Education and Sociology (BSc Econ)

Education and Sociology BScEcon (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine study of two exciting social science disciplines

Sociological theories and techniques are everywhere in modern society. The discipline that came into being to help us understand the changes created by the development of complex, capitalist societies are now indispensable to governments, voluntary organisations, think tanks, political parties, advertisers, corporations, trade unions, campaigning organisations, communications media, and public sector bodies of all kinds. 

This focus will be combined with the study of Education, which is increasingly being presented as a principal means of fostering economic growth, social cohesion and personal well-being. This part of the degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of contemporary developments and challenges in education, and will enable you to explore its underpinning assumptions and investigate the research basis of contemporary policy and practice.

Key facts

Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 280 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1250 applications
Typical A level offerBBB at A-Level, excluding General Studies
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus grades BB at GCE Advanced level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Sociology; Education Studies

Admissions tutor(s)

Mr Stephen Davies, Course Administrator

Mr Stephen Davies, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Year one

Year two

There are three core modules in year two in addition to which students must take at least one of:

  • Human Development 
  • Children and Childhood. 

Any remaining credits can be taken from any of the subjects in the optional module list.

Year three

For year three, students will have a choice of modules, but will be expected to take at least 40 credits from each the following groups:

For Education:

  • Equality and Diversity in Education and Work
  • Conflict and Change in Education Policy
  • Reflections on Teaching and Learning 

For Sociology:

  • Globalisation and Social Change
  • Metropolis: Urban Life and Consumer Culture
  • New frontiers in Sociology
  • Power, Culture and Identity
  • Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
  • Science, Risk and Resistance in a Global Age

All other modules are optional.

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.

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

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects. Depending on your degree scheme, you may also undertake a final year dissertation that will give you the opportunity to focus on one topic in depth and further develop your research and analytic skills.

As social science develops in response to the social world, so too our curriculum changes.  Our students play an important role in these developments, with the Staff-Student Panel being consulted about major changes and all students completing module evaluations and an annual student survey.

In 2013/14, 95% of School of Social Science graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.

Our dedicated Placements Manager offers advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support with job applications and interview techniques is also available.


3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School of Social Sciences admits over 300 students to their undergraduate degree programmes every year.

Applications received

Typical applications received



QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Sociology; Education Studies

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The Sociology and Education degree programme is designed to equip you with an understanding of how these two subjects complement each other as well as an appreciation of their distinctive concerns. Sociology is an excellent subject to pair with Education because of its ability to contextualize and inform our understanding of learning processes, policies and the varied institutional contexts in which learning takes place. Sociology and Education modules are all taken in the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI).

Your Sociology and Education modules will help you to make sense of the social and cultural contexts of schooling and education, and relate these to wider processes of social change in contemporary society. For example, Sociology allows you to understand how individuals’ pathways, successes and choices in life differ according to wider social relations such as class, gender, ethnicity, age and sexuality. You will also be introduced to debates on the relationship between intelligence, learning and social position.

Key concepts in Sociology relate to theoretical concerns that are central to Education, including identity, age, youth and childhood, knowledge, learning, community and belonging; the relationship between individuals, educational and national institutions, the State and society; the social and cultural implications of key educational and welfare policies; concepts of mobility, solidarities, communities and networks; value-systems and policy areas such as environmentalism, lifelong learning and social movements. Sociology also trains you to identify and assess the evidence supporting or refuting claims made by politicians, educationalists and the media about the problems and constraints faced by young people, families and other social groups.

Degree programmes in SOCSI reflect the National Qualification Framework and benchmark standards of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) ( 

What should I know about year five?

Most modules are 20 credits. Students are expected to allocate 200 hours of study time to each of them: this is made up of lectures (22-24 hrs in Years 2 and 3, 44-48 in Year 1), tutorials/seminars/workshops (8-10 hours), independent study and time spent on assessment tasks. Students should attend all lectures and are required to attend all seminars.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found at:

Students are also expected to maintain regular contact with the personal tutor and, where appropriate, inform the School of any extenuating circumstances that might affect their academic performance.

