Sociology has been taught at Durham University for over 50 years. Our Sociology degree programmes are wide ranging, focusing on applying knowledge and theory to real life situations, such as health and medicine, and welfare issues. We encourage you to develop a ‘sociological imagination’ in order to develop an in-depth understanding of the social world. Studying Sociology at Durham is about sharing a common enthusiasm for exploring how human beings behave, think and feel within social settings. Sociology contributes in crucial ways to shaping social change, such as in highlighting contemporary and future social trends, advising on social policy, and tackling forms of discrimination.
We encourage students to take a questioning approach and with Research based workshops this allows the students to gain hands-on experience of research in the subject area and to develop practical skills in the method of social research in the context of small group discussion and team working.
In studying Sociology (single, joint or taking them as elective modules), you will acquire a wider range of transferable skills that are crucial for broader personal and professional development. These skills include the capacity to assemble and evaluate evidence, to think quickly and to write efficiently, and to construct persuasive arguments. Studying at Durham will enable you to work with recognised international and national experts within specific fields of Sociology.
Find out more about each of our programmes through browsing their full course profiles below
BA Anthropology and Sociology
BA Education Studies - Sociology
BA Combined Honours in Social Sciences
The Department is really friendly and all the staff are approachable and willing to help. At Durham you have the freedom to shape the undergraduate course to fit your academic interests and career plan. If you are interested in a career in policy, for example, you can choose modules which specialise in this. This is really helpful when applying for jobs. The course has equipped me with the research skills and greater understanding of social issues in order to pursue a policy-related career.
The first year of the Sociology programme at Durham begins by teaching you the broad fundamentals of the discipline. The staff understand that the sociological imagination can take many forms and therefore encourage you to pursue your academic interests. It is not uncommon that their infectious enthusiasm for the topic inspires you to expand your own academic passions! The course also teaches students how to analyse and interpret data and has provided me with valuable transferrable skills.
Studying Sociology at Durham has challenged me to think about justice in all its form and the department is a transformative space where staff translate their scholarship into action. The Department leads work for social justice within the wider University community, in particular through pursuing decolonisation and equitable access to HE. I have felt empowered and inspired by studying issues of real importance supported by academics who are genuine, engaging and generous with their time.
Studying Sociology at Durham has been an amazing and thought-provoking experience, which has completely changed the way that I view the world and society. I have studied social issues related to gender, identity, health and much more. I enjoyed the focus on critical analysis and debate throughout the course as we learned to not just accept an issue at face value but to use our sociological knowledge to unpack the structures surrounding and influencing social problems and better understand them.
My last three years studying Sociology at Durham have been incredible. The department have been so supportive; lecturers and seminar leaders were always available and importantly took an interest in wellbeing and not just grades, as the first generation in my family to attend University this was especially helpful. Studying Sociology has allowed me to develop a view of the world and become passionate about change and my studies have given me the confidence and skills to make a difference.
Studying Sociology at Durham University has been an amazing experience. The course had a great balance between sociological theories and current issues making it very engaging. The course allowed me to tailor my learning to be able to explore topics that interested me, learning from leading academics. As an International student I was worried about how I would adapt to being in Durham but the department have been so wonderful and helpful and the city itself is so vibrant!
My time spent at Durham studying Sociology has been an incredibly rewarding experience and one I will always remember. The teaching provided by the staff is of the highest quality. All of the staff ensure they deliver the content in an engaging and captivating way. The support available from staff is incredible, often going above and beyond to ensure your success. Staff challenge you to think outside the box and encourage healthy debate, questioning knowledge you often take for granted.