Programmes

BSc Sociology

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Sociology
  • UCAS code L301
  • Starting 2017

The BSc Sociology programme explores specific examples of social action, social processes and institutions; compare different types of social life and societies; examine theories about the nature of social existence and change; study different methods of social research and undertake some research of their own.

Sociology explores almost every aspect of social life by drawing on theoretical ideas that help us to understand societies and the forms they take, as well as studying real world social problems and the ethical dilemmas faced by our contemporary world.

LSE Sociology is one of the premier sociology departments in the world, providing cutting-edge research-led teaching delivered by international experts in their field. Ours was the first sociology department in the United Kingdom and has played a unique role in defining and developing the discipline – nationally and internationally – since 1904.

The Department provides a learning environment in which students develop a firm grasp of the key dimensions of contemporary sociology, and are encouraged to think critically and independently. Many of the key issues in the discipline worldwide are contested and our teaching enables students to understand and evaluate these disputes and adopt a position in relation to them. Rigorous, critical, and independent thought is the most transferable skill of all, and is the overarching objective of the learning experience we provide to our students.

Programme details

Key facts

 BSc Sociology
Start date 21 September 2017
Application deadline 15 January 2017
Duration Three years full-time
Applications 2016 291
First year students 2016 36
Availability Closed
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas fee: £18,408 for the first year
Usual standard offer A level: grades A A B
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 37 points including 6 6 6 at Higher level
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.

Programme structure and courses

The programme involves studying courses to the value of 12 units, plus LSE100. The programme begins with a foundational first year that introduces the key concepts, theories and some methods in sociology, before progressing to more advanced discussions of theory and methods, and more detailed examination of specialist areas within the discipline. The degree culminates in the third year with the sociological project in which students use what they have learned in their foundational first and second year courses and specialist options, to independently research a sociological topic of their own choice.

First year 

(Denotes a half unit course *)

There are three compulsory courses and one sociology or outside option in the first year. You will also take LSE100 in the Lent term.

Social Theory
Introduces sociological theories and the different approaches to conceptual analysis and development within sociology. 

Power, Inequality, and Difference: Contemporary Themes in Sociology
Provides an overview of some of the most important contemporary themes in society – for example, class, power and inequality; politics and social movements; gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; illness and deviance. 

Statistics in Society
Explores how numbers are deployed in social settings, and how they are used in sociology to construct and challenge our understanding of the social world.  

Either
One sociology option
Or
One outside option
 

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Second year 

There are two compulsory courses in the second year and you also take two options, one option must be from within sociology, while the other can be a course in another LSE department. You will also take LSE100 in the Michaelmas term.

Sociological Analysis
Explores the connections between theoretical arguments and the practice of social enquiry. 

Researching London: Methods for Social Research
Outlines the key qualitative and quantitative techniques required to design and conduct sociological research.  

Courses to the value of one course unit from approved sociology options

Either
Courses to the value of one course unit from approved sociology options
Or
Courses to the value of one course unit from options in another department
 

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Third year 

In the third year, you complete a Sociological Dissertation and select a further two course units from among sociology options, or sociology options to the value of one course unit and one course unit chosen from options outside the Department.

Sociological Dissertation 
Students independently research a sociological topic of their own choice and design. 

Courses to the value of two course units from approved sociology options

Either
Courses to the value of one course unit from approved sociology options
Or
Courses to the value of one course unit from options in another department

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options.  Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place.  These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback.  Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

We encourage our students to think critically and independently and the teaching techniques we employ are designed to encourage this. Most courses include both lectures (where an overview of the week's topic and the key issues are outlined) and small seminars where you have the opportunity to discuss your reading, explore issues in more depth and exchange and discuss ideas with your fellow students. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide. Most of our teaching is interactive and requires active student participation and engagement. Some courses have group work, projects and outside visits too.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will also have an academic adviser who will be available to offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and pastoral concerns. There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. The summative assessment for most of our courses are examinations at the end of the year. Some courses are examined partially or wholly by essays and/or projects. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into sociology, we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books: 

N Abercrombie Sociology: a short introduction (Polity Press, 2004)

A Giddens and P W Sutton Sociology (7th edition, Polity Press, 2012)

S Lawler Identity: sociological perspectives (2nd edition, Polity, 2013)

S Punch et al Sociology: making sense of society (5th edition, Pearson, 2013)

K Woodward Questioning Identity: gender, class, ethnicity (2nd edition, Routledge, 2004)

Careers

We train our undergraduates to the highest standards and the critical thinking skills they develop are valued by employers. Our students go into a wide variety of professions including teaching, research, politics, public administration, the media, social and health services, advertising, journalism, law, publishing, industry, accounting, marketing, personnel and management.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Akosua Yeboah

BSc Sociology
Essex, UK

Akosua_Yeboah_170x230

Sociology at LSE is very broad and we cover many interesting topics, from studying the original texts of Durkheim and Marx, to debating the causes and impact of growing inequality in the UK. There is also a strong emphasis on developing independent critical and reasoning skills.
 

Umut Bektas

BSc Sociology
Essex, UK

Umut-Bektas170x230

The programme is very flexible; it allows you to take outside options every year, broadening the student experience and your knowledge. LSE also has a wide range of optional sociology units ranging from more common areas like gender to more obscure subjects like digital technology.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Sociology

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A A B in their A levels (or 37 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, with 6 6 6 at Higher level) and will have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including some at A and A*, and GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics no lower than B. 

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this. 

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.  

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A levels or equivalent in these subjects.

There is no one ideal subject combination, although successful sociology applicants in the past have tended to study mainly social science subjects such as Sociology, Psychology, History, Government and Politics, Religious Studies, and English, although Sociology itself is not a required subject. Good grades in English Language and/or English Literature in particular, are highly desirable. We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

If you have taken Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject at A level, this may be considered less competitive for this programme.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following characteristics, skills and attributes:

- an interest in relationships between peoples and society
- social awareness
- ability to ask incisive questions
- ability to work independently
- ability to read widely
- communicate with clarity 
- adopt a creative and flexible approach to study
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements. 

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2017/18

UK/EU* students: £9,250 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students £18,408 for the first year

UK/EU undergraduate fees may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years and the overseas fee usually rises by between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent each year.

*The UK Government confirmed in October 2016 that the fee level listed for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2017/18 will be the same as Home UK for the subsequent years of their undergraduate degree programme.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education. 

Further information about fee status classification
Further information about tuition fees

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students.

Find out more about tuition fee loans.

Key Information Set

From September 2012, every undergraduate programme of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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