Why study this course
Gain professional experience through placements and volunteering with a variety of sport development and community engagement organisations.
Design, deliver and evaluate sports and social change initiatives throughout your degree.
Be part of small class practical and workshop sessions across all levels of the programme.
You will be involved in delivery of real world, county wide projects working alongside external partners.
The BA (Hons) Sociology and Sport joint programme explores the complexities of the development of sport and performance. Its focus is on developing knowledge and understanding of sport, and physical education in its broader sociocultural context. You will be introduced to a range of central, yet diverse, theoretical approaches to the study of society that have been and are still developing within Sociology.
The course will provide a critical and reflexive understanding of modern and contemporary social and sociological theories. The degree will explore research issues and debates surrounding notions of policy, inclusion, deviance, equity and identity in relation to sports coaching and physical education.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this course
The BA (Hons) Sociology and Sport joint programme provides you with the opportunity to engage in study that offers a balanced range of modules from both disciplines. In undertaking a joint programme, you can develop in-depth knowledge and understanding which reflects your passion and interests in the chosen subjects. You will receive the chance to work with a wide variety of organisations through BGU links with industry and the opportunity to develop projects and expertise in areas that you are interested in.
You will acquire and be able to apply a range of generic and transferable intellectual, research, practical and professional skills appropriate to an undergraduate programme and applicable to a wide range of career choices. Modules are contemporary in nature and tackle key societal issues facing sport, coaching and physical education. Modules are taught and assessed using a variety of active learning techniques where students are encouraged to take charge of their own learning through engaging with academic knowledge and research, tutors, external organisations, and peers. Possible career trajectories include youth work, adventure education, physical education, health and fitness coaching, the recreation industry, policy work, sports policy development, Police Force, Youth Offenders Service, Social Work, and media research on sport and wellbeing.
What you will study
Students on this course currently study some or all of the modules listed below.
This module sets out to combine an academic study of the relations between sport, education and society, with a pragmatic desire to explore sport in formal and informal learning environments. It will promote inquiry into the implications of the curriculum for teaching and learning of sport and will begin to develop required skills and knowledge of appropriate teaching strategies in preparation for further development. Teaching and learning will proceed by way of interactive lectures, practical work, tutorials and seminars. These will introduce key concepts and develop your understanding of sport in education. Practical activities and tutor-led workshops will provide opportunities for you to observe and assist in teaching and learning of sport. A number of directed tasks are incorporated, including data collection, independent reading, presentation and discussion. Online support and discussion through the VLE will be available and shared reflection will be encouraged through your contribution to a blog. The syllabus will include a study of the nature of sport in education and will provide an introduction to the application of Physical Education (PE) in a variety of educational settings. You will be introduced to key issues in PE such as inclusion, assessment, cross-curricular learning, citizenship and lifelong learning. Sport will be placed in context of the National Curriculum for PE and you will examine real case studies of how sport education has been used in both primary and secondary PE. You will also have the opportunity to explore and develop knowledge and understanding of strategies aimed at making the sport experience positive and meaningful to all individuals.
This module will provide you with an overview of the influence of physical activity on health and wellbeing in young people. The module will explore the main cultural, political and ethical issues surrounding physical activity and will introduce methods of promoting physical activity to young people. Tutor-led workshops both in the Sports Hall and Human Performance Lab (HPL) will introduce and develop the varied practical and analytical skills required to complete the module successfully. A number of directed tasks are incorporated, including data collection, independent reading, use of VLE, presentation and discussion. The syllabus will explore current research on physical activity and young people in the UK and will examine current and previous levels of physical activity. You will gain theoretical and practical understanding of the physical, social and psychological benefits of physical activity for young people. In particular this module sets out to identify how young people develop their self-identities and how they accept or reject physical activity and sport in this process. Through investigating physical activity prescriptions, levels and key exercise interventions you will gain a breadth and depth of understanding of the barriers young people face towards exercise and physical activity.
