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BA (Hons) Sociology

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Discover what makes society tick, what the glue that holds it together is and the threats that could rip it apart; sociology is rapidly becoming more relevant in our contemporary world and as a result, the number and range of job opportunities has escalated.

Taught by expert sociologists, this robustly academic social science course integrates global perspectives throughout the three years of study, providing a broader outlook and understanding of issues in society.

As well as benefiting from a huge breadth of subjects, which will give you a solid grounding in sociological concepts, theories and research, you’ll get to participate in exciting seminars and lectures held by an exciting and eclectic mix of guest speakers. Most importantly though, you’ll have the distinct advantage of completing a second or third year, 30-week or 20-day work placement, which gives you a professional skillset and crucial contacts as well as making you more employable.

95% of our final year students have said that they have been able to access course-specific resources, join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an open day. Or watch an online presentation on our sociology courses.  

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


3 years, or 4 years including a minimum 30-week work placement, Full-time

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language, you will need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

Year 1

Core units

  • Families & Kinship in Contemporary Society: The overall aim of this unit is to introduce you to the complexity of family constellations and their meanings in contemporary societies. You will be introduced to the sociology of families, competing definitions, social policies relating to families, and comparative international family practices as they constitute and are constituted by their members.
  • Social Exclusion & Discrimination: This unit explores the nature, lived experience, impact and possible causes of social exclusion and discrimination, using sociological and anthropological approaches. You will apply relevant sociological and anthropological enquiry to explore social exclusion, inequality, discrimination and oppression.
  • Introduction to Social Research: This unit offers a broad introduction to sociological and anthropological methods and approaches to research. You will be introduced to a range of classic and contemporary examples of social research and will develop your knowledge of research methods and methodologies in dedicated skills workshops. Finally, you will be encouraged to carry out your own supervised group project into social phenomena.
  • Introduction to Social Theory: This unit introduces you to key social theory that has informed classical and contemporary sociology and anthropology. Such theories will be embedded in the historical and philosophical context of the analysis of Western society and its social forms.
  • Understanding Rural & Urban Communities: This unit aims to provide you with a broad overview of the development of urban and rural communities. You will be encouraged to consider the ways in which ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ are represented in contemporary society, and how this impacts upon both individual and community identity and participation.
  • Introduction to Criminology & the Criminal Justice System: This unit offers an introductory exploration of crime, the discipline and study of criminology, drawing on international perspectives, and the history and development of the criminal justice system and penology, especially in the UK. There will also be scope for international comparison of approaches to crime and punishment in developed and less developed societies.

Year 2

Core units

  • Methods & Methodologies in the Social Sciences: You’ll broaden your understanding and familiarity with core social research design, modes of analysis and methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative and emancipatory methods.
  • Globalisation & Marginalisation: You’ll explore how a series of global processes, institutions, and flows (of people, capital and commodities, for example) generate complex forms of inequality and marginalisation in the contemporary world, as well as some of the ways in which these developments are challenged and opposed.
  • Histories of Social Policy & Social Welfare: This unit will provide you with a broad overview of the historical development of social policy and social welfare systems in British, European, and international contexts. You will critically examine how welfare policies are bound up with the development of the modern state, and how they are linked to changing perspectives and ideologies of inequalities associated with class, gender and race.

Option units (choose three)

  • Growing Up & Growing Old: This unit explores sociological and anthropological perspectives and theories of childhood, youth and aging.
  • Love & Intimacy in Contemporary Society: The overall aim of this unit is to reflect on relationships in society and the role of love and intimacy in framing lives. The unit looks at how love and intimacy is experienced differently and intersected by gender, ethnicity and sexuality.
  • In Sickness, Disability & Health: You will become more critically aware of the historical, structural, and cultural influences on views of health, and how this contributes towards the creation of the construct known as disability.
  • Into the Field: This unit aims to provide students with experience of carrying out ethnographic research. Working in teams, you will collaboratively design and undertake research projects in the Bournemouth area, using ethnographic methods and techniques to investigate sociologically and anthropologically framed research questions.
  • Ethnographies of Crime & Policing: You will explore critically how crime and ‘policing’ may be understood and approached within social worlds.
  • Controversial Cultures: This unit explores the classic and contemporary debates about how culture and controversial culture should be understood, theorised and studied.
  • 20-day placement: You will have the opportunity to study an area of academic and professional interest in sociology and its relationship to wider society through participation in "placement" based learning.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 3

Placement: You'll complete an optional minimum 30-week placement which can be carried out anywhere in the world. The placement year offers you a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.

