Programme Specification for the 2013/4 academic year

BSc (Hons) Sociology

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Sociology Programme codeUFS3HPSHPS01
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2013/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Cornwall Campus
Programme start date


NQF Level6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

By studying for a BSc in Sociology you will gain a thorough analytical understanding of broader developments in a globalised world down to everyday interactions in a wide variety of social settings. The BSc is designed to give you a particular strength in a range of methodological approaches – both quantitative and qualitative – to equip you for careers in professional and academic fields in which research skills are key (from applied social sciences to marketing, from organisational studies to consultancy work).

As a discipline, Sociology provides a critical understanding of society by examining a wide range of social activities from intimate personal relations to the apparently faceless operation of state bureaucracies. Students will examine social, political, historical, cultural and economic issues and social groups such as families, companies, churches, crowds and political parties. Our Sociology modules cover diverse subjects including sport, music, media, cyborg studies and technology. Our strengths in the sociology of culture and in ethnographic research create a strong link to social anthropology. You will also benefit from our strengths in the sociology of health and illness and our cross-disciplinary provision in criminology, areas where evidence based sociological expertise is particularly relevant.

Studying Sociology at Exeter will equip you with a full range of critical analytical perspectives as well as research methods to start your own exploration of the nature and complexity of human social life.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To provide you with a teaching and learning programme informed by a vibrant research culture.
2. To provide you with excellent learning opportunities for undergraduates in Sociology.
3. To enable you to develop into graduates who will be useful, productive and questioning members of society.
4. To enable you to develop into graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Sociology through a combination of modules which develop a deep understanding of how societies, institutions and practices of all kinds came into being, how they are currently organised, and how they might change in the future.
5. To enable you to develop into graduates who are competent in the specific skills required in Sociology.
6. To enable you to develop into graduates who are competent in core academic skills.
7. To enable you to develop into graduates with a wide range of generic and transferable skills.
8. To offer you a wide range of choice within the programme of study, insofar as this choice is consistent with the coherence and intellectual rigour of the degree.

The Programme will: 

Provide an excellent Honours-level education in Sociology, which meets the criteria for Honours level awards as set out in the FHEQ and the University’s statement of Levels and Awards, and which meets the standards set in the national Subject Benchmarking statements for Sociology. 

Facilitate graduates to become useful, productive and questioning members of society. 

Provide a stimulating and supportive environment for students that is informed by research and scholarship. 

Work in partnership with students to produce graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Sociology through a combination of modules which develops a good understanding of how societies, institutions and practices of all kinds came into being, how they are currently organised, and how they might change in the future. 

Offer a structured framework of study which ensures that within the time span of the programme every student follows a balanced and complementary range of modules, whilst allowing sufficient choice to ensure that students are able to follow individual areas of learning. 

Work in partnership with students to produce graduates who understand the various methods which Sociologists use to study human societies; and who can analyse the organisation and development of societies and gain competence in dealing with the various types of evidence and the methodological problems associated with studying historical and contemporary cultures. 

Develop students’ competence in the subject-specific skills required in Sociology through practical engagement with primary and empirical data. 

Expose students to different teaching and assessment methods within an appropriate learning environment, supported by feedback, monitoring and pastoral care. 

Provide a range of academic and personal skills which will prepare students from varied educational backgrounds for employment or further study, which will foster mental agility and adaptability, and which will enable them to deploy their knowledge, abilities and skills in their entirety, displaying balance and judgement in a variety of circumstances.

4. Programme Structure

The programme is studied over three years full-time. Study is undertaken in three stages, with each stage comprising 120 credits made up of either 15 or 30-credit modules, which contribute towards the degree. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload and one credit is nominally equivalent to ten hours of work. The ‘level’ of a module (designated by the first number in the module code) indicates its position in the progressive development of academic abilities and/or practical skills.

This degree programme contains compulsory and optional modules and as part of the degree programme students may take up to 30 credits a year in another discipline outside their main degree subject, after they have met the compulsory requirements (specified below).

All students must study the specified core modules and the specified amount of optional modules. A full list of Sociology (SOC) modules is available at:

In each year students will normally take modules worth 120 credits in Sociology, but they may drop up to 30 credits of Sociology options (with the exception of core modules) to take modules that are not listed in the programme specification under the University’s modularity rule.

Modules and other study components can be taken only with the approval of the College (normally given by the student’s personal tutor); options are offered each year at the discretion of the Colleges. A module may be taken only if the necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, if the timetable allows, and if the module or an equivalent module has not been taken previously.

Assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award which is based on a degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for stages 2 and 3, combined in the ratio 1:2.

