Skip to Content

History and Sociology (BA HONS) VL13


History and Sociology

Entry year
Academic Year 2022/23
Entry requirements
3 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
  • Overview

    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 power and politics, conflict and peace processes, security, the digital world, climate change, racism and social justice) to individual experiences (such as the body, intimacy, emotions, identity, 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.

    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

    • The National Student Survey results show consistent student satisfaction with the History programme and university experience. In 2019, History had an overall student satisfaction score of 91% in the National Student Survey.
    • History at Queen’s is in the QS World University Rankings top 200 History departments in the world for 2019.
    • 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
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    IntroductionThe 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:
    • Intimacy, families and gender
    • Conflict, deviance, violence and peace building
    • Emotions and Politics, from Trump to Brexit
    • Environmental security
    • Inequalities, poverty and social exclusion
    • Religion and extremism
    • Ethnicity, Race and racism
    • Research methods and data skills (quantitative and qualitative)
    Stage 1History
    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 Digital Society 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 2History

    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
    • Greece and Macedon
    • The American South
    • Revolutionary Europe, 1500 – 1789
    • Apocalypse! The end of the World
    • 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 courses including

    • The Power of Social Theory
    • Social Inequalities and Diversity
    • Northern Ireland: Conflict, Identity, Peace
    • New Questions for an Ageing World
    • Sociology of Conflict and Peace Processes
    • Understanding Gender and Migration
    Stage 3History
    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
    • Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster
    • Presbyterians in Ulster
    • The American Civil War and Reconstruction
    • The Irish Revolution 1917-1921
    • The Age of Anxiety: Culture and Society in Interwar Ireland

    A key aspect of final year is the ability to choose from the specialist Sociology options, reflecting the team’s research interests.
    • Religion: Death or Revival
    • Norms and Social Change
    • Emotion, Power, and Politics: The Political Sociology of Emotions, Trump, Brexit, and Populism
    • Modern Families: intimate and personal relationships
    • Disability and Society
    • Contemporary Irish Society
    • Global Risk Society

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

    People teaching you

    Dr Jonathan G. Heaney
    Programme Director and Lecturer in Sociology

    Jonathan teaches social theory and undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well a new final year option course on the political sociology of emotion. His primary research interests lie at the intersection of political sociology and the sociology of emotions, and he is currently working on emotion and power dynamics in relation to nationalism, the state, populism, and party politics more generally. He is also the current Programme Director for Sociology. Email:

    School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics


    Contact Teaching Times

    Large Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
    In a typical week you may have up to 6 hours of lectures, depending on the level of study
    Medium Group Teaching9 (hours maximum)
    In a typical week, you may have up to 9 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars, depending on the level of study.
    Personal Study10 (hours maximum)
    Typically 10 hours per module (30 hours per week), revising in your own time
    Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial6 (hours maximum)
    In a typical week, you will have 3-6 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision).

    Learning and Teaching

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

    • 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
      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.
    • Seminars/tutorials
      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:

    • 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:

    • 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 Course
    Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65%.
    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    32 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level
    BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma
    QCF BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with overall grades DDD

    RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 GLH at Level 3) with overall grades DDD
    A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree
    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 below 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. 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 offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 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 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 Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, will also be considered.

    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.

    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.

    If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit 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 (, giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

    International Students

    Our country pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country. Use the dropdown list below for 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:

    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.

    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)

  • Careers

    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

    Sociology students are regularly successful at all levels in the Global Undergraduate Awards, the world’s leading undergraduate awards programme which recognises top undergraduate work, and one BA Sociology student was a Global Winner in 2017.

    Top performing students are regularly awarded prizes and scholarships, such as the SWAN Prize for the best piece of work on Gender, Foundation Scholarships and the Lockheed Foundation prizes.

    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) 1 £4,630
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,630
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
    EU Other 3 £17,900
    International £17,900

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

    2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here:

    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.

    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


    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



  • Apply

    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:

    When to Apply
    UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2022 from 1 September 2021.

    Advisory closing date: 26 January 2022 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

    Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2022) subject to the availability of places.

    Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2022. If you apply for 2022 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

    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 name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

    Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:

    Apply via UCAS

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    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 2022.
    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.

    Download a prospectus







Register your interest

Can't find something?

We're here to help with any questions or queries you may have about this course

Ask a question