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Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Sociology

*Please note that this programme specification is currently being revalidated and will be updated by end of July 2014.

Final award

BA (Hons)

Intermediate awards available

Cert HE, Dip HE

UCAS code

L300 - Level 1 entry (3 Year full time route)

Details of professional body accreditation

N/A

Relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Sociology

Date specification last up-dated

September 2013

Profile

The summary - UCAS programme profile

BANNER BOX:

This programme is concerned with Sociology in terms of Globalization, Multiculturalism and Social Justice

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The minimum requirements for entry for Level 1 entry is 240 UCAS tariff points from: A/AS level (Including 2 A2 passes), GNVQ, AVCE, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate. European Baccalaureate, BTEC / SCOTEC Diploma or Relevant Access Course. Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered.

We also welcome applicants from mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience. Students applying to this programme will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in this area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with the subject. Applicants may be invited for interview.

Overseas Qualifications

The number of overseas qualifications which are accepted for entry are too numerous to list, but you can get advice from the British Council or our admissions unit on 020 8223 2835. You must be able to understand and express yourself in both written and spoken English and some evidence e.g. For level 1 entry a TOEFL score of 550 or an IELTS score of 6.0 (no skill level below 5) would be required.

ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

What is BA (Hons) Sociology?

Sociology remains the 'study of society' but globalization means that national 'societies' are increasingly part of a global society in which information, money, goods, services and people are increasingly free to move.

Sociology at UEL

  • Is approached through the study of globalization and identity formation
  • Examines social diversity, inequality and exclusion
  • Is concerned with issues of social justice and public policy
  • Has a wide range of options reflecting the diversity of concerns within the discipline
  • Is concerned to develop study, research and employability skills needed by professionals in a globalizing worl

Programme structure

BA (Hons) Sociology students take six modules each year.

Level One

There are four compulsory (core) modules at Level One. 

  • Thinking Sociologically
  • Globalisation and Modern Britain
  • Study Skills and ICTs 
  • Researching East London

Students then choose two further options one of which can be a University Wide Option.

Level Two

There are three compulsory (core) modules at Level Two. 

  • Social Theory One
  • Social Theory Two
  • Research and Employability Workshop

Students then choose from a range of Sociology options. Students can also take a University Wide Option at Level Two.

Level Three

At level three, Sociology students undertake a core 40 credit Research and Dissertation module and four options, one of which can be a University Wide Option.

Learning environment

The BA (Hons) Sociology programme offers a diverse learning environment linked to learning outcomes; seminar-based modules for understanding theoretical materials and leading ideas; and workshops for discussion, and working through exercises.

Sociology staff place lecture material on UELPlus for access by students, along with relevant readings and web sites. Staff will provide comments on assignments prior to their submission and one to one feedback on assessed work.

Assessment

  • Assessment is primarily by coursework although there are some examinations. In addition to essays, there is a range of innovative assessments (such as reports, reviews and portfolios).
  • The number of assessments per module varies. But the minimum is one and the maximum is three per module.
  • Your final degree classification is based on performance in ten of the final twelve modules (taken at levels two and three).

Work experience/placement opportunities

N/A

Project work

The emphasis in BA (Hons) Sociology is on the development of students' own ideas. This is facilitated by a variety of research projects over the three years culminating in a two semester Research Project at Level three.

Added value

Sociology degrees have given graduates the confidence to proceed to post-graduate degrees and a range of professional employment. Our emphasis on combining theoretical understanding with practical research activity is valued highly by employers in a wide range of public professions and private sector businesses.

Outcomes

Programme aims and learning outcomes

What is this programme designed to achieve?

This programme is designed to give you the opportunity to:

  • Develop conceptual knowledge of developments in modernity and globalization.
  • Provide an empirical understanding of social structure and the changes it is undergoing. 
  • Acquire specialist knowledge of individual social theorists.
  • Become aware of the importance of historical and comparative analysis.
  • Undertake data recovery and analysis
  • Be able to draw on materials from a range of sources and demonstrate an ability to synthesize them.
  • Be able to assess a range of diverse perspectives and discuss the strengths of each for the understanding of events.
  • Prepare for future employment

What will you learn?

Knowledge and understanding

  • Theoretical approaches to modernity, identity formation, globalization and ethical concerns
  • Statistical and empirical data providing an informed overview of changing social structures
  • A variety of methodological and research skills
  • The ability to communicate in a clear, informed and authoritative fashion

'Thinking' skills

  • Understanding a range of academic texts
  • Summarising and synthesising theories and evidence
  • Access to contemporary debates about the world and the interests that inform them

Subject-Based Practical skills

  • Use of Information Technology and the Internet for information retrieval and presentation
  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills
  • Ability to conduct informed debate on current social issues

Skills for life and work

  • Professional presentation and communication skills
  • Critical appraisal of arguments and evidence
  • Autonomous planning and management of the learning process
  • Information Technology skills including a range software packages
  • Group and communication skills for working with others

Structure

The programme structure

Introduction

All programmes are credit-rated to help you to understand the amount and level of study that is needed.

