Key Course Information
A-Level Requirements *
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Professional Year Out
Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.
Sociology is often described as 'the science of society': it explains how societies work, which is often different from how people think they work.
One way of understanding social trends is to count people, activities and events, and societies are now awash with data on every aspect of people's lives. Sociologists need to become specialists in making sense of this data.
Queen's is one of only fifteen universities across the UK that have been funded* as part of Q-Step initiative to promote a step-change in undergraduate quantitative social science training. The initiative trains students to analyse social data through the delivery of specialist undergraduate programmes, including new courses, work placements and pathways to postgraduate study.
The BSc in Sociology with Quantitative Methods degree combines the curiosity of social inquiry with the quantitative skills required to collect and analyse social data. The degree is a key component of the Queen's Q-Step Centre as it helps to address the critical shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates. The need for such graduates is evidenced in the British Academy's position paper 'Society Counts' which argues that "Well-rounded graduates, equipped with core quantitative skills, are vital if the UK is to retain its status as a world leader in research and higher education, rebuild its economy, and provide citizens with the means to understand, analyse and criticise data”. Q-Step aims to improve the confidence and skills of social science undergraduates in mathematics and statistics and allow them to apply these skills to the analysis of social issues and social inquiry.
*Funded by ESRC, Nuffield Foundation and HEFCE
Unique Opportunity: Queen’s is one of only a small group of universities in the UK which, through being part of the Nuffield Foundation/Economic and Social Research Council 'Q-Step Centres' innovation, is offering Sociology combined with Quantitative Methods training. The degree provides unique opportunities to tackle quantitative data analysis in a professional environment through short-term placements provided by a select group of employers.
Bursaries: the School offers a range of bursaries including a number of dissertation awards for undertaking quantitative research.
Study Abroad: students can spend time studying abroad in one of our linked Universities in Europe; for further information, please contact Dr Veronique Altglas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Careers Prospects: Sociology graduates with quantitative skills are highly sought after in a broad range of careers - in business, charities, politics, academia and the public sector. Graduates of this degree are also well placed to undertake specialist research in universities and elsewhere, and to develop their skills further at Masters and Doctoral levels.
Further Study Opportunities: We have a number of Q-Step bursaries (fees only) for the Masters in Social Research (MRes).
Work Placements: Bursaries are also provided for summer work placements.
In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.
BBB including Mathematics OR
BBC + AS-level Mathematics grade B OR
ABB + GCSE Mathematics grade B
Irish Leaving Certificate:
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level H3 in Mathematics
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 and Ordinary Level grade O3 in Mathematics
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:
- English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English
How To Apply
How to Apply
Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.
The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.
For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.
Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.
Course Content (including module information)
Students will receive training in both their substantive discipline (Sociology) and in quantitative research design, methods and analysis.
In Level 1, students are introduced to important sociological debates, theories and issues. Students will also undertake modules in project design, data collection strategies in the analysis and visualisation of social data.
- Understanding Society
- Introducing Social Policy
- Visualising the Social World
- Sociological Imagination
- Digital Society
- Researching the Social World
In Level 2, students will undertake further research training, and statistical data analysis, as well as enhancing their knowledge of Sociology and its application to the contemporary world.
- Development of Social Theory
- Qualitative Research Skills
- Theory Counts
- Comparative Social Inequalities
- The Social Construction of Statistics
- Social Identity: Differences and Inequalities
In Level 3, students undertake their own quantitative research study under the supervision of Q-Step Centre staff utilising extensive regional, national and international data resources. Modules offer opportunities to further develop their sociological and transferable skills.
- Sociology of Childhood
- Research Project and Dissertation (full year module)
- Researching Change across the Life Course
- Contemporary Irish Society
- Comparing the Local and the Global
Fees & Scholarships
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.
Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.
Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
Sociology and Quantitative Methods students at Queen’s are taught in a dynamic academic environment in a School rated as one of the leading departments in the discipline in the United Kingdom. The School is located in a recently renovated building, with state of the art learning facilities, together with a dedicated School student common room.
The BSc (Honours) in Sociology with Quantitative Methods provides a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Lectures: Lectures provide introductory information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide significant opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Flexible teaching space: The course utilises the flexible teaching space within Queen’s to facilitate computer based practical skills labs. Here students have opportunities to work individually and in groups on practical projects developing hands on experience analysing, visualising and presenting social data.
- Self-directed study: This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
- E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example, online discussion forums, research methods modules involving statistics, additional learning resources, online readings, and opportunities to use IT programmes in project- based work.
- Supervised projects: In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on a one-to-one basis and via email throughout the two semesters.
- Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor from their first day at the university. The Personal Tutor is available to meet with them and to give advice throughout their time at Queen’s, in support of their academic development and to act as an important point of contact with the School.
- Peer Mentoring: We offer a peer mentoring scheme for our students, which sees specially- trained second and third year students, under the guidance of staff and the Centre for Educational Development, help first year students settle into life at Queen’s through social events, small group or one-to-one informal support and learning skills workshops.
- Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Study Tours: Study visits and field trips are integrated into several of our option modules. The purpose of these tours is to help students apply their learning to the real-work context and to exercise critical thinking and interpretation. Back in the classroom, students undertake a number of group-based tasks in workshops focused on the field trip and present their findings to classmates.
- Study abroad opportunities: Students have the opportunity to spend some time studying in one of our linked universities. For example, this can take the form of a semester’s study in Sweden (Lünd) (for which credits are transferred back to your degree here in Queen’s) or an intensive two week international study school in Spain (Barcelona).
- Prizes: The highest achieving students in Sociology are awarded the annual Lockheed Prize. We also support our students entering essays to the annual Undergraduate Awards, for which one of our students received a prize in the Social Science category in 2011.
Sociology graduates work in a wide range of occupations, including the media, civil service, research, teaching, business, commerce, marketing and management. Some graduates build on the degree by undertaking postgraduate training in fields such as social work, law, social science research and teaching. Tailored careers advice and study guidance is available to all students throughout their time at Queen’s.
There is a recognised shortage of social scientists trained in quantitative methods to meet the demand from employers across all sectors – business, government, charities and academia. Studying Sociology with Quantitative Methods at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers. Please check the Queen’s Q-Step website for more information about the need for graduates with these skills. Graduates from Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) with 94% of Queen’s students in employment or further study six months after graduating. Over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Sociology.
The diversity of interests and topics covered in the discipline, plus the wide range of research and analytical skills it equips you with, means that our students enter a wide range of careers on graduation. These include the public sector (e.g. social services, education, criminal justice, social work), private sector (e.g. market research, policy analysis, human resources), and third sector (e.g. policy analyst, researcher, youth support worker, charity fundraiser). A number of our students also go on to postgraduate study, on a full or part-time basis.
The following is a list of the major career sectors (and indicative starting salaries) that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
Fast Stream Civil Service: £25,000
Diversity Manager: £22,800
Public Policy Analyst: £19,000
Public Relations Officer: £16,000-25,000
Volunteer Coordinator: £20,000-£26,500
Social Researcher: £22,000
Social Worker (after relevant graduate track degree): £23,500
Public Administrator: £22,300
Charity Fundraiser: £15,000-£24,000
Police Officer: £22,300
Teacher (after relevant graduate track degree): £21,500
We have an active and engaged Employers’ Forum, which is a panel composed of individuals of high ranking in organisations in fields directly relevant to our degree programmes, including G4S, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hastings Hotels, Craigavon District Council, and NI Community and Voluntary Association. The members of this panel advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of our degree programmes and in helping prepare our students for the world of work. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning Objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
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Latest Research Publications
The links below will take you to the latest Queen's Research publications in the PURE portal.