Year 4

Core units

  • Dissertation: The final-year project provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your intellectual, analytic and creative abilities through independent inquiry of a chosen topic within the broad parameters of sociology.
  • Politics & Ideology: This unit assists you to understand the political processes and ideologies that may be key drivers in the development of policy and governance at the organizational and societal level.

  • Terrorism, Protection & Society: The aim of this unit is to introduce you to many of the complex issues involved in conceptualising and responding to terrorism and protection in contemporary societies. You will be introduced to protection and counter-terrorism as a form of social regulation and control of individuals and ‘deviant’ groups (micro and meso issues) and prescribing ways in which society is ordered in an age of terrorist threat (macro-political issues). You will develop a deep critical understanding of the ways in which meanings are constructed and how these impact on social life. 

Option units (choose two)

  • Anthropology of International Policy & Intervention: Following conflict, war or regime change, many populations and states have become subject to large-scale military or humanitarian intervention, policy and knowledge transfer and translation projects, globally, from West to East or North to South. This unit aims to familiarize you with critical anthropological debates on international intervention policies and practices.
  • Seekers, Believers & Iconoclasts: Sociology of Thought This core unit explores belief systems as a sociological phenomenon contextualised within a cultural and social analysis, as well as a philosophical and historical one.
  • 'Troubling' Gender: To understand sociological and anthropological approaches to gender as an aspect of society and social organization, the unit will explore gender as socially constructed and historically variable aspect of societies, past and present.
  • 20-day placement: This aims to enable you to develop you employability and career management capabilities as well as offering the opportunity to study an area of academic and professional interest in sociology, and its relationship to wider society through participation in placement based learning.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

Throughout the course you will have lecture and seminars which you will build on through independent study and group projects, developing a range of research, analytical and communication skills sought by employers. An optional placement year is available to all students.

Year 1 – 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 242hours
  • Independent learning: 958 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 28 hours

Year 2 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 309 hours
  • Independent learning: 891 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 19 hours

Year 3/4 - 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 116 hours
  • Independent learning: 934 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 26 hours
  • Placement hours:150 

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 67% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

We’re pleased to have been ranked 7th in the Guardian league tables 2018 for sociology.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) Sociology.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

Every BU student will have the opportunity to undertake a workbased placement during their studies. Placements are extremely valuable and we are proud to build on our current achievement of having more full-time undergraduate students on a sandwich course than any other English, Welsh or Scottish University.

The department has established links with partner university, Universiti Sains Malaysia, allowing students to undertake placements abroad.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • Microsoft, as a Marketing Intern
  • SCA (Social Care Agency Social Enterprise, Hampshire)
  • Monkton Wyld (an education centre for sustainable living)
  • Borough of Poole Council
  • Bournemouth Borough Council Community Development
  • Independent Age
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia, partner university
  • NGOs in Malaysia (the Peace Learning Centre, House of Hope and AIDS Action and Research Group).

How long is my placement?

Short placements last 20 days and take place during term time in the second and final year.

Students who take a year out between the second and final year must complete a minimum 30-week placement to be eligible for a sandwich award. We provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement.

For more information, visit our placement pages.

What our students said

"Choosing to take a placement year was easily one of the best decisions I have made. I came to University not really knowing what I wanted to do, and working for Microsoft has quickly made me realise the path I want to take. I have been given lots of responsibility, helping to manage many of the key marketing activities within the Microsoft education team. This involves running regular events, designing materials, writing blogs and engaging in social media.  I have been a part of so many cool experiences during my placement, met some great people and really feel like I have really matured along the way."