This module is designed to help and support you to adapt to studying sociology at undergraduate level. During this first-year module the basic skills, techniques and values that make for successful undergraduate learning and study are introduced via a programme of lectures, practical group tasks, seminars and one-to-one tutorial sessions. As the module progresses, increased emphasis is given to developing specific sociological skills that you require as you move towards more advanced undergraduate study. Overall, the module equips you with the skills necessary to undertake empirical social research (from project planning to write up findings), develop your collaborative and presentational skills and enhance your appreciation of the relationship between sociology and the “real world”. The module provides knowledge and understanding which will be developed at Levels 5 and 6.
This module is the first in a research methods ‘pathway’ that continues across level 5 and level 6 of the degree. In this module you will be introduced to the basics of empirical social research. A diverse range of qualitative and quantitative research methods for studying two key types of social data (i.e. textual and interactional) will be discussed, as will your respective strengths and weaknesses. As part of this introduction you will be provided with an understanding of the theoretical questions that underpin the application of such methods in empirical social research, and the methodological and practical issues that arise during their application. You will explore different areas of social research in lectures, small group tasks, class presentations and debates in a module with a strongly practical flavour. You will not only follow along as the research process converts various types of textual and interactional data into research findings and presentations. You will also get a chance to experience the practical challenges of managing and negotiating this process for yourself. In this way students will become equipped with some of the basic skills necessary to undertake qualitative and quantitative projects, from project planning and set-up right through to the conduct of ‘real world’ research and the final presentation and dissemination of research findings.
Most sociologists – whether university freshers, applied sociologists working in the public, private or third sectors, or experienced university professors – will be challenged at some point during their studies/careers about the point and purpose of a social science subject such as sociology. It is not uncommon, for instance, for sociologists to find themselves having to engage with questions or claims like: “what’s the point of sociology?”; “doesn’t it just involve the study of common-sense?”; “social science just isn’t as rigorous and/or effective as proper scientific research”. This module is designed to give you a positive view of the impact that the social sciences have had, and will continue to have, on modern societies, polities, cultures and economies. It equips them with the intellectual resources to understand and how the point and purpose of sociology can be demonstrated, articulated and, where necessary, argued. A broad range of classical and contemporary social and sociological theories are presented with the aim of showcasing the power, promise and potential of a sociological imagination for anyone wishing to understand the world around them and their place within it. Lectures, practical tasks and activities show that and how the application of sociological knowledge empowers us to link seemingly isolated events to the wider social forces, structures, trends and processes that shaped them and that, in turn, were shaped by those events. The accompanying learning sessions and fieldwork tasks provide you with the opportunity to explore a range of everyday life from a sociological perspective, reflexively exploring your own experiences of daily life, gathering and discussing exemplary materials from print and digital media and completing various exercises on specific pre-set topics.
This module will further develop your knowledge and understanding of pedagogical approaches and skills and apply them to the teaching and learning of PE and sport. It will further explore issues related to the National Curriculum for the teaching and learning of sport. It will provide opportunities for you to acquire and apply knowledge of the principles and concepts of motor skill learning and performance. There will be opportunities to implement and evaluate a wide range of PE and sport related teaching resources and strategies. You will also have the opportunity to develop research and analytical skills in the selection of appropriate PE material and techniques for use in learning environments. The syllabus will include lesson planning, practical organisation, inclusion and differentiation in the physical environment, pedagogical approaches. These themes are explored through various physical activities and practical workshops. You will develop a detailed knowledge of the major theories and practice of teaching and learning through sport and PE. It aims to introduce a range of teaching strategies, which can be used in PE and coaching contexts, providing the opportunity for you to create an appropriate teaching environment for learners to acquire physical, emotional and social skills. You will be introduced to the principles of motor skill learning and related theories and how to apply the concepts of motor learning and performance to real-world settings of teaching and coaching. You will be required to identify relevant teaching and learning practices that will develop pupil knowledge and understanding of the activities in accordance with the National Curriculum in primary and secondary schools.
