School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) Sociology with Foundation

Looking at life through a lens of inequality, difference and diversity, sociology at Plymouth brings real issues into sharp focus. Supported by a nationally renowned academic team, you’ll explore how topics such as class, ethnicity, food, gender, health, media and poverty shape our lives and experiences. You’ll develop key transferable skills that employers actively seek through an established, work-based learning programme and international exchange opportunities to study abroad.

The course starts with a foundation year 0, specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in higher education, including critical thinking and research skills, and the knowledge and understanding of key facets of sociology.

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Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Conor Wood:

 "I would recommend BSc (Hons) Sociology at Plymouth, as it gives you a detailed understanding of how society functions in regards to the social, economic, and political aspects in our everyday lives. Furthermore, sociological perspectives offer insights about the social world that extend beyond individual explanations. Sociology as a degree provides a range of skills that are a necessity in many careers within contemporary society such as critical evaluation, logical thinking, research skills and problem solving."

Read more from Conor in his case study.

Careers advice

We embed careers training and advice throughout the curriculum, which means we help you to find and develop a career path that is right for you, as an integral part of the degree using a dedicated team of personal tutors and careers advisers.

Where could a sociology degree take you?


Throughout the course we develop key transferable skills that are actively sought by employers. Sociology at Plymouth has a strong applied focus with a particular focus on critical thinking skills, research methods, and project management. Publishing, media, leisure, museums, social research, the police, teaching, local and central government, and the voluntary sector, are all areas where our inquisitive and competent graduates can be found. Our work-based learning programme gives you the edge when applying for graduate jobs.

You will also have access to the University's Careers & Employability service which provides information, advice and guidance to students and graduates on building skills, experience and contacts, helping to improve your employability.

Key features

  • Learn from passionate and committed academics with active and wide-ranging research expertise. Our research and specialisms include health, well-being and social policy alongside politics and identities.
  • Explore a wide-range of topics including sustainability, tourism, health and wellbeing, media, deviance, work and employment, gender and sexuality, global development, methodological innovations, philosophy of social science and food, culture and society.
  • Apply sociological theory to contemporary issues in an interactively taught environment.
  • Engage in a pioneering, well established work-based learning programme along with voluntary opportunities to enhance your employability.
  • Develop key transferable skills that employers actively seek through novel research methods training.
  • Benefit from studying with a faculty of highly regarded staff who engage in innovative and experiential learning spaces.
  • Experience varied and engaging assessment formats supported through personal tutoring.
  • Join a course where overall student satisfaction is consistently rated at over 90 per cent in the National Student Survey (NSS), as reported by Discover Uni. 
  • Know that your teaching and learning is informed by prominent research, with 62 per cent of our research rated as world leading or internationally excellent (Source: Research Excellence Framework, 2014).

This course is an integrated part of the BSc (Hons) Sociology degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of one of the following degree programmes:

BSc (Hons) Criminology
BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology
BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
LLB (Hons) Law
LLB (Hons) Law and Criminology
BSc (Hons) Politics
BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations
BSc (Hons) International Relations
BSc (Hons) Sociology

Course details
  • Year 0

  • In this year, you’ll experience a supportive environment to assist in the transition to successful study in higher education. You will learn about academic writing, critical thinking skills and begin to develop your research skills, as well as develop your knowledge and understanding through an introduction to key aspects of sociology and other relevant areas of law and social science.

    Core modules

    • Work & Employment in the 21st Century (LCG004)

      This project-based module provides students with an opportunity to explore in depth the nature and characteristics of an employment sector that is of direct relevance to degree-level education in law and/or social science subjects such as criminology, sociology, politics and international relations.

    • Social Justice (LCG005)

      This module provides students with an introduction to key thinkers, ideas and controversies that have shaped Western societies in the modern period.

    • Crime and Deviance (LCG006)

      This module will introduce students to the main institutions and processes of the legal system and criminal justice in England and Wales, while developing key transferable skills related to the study and practice of law and criminal justice.

    • Human Rights (LCG007)

      This module will introduce students to a foundational sociological understanding of the structure and organisation of society; and to the main institutions of domestic and international government, and the theories and concepts used by political science to study them.

  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you’ll start investigating how and why societies change, looking into how individuals and society connect. Working in small tutorial groups, you’ll explore real-world research through topics such as health, poverty, housing, gender, race, family, education, religion, employment, global development and environmental sustainability. Throughout the year, you’ll learn what it is to be a sociologist and how to use evidence to better understand the social world.

  • Year 2

  • In the second year, you’ll put into practice what you’ve been learning in the classroom and see sociology in action while gaining work experience relevant to your future career. In tutorials, you’ll explore the impact of global change and international social justice, and discover how these affect socio-cultural identity. You’ll also gain confidence in discussing contested social ideas and how they are applied in today’s global world, industry and employment.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you’ll examine in more depth the sociological issues that particularly interest you and complete a dissertation. With teaching focusing on the links between theory and policy, and prominent topics in social, policy and professional debates, you’ll choose from a selection of modules including media, illness, food, gender, developing societies, globalisation, and qualitative and quantitative research.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Sociology with Foundation programme specification 6756

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
PPP-MMP in any subject. 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

International Baccalaureate
24-25 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4, Standard Level = 5.

If overseas and not studying English within IB – Must have IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

Access courses
Pass access course (any subject) plus GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4 or above or equivalent.

New Irish Highers: Achieve Irish Leaving Certificate with 32-48 UCAS points.

GCSE’s or equivalent: Maths and English at Grade C/4 or City and Guilds; Key Skills Level 2 will be considered on an individual basis.

Mature students with appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply. For those who do not meet the requirements, please enquire for further details. We encourage any candidate who is unsure about the suitability of their qualifications or experience to contact Admissions in the first instance, who will then liaise with the Admissions Tutor and Programme Lead.

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Harvey Butchart – BSc (Hons) Sociology graduate

"Studying sociology at Plymouth has enhanced my personal development and given me the confidence to push and apply myself in different situations. I would never have thought I would have the ability to be a PALS leader and lead workshops on academic skills for the first years – by doing this my communication and  academic skills have improved. 

"I really found the sociology of health, of philosophy and of media modules interesting – the latter helped me frame a subject for my dissertation, which then narrowed my focus and led to me studying an MA in political communications.

"I really enjoyed studying at Plymouth. I made lots of great friends and found the course really interesting. Staff were very encouraging and helped me discover my potential – the University has a friendly feel about it. Plymouth is a fun, vibrant city, that’s beautiful on the Hoe, especially in the summer."