One credit is equal to 10 hours of directed study time (this includes everything you do e.g. lecture, seminar and private study).

Credits are assigned to one of 5 levels:

  • 0 - equivalent in standard to GCE 'A' level and is intended to prepare students for year one of an undergraduate degree programme
  • 1 - equivalent in standard to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 2 - equivalent in standard to the second year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 3 - equivalent in standard to the third year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • M - equivalent in standard to a Masters degree

Credit rating

The overall credit-rating of this programme is 360 credits.

Typical duration

The typical duration of this programme is three years full-time or five years part-time. An extra year is available for students wishing to study abroad or to complete a professional studies placement (in social policy or social research).

It is possible to move from full-time to part-time study and vice-versa to accommodate any external factors such as financial constraints or domestic commitments. Many of our students make use of this flexibility and this may impact on the overall duration of their study period.

How the teaching year is divided

The teaching year is divided into two semesters of roughly equal length. A typical full-time student will study three 20 credit modules per semester and a typical part-time student will study one or two modules per semester

The BA (Hons) Sociology programme has two points of entry. The main point is in September but there is also an entry point in February. Consequently, the Level One study skills module is taught in both semesters, as are the two Level Three research modules.

What you will study when

This programme is part of a modular degree scheme. A typical full-time student will take six 20 credit modules per year. An honours degree student will complete six modules at level one, six at level 2 and six at level 3.
It is possible to bring together modules from one subject with modules from another to produce a combined programme. UEL offers subjects in a variety of combinations:

  • Single - 120 credits at levels one, two and three with minimum of 40 credits drawn from University wide options
  • Major - 80 credits at levels one, two and three with a minimum of 20 credits drawn from University wide options
  • Joint - 60 credits at levels one, two and three with a minimum of 20 credits drawn from University wide options
  • Minor - 40 credits at levels one, two and three.

Modules are defined as:

  • Core - Must be taken
  • Option - Select from a range of identified modules within the Programme
  • University wide option - Select from a wide range of modules across the University

The following are the core and optional requirements for the single and major pathways for the BA Sociology degree.

Level 1 Entry

LEVEL

TITLE

CREDITS

STATUS
SINGLE

STATUS
MAJOR

STATUS
JOINT

STATUS
MINOR

1

Thinking Sociologically

20

Core

Core

Core

Core

1

Introduction to Study Skills and ICTs

20

Core

Core

Core*

N/A

1

Researching East London

20

Core

Option

Option

N/A

1

Globalisation & Modern Britain

20

Core

Core

Core

Core

1

Markets, States and Individuals

20

Option

N/A

Option

N/A

1

Identity, Difference, Race

20

Option

Option

Option

N/A

1

Politics, State and Society

20 

Option 

N/A 

Option 

N/A 

Constructions of Identity 

20 

Option 

Option 

Option 

N/A 

The Olympic and Paralympic Games 

20 

Option 

Option 

Option 

N/A 

2

Social Theory 1: Modernity and the Industrial Age

20

Core

Core

Core

Core

2

Research and Employability Workshop

20

Core

Core

Core*

N/A

2

Social Theory 2: Globalisation and the Information Age

20

Core

Core

Option

Option

2

Delivering Social Welfare in the 21st Century

20

Option

Option

Option

N/A

2

Sexual Cultures

20

Option

Option

Option

N/A

2

Psychosocial Approaches to Everyday Cultures

20

Option

Option

Option

N/A

2

Youth Cultures

20

Option

Option

Option

N/A

2

Race and Representation

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

2

Sexualities in Contemporary Societies

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

2

Social Movements in the  Radical Twentieth Century

20

Option

N/A

Option

Option

Understanding ‘Race’, Ethnicity, Culture and Difference  

20 

Option 

N/A 

Option 

Option 

3

Research and Dissertation Workshop 

40

Core

Core

Core*

N/A

3

The Sociology of Identity and Difference

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

Mobile Societies 

20 

Option 

Option 

Option 

Option 

Work Placement Module 

20

Option 

Option 

Option 

Option 

Surveillance, Technology and Society 

20 

Option 

Option 

Option 

Option 

3

Warfare, Welfare and Citizenship

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Constructions of 'Race' in Culture and Politics

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Culture, Power and Resistance in the 21st Century

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Generations, Age and Meaning

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Life Histories

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Islam in the Modern World

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Women, Politics and Power

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

3

Nationalism in a Global Era

20

Option

Option

Option

Option

* Skills curriculum module. Joint Honours Students must take this module unless the equivalent module is being taken in the other half of their programme.

Requirements for gaining an award

In order to gain an honours degree you will need to obtain 360 credits including:

  • A minimum of 120 credits at level one or higher
  • A minimum of 120 credits at level two or higher
  • A minimum of 120 credits at level three or higher

In order to gain an ordinary degree you will need to obtain a minimum of 300 credits including:

  • A minimum of 120 credits at level one or higher
  • A minimum of 120 credits at level two or higher
  • A minimum of 60 credits at level three or higher

In order to gain a Diploma of Higher Education you will need to obtain at least 240 credits including a minimum of 120 credits at level one or higher and 120 credits at level two or higher
In order to gain a Certificate of Higher Education you will need to obtain 120 credits at level one or higher.
In order to gain a Foundation Degree you will need to obtain a minimum of 240 credits including:

  • A minimum of 120 credits at level one or higher
  • A minimum of 120 credits at level two or higher

(A foundation degree is linked to a named Honours degree onto which a student may progress after successful completion of the Foundation degree.)

