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BA (Hons) English and Applied Sociology

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West Suffolk College


Three years full-time.

Six years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).


If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.


This course offers you flexibility to pursue topics that interest and challenge you. This exciting study route provides you with both subject-specific knowledge and the additional intellectual enrichment that comes from an inter-disciplinary approach. We have developed a strong philosophy of encouraging appreciation of the contemporary relevance of both subjects and of supporting students with a wide range of abilities, needs and interests. Content is presented with contemporary relevance, appealing to self-motivated and independent students who are intellectually and vocationally ambitious.

Course content draws on key theoretical perspectives from your chosen subjects, English and Applied Sociology. You will explore a broad variety of themes such as crime, politics, modernity, ethics, health and illness, social change, major literary works from a range of genres, and key thinkers within your subject disciplines.

Your course will guide you through a range of cultural contexts, time periods, and themes providing a stimulating and diverse experience. Your combination of study choices will provide a valuable opportunity to develop versatile skills and perspectives in each of your subject disciplines. The programme is enriched with field trips, visiting speakers and conferences and offers opportunity for engagement with employment in your chosen field.

Our highly qualified staff teach with passion, providing personal attention and support throughout the course. This facilitates varied teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops, group projects, debates, trips (for example to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London), research tasks, conferences and one-to-one discussion.

Assessments are varied - encompassing site and field studies, research projects and more traditional assessments such as essays, presentations, examinations and reports. As a whole the module and assessment diet is designed to foster advanced skills of critical thinking, creativity and scholarship.

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Approaches to Fiction

This module begins with an overview of the development of ideas about the study of ‘English’ as an introduction to some of the perspectives that the student will meet when progressing through degree studies in this subject. Two themes unite the module: the acquisition of skills in the critical analysis of prose fiction and the learning and application of a range of twentieth century theoretical approaches to the study of literature.

Reading Poetry

The purpose of the module is to provide a foundation level introduction to skills in analysing poetic language and to provide foundation level knowledge of poetry through the study of a single author, a period and a theme spanning the period from Chaucer to the present.

Introduction to the Study of Drama

The purpose of the module is to provide a foundation level introduction to skills in analysing dramatic language, staging, theatrical interpretation and drama in context.

Introduction to Applied Sociology

This module enables students to gain a grounding in the essential elements of sociology including theoretical approaches, research methods and ethical considerations; alongside applying this understanding to various aspects of society. The students recognise the unique approach taken by sociology in generating knowledge. 

Making Sense of Modernity

The development of modernity is central to the development of sociology. Modernity is about the processes of social change. This module will explain modernity by looking at social changes within different contexts – economic, technological, political and cultural. The module will have a focus of the forces and processes that shape our life experience. Modernity and social change are presented as a process, which enables us to better understand the world we live in and how it changes over time. Students will have the opportunity to carry out their own research into one aspect of modernity.

Contemporary Social Inequalities

This module explores social inequalities in both a British and global context. The module studies the major forms of social inequalities in the UK and around the world. These include: class, ethnicity, gender and age, sexuality and geography. The module asks how these categories shape societies and the life chances of individuals. The module encourages students to consider the extent and persistence of various forms of inequality and to explore sociological accounts. Students should engage with new ideas and challenge common-sense and individualised explanations and social policy implications.

Dissertation/Project Preparation

This module is mandatory for combined honours students registering for their final year undergraduate dissertation. The module aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in writing an undergraduate dissertation including choice of topic and question formulation, literature reviews, research methods and their justification, electronic and hard copy resources and data, presentational conventions, planning and organisation.

Weird Fiction: The Gothic Genre 1818-1897

This module provides an introduction to Gothic narrative fiction from the late-eighteenth century to the late nineteenth-century. It tracks the development of the Gothic from its initial position as a sub-genre of Romantic writing to a literary form in its own right. Students will become familiar with the late-eighteenth century origins of the Gothic and with the development of the genre up to the late-nineteenth century. The module enables students to further cultivate their understanding of Romanticism and also to engage with new important genres such as science fiction and the detective novel.

Late-Victorian Literature

This module is designed to provide an introduction to some key texts and cultural developments of the last two decades of the nineteenth century, popularly known as the “Decadence”. Students will study material from the genres of poetry, drama, fiction (both long and short) and non-fiction. An introduction to relevant aspects of nineteenth century philosophy, such as some of the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, and to signature developments in the visual arts such as Symbolism and Art Nouveau, will enable students to develop their appreciation of the ways in which contextual knowledge enhances understanding of literature. In addition to its intrinsic value the module will help students to understand the cultural and intellectual evolution which links the Victorian period with the subsequent years of Modernism.

Challenging Shakespeare

The module is designed to offer a broad introduction to the plays of William Shakespeare. The specific approach to be taken involves the study of Shakespeare’s generic innovations and transgressions.

Methodology for Social Science: Applied Sociology

Sociology is based on systematic knowledge about the social world that we inhabit. ‘Methodology for Social Science: Sociology’ introduces the range of ways that sociologists do research by generating information so that they can develop their sociological ideas. Its core theme is the importance of evidence: the way we collect information has a huge effect on our research findings.

Theorising Social Life

The aim of this module is to build on and develop students' understanding of Sociological theory, exploring its relevance to key themes and issues in contemporary society. The course will begin with an exploration of the work of modern social theorists such as Talcott Parsons and will conclude with a focus on contemporary theorists such as Donna Haraway. In order to foster student understanding of social theory, its aims and purposes, each theorists work will be applied to substantive issues in modern and contemporary society such as family formation, urbanisation, politics, and globalization.

Understanding Crime

This module looks at the key philosophical, sociological and popular debates around crime, deviance and suffering. It will include implications for policy and the social and cultural context of crime and draw on empirical research into crime and deviance in British society.

