Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: BBB

BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

IB: 30 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above

For courses with Counselling skills, please note that a satisfactory enhanced DBS check will be required prior to starting any placement(s) for this course. This will be organised by the University. A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS Check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more.

Flexible offers
Eligible applicants that actively choose us as their firm choice will be able to take advantage of a flexible offer. This offer will specify alternative entry requirements than those published here so, if your final grades aren’t what you had hoped for, you could still secure a place with us. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Jennifer Fleetwood

Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Goldsmiths, University of London

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 31 January 2022 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  SC101-4-FY  Researching Social Life I  Core  30  30 
02  SC111-4-FY  The Sociological Imagination  Compulsory  30  30 
03  PA108-4-SP  Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychoanalytic Approach (Freud and Jung)  Compulsory  15  15 
04  PA123-4-AU  Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts  Compulsory  15  15 
05    Social Science option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 

Year 2 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  SC201-5-FY  Continuity and Controversy in Sociology: Sociological Analysis II  Compulsory  30  30 
02  SC213-5-FY  Social Psychology (Sociology): Self and Interaction  Compulsory  30  30 
03  SC203-5-FY  Researching Social Life II  Compulsory  30  30 
04  PA208-5-AU  Freud: Mind, Culture and Society  Compulsory  15  15 
05  PA209-5-SP  The Unconscious: Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society - Jung  Compulsory  15  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW600-6-FY  Abroad Modules 60 Credits  Compulsory  60  60 

Year 3 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  SC301-6-FY  Current Disputes in Sociology: Sociological Analysis III  Compulsory  30  30 
02  PA228-6-AU  Counselling Skills with Children and Adolescents - Theory  Compulsory  15  15 
03  PA229-6-SP  Organisational Dynamics - Theory  Compulsory  15  15 
04    SC340-5-FY or SC390-6-FY or SC831-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
05    SC326-6-FY or SC387-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

1. To give students an understanding of the areas of both sociology and psychology/psychoanalysis and of their combination in the new discipline of psychosocial studies.
2. To illuminate the different kinds of social tensions, interactions and networks that make up everyday life.
3. To explore why individuals, groups, cultures and peoples are the way they are and how they might be different.
4. To provide the practical means to investigate the above questions through a range of research design techniques.
5. To explore the relation between individual and social experience, emotional life, and wider cultural and political identities, giving further depth and complexity to the representation of human subjects in their social and historical contexts; and to learn about the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jung and about their social, cultural, and clinical applications.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Understand the intellectual foundations of sociology and psychoanalysis (including analytical psychology) and their intersection in psychosocial work.

A2: Understand the key concepts and theories of sociology and psychoanalysis (including analytical psychology

A3: Develop sociologically and psychoanalytically informed approaches to the study of individuals, groups, and institutions.

A4: Develop a critical and reflexive approach to the study of different cultures and value systems.

A5: Develop a critical appreciation of how the theories of sociology and psychoanalysis (including analytical psychology) contribute to understanding a variety of substantive social issues.

A6: Develop knowledge of sociological and psychosocial research methods appropriate to undertaking a small research project

A7: Develop understanding of how to analyse and interpret sociological and psychosocial data

A8: Develop awareness of relevant epistemological, ethical, and political issues.

Learning methods

Outcomes A1 to A5 are acquired through lectures, seminars, group and individual tasks, and directed independent study.

The development of the project in consultation with a supervisor provides the means through which learning outcomes A6 to A8 will be achieved.

Lectures and seminars introduce the required theories and understandings to facilitate students' exploration of sociology and psychoanalysis (including analytical psychology) and their contribution to the study of society, while demonstrating and encouraging a critical and reflexive approach.

Directed independent study and reading, along with individual and group tasks, enable the further exploration of the relevant areas.

Students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from lectures and classes by regularly consulting library materials relating to the course.

Assessment methods

Outcomes A1-A5 are formally assessed via coursework assignments, which may take a number of forms, including essays, reading assignments, tests, debates.

They are also assessed via exams.

Outcomes A2 and A6 to A8 are assessed via the final year project.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Capacity to appraise theoretical ideas in sociology and psychoanalysis.