This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills for analysing, presenting and interpreting data typical of a small-scale research project in the multidisciplinary areas of sport, coaching and physical education. You will examine the various nature and types of research available and their application within sport, alongside the development of research skills. You are introduced to a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, designs and analysis approaches. This will be followed by a series of interactive data collection and workshop sessions that adopt a problem driven student-led small group approach. The data collection and analysis sessions will be problem driven with you designing methods appropriate to given research questions. Workshop sessions will illustrate principles of good research design, highlight common errors and develop techniques for data analysis, description and presentation in a hands-on manner using standard software packages and theoretical approaches. Directed learning focuses on guiding you to material deemed necessary to prepare for and support data presentation, analysis-based activities. There will also be sessions that are tutorial-based offering support to both groups and individuals. The syllabus will focus on equipping you to recognize the process for a small-scale research project. You will explore how research enquiry in sport can lead or inform thinking and practice before being introduced to the value, processes, research design and methods of both quantitative and qualitative research in sport. Ethical issues will be addressed, including the principles of anonymity, confidentiality and informed consent. You will gain theoretical understanding and practical experience of research data collection techniques such as interviews, questionnaires and observations and quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques. You will then work independently with data to complete a small-scale project for your independently written assignment.
This module will investigate effective ways of promoting interest, participation and performance in sport. You will develop a critical understanding of theoretical and vocationally relevant issues for sports development in contemporary society. You will broaden your knowledge and understanding through working with a variety of guest speakers, in order to compare contrasting theories, viewpoints and complex arguments. An optional field visit will play a helpful role in understanding current practice in leadership and working with diverse populations. The syllabus will include an introduction to the historical development and promotion of sport and exercise in the UK. You will learn about the theories of sports development and will explore and evaluate policies that guide its direction. Leadership within local authorities, governing bodies and voluntary organisations will be examined alongside the practicalities of policy implementation at a national, regional and local level. You will investigate current development and promotional projects operated by organisations such as the Sport England, Active Lincolnshire, Youth Sport Trust and Lincoln City Council. This module will provide many opportunities for debate, analysis and enquiry, with you appraising the sports development continuum and evaluating the role of sports development and leadership at an individual, group and community level.
This module taps into a growing movement within the social sciences towards refiguring sociology as a specifically public sociology. The aims of the movement are to refresh the discipline’s sociological imagination, engaging audiences beyond the academy and contributing in a meaningful way to the debates that are sparked by, and the solutions that are proposed in response to, pressing societal issues and challenges. It is in that context that this module has been designed to help you understand some of the highest profile intellectual debates on social issues in the contemporary public sphere in relation to three key sociological categories: race, religion and sexuality. Religion has not always had a positive encounter with either sexuality or racial minorities and these encounters continue to be an area of significant importance for sociologists. This module will offer you opportunities to encounter issues of race, racism, poverty, sexuality, gender, powerlessness and liberation. It will explore the implications these global issues have for sociology in order to provide insights into how academics have been able to influence policy debates and learn how to apply the social science understandings developed in lectures and workshops to the critical analysis of public debates. You will also have an opportunity to develop the ability to explain some of the ways in which your studies have wider relevance to society. You will also be supported to recognise that some, at least, of the arguments encountered are not as clear cut as they might seem, and that identifying the best evidence to justify political and/or policy arguments can be quite challenging. There will also be the opportunity for you to develop some valuable transferable skills, in particular learning how to prepare and present a sustained complex argument and how to defend an argument in response to questions and opposing points of view.
