BSA welcomes decision by Queen's University to maintain Sociology Degree

The BSA has welcomed the decision by the Senate of Queen's University Belfast to maintain its single honours undergraduate sociology degree.

A working group set up by the university had recommended closure of the degree as part of a review, but this was overturned by the university's Senate this week. 

Academics at the university and the BSA had appealed the university to keep the course. The BSA's President, Professor Lynn Jamieson, wrote to Professor Adrienne Scullion, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, to say that the proposal went against "the unique part that Queen’s University Belfast plays in safeguarding excellence in the sociology of Northern Ireland."

And in a letter to the Belfast Telegraph newspaper and Times Higher magazine, the BSA said: "Over the past few months sociologists at Queen’s have proposed a series of upgrades and changes that would strengthen the single honours degree.

"That the strength and diversity of sociology is vital to Queen’s is borne out by the fact that it is taught as part of seven other programmes, including criminology and social policy. It is illogical that it cannot be taught as a separate degree in its own right."

Following the decision to keep the degree, the BSA's Chief Executive, Judith Mudd, said: "The Senate at Queen’s University has demonstrated foresight and a sense of responsibility in continuing to offer the single honours sociology at Queen's University

"We must always be alert and ready to explain and argue the case for maintaining sociology as the mother discipline, without which there would eventually be no sociological source for other disciplines to draw upon.

"We also appreciate the strength and determination that sociologists have demonstrated in fighting to secure the future of the degree."