In exceptional circumstances you may exit this award with a Certificate of Higher Education in Sociology where you have achieved 120 credits at Stage 1 or a Diploma of Higher Education in Sociology where you have achieved 240 credits across Stages 1 and 2, with at least 90 of these from Stage 2. 


5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take option modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.

The full list of modules is available (with module descriptions) at

Your first year will give you an excellent grounding in the theories and application of sociology with a particular focus on the issues facing the contemporary world such as social inequality, crime, deviance, migration and globalisation.

In your second year you will develop the skills used by sociologists to understand how societies operate. In addition to gaining hands-on experience of designing your own research project and collating primary evidence, you’ll practise the techniques used in ethnography and explore case studies on topics as varied as Second Life and the British indie music scene. You’ll also be able to choose from a wide range of options covering issues such as childhood, addiction, gender, consumerism, the Holocaust, warfare and religion.

The centre-point of the final year is the compulsory dissertation which may draw on empirical data or your own original field work. This module provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous three years. In addition, you will take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work which reflects your interests.

Stage 1

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOC1012 Introduction to Social Analysis 30No
SOC1026 Sociology of Contemporary Society 30No
SOC1035 Social Issues: Crime and Deviance 30No

Optional Modules

Optional modules (30 credits)

You are free to take two 15-credit modules or one 30-credit module in any discipline. Many students choose Introduction to Social Anthropology, but you may choose to take another Social Science subject, a language or a module in another discipline.

Total Credits for Stage 1


Stage 2

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ANT2002 Ethnography Now 15No
ANT2004 Into the Field 15No
SOC2005 Theoretical Sociology 30No
SOC2019 Introduction to quantitative research 15No

Optional Modules

Optional modules (30 credits)

You can choose from a long list of modules reflecting the research expertise of academic staff. 



CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Anthropology Core 2
ANT2002 Ethnography Now 15 No
ANT2003 Current Debates in Anthropology 15 No
ANT2004 Into the Field 15 No
ANT2005 Current Debates in Anthropology: Practice 15 No
Sociology Stage 2 core modules
SOC2004 Into the Field 15 No
SOC2005 Theoretical Sociology 30 No
SOC2050 Knowing the Social World 15 No
Philosophy Year 2 Modules
PHL2020 Virtues and Vices 15 No
PHL2021 Symbolic Logic 15 No
PHL2022 Sex and Death: Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology 15 No
PHL2026 Philosophy of Science 15 No
PHL2029 Sociology and Philosophy of Globalisation 15 No
PHL2035 Critical Bioethics 15 No
PHL2037 Aristotle's Politics 15 No
PHL2038 The Self 15 No
PHL2051 The Human Condition: Classic Readings in Anthropology 15 No
PHL2074 Cyborg Studies 30 No
PHL2075 Philosophical Readings 6 15 No
PHL2024A Philosophical Readings 3 15 No
PHL2027 Feminist Philosophy 15 No
PHL2028 Philosophical Anthropology 15 No
PHL2030 Evil 15 No
PHL2031 Mind and World 15 No
PHL2052 Epistemology 15 No
PHL2060 Philosophy of Emotion 15 No
PHL2061 Philosophy of Law 15 No
LAW2004 Contract Law 30 No
LAW2006 Criminal Law and Theory: Part I Foundations 15 No
LAW2011 Gender, Sexuality and Law 15 No
LAW2015 The Law of Torts 30 No
LAW2016C Environmental Regulation and Redress 15 No
LAW2017 Land Law 30 No
LAW2019 Commercial Law 30 No
LAW2020 Family Law 30 No
LAW2024 Public International Law 30 No
LAW2026 Employment Law 30 No
LAW2031 Law of Obligations I (German Law) 30 No
LAW2033 French Administrative Law 30 No
LAW2034 European Union Law 30 No
LAW2035 Constitutional and Administrative Law 30 No
LAW2057 Family Law: Adult Relationships 15 No
LAW2058 Family Law: Parents and Children 15 No
LAW2059 Alternative Dispute Resolution 15 No
LAW2061 Human Rights Law 2: The European Convention on Human Rights 15 No
LAW2068 Law and Literature 15 No
LAW2072 Aspects of Evidence 15 No
LAW2074 Jurisprudence I: Theories of the Nature of law 15 No
LAW2133 Environment and Planning Law 15 No
LAW2134 Forensic Speech and Language 15 No
LAW2137 Lethal Force, the ECHR and Democracy 15 No
LAW2905 Employability 0 No
Arabic (Persian) stage 2 modules 2017-8
ARA2118 Gender-Identity and Modernity in the Middle East 15 No
ARA2121 Themes in the Arabic Short Story 15 No
ARA2131 M.E.20C Colonialism Revolution and Beyond 15 No
ARA2132 Islamic Law and Society 15 No
ARA2135 Conflict and Peacemaking Palestine/Israel 15 No
ARA2146 Islamic Theological Traditions 15 No
ARA2148 Arabic for Beginners II 30 No
ARA2150 Muslims in Britain 15 No
ARA2156 Kurdish 2 (Sorani) 15 No
ARA2157 Kurdish 2 (Kurmanji) 15 No
ARA2160 Islamist Movements: From the Muslim Brothers to Al-Qa'ida 15 No
ARA2161 The Historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 15 No
ARA2162 Political Economy of Development in the Middle East 15 No
ARA2164 Intermediate Turkish I 15 No
ARA2165 Intermediate Turkish II 15 No
ARA2166 Revolution, Reform or Status Quo 15 No
ARA2222 Career Planning Workshops (Level 2) 0 No
Politics S2 Modules Cornwall Campus
POC2041 The Political Psychology of Elites 15 No
POC2049 EU Integration 15 No
POC2052 NGOs: Responding to Global Challenges 15 No
POC2055 Modern Political Thought: Rights, the Nation and the State 15 No
POC2074 The West and its Fears: Security Studies - Part Two 15 No
POC2076 China in World Politics 15 No
POC2081 Land, Fuel and Conflict 15 No
POC2083 The Research Toolkit in Politics and International Relations 30 No
POC2084 Foreign Policy 15 No
POC2085 Imagining the Good Life: From Agora to the American Dream 15 No
POC2086 Governing The Good Life: Contemporary International Studies 15 No
POC2087 Security Studies 15 No
POC2088 Understanding Israel and Palestine: One Land, Two People 15 No
POC2090 Violence, Conflict, and Religion in the Middle East 15 No
POC2092 Comparative Government, Politics, and Society in the Contemporary Middle East 15 No
POC2093 Understanding Israel and Palestine: Seeking Peace 15 No
POC2012 The Ethics and Politics of Humanitarian Intervention 15 No
POL2020 Contemporary Theories of World Politics 15 No
POL2026 Political Analysis: Behaviour, Institutions, Ideas 15 No
POL2027 The Politics of the World Economy 15 No
POL2038 International Relations, War and Peace in the Middle East 15 No
POL2046 The Economics of Politics 15 No
POL2047 American Politics 15 No
POL2050 Political Philosophy 15 No
POL2057 Security Studies 15 No
POL2060 Public Policy and Administration 15 No
POL2068 Global Justice and Transnational Democracy 15 No
POL2070 Quantitative methods in political science 15 No
POL2071 Experimental Research in the Social Sciences 15 No
POL2072 Race, Ethnicity and Politics 15 No
POL2052 Foreign Policy: Leadership, Power and Responsibility 15 No
POL2075 Integration and Disintegration in the European Union 15 No
POL2076 Rising Powers, Peace and Conflict 15 No
POL2077 Data Analysis in Social Science II 15 No
POL2082 Changing Character of Warfare 15 No
POL2078 Governing the Public Sector: Bureaucratic Power and Politics 15 No
POL2091 Immigration in Western Societies 15 No
SSI2002 Data Analysis in the Workplace 15 No
POL2028 Political Ethics: Theory and Case Studies 15 No
POL2079 Contemporary Public Debate in an Age of 'Anti-Politics' 15 No
POL2081 Thinking about Race: Perspectives from the Biological and Social Sciences 15 No
POL2084 European Union Foreign Policy 15 No
Business School S2 BUS Modules
BUS2001 Business Awareness: Theory and Practice 15 No
BUS2002 Business Experience 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 2


Stage 3

Compulsory Modules

Year 3

Dissertation (30 credits)

This is your opportunity to carry out a piece of independent study into a topic which really interests you. You may choose to take a traditional approach to your dissertation or carry out an original project drawing on the practical research skills you will have developed during your degree.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOC3040 Dissertation 30No

Optional Modules

Plus optional modules totalling 90 credits selected from:

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOC3076 Illness, Bodies and Medicine in Contemporary Society 15No
SOC3028 Media in Society 15No
ANT3084 Ethnomusicology 15No
SOC3083 New Capitalism 15No
SOC3024 Globalisation 15No
SOC3074 Cyborg Studies 30No
ANT3078 Eat: The Social Self as Consumer 15No
ANT3002 Childhood 15No
SOC3016 Gender and Society 30No
ANT3086 Addiction 30No
ANT3005 Human-Animal Interactions 15No
SOC3052 Sport and Society 15No
SOC3046 The Holocaust and Society 15No
SOC3080 Pharmaceutical Cultures 15No
ANT3006 Anthropology of Africa 15No
Total Credits for Stage 3