Sociology of sport is a discipline of sociology that studies sports as a social phenomenon. Sports sociologists critically examine the functions, impacts and roles that sports have on different societies. The sociology of sport encompasses research in various other fields such as political science, history and anthropology. The aims of the sociology of sport are: 1. To critically examine the role, function and meaning of sport in the lives of people and the societies they form. 2.To describe and explain the emergence and diffusion of sport over time and across different societies 3. To identify the processes of socialisation into, through, and out of modern sport. 4. To investigate the values and norms of dominant, emergent and residual cultures and subcultures in sport. 5. To explore how the exercise of power and the stratified nature of societies place limits and possibilities on people’s involvement and success in sport as performers, officials, spectators, workers or consumers. 6. To examine the ways in which sport responds to social changes in the larger society. 7. To contribute both to the knowledge base of sociology more generally and also to the formation of policy that seeks to ensure that global sport processes are less wasteful of lives and resources. 8. The sociology of sport also seeks to critically examine common sense views about the role, function and meaning that sport has in different societies. By challenging ‘natural’ and taken-for-granted views about sport, sociologists seek to provide a more social and scientifically adequate account that can inform both the decisions and actions of people and the policy of governments, NGOs and sport organisations. This module explores the origin of the sociology of sport as a sub-field of sociology. It then examines in detail the four major sociological theories that are employed in the study of sports: functionalist theory, conflict theory, interactionist theory and feminist theory. The second half of the module focuses on exploring in impact of sport on the sociological categories of gender, race and ethnicity and disability.
This module will allow you to further your knowledge of varying methods which can be used in Sport, Exercise and Physical Education to analyse a range of assessments. You will learn different techniques, depending upon the context of the chosen assessment. The module will raise awareness of the range of methods of analyses and allow you to determine the appropriate methods used. You will also gain an understanding of how to analyse any results and be able to present these in an appropriate manner. You must individually write a report, which will demonstrate your ability to carry out choose the appropriate method of analysis for a chosen example, whether this is in a sporting, exercise or physical education context.
This module will focus on connections between psychology and sociology in examining joy; sociology and religion in determining how beliefs and values shift in relation to happiness; and the role of happiness in developing sociology in new directions of study and contribution to society. What makes you happy? Why does it make you happy? How long does it make you happy for? How does your behaviour / attitudes / beliefs / values change when you are happy? How do sociologists measure happiness? Happiness was a topic in early sociology and interest in the subject briefly revived in the 1970s in the context of social indicators research. Today it is a vital strand of emerging research in the context of austerity, climate crisis and in response to the covid-19 pandemic. Happiness can be measured at two levels, the individual (micro level) and the collective one (macro level). It can be done through standard sociological methods – quantitative and qualitative, but often the results are then used to consider more standard themes of sociology – poverty, crime, consumerism, alienation and anomie. Understanding how we can measure or quantify happiness means better understanding the importance of definitions and criteria. For example, happiness could be described as three distinct elements chosen for their own sakes: positive emotion, engagement, and meaning. These three elements would be more measurable and definitive than happiness. This module will enable students to refine and hone your research skills by asking you to explore something so intangible and personal as happiness. This will be vital for success in your third year capstone project.
This module will enable you to develop further knowledge of how to conduct effective measurement techniques. The module will build on concepts and issues introduced elsewhere in the course and will involve you in the measurement and evaluation of a number of parameters of kinanthropometry in a laboratory setting. You will be provided with opportunities to work in groups to develop further competence in a range of anthropometric techniques. You will also be asked to carry out an independent practical assessment, which will require demonstration of competence in a range of kinanthropometric assessment techniques. The syllabus will begin by exploring both the qualitative and quantitative research paradigm and will enable you to develop further knowledge of how to conduct proper measurement techniques. The module will involve you in the measurement of a number of parameters of kinanthropometry in a laboratory setting. By analysing different types of human size, shape, proportion and composition you will be able to apply physiological and psychological principles to practical situations ranging from exercising for health to physical training for enhanced athletic performance. You will have opportunities to work in groups and will explore a range of methods to examine the reliability and validity of a specific measurement protocol or technique. The overall aim of the module is to equip you with practical skills that enable independent enquiry and analysis.
