The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research. Our academics are internationally recognised for their expertise in sociological theory and our wide ranging research gives you the opportunity to study diverse areas ranging from street culture to terrorism.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you study the fundamentals of sociological thinking. As your understanding develops, you examine the workings of the social institutions that govern people's lives, assessing their impact on individuals and society as a whole. You can also choose optional modules on criminology, modern culture or social policy.
In your second and final years, you extend your knowledge of sociological theory and social research methods. The varied expertise in the School means we are able to offer optional modules that include explorations of childhood, environmentalism, gender, political change, crime, race, violence and work, among others. This means that you can choose to study areas of particular interest to you or that relate directly to your career choice.
Throughout your degree, our academics challenge you to develop your own opinions and ideas, and encourage you to become an independent thinker. We offer high levels of support and our staff are friendly and accessible.
Kent student Charlotte talks about her course at the University of Kent.
You can choose to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See Course structure for full details.
The Social Studies Society is run by Kent students for anyone with an interest in criminology, sociology, law, social policy, economics and politics.
There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include:
research seminars and webcasts
career development workshops
informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- a range of key sociological concepts and empirically based arguments and data
- the social processes that shape contemporary society and the relationships between individuals, group and social institutions
- patterns of social diversity and inequality and their origins and consequences
- the nature and appropriate use of diverse social research strategies and methods
- how sociological knowledge can be used to evaluate social and public policy
- the similarities and differences between the British and Finnish versions of modern society.
You develop the following intellectual abilities:
- the application of knowledge in analysing complex social issues
- research skills, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect, manipulate and interpret data
- an understanding and appreciation of different theoretical positions and schools of thought within sociology
- the ability to formulate and sustain a complex argument which is supported with appropriate evidence
- appreciation of a variety of normative and cultural positions.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- the ability to communicate information and argument
- the ability to plan research
- the ability to use and apply sociological theories and concepts in an argument
- the ability to express and evaluate the value and ethical dimensions of sociological practice
- the ability to reformulate social issues from the standpoint of sociological analysis.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- problem-solving in a variety of situations
- the ability to effectively communicate theoretical and empirical material and arguments through written and oral modes, including use of illustrative and supportive material such as overheads and computer-aided presentations
- learning and study, information retrieval, communication and information technology, group work, and time planning and management.
The programme aims to:
- be compatible with widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes
- produce graduates with analytical and knowledge-based skills relevant to employment in the professions, public service and private sector
- provide a broad knowledge of the key concepts, debates and theoretical approaches that inform the discipline of sociology
- promote an understanding of contemporary social issues and the impact of diversity and inequality on local and national communities
- provide an understanding of the social processes that influence the relationship between individuals, groups and institutions
- develop problem-solving skills and an understanding of the nature and appropriate use of research methods used in sociological research
- teach students key writing, research and communications skills.