Jordan Lipman, current student

A placement year is a vital part in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

Your application

Background and experience

For Sociology, we are looking for applicants who:

  • have an interest in the subject as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
  • can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to the course
  • have an ability to read, digest and analyse information
  • can work independently as well as in groups.

IT Skills

As a student, you will be required to use your IT skills to utilise the web-based resources that are designed to support your study, write assessments, perform literature searches and create presentations.

Selection methods

We’ll use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages. Interviews may be requested of candidates at the discretion of the academic team.

Our offer making process 

Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application 

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent.

Excluded subjects: General Studies.

GCSEs: GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Future Students Enquiry Team to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Future Students Enquiry Team  – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102-118 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/ 90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 104-120 tariff points from a minimum of 2 principal subjects.

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 28-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Higher: 104-120 tariff points from 2 Advanced Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements 

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


90% of our Sociology graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating, earning an average of £18,000 a year*.

This degree will prepare you for a variety of careers thanks to the analytical and communication skills you'll acquire throughout your course. Among the sectors you could work in after graduation are:

  • Education
  • Social services
  • Marketing
  • Research
  • Criminal justice.

This versatility will enable you to enter growth industries within the UK, helping to fill some of the skills shortages that have been identified in sectors such as culture, media, teaching, research, human resources, and public and business services.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the sociology sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below. 

Dr Hyun-Joo Lim

After teaching at the University of Bath for four years whilst doing her PhD, Joo joined the Sociology team at Bournemouth in 2012. Since then she has been teaching a range of undergraduate courses, as well as developing her research, exploring issues around identity, ethnicity/’race’, culture, and gender, focusing on East Asians in the UK.

Joo has conducted a number of research projects inspired by my personal experiences of migration to Britain from South Korea in 2000. Thanks to her cross-cultural experience, she has become fascinated by the considerable cultural differences between Korea and Britain and how these impact on individuals’ lives within these countries as well as on those who cross cultural boundaries.

Joo’s PhD, titled: ‘The Intersection of Motherhood Identity with Culture and Class: a Qualitative Study of East Asian Mothers in England’, explored the accounts of first generation East Asian mothers living in England by using life history interviews. It aimed to examine how these women perceived their national and/or cultural heritage to have affected their experiences and identity formation, focusing on the gendered division of household labour within the family and discourse around motherhood and employment. Joo is currently working on her next research project on North Korean defectors in the UK.

Professor Ann Brooks

Ann Brooks joined us as Professor in Sociology in January 2015. Ann has held positions in universities in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand and has held visiting fellowships and scholarships in Singapore and the U.S. She was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Health and Community at Plymouth University in 2014 and was previously a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ann undertook her PhD at the Institute of Education, University of London under the supervision of Ann Oakley, then Director of the Social Science Research Unit. She was a Lecturer and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Massey University in New Zealand between 1993 and 2002. She was appointed as Head of Department of Psychology and Sociology at Singapore Institute of Management University in 2003 until 2008 when she was appointed as Head of School and Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at the University of Adelaide. 

In 2010 Ann was part of a team of researchers in Australia who won an Australia Research Council grant of $24AUD million to fund a Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions 2011-2017 across 5 universities and Ann became part of the Australian Research Council funded Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Change Program in 2011 until 2017.

Ann’s research interests are wide ranging including: sociology of emotions; intimacy and emotions in contemporary society; academic women and universities; gender in organisational structures; human rights, migration and emotions; gender and differentiated labour markets in Southeast Asia and the West; cultural economy, cultural theory, consumption and urban spaces; and popular culture.

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

Edwin trained as a medical sociologist and has an interest in mixed-methods research, qualitative research and evaluation research. A large share of his academic work has been in the field of either Public Health or the Organisation of Maternity Care. He has substantial research experience in conducting large-scale comparative studies, often using mixed-methods approaches.

Edwin’s been involved in evaluating large-scale community-based public-health interventions in Scotland funded by, for example, the Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government, Edinburgh), the Wellcome Trust, and NHS Health Scotland.

He has also published on various aspects of research methods in a format easily accessible to a lay audience, including a paper on research ethics published in a midwifery journal.