This module will draw contemporary knowledge of sport, coaching and physical education together and relate issues to current practice. It is designed to enable you to develop critically informed opinions on contemporary issues. The syllabus will include a study of the contemporary social, cultural, political and ethical issues in sport and physical education. You will select research issues which may include for example debates surrounding notions of ‘policy’, ‘inclusion’, ‘deviance’ ‘equity’ and ‘identity’ in relation to sport, coaching and physical education. The focus of the module will vary according to changing issues in the sporting world. Building on critical studies in other modules, you will be given the opportunity to explore, research, discuss and critically evaluate a particular contemporary issue from within your chosen theme.
By looking at the relationship between justice, social control and punishment, this module seeks to critically explore how societies respond to crime. We will explore key concepts in criminology and criminal justice, and attempt to understand what punishment is, whether it works, how and what consequences it has for those who experience it and for societies. We will focus on key debates in prison sociology and criminology to question whether imprisonment—both as a crime control measure and as an institution of rehabilitation—is successful. We will investigate why the prison is a core feature of liberal democracies, while it is also a source of much controversy and debate. Particularly as prison populations in England and elsewhere remain unprecedentedly high, and as technologies of punishment, regulation and control extend well beyond the physical boundaries of prison walls and are consistently affecting those who are most disadvantaged in society, the stakes of these debates are high. This course will introduce you to the sociological analysis of prisons and penal policy within a contemporary setting. It will examine and focus on: •An investigation of the growing 'crisis' of imprisonment. •An examination of the reasons for the growth of imprisonment in both the UK and America. •The imprisonment of women and ethnic minority groups/ asylum seekers and refugees / economic migrants.•An exploration of issues impacting on the experience of imprisonment. •A consideration on the future of imprisonment. Each of these areas will be examined through key case studies in the field of prison sociology, enabling you to conceptually, theoretically and empirically challenge, question or critique the rationales of punishment in a global context and explores its consequences. The module aims to situate the modern prison within its broader social, historical, political and economic context, and it will end by exploring key social and legal issues arising from punishment by evaluating challenges of prison reform; and exploring alternatives to incarceration but also alternative perspectives in ‘doing justice’.
The Sociology of Personal Life is a theory created by Carol Smart recognising how families and households have moved away from traditional ideology and headed towards a more intimate and meaningful experience for individuals. We will use it to explore questions around what sociology can tell us about our personal lives, our families, pets and our intimate relationships. The Sociology of Personal life is strongly influenced by Interactionist ideas and contrasts with structural theories. Sociologists from this perspective believe that to understand families, we must start from the point of view of the individuals concerned and the meanings they give to their relationships. Consequently, this module prioritises the bonds between people, the importance of memory and cultural heritage, the significance of emotions (both positive and negative), how family secrets work and change over time, and the underestimated importance of things such as shared possessions or homes in the maintenance and memory of relationships. By focusing on people’s meanings, the sociology of the personal life focuses our attention on a range of other personal or intimate relationships that are important to people, even though they may not be conventionally defined as family. These include all kinds of relationships that individuals see as significant and give them a sense of identity, relatedness and belonging, such as pets, close friends, fictive kin, ‘chosen families’ for LGBT couples and individuals, and relationships with dead people who live on in memories and rituals.
This module introduces you to the study of surveillance society. The module draws on key sociological concepts such as crime, inequality, social class, gender, race, ethnicity, the body, and globalisation, to offer an analysis of the ways in which forms of surveillance pervade individuals' everyday lives and how they are utilised by agents of control. This includes: a) various forms of contemporary surveillance in a globalised world; b) the relationship between surveillance and power; c) the ways in which surveillance functions as a form of 'social sorting', and d) the ways in which public and private organisations 'watch' certain populations and/or individuals. The module will build on introductory modules at Level 4 and intermediary modules at Level 5.