Degree Classification

Where a student is eligible for an Honours degree, and has gained a minimum of 240 UEL credits at level 2 or level 3 on the programme, including a minimum of 120 UEL credits at level 3, the award classification is determined by calculating:

The arithmetic mean of the best 100 credits at level 3

×

2/3

+

The arithmetic mean of the next best 100 credits at levels 2 and/or 3

×

1/3

and applying the mark obtained as a percentage, with all decimals points rounded up to the nearest whole number, to the following classification

70% - 100%

First Class Honours

60% - 69%

Second Class Honours, First Division

50% - 59%

Second Class Honours, Second Division

40% - 49%

Third Class Honours

0% - 39%

Not passed

Assessment

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching and learning

Knowledge and understanding is developed through

  • Lectures and reading on globalization and related sociological themes
  • Workshops, seminars, group work discussions and exercises
  • Lectures and practical exercises in social research
  • Private study in preparation for contact hours and for assessment.

'Thinking' skills are developed through

  • clarifying research questions through deciphering of texts
  • assessing theoretical arguments, evidence and research designs
  • summarising and synthesising materials into key points

Practical skills are developed through

  • working with others in workshops
  • using ICT skills to search web and use analytical and presentation software
  • carrying out data collection exercises
  • constructing research reports

General skills are developed through

  • verbal presentations (of assessments) in workshops
  • working with others to progress discussion

Assessment

Knowledge is assessed by

  • examinations
  • essays
  • reviews/deciphering of texts

Thinking skills are assessed by

  • research exercises and research design for projects
  • literature reviews/synthesis
  • writing up research reports

Practical skills are assessed by

  • data collection and analysis exercises/projects
  • organised external visits
  • presentation of assessed work

Skills for life and work (general skills) are assessed by

  • presentations to workshop groups

Quality

How we assure the quality of this programme

Before this programme started, the following was checked:

  • there would be enough qualified staff to teach the programme;
  • adequate resources would be in place;
  • the overall aims and objectives were appropriate;
  • the content of the programme met national benchmark requirements;
  • the programme met any professional/statutory body requirements;
  • the proposal met other internal quality criteria covering a range of issues such as admissions policy, teaching, learning and assessment strategy and student support mechanisms.

This is done through a process of programme approval which involves consulting academic experts including some subject specialists from other institutions.

How we monitor the quality of this programme

The quality of this programme is monitored each year through evaluating:

  • external examiner reports (considering quality and standards);
  • statistical information (considering issues such as the pass rate);
  • student feedback.

Drawing on this and other information programme teams undertake the annual Review and Enhancement Process which is co-ordinated at School level and includes student participation. The process is monitored by the University's Quality Standing Committee.

Once every six years an in-depth review of the whole field is undertaken by a panel that includes at least two external subject specialists. The panel considers documents, looks at student work, speaks to current and former students and speaks to staff before drawing its conclusions. The result is a report highlighting good practice and identifying areas where action is needed.

The role of the programme committee

This programme has a programme committee comprising all relevant teaching staff, student representatives and others who make a contribution towards the effective operation of the programme (e.g. library/technician staff). The committee has responsibilities for the quality of the programme. It provides input into the operation of the Review and Enhancement Process and proposes changes to improve quality. The programme committee plays a critical role in the University's quality assurance procedures.

The role of external examiners

The standard of this programme is monitored by at least one external examiner. External examiners have two primary responsibilities:

  • To ensure the standard of the programme
  • To ensure that justice is done to individual students

External examiners fulfil these responsibilities in a variety of ways including:

  • Approving exam papers/assignments
  • Attending assessment boards
  • Reviewing samples of student work and moderating marks
  • Ensuring that regulations are followed
  • Providing feedback through an annual report that enables us to make improvements for the future

Listening to the views of students

The following methods for gaining student feedback are used on this programme:

  • Student evaluation of modules through anonymous questionnaires
  • Student representation on Programme Committees (meeting two times per year)
  • Informal discussions with lecturers on a one to one or group basis
  • The Personal Tutorial System

Students are notified of the action taken through:

  • circulating the review and enhancement process report
  • student representation on programme committee meetings
  • informal discussions on an ongoing basis
  • one to one meetings with a lecturer where appropriate

Listening to the views of others

The following methods are used for gaining the views of other interested parties:

  • Questionnaires to former students
  • Placements Officers
  • Employers

Further Information

Alternative locations for studying this programme

Location

Which elements?

Taught by UEL staff

Taught by local staff

Method of Delivery

-

-

-

-

-

Where you can find further information

Further information about this programme is available from:

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