Top reputation

Bristol is ranked in the UK top 10 for Sociology by the Complete University Guide 2024.

Vibrant environment

Bristol is a city engaged with issues of sustainability and inclusivity, and our community is enriched by cultural diversity.

Specialist research

The school includes three research centres: the Global Securities Centre, the Centre for Ethnicity and Citizenship, and the Gender Research Centre.

Sociology at Bristol

Sociology at Bristol offers you a thorough grounding in the subject, as well as opportunities to specialise in new areas of research.

Bristol is home to prominent sociologists with research strengths including consumption, culture, digital society, environment, ethnicity and race, gender, migration, modern slavery, multiculturalism, popular music, and social theory. In our friendly and intellectually vibrant community, all staff contribute to teaching our undergraduate degrees.

Sociology courses at Bristol are located within the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS). This gives our degrees an international perspective and means you will be part of a larger group of peers with interests in both the social and the political.

The University of Bristol is lively, eclectic and absolutely beautiful. I love being taught by the researchers whose books are our required reading.

Sophie, BSc Sociology

Career prospects

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The critical thinking, research and data management skills acquired in our courses are invaluable in many areas of work.

Our graduates are in high demand and go on to a wide range of careers, including roles in publishing, the media, journalism, teaching, marketing, public relations, research and the third sector.

Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate study in subjects including sociology, law and teaching.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

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First-year units are designed to introduce you to the core concerns of the discipline and equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for more detailed sociological study in later years. Core units currently include:

  • Thinking Sociologically
  • Social Identities and Divisions
  • Key Social Thinkers
  • Doing Social Research.

In the second and third years, you will take specialist units that reflect staff research expertise and may include:

  • Class and Social Divisions
  • Sociology of Crime and Justice
  • Consumption, Consumer Culture and Sustainability
  • Ethnicity and Racism
  • What is a Society?
  • Modern Slavery
  • Sociology of Popular Music.

In your final year, you will complete a dissertation in which you will independently research a sociological topic of your choice. This is optional for joint honours students. You will be supported by a supervisor and take part in research workshops.

Our single honours sociology courses offer the opportunity to study abroad, allowing you to develop an understanding of sociology that goes beyond national boundaries.

You can also choose to take a four-year Study Abroad degree, with a year studying in English at one of our prestigious partner universities overseas. Partner locations have included Australia, Canada, Japan, and the US. Find out more about where you can study abroad.

Q-Step programme

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Sociology is a partner in Bristol Q-Step, which is part of a national initiative offering enhanced skills training in the social sciences.

We also offer the option of three- and four-year degree courses combining core disciplinary learning with enhanced quantitative skills training in applied data analysis relevant to research in the social sciences.

Find out more about our 'with Quantitative Research Methods' course offerings.

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