B2: Capacities to compare, assimilate, and synthesise advanced theories and concepts.

B3: An ability to plan, conduct and present a medium scale piece of research

B4: Ability to formulate research questions

B5: Ability to interpret and critically evaluate empirical and textual evidence.

Learning methods

Skills B1 to B5 are acquired and enhanced primarily through directed independent study, reading, group and individual tasks given for their courses, although lectures and seminars provide a means for teachers to demonstrate these skills through examples.

Students' independent study and preparation for tasks involves the reading, interpretation and critical evaluation of relevant frameworks, theories and understandings to facilitate students' assimilation and synthesis of these various theories and concepts, while demonstrating and encouraging a critical and reflexive approach to empirical evidence.

Lecturers provide necessary feedback on student work.

Lecturers also engage students outside the classroom through office hours, appointments and email communication.

Skill B4 is additionally acquired through the work that students undertake for the final-year project.

Assessment methods

Skills B1 to B5 are formally assessed via coursework assignments and the final-year project.

Skill B4 is especially assessed through the project.

C: Practical skills

C1: Access and retrieve information from primary and secondary sources

C2: Analyse and evaluate empirical and textual data

C3: Ability to develop a research project and appropriate methodology.

C4: Ability to show reflexive awareness in undertaking scholarly and research work.

C5: Ability to design and undertake independent research.

C6: Completion of work experience/volunteering and ability to reflect on in in the context of career decision making

C7: Competence in key elements of the job selection process

Learning methods

In the first year assignments cover tasks such as producing a bibliography on a sociological topic, producing a glossary, describing and evaluating a sociological text and producing a sociological journal.

In addition students do an employability module which consists of a work placement or volunteering, reflections on which inform career decision making.

Throughout the three years of the degree practical skills are developed through preparation for classes, preparing essays and other assessed assignments, giving presentations and doing written examinations.

In SC101, students carry out an observational study and SC111 requires students to produce a journal which demonstrates reflexive awareness in interpreting sociological material.

The work for SC 201 includes the detailed examination and interpretation of key sociological texts and in SC203 students frame a research proposal and select the appropriate research methods.

In addition the third year project for SC831 is particularly valuable in developing students practical sociological skills.

Some of these skills are further developed through the work students do for their optional courses.

Students receive detailed feedback on all their coursework and presentations.

Study skills advice and training is available from the Student Support Officer in the Resource Room, which is dedicated to this purpose.

Assessment methods

Skills C1, C2, and C4 are formally assessed via coursework assignments.

This enables the demonstration of the relevant theories and empirical evidence and facilitates the demonstration of a critical and reflexive approach to empirical evidence.

Skill C3 and C5 are assessed through the project and course work.

D: Key skills

D1: Communicate ideas and arguments in a coherent and effective manner

D2: Ability to critically approach a text and understand the key arguments presented

D3: Ability to interpret statistical data.

D4: Ability to identify, analyse, and solve problems.

D5: Ability to plan work and manage time.

D6: Ability to respond constructively to feedback

Learning methods

Verbal communication skills (D1) are developed through group tasks involving oral presentation, group discussion, and engaging in organised debates in the seminars.

Written communication skills (D1) are developed primarily through essays and reading assignments.

Reading skills (D2) are developed through regular reading assignments.

Skills in interpreting statistics (D3) are developed on some of the taught modules.

Problem solving skills (D4) are developed principally through specific problem based exercises and projects given to the students.

Planning and organisation and the ability to respond constructively to feedback (D5-D6) are essential to any learning process dependent on independent study and to some extent individual advice from teachers.

These skills are further developed as students pursue the learning activities associated with their courses.

Assessment methods

Skills D1 to D6 are formally assessed via coursework assignments: in relation both to process and product.

Skills D1 to D4 will be assessed through the content of submitted work.

Informal assessment: The assessment of the majority of key transferable skills forms an integral part of the overall assessment of the course; however the approach to assessment varies.

Written communication skills, close reading skills, and problem solving skills are assessed directly throughout the degree programme.

Personal skills are assessed through coursework.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

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