Politics and Sociology (BSc Econ)

Combining Politics with Sociology enables you to acquire a broad understanding of society.

Many students find studying a joint honours programme stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining Politics and sociology, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.

The field of politics allows you to explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability as well as incorporating international relations.

Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

This degree aims to provide you with an excellent understanding of politics and government while also equipping you with associated intellectual and communications skills that will be of value whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors.

Sociology is dedicated to the study of social life as found in groups, institutions and societies. It provides the critical tools for handling the analysis of all aspects of social conduct, from face-to-face interactions to how economic forces shape and are shaped by global society.

This course uses a wide range of approaches to help you learn the methods and ideas needed to make your own contribution to understanding and improving society.

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

Distinctive features

  • Modules on offer reflect staff research interests across a range of sociological concerns and approaches, for example education, work and globalisation; urban and everyday life; social media, culture and consumption; health; migration and ethnic relations.
  • The opportunity for you 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.
  • The involvement of research-active staff in teaching.
  • The emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment.
  • Academic links with the National Assembly for Wales via the Welsh Governance Centre and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO.

Key facts

UCAS CodeLL32
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe school typically has 280 places available
Typical applications receivedThe school typically receives 1250 applicants
Typical A level offerABB (excluding General Studies).
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWelsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a Grade A in the Core and grades BB at A-level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34-33 points overall, to include 6, 6, 6 at higher level and English at subsidiary level 6.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a three-year, full-time course, consisting of 120 credits a year. You’ll study six 20-credit modules a year, split equally between the subjects.  The final degree classification that you are awarded is based on the grades you achieve in the modules that you take in years two and three.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. Our personal tutor programme will help you to make the transition to higher education.

You will take 120 credits in total, equally split between 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in sociology.

Year two

You will again take 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in sociology.

Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules to best suit a particular pathway with you future career choices in mind.

Year three

You will again take 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in sociology.

Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules to best suit a particular pathway with you future career choices in mind.

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.

How will I be taught?

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 and follow 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.

Teaching mainly takes place through lectures and discussion-based seminar groups. From year two in there will be opportunities to participate in practical, research-led activities alongside your theoretical learning.

How will I be supported?

A personal tutor will guide you for the duration of your studies.  The tutors are available to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance on your academic studies.

Both Schools involved in delivering this degree offer a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent student-staff relations.

All modules within the course make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which you 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.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, coursework, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects.

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake assessments that don’t count towards your final grade but give you an opportunity to assess your progress and to get feedback on your work.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of skills, including both discipline specific and generic employability skills. These include:

  • knowledge of contemporary theory and research in both and sociology
  • communicating and presenting oral and written information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team);
  • using ICT;
  • interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information, for example as part of a research project;
  • demonstrating interpersonal skills to enable team/group work;
  • recognising, recording and communicating skills and knowledge to achieve personal/career goals;
  • demonstrating a commitment to continuing learning and development.

School of Social Sciences

In 2013/14, 95% of our 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.

School of Law and Politics

In 2013/14 over 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

UK and EU students 2016/17

EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU 2016/17

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,500None

The School of Social Sciences has a dedicated Placements Manager who can offer 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.


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.