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Entry year
Academic Year 2025/26
Entry requirements
3 years (Full-time)
UCAS code

Sociology is a discipline concerned with the explanation of social life and human behaviour. It equips students with the skills to understand the breadth of social experience, ranging from the global (including power and politics, norms, religion, conflict and peace, the digital world, climate change, racism, sexism and other forms of inequality) to the personal (including family life, intimacy, emotions, beliefs and mental health). Through theoretical tools and methodological techniques, Sociology at Queen’s provides students with a unique way of learning to explain the dynamics of social life as critical and engaged citizens.

Sociology at Queen’s staff members are holders of Teaching Excellence awards.

Sociology highlights

Global Opportunities

We have a solid tradition of students undertaking Study Abroad through Erasmus schemes (with universities in Barcelona, Lund in Sweden, Paris, Aix en Provence, in France, Munich and Dusseldorf in Germany, Rotterdam and Nijemegen in the Netherlands, Jyvaskyla in Finland)

Our students can also undertake periods of study in Canada, the US, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region more broadly. As well as visiting international students often also take Sociology modules at Queens, particularly those connected to research expertise for which the sociology team is renowned (e.g. Conflict, Ethno-nationality, Family, Inequality, Religion, Social Movements, Social Change).

Career Development

Opportunity to develop substantive knowledge and research skills through collaboration in Northern Ireland’s vibrant community sector, including field trips, summer work placements, 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 education in social theory and research methods including their combined application.

Sociology is taught by a group of internationally recognised scholars who specialise in areas such as family, religion, conflict, norms, social movements and social change.

We offer a high quality, supportive, student-centred learning experience in a top Russell Group University.

We are a research-intensive university, which means that what you are taught is directly linked to the latest discoveries and innovations. Members of staff have delivered invited talks at prestigious universities around the world, including Harvard, LSE, the Humbolt (Berlin) and European University Institute.

Student Experience

The Lockheed Prizes are awarded annually to students for the Bachelor of Arts degrees taking single, major or joint subjects in Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology.

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.

We offer a peer-mentoring scheme for Sociology students, with the support of staff and the Centre for Educational Development.

Further Study Opportunities

There is a range of further study options. Within the School, we offer the MRes 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. We also have a new MSc Sociology and Global Inequality programme which launched in September 2024.

Student Testimonials

Course Structure


The Sociology team’s diverse research interests translate into an exciting and dynamic programme, with opportunities to study a range of subjects, such as:
• Intimacy, families and gender
• Conflict, deviance, violence and peace building
• Emotions and Politics
• Ethnicity, race and racism
• Health, illness and care
• Inequalities, poverty and social exclusion
• Religion and extremism
• Research methods and data skills (quantitative and qualitative)
• Social Change
• Social Movements

Stage 1 Core Modules

In first year, you will learn to think sociologically and explore the sociological imagination using up-to-date research, from studies on racism in Britain to ‘hoods’ in Belfast. Our core module Digital Society allows students to critically reflect on the impact of digital technology on our interactions and identities, from social media to artificial intelligence.

Stage 2 Core Modules

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.

Stage 3 Core Modules

In final year, 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.

The Optional Quantitative Methods Exit Pathway

Students who wish to benefit from specialist training in quantitative research can undertake a series of dedicated social science research modules over the course of their degree studies. Successful completion of 80 CATS credits of advanced quantitative research training (four modules) in level 2 and level 3 will receive the enhancement of BSc “with Quantitative Methods” added to the name of the degree awarded.

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Cate's research interests focus on family demography, specialising in the areas of race-ethnic and socioeconomic differences in family outcomes, union formation, and fertility preferences. Cate teaches on family and quantitative methods for the social sciences at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Lecturer in Sociology

Emma’s research interests include employment and the labour market, education and inequality. As well as her research-led teaching, she trains students in quantitative research methods.

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.

Lecturer in Sociology

Rin's research covers the cultural and political struggles over commemoration and public representations of the past, especially historical denial. His primary areas of interest are cultural sociology, political sociology (especially right-wing movements), memory studies, and social theory.

Senior 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. Email:

Professor in Sociology

John's current research focusses on the role of social movement activism in divided societies, particularly in Lebanon, Syria and Northern Ireland. In this, John examines how a range of non-sectarian social movements – including LGBTQ, feminist and class based groups - mobilize for inclusion or challenge power sharing structures in divided societies.

Programme Director and Professor in Sociology

Lisa specialises in the norms, emotions and social conflicts, focusing specifically on conflicts over various aspects of human reproduction, including abortion and breastfeeding, as well as over social roles such as motherhood.

Contact Teaching Hours

Personal Study

24 (hours maximum)
Hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities etc.

Medium Group Teaching

3 (hours maximum)
Hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week

Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial

10 (hours maximum)
Hours one-to-one academic supervision during final year dissertation

Large Group Teaching

6 (hours maximum)
Hours in lectures

Teaching Times

Teaching is scheduled across the working week, normally not before 10am to facilitate work/life balance. Specific timings vary yearly due to timetabling.

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 students 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:

  • 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) and ARCGIS (mapping and spatial analysis)

  • E-Learning technologies

    Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via our Canvas Virtual Learning Environment. 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. We often invite guest speakers from key organisations and civil society groups.

  • Personal Tutor

    Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor from their first day at the University. The Personal Tutor is available to give advice and support throughout their time at QUB. The Personal Tutor will meet with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.

  • 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.


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 assignments.


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 an attractive 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.

What our academics say




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Rethinking Society (20 credits)
    Digital Society (20 credits)

    Optional Modules

    Crime and Society (20 credits)
  • Year 2

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

    Theory Counts (20 credits)
  • Year 3

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

Entrance requirements

A level requirements


A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to grade A at A-Level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.

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 of DDD

RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 GLH at Level 3) with overall grades of DDD


A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree


All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

There are no specific Level 3 subject requirements to study Sociology.

How we choose our students

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 entry last year, applicants for this degree offering A-Level/ BTEC Level 3 qualifications or equivalent must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). The Selector will check 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 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 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.

For applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate is taken into account. Applicants must have a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/ Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.

For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with all credits at Merit grade. For those offering a Higher National Diploma, 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 all credits assessed in final year to be at Merit grade. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only. Some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.

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 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 a Faculty/School 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 (, giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

International Students

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

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.



Career Prospects


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, 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.

Employment Links

Our graduates have worked for organisations beyond and within Northern Ireland, such as:
• Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)
• Belfast Child
• Johnsons Solicitors
• PricewaterhouseCoopers
• Lloyds Banking Group
• Barnardos
• Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Alumni Success

“I had a summer placement working in the Northern Ireland Assembly. I believe that it was these CV extras that set me apart from other graduates, and landed me a job in the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency only weeks after graduating“
Lauren Kinnear , NISRA

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.

The Lockheed Employees’ Prize is awarded annually to students for the Bachelor of Arts degrees taking Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology.

Top performing students are regularly awarded prizes and scholarships, including the Athena SWAN prize for the best work on gender in equalities, and the Foundation Scholarship.

Degree Plus/Future Ready 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/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,750
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,750
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £20,800
International £20,800

1EU 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.

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

The tuition fees quoted above are for the 2024/25 academic year and are a guide only. In addition, all tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase in each year of the course. Fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

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. 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 programme 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.

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



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 2025 from early September 2024.

The advisory closing date for the receipt of applications for entry in 2025 is still to be confirmed by UCAS but is normally in late January (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 2025) subject to the availability of places. If you apply for 2025 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen's for entry to this course until 30 June 2025. If you apply for 2025 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 2025.
  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 Undergraduate Prospectus