Cardiff university sociology
Study our Sociology BSc and you will be pursuing one of the oldest and most prestigious social science disciplines in one of the UK's largest and most successful centres of social science.
This is a three-year, full-time course, consisting of 120 credits a year. You’ll study six 20-credit modules a year, with the opportunity to take a 40-credit dissertation in year three. Each year includes a number of optional modules that allow you to tailor your studies to suit your own interests and skills. The final degree classification that you are awarded is based on the grades you achieve in the modules that you take in years two and three.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2017.
You will take five compulsory 20-credit modules in year one. These are designed to introduce you to the key ideas and research in your chosen area and to teach you the skills needed to succeed at university. You will also have the opportunity to take one additional module from within the School to make up the full 120 credits required.
In the first year, you will have a more intensive personal tutor programme to help you to make the transition to higher education.
You will study two compulsory modules and will then take at least two more modules from the Sociology portfolio. These core modules will be supplemented with up to two more modules from a selection across the social sciences.
Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules to best suit a particular pathway with you future career choices in mind.
In year three, you will again study 120 credits in total. This must include at least 40 credits of core sociology modules. You can, however, choose to study all 120 credits in sociology modules.
You will have the option of undertaking a dissertation project that entails designing, conducting and writing up a small scale research project supervised by a member of academic staff. The dissertation will be studied alongside optional modules.
Please note, if you only take the minimum 40 credits in sociology modules, the dissertation becomes compulsory.
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
How will I be taught?
In the School of Social Sciences you will learn from scholars who are shaping the future of their fields. Our courses reflect both the core ideas of their disciplines and contemporary debates, theories and research.
In year one you will lay the foundations for later specialist study, taking a number of core modules and following a study skills programme designed to help you make the transition to higher education. In years two and three, you will be encouraged to study and learn more independently, giving you the opportunity to read more widely and to develop your own interests.
Teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, seminars, independent study and self-directed learning that draw use of on-line resources, individual work and group tasks. Lectures generally provide an overview of the relevant topic, introducing key concepts or research, and highlighting contemporary issues or debates. An increasing number of lectures are now recorded. In contrast to lectures, seminars give you the opportunity to discuss particular readings, research or topics in detail. This allows you to consolidate your understanding and get feedback on your individual learning. Seminars also enable you to hone your communication, presentation and collaborative skills as you take part in group discussions and other tasks.
As social science develops in response to the social world, so our curriculum also changes. Our students play an important role in these developments, with the Student-Staff Panel being consulted about major changes and all students completing module evaluations and an annual student survey.
How will I be supported?
A personal tutor will guide you for the duration of your studies. The tutors are available to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance on your academic studies. The Student Hub, located in the Glamorgan Building, is also open every day and can provide advice on how to access university services.
All modules within the course make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks including, for example, assessment criteria, links to past papers, and guidelines for submitting assessments.
Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors. Support for the dissertation is provided by a supervisor who will meet with you regularly.
How will I be assessed?
All modules are assessed by at least two different assessment tasks. Typical assessment formats include individual and group assignments, coursework, presentations and exams. We take care to ensure that all degree schemes include a range of different assessment types and that deadlines are spread throughout the academic year.
An important part of assessment is feedback. Feedback exists in any process, activity or information that enhances learning by providing students with the opportunity to reflect on their current or recent level of attainment. It can be provided individually or to groups. It can take many forms. It is responsive to the developmental expectations of our programmes and disciplines.
Feedback exists in any process, activity or information that enhances learning by providing students with the opportunity to reflect on their current or recent level of attainment. It can be provided individually or to groups. It can take many forms. It is responsive to the developmental expectations of our programmes and disciplines.
The range of feedback includes: one-to-one individual feedback; generic feedback; peer feedback; informal feedback; self-evaluation to submit along with the assessment.
Academic staff and peers can use a variety of methods to deliver these types of feedback: written feedback; annotation of a text; oral feedback; seminar discussion.
Formative feedback is feedback that does not contribute to progression or degree classification decisions. The goal of formative feedback is to improve your understanding and learning before you complete your summative assessment. More specifically, formative feedback helps you to:
- identify your strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work;
- help staff to support you and address the problems identified with targeted strategies for improvement.
Formative feedback is routinely provided in seminars as seminar work often contributes to the module assessment. In addition, all Year One modules include a specific formative assessment that is designed to help you prepare for the subsequent summative assessment.