Studying sociology will decode the hidden patterns that govern human behaviour and give you the tools to drive positive change.

Studying sociology opens doors to a fascinating exploration of the world we live in. You’ll learn the tools to understand how societies tick, unravelling the mysteries of human behaviour, and diving into the diverse world of cultures and communities.

Sociology isn’t just about books and theories – it will also open up a world of possibilities for your future career. You could end up in roles where you can make a real impact; shaping policies, carrying out social research, contributing to community development, or even championing causes that matter to you are all realistic career paths.

Sociology is a route to understanding people and making a positive mark on the world. So, if you're looking for a subject that combines curiosity, empathy, and the potential to make a difference, sociology is a great choice to a fulfilling career.

The impact you could make
  • Identify and address systemic issues such as discrimination, inequality, and injustice.
  • Contribute to effective public policies that aim to improve the wellbeing of communities.
  • Promote cultural understanding, diversity, and critical thinking, shaping the perspectives of future generations.
What you could study
  • Urban sociology
  • Individuals and society
  • Applied ethics
  • Nature and society
  • Media and crime
  • Mobilisation, social movements, and protest

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
"My favourite modules include racism and race, relationships and education. These are my main interests in sociology and I would love in the future to be able to help make changes to help those being suppressed and unequal."
Second year sociology student, University of Manchester
Example assignment
"I did a course paper on a health issue of my choice from a specific societal area. i created my own question which allowed for creativity and individuality. Mine looked at abortion laws in the US and how this affects the health demographic."
Second year sociology student, University of Edinburgh

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some sociology courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.
English language
Media studies

Second year sociology student, University of Manchester

I was interested in a wide range of subjects, and so sociology’s multidisciplinary nature meant I could shape the degree to my changing interests.
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Statistical analysis
  • Qualitative research techniques
  • Data interpretation
  • Interviewing techniques
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Active listening
  • Cultural competence
  • Problem-solving
  • Writing and presentation skills
75% of students
studying sociology would recommend the subject to others
(UCAS subject guide survey 2023)

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying sociology. The following information is based on a typical sociology professional role.
Available jobs
18,711 vacancies in the past year
1.20% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £54,872

What is a… futurist sociologist?

A futurist sociologist combines the principles of sociology with the methodology of futurism to analyse current social trends, technological advancements, and cultural shifts in order to make predictions about the potential future changes in society. The role involves applying sociological theories and research methods to understand how various factors may shape the future landscape of human societies. This role is forward-thinking, speculative, and contributes to strategic planning in different areas, including business, government, and social policy.

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study sociology at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from sociology applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Other subjects you may be interested in

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around sociology with the following:
  1. Discover Society

    A helpful site where you can find articles on countless topics in the social sciences. 
  2. Thinking Allowed

    A weekly podcast which covers new research on how our society works.
  3. Reading

    If you love reading, originally published in 1848, The Communist Manifesto is a favourite read among sociology students – especially those who enjoy researching Marxism.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our advice will help you get ahead in your sociology journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Have you always been curious and like to read about current issues affecting our lives?
  • What motivates your desire to contribute positively to society?
  • Mention instances where you've observed social phenomena or patterns in your everyday life and reflect on how these experiences have inspired your curiosity about societal dynamics.
  • Have you any experience in community service, volunteer work, or social advocacy?
  • Do you enjoy critical discussions or debates, either in academic settings, online forums, or in-person conversations?
  • Demonstrate your awareness of current social issues by mentioning how you stay informed about global events, policy changes, or societal challenges through news sources, documentaries, or other media.

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