Edwin’s overseas research is largely based in Nepal, involving the evaluation of a community-based project funded by Green Tara Trust (UK-based Buddhist charity) tries to improve the uptake of antenatal care.

Dr Fiona Coward

Fiona is an archaeologist whose work focuses on the multidisciplinary study of the evolution of human social life and cognition. Fiona has a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Osteoarchaeology and PhD in Palaeolithic Archaeology from the University of Southampton.

Fiona is the programme co-ordinator for BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology and interim programme co-ordinator for BSc (Hons) Biological Anthropology. First year teaching includes teaching on 'Ancient Peoples and Places' and 'Introduction to Anthropology' and co-ordinating 'Topics in Contemporary Science'. In the second year I teach 'Themes in Archaeology and Anthropology' and co-teach the osteoarchaeology option of 'Post-excavation skills'.

Fiona’s research focuses on how and why humans were able to scale up their social lives from the very small social groups we lived in for much of our prehistory to the global social networks which characterise people’s lives today. Fiona’s work takes a multidisciplinary perspective which emphasises the interrelations between the physical and social environments in which human evolution has taken place, and I am particularly interested in the role played by material culture in human social life. Fiona was a member of the BA Centenary project 'From Lucy to Language: the archaeology of the social brain'.

Within this broad area Fiona pursues two interlinked areas of research which focus on earlier and later periods of human social development. In the first Fiona look at the relationship between physical and social environments during human evolution, and particularly the social changes that allowed our ancestors to expand out of African environments into Eurasia after around 1.7 million years ago. Fiona’s second area of research focuses on the social developments which formed part of the shift from mobile hunting and gathering to settled village life from around 20,000BCE in the Near East.

Professor Jonathan Parker

Dr Jonathan Parker is Professor of Society & Social Welfare. He moved to Bournemouth in 2006 after 11 years at the University of Hull where he was one of the founders and director of the Family Assessment and Support Unit, a practice placement agency attached to the University and awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 1996, and latterly Head of Department of Social Work.

Jonathan's research projects focus on disadvantage and marginalisation, cross cultural aspects of social work, research ethics and violence, conflict and religion. He has also researched and published in theories and methods in social work and dementia care. He has recently conducted cross cultural research on learning and practice with colleagues in Southeast Asia. He is currently working on projects concerning the meanings constructed during church visiting, constructions of adult safeguarding, gendered rituals in professional practice, and research ethics and learning disabled people.

He has published widely, including over 25 books and over 150 academic papers, chapters and reports. Jonathan is the co-editor of the highly successful series of Social Work text books Transforming Social Work Practice and editor of the Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, and joint editor-in-chief of the international journal Social Policy & Social Work in Transition.

Rosie Read

A core theme in Rosie’s work has been anthropological exploration of care in different social and cultural contexts. Much of her research is how people come to have ideas about what defines good care, who is most deserving of it, and who should have responsibility for providing it, along with all the implications this carries for social identities and inequalities, particularly of gender and class. Rosie has explored the social boundaries between paid and unpaid care work, and how those boundaries change over time. Rosie is interested in how ageing societies, restructured welfare systems and globalised labour markets create new challenges for the provision of care in the contemporary world.

Rosie gained her doctorate in social anthropology from Manchester University in 2002. Her PhD study explored the involvement of religious groups in Czech elderly care provision, following the privatisation of health care in the 1990s. More recent research projects, funded by the British Academy, the NSPCC and UK Research Councils, have explored various forms of volunteering and community action in the Czech Republic and Britain.

Since 2006 Rosie has worked as a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University. I have taught undergraduate courses on Globalisation and Marginalisation, Culture and Society and Introduction to Anthropology, amongst others.

Professor Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

Sara is a Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Social Work in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. Sara is both a sociologist and established UK-qualified, social work academic with a long-standing international career behind her prior to joining Bournemouth University in 2007.

