Sociology Higher

What is special about this course?

This Course develops learners’ sense of themselves as part of society. It uses a sociological approach, which encourages learners to ask questions about the social world in which we live and to use evidence to support explanations for human social behaviour. The Course will therefore enable learners to become familiar with research methods and the use of evidence in sociology.

Entry requirements

Candidates would normally be expected to have attained one of the following (or equivalent): National 5 sociology, one National Qualification in a social subject, Standard Grade English and maths or equivalent.

Adult returners will be considered without these qualifications.

Human Society
The general aim of this unit is to develop learners’ understanding of the sociological approach to studying human societies. This will be achieved by developing and using analytical skills to investigate sociological approaches to studying society, research methods used and the relationships that exist amongst individuals, groups and institutions as viewed from different sociological perspectives and theories.

Culture and Identity
The general aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop their ability to use sociological concepts, theories and research to investigate features of culture and identity in a changing social world. Learners will consider their own and others’ cultural experiences to develop an understanding of cultural identity and diversity.

Social Issues – Scotland
The general aim of this Unit is to develop learners’ sociological understanding of contemporary social issues by enabling them to acquire skills in evaluating and applying sociological theories and research evidence. Learners will develop skills in using a range of sources, including research evidence, to justify points of view.

Options within the units offer personalisation and choice from areas of sociological study.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening
  • Open Learning

You will study through short lectures, group discussions, individual exercises and personal study. Course units are achieved through internal written assessments, one external examination and a research portfolio, which is submitted at the end of the course.


How long will my course last?

1 Year

Part time - one day a week. Tuesdays 1.15pm to 4.30pm. Plus four hours study per week.

How will I be assessed?

    Final Exam and Course Project
    The question paper will sample your sociological knowledge and understanding from Course Units, and your ability to apply knowledge and understanding to explain social behaviour.

    The assignment will require you to use sociological skills, knowledge and understanding to carry out and report on your own secondary research into a topic of choice.

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus
    • Islesburgh Community Centre (Lerwick)

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.


Students on part-time courses may also be eligible to have their course fees waived.

For more information see the funding page.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic: This course can be considered towards entry on to a higher level of study such as Higher National Certificate (HNC) / Higher National Diploma (HND) or degree courses, particularly in social sciences, history and politics.

Employment/Career: You could consider using this qualification as a stepping stone into various career paths such as human resources or social research, through further study in higher education.

Former students have: Progressed on to further studies with us.

Is there more information available online?

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"Lots of theories and interesting topics to discuss and debate."

“An interesting and challenging Higher that covers the major sociological theories and
applies these theories to our understanding of society” - Susan Menary, lecturer

Apply for Sociology Higher

I want to start in 2022/23
I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Shetland. UHI Shetland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.