Psychology and Sociology BSc (Hons) Southend Campus

A key feature of this course is the application of sociological and psychological theories into practical contexts. Students learn core research skills to support their understanding and application of theory. This enables graduates to be fully prepared for progression to a wide range of careers in the sector and postgraduate study.

The course covers three key interrelated social science disciplines - psychology, sociology and research methods. The programme explores topics such as mental health, social psychology, crime and deviance, culture and difference, local and global cultures, abnormal psychology, health psychology and the sociology of health and illness.

The disciplines are run concurrently throughout the three years, from foundation level to application, and each carries equal weighting.

Why should I do this course? 
  • the course provides students with the understanding of how the individual behaves and is motivated, whilst developing the sociological understanding of how society is structured and operates
  • the team is delivered by specialists with employment history in each of the core domains
  • students progress to excellent graduate destinations
What's covered? 

Field trips

There are several field trips as part of the programme including:

  • Science Museum - mental health exhibition
  • Anna Freud Centre - at the forefront of research in child psychoanalysis
  • Museum of Immigration and Diversity
  • plays in London with a psychological angle

Contact hours

13 hours per week, comprising:

  • four x three hour lectures
  • one hour tutorial

The contact hours include a combination of taught and practical sessions, in addition to workshops and debates.

Employability days

As part of the programme we devote valuable time to boosting your chances of securing the career you deserve, including:

  • British Sign Language training
  • visual impairment awareness training
  • CV writing and interview techniques
How will my work be assessed? 

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including essays, reports, research projects, reflective journals, seminars responding to pre-set reading, timed Assessments and examinations. The first year of study is a qualifying year and does not count towards the final degree classification.

What can I do after this? 

You can undertake a conversion award which will provide an opportunity to become eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of The British Psychological Society. By gaining the GBC, you will be eligible to apply for a place on a society-accredited postgraduate training programme and, in time, progress to gaining Chartered Membership (CPsychol) of the Society. There are currently 65 institutions that offer the conversion course, including the University of Essex.

Additional further study options include:

  • MSc Sociology
  • MA Social Work
  • MSc Social Research Methods
  • MSc Social Policy

You could also progress to a PGCE teaching qualification.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have taken up careers including:

  • working within mental health services in a hospital
  • a case-worker in a women’s refuge
  • a manager for a housing charity
  • a family conferencing case-worker
  • a Connexions adviser
  • a disability rights consultant
  • a mental health worker
  • clinical psychologist

In addition, many graduates have taken up teaching careers in the primary, secondary and post-compulsory sectors, while others have gone on to further study at Masters and PhD level.

Year one

In this first year of the programme you will be introduced to the four main subject strands:


Introduction to sociology

Introduction to psychology

Social research methods

Introduction to critical thinking

Developing the effective learner

As part of the first year you will develop various skills and experiences related to the three main strands, synthesising them with basic competencies, language and concepts. You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning and to assimilate and engage with the culture of higher education.

Areas of study: Include the history of psychology and sociology and critical thinking, as well as methods and analyses for social research.

Year 2

You will develop the ability to apply basic competencies, language and concepts of the programme and address the subject areas in more depth. There will be an increased emphasis on independent research and the application of the analytical skills acquired in the previous year, together with the development of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.


Social psychology

Research methods

Culture and difference

Critical thought

Social structures and social inequalities

Areas of study: Include the history and the application of social psychology, application of own research to a proposal in prepartion for year 3 dissertation, cross-cultural factors in society incluidng race gender, enthicity and sexuality

Year 3

Whilst studying a range of specialist modules across the various disciplinary strands, the main thrust of the final year is your dissertation, a substantial piece of academic writing. Preparation for this module has several component parts culminating in the production of your own research project.



Abnormal psychology*

Local and global cultures*

Crime and deviance*

Contemporary issues in society

Investigative psychology*

Sociology of health and illness*

Areas of study: Independent research opportunities within the dissertartion module, crime and deviance or the sociology of health and illness, cultural politics, local and global culture.

*Please note that year 3 offers an opportunity to study optional units that may change as required.

Entry requirements 

You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:

  • at least two A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma/Certificate [QCF]
  • BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma [NQF]
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate
  • AQA Baccalaureate
  • Progression Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma

You will also need GCSE English and Maths at grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills.

To find out how many points your qualifications are awarded, view the UCAS Tariff tables.

Candidates without formal qualifications may apply and will need to demonstrate the ability to study at a higher level through interview, the submission of an exceptional entry portfolio and/or a written assessment.

Exceptional Entry

Applications from mature students who do not possess the entry requirements as listed above, but who possess related professional experience or professional qualifications, are welcome to apply. You will need to demonstrate by interview, exceptional entry portfolio (this is likely to include evidence of paid or unpaid work experience) and/or written assessment that you are suitable for the course. In the first instance we suggest you contact [email protected] to discuss your application.

Open Event - Higher Education Degrees, HNCs & HNDs

Saturday, 08 October 2016
Saturday, 03 December 2016
Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Forum

As a higher education student at South Essex College you will get exclusive access to The Forum Southend-on-Sea, a £27 million ultra-modern library and learning zone located opposite our Southend Campus.

Therefore we are holding our higher education open events at The Forum so that you can see for yourself the fantastic new building and learning facilities you will have access to if you choose to study with us.

If you haven't yet secured a place at university or college for September 2016 you can apply for this course through the Clearing system.

Southend Campus (Luker Road)
Monday, September 19, 2016
Full time
3 years
Higher Education
Course code
Fees are per academic year for home and EU students
Southend Campus (Luker Road)
Luker Road

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Gareth Read
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Hi, my name’s Gareth and I have just spent four years studying engineering at South Essex College and this is my story.

I was a print finishing operator in a factory, and had been in similar roles for ten years. It wasn’t really taking me anywhere so, as I was quite mechanically-minded, I was looking for a role that was more challenging and varied. I realised that the best way to do it would be to go back to college and gain another qualification.

I really enjoyed my time at the College, the staff have always been excellent and I have had really good support. The facilities and equipment are fantastic and are backed up with experienced and knowledgeable staff from industry to enable us to get the best out of our studies and to apply what we are learning to use out in industry.

I moved on to the HNC in General Engineering and over those two years also took on both the Level 2 and 3 City & Guilds in Electrical Installation.

The first year of my BTEC Level 3 I was still working as a machine operator, taking my day releases as unpaid leave and having to make my hours up which just added pressure, but I was fortunate in that towards the end of my first year I got myself into an engineering role with quite a big company.

Now I work as a print finishing engineer. I’ve moved from operating machines to breakdowns, maintenance and operator training. My career potential has opened up massively. In the last 16 months I have travelled abroad with work having never been abroad beforehand –  I didn’t even have a passport. Four years ago I was working in a factory and on Sunday I fly out to Japan to train on a new machine.

I would absolutely encourage people to return to education. If you have taken a break from education to go into a job, if you are not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life it is never too late to make a change. I was 32 when I enrolled  to go back to College and I’m aspiring to my Batchelor’s Degree and I will probably be 45 by then, but it is never too late.

My ambition is to do my HND and work towards getting my Batchelor’s Degree, maybe even a Masters. It just comes down to how far I am prepared to push myself. The thing that I have found the most inspirational is the passion of the staff who have really engaged. I have been very fortune in having excellent teachers who have really made me want to know more and push myself and excel. It has been a huge thing for me, I never would have thought when I was 16 leaving school that I would be here, now at this stage as a distinction-level student. The motivation that I have got from the staff has been a massive factor for me.