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate an analytical understanding of Sociology, taking into account different sociological perspectives, modes of social analysis and their concomitant theoretical and conceptual frameworks (benchmark 6.1.1).
2. Indentify the social, political, historical, and economic origins of Sociology.
3. Show knowledge of a variety of methods of social investigation, including ethnographic and survey methods, questionnaire and interview design (benchmark 6.3.3).
4. Exemplify and explain social, psychological and personal issues in a specifically sociological manner (benchmark 6.1.8).
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the social organisation, economy and cosmology of a range of societies (benchmark 6.2.1).
6. Show knowledge of some of the main challenges in obtaining and conveying information about a range of societies (benchmark 6.2.2).
7. Demonstrate understanding (at increasing depth, according to level) of issues (increasingly complex, according to level) arising from the subject matter of the elective modules taken.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies
1. Is developed on all modules, and is a core aim of the whole programme. 
2.-4. are developed initially through lectures, seminars and essay work for SOC1012, ANT1001, SOC1032, and are developed on subsequent modules. 
5-6 is developed through similar methods on ANT1001, and SOC 1032, and further developed on subsequent modules. 
7. Is developed through the optional modules taken. The level of competence expected of students intensifies at each stage of the programme.

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of:
Term-time essays,1-7
oral presentations, 1-7
examinations (and, where applicable, Research Methods Project and Dissertation work). 1-7

The criteria of assessment pay full recognition to the importance of the various skills outlined.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources (benchmark 6.1.3).
9. Show awareness of contrasting approaches to research ((benchmark 6.1.1).
10. Understand and demonstrate the different uses of qualitative and quantitative data, and evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages ((benchmark 6.2.3).
11. Show awareness of the basic philosophical questions arising from academic research.
12. Develop and deploy argument, grounded in theoretical frameworks and empirical
13. Identify problems of reliability and bias in, and more generally evaluate, empirical evidence ((benchmark 6.2.3).
14. Produce accurate reference to sources in written work.
15. Answer questions concisely and persuasively in written work ((benchmark 6.3.6).
16. Present work and answer questions orally
17. Deploy complex terminology in a comprehensible manner ((benchmark 6.3.6).
18. Focus on and comprehend complex texts

These skills are developed throughout the degree programme, but the emphasis becomes more complex as students move from stage to stage. They are developed through lectures and seminars, written work, and oral work (both presentation and class discussion).

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of:

Term-time essays, 8-18
Oral presentations, 8-18
Examinations (and, where applicable, Research Methods Project and Dissertation work). 8-18

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

19. Undertake independent research and ability to work to deadlines. Present an argument orally in a clear, organized and effective manner (Phil. 26.8).
20. Word process and access the world-wide web gain familiarity with IT packages.
21. Digest, select and organise material for written work and oral presentations, and write to varying word lengths
22. Evaluate own work.
23. Participate in oral discussions; present and evaluate complex arguments and ideas orally; digest, select and organise material for oral presentations
24. Work with others as part of a team.
25. Group work, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups.
26. Plan the execution of work over a long time scale.
27. Think and write broadly about large themes
28. Use library and the world-wide web to find appropriate and relevant information.
29. Collate data from a range of sources ((benchmark 6.2.2).

19 is an essential part of the successful completion of the programme but is addressed especially via SOC2007 and in the dissertation. 
20 is developed through the requirement that all written work be word-processed, and through work for example in SOC1033 (Imagining Social Worlds: Artefacts) and SOC2007 
21 is developed through essay and presentation work throughout the programme. 
22 is developed throughout but especially in SOC2007 and the dissertation (and through the self-appraisal in the inter-semester week). 
23 is developed through seminars, which form part of all modules. 
The skills in 24 and 25 are developed to some extent in all modules, through interaction in seminars and in discussion with tutors about essay work, and in response to criticism both collective and individual. However, there is particular emphasis on 
25 (and 26) in SOC2007 where students work partly as members of a team in designing and conducting a piece of sociological research. 
27 is developed through the Dissertation at stage 3, which has a single end of year deadline, and also in SOC2007. 
28 and 29 are developed through all modules.

The skills in 19, 20 and 21 are assessed in all modules. 21 is covered by the fact that students write essays, which are formatively and summatively assessed, of differing lengths and in the Dissertation. 22 Is assessed implicitly throughout, and aided through the student self-appraisal system that takes place in the inter-semester week of Spring Term. 23 24, 25 and 26 are formally assessed in SOC2007. 27 Is covered by the Dissertation. 28 and 29 by all modules.

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.


Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.


Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

Not applicable to this programme.

18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Sociology

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Anthropology
[Honours] Sociology

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision