Why study this course

Do you want to be an advocate for change for atypical learners? Explore how categories of need are created through divisions within social and educational systems and learn to challenge these inequalities.

We are inclusive in all aspects of delivery and provide you with opportunities to have your say, to make and be the difference.

Gain a broad skill set by combining sociology theory with research skills and practical application

Guaranteed free interview for PGCE and free interview training

Course summary

The BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion (SENDI) and Sociology joint degree programme challenges norms and assumptions surrounding context and categorisation of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The programme provides you with the opportunity to engage in study that offers a balanced range of modules from both disciplines and allows for the interconnections in concepts to be explored.

Key facts

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

XL36

Duration

3 years

Mode of study

Full-time

Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code

B38

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About this course

In this course, you'll explore social, cultural and political landscapes, and gain an in depth and nuanced understanding of contested models of disability, within the context of inclusion and diversity. This joint programme challenges how we see, interpret and respond to needs in society, and practice, seeking solutions and opportunities to become advocates for change. You'll develop knowledge and understanding of social divisions through examining theory and engaging in research-based placements. Social research methods are integrated across the degree as key transferrable skills for an array of career trajectories in public, private and third-sector settings.

By undertaking a joint programme, you can develop in-depth knowledge and understanding which reflects your passion and interests in the chosen subjects. The synergy between these two disciplines in this joint honours degree offers many opportunities to question and examine competing social and cultural norms expanding your knowledge and understanding of current complexities across society. At the end of the course, you'll be well placed to explore a variety of career options including education, social policy development, support work, other related roles. You'll be able to contribute to society through advocacy for both yourself and the needs of others, using informed knowledge and understanding in judgements and actions.

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

This module will introduce you to the field of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (SENI). The module will look at educational and social models of disability within schools and across global and national levels of society. The impacts of competing perspectives and changing legislation will be discussed and critiqued. You will be expected to reflect upon your own experiences and perceptions of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The introduction and induction to study skills will be integral to this module including engagement with VLE.

This module will focus upon holistic approaches in education/care/social learning which enhance social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Consideration will be given to how related theory informs approaches and their significance in meeting individual needs. You will critically analyse collaborative practice (e.g., parents, professionals) in supporting holistic approaches. Competing and complementary psychological and behavourist theories (e.g., Piaget, Bruner, Kolb, Maslow) and social learning frameworks (e.g. Freire, Dewey, Steiner) will be explored. You will compare holistic approaches with more traditional approaches to development and learning, deepening their understanding of the relationship between theories and practice. Discussion and analysis of how children and Young people are supported in current practice will be undertaken including reflection upon the value of multi-agency/stakeholder collaboration.

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 build and expand upon issues considered in Level 4 module, From Excluded to Included: A Century of Change. You will critically consider effective practice in a range of diverse settings and demonstrate increased knowledge and understanding of how individual needs are met. This module will also extend understanding of ideologies with reference to human rights of inclusion. Exploration and consideration of differing international practices will be undertaken. You will examine a range of diverse needs, considering cause and impact upon learning supported by up to 48 hours placement. By the end of the module, you will be able to reflect upon the impact of legislation and practice in meeting the learning needs of a range of disabilities. This module will contribute to an understanding of leading and managing (Level 6).

This module will enable you to understand and critically examine differing theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches to qualitative and quantitative research. You will be introduced to a range of research methods used within, but not exclusive to, the Social Sciences, primarily focusing on research in SENDI. You will develop skills in collecting, analysing and treating data. You will identify different research methods and develop skills in applying these methods for your future independent study.

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.

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 explores a range of issues encountered by learners at different stages of their educational journey and critiques policy in meeting needs. It examines differences, which some children or adults may experience in their learning, which has been interrupted through medical or social causation and labelled as SEND. Two main themes run through the module which are consideration of individual needs and the reality of provision supporting these needs. The module will also explore the impact of sociological changes upon learning, for example cultural changes in relation to new arrivals to the country, both at the level of the individual learner and the wider issues for the family. You will consider the learning environment and the assessment of individual learner needs and the role of the wider stakeholder groups including parents and carers in maximizing learner participation in the educational process. You will explore reports and guidance in order to appreciate the role of evidence and its application within the learning environment.

The module provides you with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often study of crime is satisfied by adopting definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice.

The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods.

Working broadly from the perspective of cultural and visual criminology this module engages with theories and debates about the media and its relationship with crime, examining representations of crime and justice in the news media and in popular culture. It considers the role of power and perception through of crime through the media and formation of a mediated crime oriented culture.

This module will consider a range of factors, which can often impact upon learning and may potentially go unnoticed. You will consider different impacts of psychological, social and emotional disruption upon learning. This will range from prejudices, global and local social exclusion to mental well-being and academic progress. By the end of the module, you will recognise how a range of issues can affect individual learning needs and understand how different support networks and interventions can enable positive learning and life experiences for those who face hidden inequalities. You will be encouraged to engage in determining the content of the module.

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.

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 module 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 spectrums and kaleidoscopes of complex needs and disabilities and their affects upon learning and behaviour. You will have the opportunity to explore in depth the autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and develop knowledge and understanding of current thinking, policy, approaches and strategies to supporting individuals with complex needs in education and social settings. The module explores the relationship between autism, neurodiversity and its co-existence with other disabilities. Much like a kaleidoscope, the presentation of comorbidity differs between individuals and you will gain further insights into environmental and external factors which complicate learning trajectories at different stages of development. You will be encouraged to demonstrate a critical knowledge, and understanding of the complexity of autism, reflect and compare national and international research and practice.

This module introduces you to a critical evaluation of issues associated with the leadership and management of policy and practice in SEND and inclusion. The syllabus will include the principles of educational leadership and management with emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of professionals in schools and other educational settings in relation to provision for SEND/Inclusion (e.g., headteacher, SENDCO, class teacher, special needs support assistants). Consideration will be given to the role of the SENDCO and the national Standards for SENDCOs and implementation of the Special Needs Code of Practice(2015). Other key issues introduced will be cultural, contextual nature of being a leader and the importance of inter, and intrapersonal skills in creating change. Consideration will be given to the emotional impacts in roles of leader and follower and, how this is enacted at different levels across society. By the end of the module, you will demonstrate the ability to reflect on your own abilities to support and/or drive organisational change and policy implementation at a level appropriate for those completing an undergraduate degree programme.

The module will equip you with transferable and practical skills required for conducting ethical research suited to a range of pedagogical and professional settings e.g., education, social care, health and social work. Lectures and seminars will focus on the nature of educational and social research, including undertaking ethical research; research paradigms; research methods and design; the use of literature in guiding and informing research; and the presentation, interpretation and communication of findings. This module will require you to select and devise a capstone project in relation to Inclusion and/or Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) using one of the following designs: 1-Primary research (you will define a specific research problem and devise a research plan to collect and analyse primary data); 2-Secondary research (you will define a research problem and devise a plan to collect and analyse secondary data); 3-Creative project (you will provide an evidence-based rationale for a creative project that is designed to support learning, inclusion or wellbeing of an individual or group with SEND. Examples include writing literature; designing a game; designing a workshop); 4-Community/Work-based project (you will propose an evidence-based activity that is designed for a community or work-based setting and that elicits new information about a problem, or is designed to support learning, practice, or inclusion in community or work-based setting. Examples may include service evaluation; professional development; training to colleagues or service-users, developing online learning resource).

This module requires you to implement, evaluate and present your chosen research-informed project on the topic of Inclusion or Special Educational Needs and Disability. You will practice and develop the research skills introduced in previous modules, applying them in a more independent manner, and in line with ethical research practice. You will use your research skills to either 1-collect and analyse primary or secondary data to answer a research problem; or 2-to implement and evaluate a practical creative or work-based project. You will deepen your knowledge of SENDI and offer insights, through the construction of substantial enquiry, into a contemporary contested concept. There is no formal syllabus for this module, but you will be invited to attend taught sessions as offered. You will proactively manage the development of your conceptual ideas and related arguments, to present your work in a manner suited to your individual project e.g., traditional dissertation, a multimedia presentation and a mini viva or other. There is no placement associated with the module, however, you may arrange your own visits to professional settings to implement projects and gather data, if appropriate.

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Find out more about the international application process including English Language requirements.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

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.

Assessment

Special Educational Needs, Disability & Inclusion

Your first year in SENDI is important. We know that you will need time to settle into university and build up your academic skills and so, we will give you detailed feedback on how you are doing and set your targets to improve your work. We use a wide range of different types of assessment throughout the course, including coursework portfolios, group discussions, multimedia technology presentations and individual projects, as well as essays and a timed assessment (year 3). You may even have the opportunity to get your dissertation research work published!

Sociology

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.

Careers & Further study

Special Educational Needs, Disability & Inclusion

You will be supported throughout your study by opportunities to explore different career aspirations, working with our specialist team at BGFutures. Guest speakers share their professional experiences which can open new ideas for you. Progression has included graduate employment, teaching, social work, creative therapies, speech and language therapy, senior education managers and residential care. Progression to further study at Master’s level is a further choice. This degree offers a range of possibilities which we are happy to discuss with you at any time.

Sociology

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.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.

Support

Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

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Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2024 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices.

For the 2025 cycle, UCAS is removing the undergraduate application fee for any student who is/or has received free school meals (FSM) during the last six years, up until the end of their final year at school or college. More information on the UCAS fee waiver can be found here.

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.