In SOCSI we take the responsibility we share with you to support your learning seriously and if you have any particular requirements it is important that you let us know. In some instances you may just want to talk to your personal tutor or a member of the teaching team on a particular module. We also have a Disabilities contact and work closely with the Student Support Service.

How is this course/programme structured?

This is a 3 year full time programme, consisting of 120 credits a year.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required

What should I know about year three?

Students will acquire and develop a range of skills, including both discipline specific and generic employability skills. These include: communicating and presenting oral and written information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team); using ICT (word processing, data bases, internet communication, information retrieval and on-line searches); interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information through compulsory year 1 and 2 research methods modules; demonstrating interpersonal skills to enable team/group work; recognising, recording and communicating skills and knowledge to achieve personal/career goals; managing learning and performance (including time management); demonstrating a commitment to continuing learning and development.

If chosen, the dissertation module provides a means to further develop and demonstrate a broad range of skills.  The outcomes of the dissertation will be made available to a wider audience at a conference when you will be expected to make a presentation of your work. The research project provides the opportunity for independent study supported by an academic supervisor. Supervision sessions provide the opportunity to negotiate individual learning outcomes. This will develop collaborative, time-management, communication and presentational skills.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Each year of study consist of 120 credits, usually taught as six 20 credit modules. In each academic year, there will be a number of core modules that provide the essential foundation for the degree scheme plus a number of optional modules that allow you to tailor your academic work to your own strengths and interests. In the third year, students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation. The dissertation is counted as a double module and provides the opportunity for independent study and research supported by an academic supervisor.

A diverse range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the degree. Students will attend lectures, participate in tutorials or seminars and carry out practical tasks as individual or group activities. Seminar and practical work is particularly important as it provides an opportunity to student to obtain feedback on their progress and understanding throughout the academic year.

You will receive formal feedback on your assessments in a variety of ways. You will receive individual, written feedback on coursework, the purpose of which is to improve your understanding of the subject and develop transferable skills that can be applied elsewhere. General feedback will also be given on examinations, with individual feedback available for students who have failed the module and require a resit. Many modules also offer formative assessments, which enable you to develop your skills and obtain feedback without affecting your final module mark.

Some teaching will take place within the School of Social Sciences and some will be in other locations within the University campus.

What should I know about year one?

Each of the taught modules within the programme will be assessed using one or more of the following in-course assessments:

  • Essays and coursework;
  • Formal seen and unseen examinations;
  • Class tests;
  • Written reports;
  • Group presentations
  • Oral presentations;
  • Dissertation.

There are also opportunities for formative assessment: assessments which do not formally count towards the final grade and an opportunity for you to gain insight and feedback on your progress. We place a particular emphasis on formative assessment in the first year.

Alternative provision may be made for students with disabilities.

Other information

Students will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of their studies. Tutors make themselves available for scheduled meetings to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, but they can also be called upon when needed.

All modules within the programme make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks. 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 students regularly.

Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are also made available via the University’s central services, which include:

  • Academic and Skills Development Centre:
  • Information Literacy Resource Bank:
  • Careers Advice and Guidance:

Distinctive features

A typical graduate from this programme will be able to:

  • understand key concepts and theoretical approaches that have been developed and are developing within Sociology and Education
  • appraise sociological and cultural theories and assess them in relation to evidence
  • demonstrate an awareness of social change, the nature of social processes underpinning them and their implications for social diversity and inequality
  • appraise and use a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
  • demonstrate awareness of the distinctive character of sociology in relation to education and also its relationship to everyday explanations.
  • demonstrate intellectual independence, critical engagement, personal and academic communication skills.


How will I be taught?

The distinctive features of the programme include:

  • the opportunity for students to learn in a School that was ranked 3rd in the UK for research quality in sociology and 5th for education in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF)
  • the involvement of research-active staff in Scheme design and delivery
  • the emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment
  • the variety of modules on offer in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary School
  • progression through core and specialist option modules
  • an emphasis on developing practical research skills that will serve students well in the future
  • the opportunity to study abroad

Admissions tutors

Mr Stephen Davies, Course Administrator

Mr Stephen Davies, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
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