Sociology is a scientific discipline concerned with the explanation of social life and human behaviour of all kinds. It equips students with the skills to understand the breadth of social practice, ranging from the global (including conflict, security, climate change and social justice) to individual experiences (such as the body, beliefs and mental health). Through theoretical tools and methodological techniques, sociology at Queen’s provides students with a unique way of interacting with the world as critical and engaged citizens.
Sociology Degree highlights
Sociology at Queen’s is 9th in the Guardian Ranking for Sociology 2016
- A programme of international interest and global connectivity, from Study Abroad to Erasmus schemes as well as visiting international students.
- We have a solid tradition of students undertaking Study Abroad through Erasmus schemes (with universities in Barcelona, Lund in Sweden, Paris, Munich and Dusseldorf in Germany, Rotterdam and Nijemegen in the Netherlands, Jyvaskyla in Finland) as well as visiting international students who take Sociology modules, particularly those connected to research expertise for which Queen’s is renowned (e.g. Conflict Transformation and Social justice, Childhood, Public Health etc.)
- Opportunity to develop substantive knowledge and research skills through collaboration in Northern Ireland���s vibrant community sector, including field trips, summer work placements, internship opportunities, guest lectures and workshops
World Class Facilities
- Queen’s is an historic campus university in the heart of Belfast, ranked one of the most affordable universities in the UK.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- The Sociology programme meets the highest standard in Ireland and the UK for undergraduate training in research methods and their application. We are one of only 15 Q-Step Centres in the UK.
- A curriculum and programme that is dynamic and responsive to a constantly changing social world, from environmental security to new religious movements.
- We offer a high quality, supportive, student-centred learning experience in a top Russell Group University as evidenced by our excellent NSS student satisfaction rates.
- We are a research-intensive university, which means that what you taught is directly linked to the latest discoveries and innovations. Our programme directly relates to the university’s strategic research priorities, for example, the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security & Justice
“Modules are thought-provoking and challenge common perceptions of ourselves and our social world. All the skills I have learned are transferable to the world of work and give you a solid basis for employability.”
Deborah Murphy, BA Sociology graduate (2014). Current postgraduate student and 2014 Winner of the Lockheed Employees’ Prize
You will be assigned a personal tutor during induction. This member of academic staff will provide one-to-one support and mentoring throughout your studies at Queen’s.
Tailored careers advice and study guidance are available to all students.
We offer a peer-mentoring scheme for Sociology students, with the support of staff and the Centre for Educational Development.
Students have the opportunity to spend time studying in one of our linked universities, including in Spain (Barcelona) and Sweden (Lünd).
Six modules are taken in each of the years. The Sociology team’s diverse research interests translate into an exciting and dynamic programme, with opportunities to study a diverse range of subjects.
In first year, you will learn to think sociologically and explore the sociological imagination using up-to-date research, from studies on Facebook to romance and dating. Our key module Social Media and Cyber Lives allows students to critically reflect on the role of technology in our daily lives, from surveillance to “Big Data”.
Stage 1 courses are outlined below:
Introducing Social Policy
The Sociological Imagination
Social Media and Cyber Lives
|Stage 1 Optional Courses|
Visualising the Social World
Power, Ritual and Symbol
Issues in Contemporary Politics
In second year, you will be introduced to classical and contemporary theories, and develop proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research methods. You will gain skills in using the most widely used software, for example, SPSS and NVivo. We take advantage of ARK, a key resource situated in the School, and use their wide range of attitudinal surveys, often commissioned by government and key NI organisations. This allows students to apply their research skills training to contemporary issues, using the latest survey data.
In addition to the core elements, which also includes a comprehensive introduction to the study of inequality, from historical development to contemporary debates, you will also be able to choose from a variety of specialist Sociology options as well as Criminology and Social Policy subjects, for example, ageing and climate change.
Stage 2 courses are outlined below:
The Power of Social Theory
Qualitative Research Skills
Social Inequalities and Diversity
Quantitative Research Skills
|Stage 2 Optional Courses|
Northern Ireland: Conflict, Identity, Peace
Welfare in Theory and Practice
Environmental Crime and Justice
Ageing and the Life Course
Health, Illness and Social Bodies
In final year, Single Honours Sociology students design and undertake their own research project, under the guidance of a dedicated supervisor. This allows students to develop their own research question on a topic of their own selection, building on their studies. We encourage students to partner with community organisations to ensure that their research has direct and often immediate impact, where it is needed. As well as the development of specialist subject-knowledge, the final year project provides key transferable skills, including independent project management and problem-solving. A key aspect of final year is the ability to choose from the specialist Sociology options, reflecting the team’s research interests, from childhood and family through to global citizenship and human rights.
