University launches Scotland’s first degree in Public Sociology

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, has become the first university in Scotland to launch an undergraduate degree in Public Sociology.

The new BSc (Hons) Public Sociology will encourage students to engage with a diverse range of communities and social debates. It will also look at creative ways to deal with some of society’s most pressing social issues such as developing information which will inform policies on poverty, social exclusion, equality and diversity.

A range of current social issues which affect society are addressed throughout the programme. These include highly topical subjects such as nationalism and the sociology of contemporary Scotland, as well as social policy, social justice, social order and environmentalism.

QMU’s sociology team prides itself in offering its students a friendly ethos and a personal learning experience.  There is a particular emphasis on engaging with local communities through experiential learning, and students have the opportunity to participate in a range of community engagement programmes, working with charities, voluntary organisations and community-based learning programmes.

By engaging with community-based issues, students will develop an acute sense of social responsibility throughout the Public Sociology programme. Furthermore, an ability to understand the relationship between complex sociological theory, practical research and contemporary public issues and concerns will stand students in good stead for their future careers.

John R Hughes, BSc Public Sociology Programme Leader at QMU, said:  “We’re delighted to be offering the first undergraduate Public Sociology programme in Scotland. The Sociology team developed the programme in partnership with our current students, and the new programme will strengthen our existing relationships with external community-based partners, including Progress through Learning Midlothian and Children’s University Scotland.”

Progress through Learning Midlothian is a partnership project between local higher education, further education partners and Community Learning and Development. Children’s University Scotland aims to help school children, aged between seven and 14 years of age (and five and six year olds with their families), become confident learners and broaden their horizons.

Professor Alan Gilloran, Deputy Principal of QMU, explained: “Queen Margaret was established in 1875 to deal with some of the most pressing social issues of its time - the need to improve the diet of the urban poor. The development of the University’s new BSc Public Sociology Programme confirms our mission to be a socially relevant institution which is focused on teaching and research that improves people’s quality of life.”

QMU will welcome its first BSc Public Sociology students in September 2015. 

The QMU sociology team offers two Sociology degree programmes - the BSc single honours programme in Public Sociology and the BSc joint honours programme in Psychology & Sociology. 

BSc in Public Sociology at QMU

Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, tel: 0131 474 0000, Email:

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