Community-based Volunteering and Work-related Learning in Sociology

The Sociology team at the University of Wolverhampton pioneered the delivery of accredited community- based volunteering in the UK. The Sociology team have been running community-based volunteering programmes for over 25 years. Such programmes are rare in UK Higher Education. In studying Sociology at Wolverhampton you will therefore be offered a unique learning experience enabling you to combine academic learning with practical work related experience; activities which are intended to benefit your studies, your career and the community at large.

Volunteering opportunities in the Sociology curriculum

Opportunities for volunteering are available at each level of the Sociology curriculum. Students can take year-long volunteering modules in the first and second year of their degree programmes. Students can remain with the same organisation throughout their studies thereby gaining specialist knowledge and experience, or they can broaden their experience by volunteering with a variety of organisations.

In the final year students can take the more specialised Community Link module. This enables students to utilise and develop their sociological research methods training through conducting a piece of real life research for the benefit of a voluntary or community organisation. 

Students who successfully complete volunteering modules are eligible for the Volunteer Central Volunteer Certificate. There are five levels of certification which are awarded in recognition of students' volunteering achievements and the employability skills they develop. For more information see the Volunteer Central website.

In undertaking volunteering within the Sociology curriculum, students are able to gain valuable employability skills and enhance their CVs. Volunteering in the Curriculum, however, enables you to develop an understanding of employability as more than the acquisition of skills, but rather as a complex set of achievements that enrich your learning and understanding about Sociology, the society you live in, yourself, your values and vocation.

What kinds of volunteering can I do as a Sociology student?

Sociology students volunteer in a wide range of educational and social welfare projects which aim to help and empower disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the community. Some examples include:

  • Citizens advice, guidance and advocacy work to enable the resolution of legal, financial, housing or employment problems.
  • Family support projects
  • Services assisting women and children escaping domestic violence
  • Projects supporting refugee and asylum seekers
  • Educational advice work for young people in relation to sexual health and drug awareness
  • Delivery of academic learning programmes to young people excluded from education
  • Mentoring projects for children underachieving at school
  • Teaching assistants in schools and colleges
  • Organisation of sports/youth clubs for disadvantaged young people
  • Mentoring youth offenders
  • Befriending victims of crime,
  • Supporting witnesses of crime through the criminal justice process
  • Befriending services for elderly people, people experiencing mental ill health or learning disabilities
  • Projects to support vulnerable adults with forms of addiction.