How To Apply
UCP BA (Hons) Sociology

BA (Hons) Sociology

The Open University

course overview

If you are someone who is deeply curious about the world around you, and perhaps wants to explore ways to solve the important problems faced by society, then you might already be a sociologist.

Sociology asks the big questions, for example those about racism, sexism, social class, culture, politics and the media. It objectively examines how societies change and what prompts these shifts. It also looks into various aspects of our lives: our work, our education, our relationships, our identities, in addition to the media we consume and the things we buy.

Sociologists are also increasingly interested in the internet and the role it has in our lives: why are we addicted to our mobile phones, why do we post things on social media and what does the future hold when we have all this knowledge in our pockets? Ultimately, we want to identify solutions to the problems faced by society and then work towards changing the world for the better. Sociology is critical, engaging, interesting and, more often than not, fun.

You will be introduced to the core concepts that shape the discipline and the key tools with which to undertake social analysis and research. You will ponder all these big sociological questions while developing as a social scientist who is capable of formulating research questions and investigating them on your own. This research will help you gain an insight into the city and the wider region – the problems and challenges it faces and the ingenuity and energy with which it meets these.

Finally you will hone in on your future career path testing your interests and skills working with local organisations and building your professional network for when you graduate. You will have the opportunity to undertake live research projects with a range of local partners and undertake research that makes a significant difference to people’s lives. This will enable you to graduate not just with a good degree but a range of real world experiences which will enable you to progress onto your desired career.

The 2019 National Student Survey (NSS) which measures student satisfaction on courses had a NSS results of 100% for the Sociology degree.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

Download Course Specification

5 GCSE grades C/4 or above, including English, Maths and 88 UCAS points, which should be from a related subject in one of the following:

  • A Levels
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE
  • Related work experience
  • Overseas qualifications are judged to be equivalent to the above

Students who do not qualify by any of these qualifications may be offered an interview to discuss equivelant qualifications and previous experience.
We accept A Level General Studies and AS levels when combined with other full qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you will require an IELTS score of 6.0 or above or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • Academic and Professional Skills for Social Scientists (30 credits)
  • Foundations in Sociological Theory (15 credits)
  • Capitalism, Class and Inequality (15 credits)
  • Deviance and Society (15 credits)
  • Politics, Ideology and Society (15 credits)
  • The Ethnographic Turn (15 credits)
  • Globalisation and its Effects (15 credits)

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • Research Skills for Social Scientists (30 credits)
  • Contemporary Social Theory (15 credits)
  • Sociological Perspectives: Education (15 credits)
  • Intersectional Studies (15 credits)
  • Sociological Perspectives: Work (15 credits)
  • The Body in Society (15 credits)


  • Social Policy in Action (15 credits)
  • Media, Culture and Society (15 credits)

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • Undergraduate Major Project (30 credits)
  • Critical Studies in Race and Ethnicity (15 credits)
  • Exploring Feminist Thought (15 credits)
  • Society Beyond Nature (15 credits)


  • Sociological Perspectives on the Problem of Evil (15 credits)
  • Sexuality, Social Control and Society (15 credits)
  • The Digital Human (15 credits)
  • Sociology and the Politics of Sport (15 credits)
  • Live Research Project (15 credits)
  • Social Movements and Activism (15 credits)

If it is unviable to run an optional module due to student demand, an alternative module will be offered.

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 40%     Lectures
  • 20%     Seminars
  • 40%     Workshops

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 40%     Lectures
  • 20%     Seminars
  • 40%     Workshops

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 40%     Lectures
  • 20%     Seminars
  • 40%     Workshops

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 90%     Coursework
  • 10%     Practical Exams

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 90%     Coursework
  • 10%     Practical Exams

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 80%     Coursework
  • 20%     Practical Exams

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of your highest 60 credits at Level 5 and all credits at Level 6.

  • 70%+         First
  • 60-69%     2:1
  • 50-59%     2:2
  • 40-49%     Third

Visit our published documents and policies page for The Open University regulations.

As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience to aid their career development.

Paul Wilks is the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Sociology degree at University Centre Peterborough. He has been teaching at University Centre Peterborough since August 2012 as a lecturer of sociology and politics for modules on the Sociology, Psychosocial Studies, Criminology and Public Services courses. He has a keen interest in improving pedagogic practice and effective teaching methods. He consistently looks to embed innovation into his lectures as a means to facilitate understanding and application. His research interests includes media, education, work, class and politics. Research he has conducted includes exploring the value of peer-support and collaboration among mature students and a feminist analyses of dystopian novels.

 Research he has conducted includes exploring the value of peer-support and collaboration among mature students, a feminist analysis of dystopian fiction, and a critical discourse analysis of media regarding the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act.

 He’s worked for a number of years in business and marketing, so the application of sociology in the kind of environments he has worked in is really interesting. He spent a lot of free time reading and he loves gadgets so continually look for ways in which technology can be used in teaching.


  • MA New Media and Society, University of Leicester
  • BA (Hons) Sociology and English Literature, University Centre Peterborough
  • Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Peterborough Regional College

Each year, there are many students who complete the BA (Hons) Sociology course who go on to study a variety of postgraduate courses.

Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

  • Social Worker
  • MP
  • Policy Adviser
  • Community Organiser
  • Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Housing Association Officer
  • Teacher


Full-time: 3 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)
Part-time: 4 years (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students  will be £8,250 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 90 credits per year will be 75% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus
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Maciej Kazimierek, Former Student

University Centre Peterborough currently has 700+ students on over 30 different degree level programmes.


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