This joint programme equips students in identifying historical and contemporary patterns of social change, divisions, diversity and inequality. The undergraduate History programme spans a long chronological period from Ancient History through to the Contemporary History of the late twentieth century. The modules on offer to undergraduates also cover a wide geographical area that includes Ireland, England, Scotland, Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. Students can choose modules that focus on gender, social and cultural history, politics, religion and economic change. 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).

History and Sociology Degree highlights

Global Opportunities

  • We have a solid tradition of students undertaking study abroad through Erasmus schemes across Europe.

Career Development

  • Tailored careers advice and study guidance are available to all students

World Class Facilities

  • Sociology at Queen’s is 9th in Guardian Ranking for Sociology 2016.
  • Sociology at Queen's is NSS Student Satisfaction 2016 equal 5th with Cambridge.
  • History at Queen’s is in the QS World University Rankings top 150 History departments in the world for 2016.
  • Sociology programmes meet 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 programme of international interest and global connectivity, from study abroad to Erasmus schemes as well as visiting international students.
  • We are a research-intensive university, which means that what you taught is directly linked to the latest discoveries and innovations.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • 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.
  • History and Sociology staff nominated for Teaching Excellence awards annually.

Student Experience

  • We offer a peer-mentoring scheme for History & Sociology students, with the support of staff and the Centre for Educational Development.
  • 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.
  • Opportunity to develop substantive knowledge and research skills through collaboration in Northern Ireland’s vibrant community sector, including fieldtrips, summer work placements, internship opportunities, guest lectures and workshops.
  • Queen’s is an historic campus university in the heart of Belfast, ranked one of the most affordable universities in the UK.
“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, Northern Ireland BA Sociology graduate (2014) Current postgraduate student (Deborah was also a 2014 Winner of the Lockheed Employees’ Prize)

Course content

Course Structure

The Joint Honours History and Sociology degree comprises compulsory courses together with optional courses. Students will choose 3 courses from each subject totalling 6 courses for the year.

The Sociology team’s diverse research interests translate into an exciting and dynamic programme, with opportunities to study a diverse range of subjects, such as:
Childhood, families and gender
Conflict, deviance, violence and peace building
Environmental security
Health, illness and care
Inequalities, poverty and social exclusion
Religion and extremism
Research methods and data skills (quantitative and qualitative)
Stage 1
Courses at Stage 1 offer a systematic introduction to the discipline of History, partly by sampling some of the many different approaches that historians take in studying the past, and partly by an exploration of some of the major questions of theory and method with which they are concerned

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”.

Courses are outlined below:
History and Historians
Exploring History 1
Exploring History 2
Rethinking Society
Introducing Social Policy
The Sociological Imagination
Stage 2

Courses at Stage 2 are generally survey modules seeking to convey a sense of the principal events, trends and developments in a particular country or region over a fairly long time span.

Students take three modules, which may include:
• Politics and Society in 19th Century Ireland
• The American South, 1619 – 1685
• The Roman Origins of the East and West, 300 – 800
• Europe between the Wars
• Life, Love and Death in England and Ireland, 1350 – 1650
• Uniting Kingdoms
• Politics and Society in 20th Century Ireland
• The making of contemporary Britain
• Greece and Macedon
• The American South
• Revolutionary Europe, 1500 – 1789
• Apocalypse
• Recording History
• Visualising China’s encounter with the West
• Cabinets of Curiosity: Museums of Past and Present


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 3
Taught courses at Stage 3 are more specialised, offering the opportunity to study a short period or a particular theme or problem in detail, working from documents as well as secondary sources. In addition, Joint Honours students at Stage 3 can choose to complete a double course dissertation in one of the subjects based on an individually assigned research topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor. Some courses, especially surveys, use lectures and tutorials; others are taught through seminars, in which students are expected to come prepared to fully engage in and sometimes lead group discussions. There is also increasing use of web based learning.

Stage 3 Optional Courses may include:
• The Second World War in Europe
• The Peasants Revolt, 1381
• Working class communities in the UK
• The Soviet Union, 1921 – 1991
• The Ancient City
• That Vast Catastrophe: The Irish Famine
• Thatcher’s Britain
• Kings, courts and culture in Carolingian Europe
• The Rise of Christianity
• Popular Culture in England – 1500 – 1700
• The Origins of Protestantism
• Presbyterians in Ulster
• The American Civil War and Reconstruction
• The Irish Revolution 1917-1921
• The age of anxiety: Culture and Society in Interwar Ireland
• There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack? Race and Immigration in Post-war Britain

In final year, 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.

Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.

People teaching you

Veronique Altglas
Lecturer in Sociology

Contact Teaching Times

Large Group Teaching
6 (hours maximum)
3-6 hours of lectures
Medium Group Teaching
6 (hours maximum)
3-6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
Personal Study
24 (hours maximum)
24 (hours maximum) 22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities etc.
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
5 (hours maximum)
Approx. 5 hours of one-to-one academic supervision in final year dissertation.

Learning and Teaching

Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

Read more

Computer-Based Practicals

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).

E-Learning technologies

Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). 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. In sociology we often invite guest speakers from key organisations and civil society groups.

Self-directed study

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.


Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

Read more

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 and critical commentaries.
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 and module guides which are provided to all students. 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:

Read more

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.


Sociology is located in a recently renovated building, with state-of-the-art learning facilities. There is also a dedicated student common room in both Schools which students can use freely between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. The common room has seating, basic kitchen facilities and computer access

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements

Irish leaving certificate requirements

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65%.

All applicants
There are no specific subject requirements to study History and Sociology.

Selection Criteria

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.

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 last year's intake, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five 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 three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

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 candidates taking a BTEC Extended Diploma 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 8 Merits.

For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. The current entrance requirements are successful completion of the HND with 9 Merits and 7 Passes overall. Any consideration would be for Stage 1 entry only.

Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits. Where offers were made last year, the standard set was an average of 65%.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, 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 four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Candidates 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 (admissions@qub.ac.uk), 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.

  • Academic English: 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.


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)


Career Prospects

This degree at Queen‘s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates are found in a range of occupations, including management, communication, marketing, careers in the media and publishing, charities and the voluntary sector, healthcare, social services and education. They are particularly suited to careers with a high level of public interaction, social engagement and cultural awareness. Sociology develops the ability to gather and evaluate evidence, to understand complex situations, as well as human behaviours and organisations. Graduates are equipped with a comprehensive skills in Research methods, which are highly transferable and marketable and needed across a range of sectors – academia, government, charities and business. While some graduates enter in a wide range of careers, others build on the degree and opt for studies at the post graduate level, for instance by choosing from a range of master programmes within Queen’s University.

Employment after the Course
Typical career destinations of graduates include:
Skills from a social science degree centre on the ability to locate, interpret and apply complex data. The degrees we offer in our School provide particular skills in data analysis that are rare among other social science graduates. These types of skills, combined with an ability to communicate clearly and solve problems, mean that our graduates do well in advanced positions of administration and management. Many such jobs can be found in spheres relating to local administration and public policy.

Social scientists and historians are capable of explaining processes of wider social change; they are also equipped to research consumer trends in detail. The ability to analyse evolving customer needs and opportunities and to critically understand consumer culture is one that is valued by businesses. A career in the private sector can also include roles in human resources or in equality offices, drawing on social scientist’s training in cultural sensitivity and social inequalities.

Teachers and educators with social science and historical training are aware of the factors that shape a young person’s environment and, therefore, behaviour. They are aware of how social disadvantage can effect a pupil’s educational attainment. Social science graduates understand the social context of teaching and are uniquely placed to promote equal opportunities. This gives them the tools and confidence to help overcome many of the unique challenges faced in education institutions today.

History and Sociology graduates are interested in the world around them – in the global trends, the national shifts, the local changes. Newspapers and media outlets employ our graduates to help understand the kinds of stories that engage readers, viewers and listeners. Graduates are trained to get a more rounded, thorough and critical perspective on stories that helps shape the best type of reporting.

Public relations
By reviewing market research data and understanding historic trends, social science graduates who truly understand the motivations of customers can effectively diffuse problems by responding to the public’s concerns with carefully composed solutions. Public Relations Officers seek to manage and enhance the public image of their client(s) through understanding the marketplace in which their clients operate. A grounding in social science provides public relations professionals with a unique understanding of the social world and its organisations leaving them well placed to represent their clients effectively.

Most government agencies, non-profit institutions and outreach organisations increasingly rely on up to date knowledge and evidence to inform and support their work. Some social science and history graduates, particularly those with postgraduate degrees, carve out careers as independent research consultants, examining trends in human behaviour. Alternatively organisations will recruit in-house policy and research professionals to communicate key message to the public and other key stake holders.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

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.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,275
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,275
International £16,400

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

All Students

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.

Read more

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.

History and Sociology costs

In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional history exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000. Students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

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.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

How and When to Apply

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 2019 from 1 September 2018.

Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (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

  1. 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 2019.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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