the ways in which different societies have attempted to tackle social problems and inequalities at different points in history, and to analyse to the impact of policy developments within national and cross-national contexts. You will engage with core theoretical approaches and more recent policy trends and intellectual developments to understand the evolution of welfare systems within distinct national contexts; the cross-national diffusion of welfare models and policy developments; and the ways in which welfare systems have changed over time to meet the demands of a globalised world.

Divisions, Diversity and Difference II

This module aims to extend and deepen your understanding of the core sociological themes of social divisions, difference, exclusion, and power. The module provides continuity, coherence and community in the student experience; the space to deliver and develop transferable skills; and structured advice for options following completion of your degree.

Individual Study

When studying Sociology and Social Policy you must also undertake an ‘Individual Study’. This provides the opportunity to explore personal interests and work autonomously on a piece of work after an initial taught induction phase. There is an option for you to take a longer, more in-depth 40 credit study, which will often include empirical investigation.

Likely optional modules

Year two

Citizenship and Empowerment

This module is designed to provide you with a firm grounding in the concepts and theories of citizenship, and to encourage an informed understanding of the active practice of citizenship in contemporary Britain including a discussion of social movements.

Crime and Deviance

This module has always been a popular choice amongst our students, and supports you in preparing for careers in policing, criminal justice and local government. The module extends the discussion of order and deviance begun in the ‘Sociological Imagination’ module, and aims to develop a critical understanding of key perspectives, theories, methodologies and issues in the field of criminology.

Medicine, Health and Society

This module provides a firm grounding in the sociology of health and illness, and will be of particular interest to those students wishing to pursue careers in health or social work. The module will critically examine the history, power and dominance of biomedical knowledge and the continued persistence of health inequalities.

Research Skills: Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis

This module is designed to develop practical skills of data collection, analysis, presentation, and interpretation. You will be encouraged to collect and analyse data for local community organisations. This module will be of particular interest to students who wish to undertake a 40 credit Individual Study at Level 6 (Year 3), or who are contemplating postgraduate studies.

Sociology of Education

This module examines how Sociology and Social Policy contribute to an understanding of education. It may be of particular interest to those students wishing to enter the teaching profession, but also for those considering other professions. The learning and teaching environment aims to develop the practical communication and organisational skills valued within the educational sector.

Sociology of Family Life

This module aims to provide a thorough exploration of continuity, change and diversity in intimate relationships, and to support students wishing to enter teaching and social work. Drawing on sociological theory and historical analyses, the module encourages a sophisticated understanding of families in transition.

Year three

Citizenship and Community

This module encourages you to apply your existing and developing knowledge and understanding of social citizenship and participation to the service and care sector delivered by either the public, private or charity sector.

Mind, Body and Society

This module is designed to examine the Sociology of madness and the Sociology of the body and will be of interest to everybody but especially to you who wishes to enter social work and health related professions. Sophisticated theoretical debate will be supplemented by an empirical examination of inequalities in the diagnosis and epidemiology of mental illness.

Race, Ethnicity ad Society

This module provides an in-depth conceptual, theoretical, and empirical understanding of the roles played by processes of racialization and ‘othering’.

Reading Social Texts

This module requires you to engage critically with high level social theory. Its focus on critical reading and independent research skills will support you if you wish to make the transition to postgraduate study.

Sexuality and Modernity

This module engages with questions of desire, pleasure, identity, sexual normativity and power in modernity from a social scientific perspective.

"My research examines the ways in which social policies are shaped by ideas about youth and age, gender and family, work and retirement, and a range of other questions. To me, Sociology and Social Policy is about how we understand the world and our role in it: this is what makes it such a fascinating field."

Dr Jennie Bristow, Senior Lecturer and author of The Sociology of Generations: New directions and challenges.

Many aim to follow professional pathways into teaching, social work, the police, local government, non-governmental organisations, or postgraduate study, and our programme is designed to support you across all these areas of interest. The comparative study of policy trends and organisations will be helpful for you if you wish to pursue careers in the international arena. With a degree in Sociology and Social Policy you will also develop the skills, knowledge and attributes that can be applied in a wide range of other areas of employment, and we support you in considering these various career and personal development opportunities.


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Full-time (placement year or year abroad) N/A N/A
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) We offer an optional one day field trip to Margate. This requires the purchase of a return train ticket from Canterbury to Margate (to be purchased on the day of the field trip), the cost of which must be borne by the students. At the time of writing an off-peak return ticket is £5.50
Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements This applies to one module only (Citizenship and Community, level VI). Such travel costs will vary depending on the location of the student’s home address and of their placement.
DBS / Health Checks

This applies to one module only (Citizenship and Community, level VI). Students may have to undergo a (DBS) check. There is a charge for this process of £52. To date such costs have been borne by the host organisations, although it is conceivable that a student might have to fund their own. However, as part of this module students are expected to research and identify their own volunteering placement, so they will be aware of any such costs before committing to the placement.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

The course makes use of a combination of co-ordinated learning and teaching approaches. Formal contact hours are structured around a variety of flexible and interactive teaching and learning sessions that include lectures, the screening of films/documentaries, seminars, presentations and flipped learning activities. In addition, you will be expected to undertake independent reading and research tasks designed to foster research skills, and critically apply sociological and political ideas and theories to real world issues.

Your experience of learning, teaching and assessment is designed to be stimulating and delivered by staff committed to their subject area, and is underpinned by research-involved and research-informed teaching. The Sociology team have published numerous books and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and won several awards for their innovative and exemplary teaching practice.

We use a variety of assessment methods that have been designed to help you to learn more effectively and acquire important skills for study and work. At Level 4 (Year 1) you will complete an assessed ‘skills visa’ that will ensure that you have all the necessary study skills for effective completion of your degree. Alongside conventional essays and exams you can expect to be assessed by reports, reviews, blogs, group work, posters and presentations, annotated bibliographies, case studies, debates, portfolios and workbooks.

To support all assessments, the team provides oral and written guidance on all assessment tasks, including: grading criteria; module specific instructions; feed-forward workshops; and personal tutorials. Additionally, the team provides timely feedback on all graded work, designed to address subject knowledge, learning processes and skills development.

If you are undertaking the International Baccalaureate, the normal tariff is 24 points. If you are a mature student without previous qualifications, you may be accepted in special circumstances subject to interview and we encourage applications from students in this category.

In line with standard University entry requirements for undergraduate programmes, if you are an international student wishing to study Sociology and Social Policy, you will be required to have a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each section (see The specific academic requirements from each country are indicated here.

Our course is delivered in lecture spaces designed to encourage discussion and debate, and facilitate group presentations. You will have access to an impressive library and book shop, and a range of electronically-available resources, including books and journal articles.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • LL34

Institutional code

  • C10


  • 3 years full time, 6 years part time


  • September 2017

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 112 UCAS Tariff points.



90% of Sociology and Social Science graduates were in employment or further study six months after completing their studies.

Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Report 2013-14

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Last edited: 04/04/2017 15:48:00