Stage 3 courses are outlined below:
Research Project and Dissertation
|Stage 3 Optional Courses|
Disability and Society
Religion: Death or Revival
Global Risk Society
Sociology of Matters
Issues in Contemporary Irish Society
Modern Families, Intimate and Personal Relationships
People teaching you
Dr Véronique Altglas
Lecturer in Sociology
Véronique’s expertise lies in the globalisation of religion, new religious movements, religious exoticism, responses to cultural and religious diversity, and anti-Semitism. Veronique is also Director of the Sociology programme and first point of contact for queries.
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
6 (hours maximum)
|Medium Group Teaching|
3 (hours maximum)
hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
17 (hours maximum)
studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial|
10 (hours maximum)
one-to-one academic supervision during final year dissertation
Learning and Teaching
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.
On the Sociology single honors course we do this by providing 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.
Sociology students at Queen's are taught in a dynamic academic environment by an award-winning teaching staff, in a School which was rated as one of the leading departments in the United Kingdom.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Practicals provide students with the opportunity to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life contexts. For example, using recent survey data to address topical research issues, from attitudes to ageing to immigration. Specialist computer software includes SPSS (statistical package), ARCGIS (mapping and spatial analysis) and NVivo (qualitative data analysis software).
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 programme including the use of interactive support materials.
Lectures are normally delivered in large groups and provide important introductions to significant concepts, debates and theories. They also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments. We often invite guest speakers from key organisations and civil society groups.
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student and includes private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, and reflection on feedback and assignment preparation.
A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups. These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures. This provides students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers. During these classes, students will sometimes be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.
Work-based learning opportunities
You will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with one of the many employers who are keen to benefit from the important skills you develop through your degree pathway. These opportunities can range from extra-curricular summer work placements, accredited by Degree Plus, through to working with community sector organisations on a research project in your final year.
Modules are typically assessed by a combination of continuous assessment, assignments and/or final written examination. Examples of continuous assessment include:
Small Group Projects/Presentations – usually on a topic of students’ own choosing.
Written assignments – including essays, book reviews, critical commentaries and blogs.
Research-based assignments – for example, research proposals, questionnaire design, face-to-face interviews, reflective research diaries, analysis of statistical data and independent research projects.
Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Following each element of assessed coursework, students are provided with detailed feedback on the quality of their written work and how they can improve future assignment.
Students receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement employers, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your 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 comments. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
Online or emailed comments
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
Placement employer comments or references
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.
The School is located in a recently renovated building, with state-of-the-art learning facilities. There is also a dedicated student common room which students can use freely between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. The common room has seating, basic kitchen facilities and computer access with printing.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application. The information relates to 2017 entry and will be updated for 2018 entry as soon as possible.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit.
For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with a Merit in each unit.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only.
Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for last year, the standard set was an overall average of 65% in Level 3 modules.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of Social Policy and Sociology, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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 degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- 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.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Your degree in Sociology will equip you with a range of transferable skills that are highly sought in a wide variety of fields in the contemporary jobs market. Sociology graduates are found in a range of occupations, including management, communication, marketing, sales, retail management, journalism, media research and publishing, youth and community work, charities and the voluntary sector, healthcare, social and civil services, and education. Sociology is also a good fit for a variety of careers in business: it develops the ability to gather and evaluate evidence, to engage in critical analysis, and to understand and explain complex problems and situations.
Some of our past graduates have worked for organisations beyond and within Northern Ireland, such as:
• Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)
• Belfast Child
• Johnsons Solicitors
• Lloyds Banking Group
• Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Employment after the Course
Typical career destinations for Sociology graduates include:
• Social Researcher
• Lecturer in Higher or Further Education
• Civil Servant
• Youth & Community Worker
While most graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, it is increasingly common for graduates to ‘top off’ their degree with further study or professional training. Sociology graduates have gone on to undertake further study in fields such as law, social work, social research, and education. There is a range of postgraduate study options available at Queen’s, and within the School we offer the MRes Master’s in Social Science Research, which provides the opportunity to develop and significantly advance skills in research methods, as well as substantive topics and theoretical debates.
Additional Awards Gained
The Q-Step Dissertation Award supports various projects using quantitative methods, from a comparative study of attitudes to immigration using the European Social Survey to collecting and analysing data on public perceptions on the death penalty.
Prizes and Awards
Lockheed Employees' Prizes are financed from a benefaction to the University by the employees of the Lockheed Overseas Corporation, USA, who worked in Northern Ireland during the second world war.
This prize may be awarded annually to students for the Bachelor of Arts degrees taking single, major or joint subjects in Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Top performing students are regularly awarded prizes and scholarships, for instance the highest achieving students are awarded the Lockheed Prize annually.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,030|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,030|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
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.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.
How to Apply
Application 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 2018 from 1 September 2017.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).
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.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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