This module will give you the experience of designing, carrying out a research project, and writing a dissertation, in an area of sport, coaching or physical education. You will gain transferable and practical skills relevant to conducting data collection and analysis of a research project. You will select your research project topics with staff during the second semester of your second year.
You will be allocated a supervisory tutor within the School. Supervisory sessions will cover the identification of a research question; necessary elements of research design; the approach needed to prepare for and complete the research project; a range of appropriate research methods; appropriate statistical analyses; the structure of the research report; the interpretation of the research results; possible or probable conclusions; and the writing of the report. You will keep a diary of the research process which logs meetings with the supervisor and agreed outcomes.
The syllabus will focus on equipping you to undertake an ethically approved research project. During the module you will follow your methodology, carrying out data collection before performing the analysis and discussion of results, resulting in a sustained piece of work. The analysis of results must be detailed and coherent and the discussion should compare findings to other recent and current research. It is undertaken with minimum guidance from the supervisor and will require the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility. It will provide an understanding of the significance and limitations of theory and research as well as enabling you to have the ability to articulate your own preferred learning styles and strategies and actively manage your development to organise an effective work pattern including working to deadlines. It offers you the chance to embark upon their own specialist academic interests and in some cases to make an original contribution to current academic debate.
The module aims to develop your understanding of the emotional nature of sports work and the underlying normative practices and actions that are developed in sports workers relationships and practices. The taught session content will draw upon key sociological and educational theory and concepts and empirical studies to make sense of emotional display, emotion management and emotional wellbeing, impression management and micro-politics in sport and physical education related roles. The module content will inform and align with module tasks and assessment. You will be actively engaged in learning through a social inquiry approach via the identification, exploration and reflection upon emotional practices, experiences and actions across a range of sports and physical education roles. Teaching will adopt a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions. Assessment will adopt a case study approach.
The aim of this module is for you, supported by formal training seminars and supervision meetings, to undertake a piece of sociological research on a topic of your own choice and to pursue this research in-depth and with rigour over the course of the final year.
You will normally need 96-112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.
However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.
In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).
How you will be taught
There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.
You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.
Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.
In Sociology, we see assessment as a powerful driver of student learning and a means for demonstrating what students have learnt. We believe it’s a great way to develop the employability skills that employers demand from graduates. As a result, the course incorporates a range of assessment methods which will allow you to demonstrate a wide range of skills whilst providing a selection of post-degree career paths. These assessment methods include coursework, small group work, report writing, oral presentations, multi-modal presentations (posters, videos, print), examinations and individual dissertation projects. Where appropriate, assessment tasks are designed to mimic the type of challenges faced by employees in graduate-level jobs.
In Sport, we use a variety of imaginative approaches to assessment that enable you to utilise your strengths. Over the course of your studies, you could expect your assessment to include presentations, multimedia reports, displays, portfolios, individual research projects, essays, exams and work in the Human Performance Laboratory. We recognise that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and accordingly use a wide range of assessment strategies. You can expect to be guided and supported carefully in your first year, gradually becoming more independent as the course progresses.
Careers & Further study
The wide range of graduate-levels employment related opportunities and positions available to BGU Sociology graduates include activism and campaigning, advertising, arts, bankers (e.g. investment bankers, analysts), charity administrators, community and youth workers, curators, entrepreneurs, film makers, financial analysts, journalists, lawyers, lecturers, marketing, police officers, public relations (PR), researchers, school and college teachers and social workers.
In Sport, we prepare you for a broad range of sport-related jobs in such areas as sports development, adventure education, physical activity and health, sports coaching, fitness and recreation industry, school sports coordination, armed forces, youth work and postgraduate research.
By the end of the course, you will have developed a range of practical and transferable skills that are underpinned by excellent subject knowledge, meaning you will be well-prepared for your chosen future career. In the past our graduates have begun careers as sports coaches, personal trainers, as physical education teachers (primary and secondary), in the field of youth work or within sports development.
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We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.
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Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2023 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices. For 2024 entry the application fee is £27.50.
For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.