What's it like to study Sociology at Plymouth?

Sociology at Plymouth prides itself on its friendly and supportive learning environment, which is constantly recognised by students, and represented in our *NSS scores. Your personal tutor will support you individually throughout your studies and, because we operate an open door policy, you can access us outside of the classroom and seminar environment.

When you study sociology at Plymouth, you will have many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. In recent years our students have taken part in international trips to the Gambia alongside national field trips to Wales and London. We've visited regional historic locations.

Apart from the more typical lectures and small-group seminars, workshops, and individual tutorials, we also deliver and organise:

<p>BSc (Hons) Sociology field-trip to London<br></p>

Sociology students visit Chinatown

  • simulation games, where you act in the given role and argue for a specified argument during e.g. UN Earth Summit
  • visits to museums and galleries, where we use exhibited resources to prompt stories and content relevant to the curriculum
  • problem-based group work, where you are tasked with an issue to be solved in pairs or small groups. These are often followed by informal presentations, helping you practice public speaking and presentation skills. In the world of work, you often have to work in teams – we prepare you for that
  • practical hands-on tasks, for example conducting real interviews and field-based ethnographic observations – tasks that facilitate learning of e.g. research skills
  • some are early birds, some are night owls… we know! And that is why we use our virtual learning platform (called DLE) on every module, with a wide range of online and interactive materials, additional learning resources, self-paced revision materials, online videos, quizzes, etc. so that you can learn when it is most suitable for you, wherever you are.



Every person learns individually, and we express our knowledge and present skills differently. One person is better at speaking and presenting, another one at writing longer essays, yet another one at preparing shorter pieces, while others learn by doing.

In recognition of this diversity, we have ensured our assessment methods are equally diverse to capture your knowledge and skills, so that no one is disadvantaged by just one method. 

From 2019/2020 we no longer have any formal exams, making Sociology 100% coursework-based programme. 

We ask students to write shorter book/article reviews, more in-depth essays, make posters, deliver presentations, take online quizzes, or submit learning diaries, among other assessment methods.

Poster presentations

Two examples of poster presentations, just one of the diverse assessment methods we use to capture your knowledge and skills.

Outside the classroom 

Deepen your understanding of contemporary issues

When you study sociology at Plymouth, you will have many opportunities learn outside of the classroom. In recent years our students have taken part in international trips to the Gambia alongside national field trips to Wales and London. We've visited regional historic locations such as Killerton House and iconic attractions such as the Eden Project, enjoyed local socials at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, and benefited from meetings and visits with local organisations and associations across Plymouth and Cornwall.

"The trip (to the Gambia) drastically changed my career outlook and gave me an international focus. My motivation to live and work abroad was significantly influenced by this field trip."

Daniel Giblett, living and working in Seoul, South Korea


BSc (Hons) Sociology students  learning social theory and the history of the suffragette movement at Killerton House.

Plymouth students working on a group project

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment

If you are a first or second year take the opportunity to study in a relaxed environment, along with other students on the same programme.

Find out more about how PALS can benefit your studies

*NSS results for BSc (Hons) Sociology

We are proud to be ranked 6th in the country for sociology in terms of the overall level of student satisfaction (Guardian League Tables, 2019).

In the most recent published National Student Survey, 85 per cent of students agreed that the course:

  • ‘challenged me to achieve my best work’
  • 'provided opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth’
  • ‘provided me with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics’
  • ‘helpful comments were received on my work’.*

<p>Sociology graduates on The Hoe, courtesy of Robert Kulpa<br></p>