Undergraduate Dissertation/Project

The Undergraduate Dissertation/Project is a core module and the culmination of the student’s undergraduate studies, offering an opportunity for the student to demonstrate intellectual and scholarly independence commensurate with the award of a Bachelor’s degree with Honours. It involves sustained writing and in the case of the project option, the additional production of a negotiated practical outcome. . The student will have begun the process of designing a research dissertation or project at Level 5 within the Dissertation/Project Preparation/Research Methods module and will complete the work in his/her final year of study under the supervision of a tutor allocated for his/her expertise.

Modernism and the City

The module is intended to supply an introduction to Modernist literature between 1900 and 1930. Modernism is treated as an urban phenomenon, growing out of and developing symbiotically with, the expansion of European cities during the period. Its interdisciplinary aspect is also central to the content of the module. The sociology of the city and the relationship between literature, philosophy and the visual arts are explored in order to set fiction and poetry in their cultural contexts. Students will have the opportunity to engage with some key works of the Modernist avant-garde and so extend and deepen their analytical skills and literary knowledge.

Writing Rebellion: Literature 1956-70

Students of literature written in the nineteen-fifties and ‘sixties will learn about the radical technical, stylistic and thematic innovations which are the immediate precursors of “postmodern” and contemporary writing. The module shows how literature moved out of its Modernist phase and both reflected and contributed to the “cultural revolution” of the Fifties and Sixties.

Monsters, Madness and Modernity: 20thC to the Present

This will enable students to broaden and strengthen their scholarship within a contemporary framework whilst making crossconnections within a literary programme that has ranged from Greek to the present. The module will enable students to reinforce their understanding of theoretical approaches, such as postmodernism, gender theory and post-colonialism, whilst introducing them to recent theoretical developments such as eco-criticism, disability theory and monsterology – all of which are relevant to their combination choices. The module will encourage students to engage with innovative and seminal literature and thoughtprovoking themes that help to drive forward their understanding of the contemporary cultural moment.

The Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine

‘Health’, ‘illness’ and ‘medicine’ are by no means static concepts. Their meaning has changed over time, and there is competition and conflict over what they mean. For example, in recent decades, health has come to mean much more the absence of disease. This is the age of healthy eating, sexual health, holistic health, healthy lifestyles and healthy living. We live in a time when medicine can mean homeopathy or acupuncture, as well as heart surgery and vaccinations. ‘Health’ is also something we seem to worry about, and panic over; recent years have witnessed high profile scares about eating beef, using the contraceptive pill and mobile phones, and giving babies the MMR vaccine. ‘Health, Illness and Medicine’ discusses key ideas and concepts developed by social scientists that can help us understand these, and other, aspects of our society.

The Sociology of Work and the Professions

Work and economic life is one of the central themes of sociology. Work allows us to think about class, gender, age, ethnicity and issues of identity. Work defines how people live their lives and is a major constituting factor in identity formation. In recent years work has changed enormously with the rise of globalisation, of deindustrialisation, post-industrialisation and the ending of old certainties which used to underpin working lives.

Gender and Sexuality

In this module students will learn about theories of gender and the tenets of feminist theory in the first half of the module. Gender differences and the translation of difference into inequality will be addressed. Theory will be applied to a range of substantive areas including the private/public spheres, the body, media, post-feminism, gender identity, masculinity and class. In the second half of the module, theories of sexuality will be examined and explored in relation to a range of substantive topics including heterosexuality, same sex sexualities, prostitution and pornography; race and desire; and sexualisation of culture. While its disciplinary focus is sociology, the module will draw substantially from gender studies, lesbian and gay studies, Queer theory and cultural studies.

Career opportunities

This degree will prepare you for a wide variety of types of work. The skills and knowledge that you acquire will equip you with vital skills, such as:  Communication skills – preparing and presenting information accurately to others.  Handling sources of information ‐ reading, selecting, analysing and synthesising information from a range of sources.

  • Producing different types of documents
  • Numeracy and data handling ‐ collecting and recording data, data analysis
  • Self‐Management – project planning, workload management and monitoring progress 
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Working with others towards identified targets.  

Graduates of combined honours degrees have the advantage of a broader academic viewpoint, having developed valuable transferable skills as well as sound knowledge of English and Sociology, providing excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Graduates are now far more likely to change jobs during their working life, so having two areas of expertise and skills can pay dividends.

Employers are increasingly prioritising the need for people who have a range of subject knowledge and skills. We encourage progression to further study to support your career aspirations, ensuring that the course is rigorous in preparing you for further study. Typical career paths may include; teaching, management, administration, working within charities, not for profit organisations or government organisations. We encourage students to progress to further study where appropriate.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £11,790 p.a.

Further Information                                       

  • Tuition Fees
  • Financial Support
  • Loans and Grants
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements

If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.

Facilities and Resources

The course will be delivered in Suffolk House on the campus of University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College. All taught sessions are held in properly equipped classrooms or the lecture theatre. In addition to the academic team, students have access to Wi-Fi, common areas, catering facilities, accessible facilities, IT resources such as public computers/ IT helpdesk and a range of library resources to support their studies.

As well as the physical library resources students have access to e-resources, a subject librarian, a Learning Mentor who offers 1:1 Academic support and a programme of Learning Development workshops throughout the year. Additionally our students have a Personal Support Tutor, HE Learning Mentor, Student Welfare Team and DSA Coordinator who manage all aspects of a students’ personal journey during their studies.

This includes pastoral support, counselling and welfare, reasonable adjustment agreements / needs assessments and support applying for DSA. The teams also signpost to outside agencies and ensure that the students’ physical and mental wellbeing is maintained during their studies.