Sara’s academic interests reflect an abiding and deep fascination with culture, diversity, gender and faith. Recent research work includes indigenous people in Malaysia under ecological threat. Sara has published on mental health issues in Southeast Asia and racism towards minority ethnic communities in Hong Kong. Sara is interested in faith, social change and social welfare in the Middle East and is the main author of the first European book on Islam and social work.

I am joint editor of the international journal Social Policy & Social Work in Transition and serve on editorial boards and as a peer-reviewer on many international peer-reviewed journals.

Sara has a genuine commitment to internationalisation of the curriculum and work towards ensuring that our Sociology students are able to benefit from opportunities within BU and beyond. Sara believes that developing our international reach within our programmes will assist students' understanding of global issues on the road to becoming knowledgeable, marketable, socially aware and engaged global citizens.

Dr Stephanie Schwander-Sievers

Stephanie studied social anthropology and Balkan studies at Free University Berlin, conducting her first ethnography in Albania in 1992, when the country had only just emerged from isolation and state socialism. Stephanie became fascinated with the translocal evocations of local pasts in the rapidly, often violently, changing period of post-socialist transition. Social actors mobilised these pasts to construct new identities and social statuses and to negotiate conflicts over scarce resources. From 2000 Stephanie extended her research to the politics of memory and identity in post-war Kosovo.

From 1997 to 2003 Stephanie served as the first Nash Fellow for Albanian Studies at SSEES, UCL. Subsequently she worked as an independent academic consultant with international agencies including the OSCE, World Bank, NATO, IOM and the ICTY. Stephanie was also called upon as an academic expert by police and social services, the Crown Court and immigration tribunals in the UK in cases involving blood feuds, homicide, war rape, trafficking, ethnic and sexual minorities and migrant family conflicts. This work sharpened her interests in applied anthropology, ethics and the relation between local and global culturist representations and their impact on social realities in practice.

Stephanie’s current research investigates local responses to the international paradigms of peace-building and state-building in post-war Kosovo. She explores how pre-war and war experiences in Kosovo are symbolically and ritually codified and transmitted through the generations; how these cultural reproductions underpin private and public memory, emotions, ideals and perceptions in the present; and who contests these.

Stephanie joined Bournemouth University in autumn 2013. She teaches undergraduate units on gender, childhood and youth, the life course, kinship and family. 

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance), you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790

Change to assessment methods for - Understanding Rural and Urban Communities (Year 1) 
- Terroism, Protection and Society (final year)
- Politics and Ideology (final year)

Programme Specification

Course unit changes:

Into the Field changed from core to option unit in year 2

Seekers, Believers and Iconoclasts changed from core uni to option unit in final year and Politics and Ideology added as a core unit instead

Course details, year two and final year 

Year 2: previously four core units with students choosing two options, now there are three core units and students choose three option units 


Course unit changed:

Understanding Rural & Urban Communities in replacement of Study Skills: Studying Urban & Rural Communities

Course details, year one

Study Skills: Studying Urban & Rural Communities: This unit aims to prepare you for academic study by equipping you with the essential skills required to succeed in higher education. This will be achieved through the study of rural and urban communities. In particular it will explore recent social and cultural issues, changes and conflicts in rural and urban Britain and elsewhere. It will encourage you to consider the ways in which ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ are represented in contemporary society, and how this impacts upon both individual and community identity and participation.


Course unit changed:

Histories of Social Policy & Social Welfare in replacement of Improving society: Social Policy & Social Welfare

Course details, year two

'Improving society': Social Policy & Social Welfare: This unit aims to provide students with a broad overview of the historical development of social policy and social welfare systems in British, European, and international contexts. It will critically examine how welfare policies are bound up with the development of the modern state, and how they are linked to changing perspectives and ideologies relating to the causes of social deprivation and ‘social need’.

15/03/2016 Course unit title and description amended Course details, year one

Introduction to Social Theory & Deviance: This unit introduces you to key social theory that has informed classical and contemporary sociology and anthropology. Such theories will be embedded in the historical and philosophical context of the analysis of Western society and its social forms.


Changed to: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent

Key Information and 2018 Entry Requirements

104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent.  BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM.


Changed to: GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

2018 Entry Requirements

This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

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