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Sociology with Social Policy

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Although the UCAS equal consideration date has now passed, many of our courses are still accepting applications from UK students for 2024 entry through UCAS.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2024.

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Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

Our Sociology with Social Policy programme offers students the opportunity to combine two closely related and complimentary disciplines, tackling some of the most interesting and important social issues of our times.


Sociology, the major component of this programme, involves the study of the ways in which societies are organised and how they function. How is the particular society we live in organised? Does it function effectively? Is it harmonious? Is it equal? Is it fair? What about other societies? Our particular approach to Sociology involves the ‘critical’ study of society, which means asking serious questions about power, social inequality, and social injustice.

Social Policy, the minor component of this programme, involves study of the ways in which different societies understand and meet the needs of their members to ensure their wellbeing. How do societies organise the care of older people, or tackle underemployment among particular groups for instance? Again, our particular approach to Social Policy is critical and involves asking important questions about who decides which needs are met, what shape social support might take, and the effectiveness of social policies.

Studying these subjects together means tackling some of the most interesting and important social issues of our times. The programme involves critical engagement with relevant theories, concepts, and ideas, as well as the development of a wide range of critical thinking, research, and communication skills. You will be taught and supervised by world leading experts in the subject areas and experience a range of research engaged teaching, learning and assessment methods, including opportunities for applied and practice based learning. You will also be provided with opportunities to tailor your learning to suit your own particular interests and aspirations as you progress.

If you are interested in understanding the way in which the society you are part of works, the inequalities and injustices that exist within it, as well as how we might go about addressing the most pertinent and challenging social issues of our times, then this is the programme for you.

This three year programme of study involves students undertaking a combination of mandatory and selected modules throughout. Modules represent discrete units of teaching, learning, and assessment, with each module focussing on a different topic area, a particular set of debates or ideas, or a particular set of skills. All modules are led by academic staff who are experts in their field.

What you'll learn

• Appreciating the complexity and diversity of social situations
• Applying sociological theory to society’s organisations. including schools, hospitals and offices
• Researching, judging and evaluating complex information
• Making reasoned arguments
• Knowledge and understanding of research methods, analysis and statistical techniques
• Developing opinions and new ideas on social issues
• The ability to understand, scrutinise and re-assess common perceptions of the social world
• Relating sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Modules in year one of the programme provide a broad introduction to the two subject areas and disciplines via a series of mandatory modules. This includes an introduction to sociological theories and thinking, an introduction to key social policy issues and debates, as well as an introduction to crime as a key sociological and social policy issue. Year one also involves the development of key academic study skills, and an introduction to social science research methods.

*Some modules may not be available depending on your selected programme of study.

Compulsory modules

Sociological Theory (SOCI101)

Credits: 30 / Semester: whole session

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to classical and contemporary sociological theory. Tracing sociological analysis from its origins in the nineteenth century through to major present-day thinkers, the module addresses some of the discipline’s landmark studies and theories, in the process equipping you with understanding of the major frameworks for thinking sociologically.


Credits: 30 / Semester: whole session

‘Studying Society’ is designed to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the field of social enquiry. What is ‘the social’? Why would we study it? What would that involve? These are questions with which this module is concerned. It offers an introduction to the proper objects of social enquiry, relevant modes of thinking and questioning, strategies for finding, accessing, and evaluating sources of information, methods and techniques for generating and analysing data, as well as skills in communicating information and ideas effectively. In doing so, the module aims to equip students with a range of skills for the study of society at degree level and beyond. The module provides students with opportunities to both study and practice these skills.

Social Change and Social Policy in Contemporary Society 1 (SOCI102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module examines continuity and change in social, cultural, political and economic life in Britain over the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, particularly in the period after 1945. The module will examine areas of British life like politics, the economy, the family, social and cultural relations, and the role of social policy in responding to and encouraging wider forms of change.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module examines some of the main social changes that have taken place in British society since 1945. It draws upon sociological studies to discuss the inter-relationship between ‘race’, ethnicity, class and gender to understand the influence of these on society.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces you to the subject matter of sociological criminology. It provides an essential foundation for your studies in criminology at Liverpool. You will acquire an understanding of key issues and debates in the sociology of ‘crime’ and subject contemporary talk about ‘the crime problem’ to critical analysis.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides a critical introduction to the criminal justice system. With SOCI107, it provides an essential foundation for your studies in criminology at Liverpool. Key criminal justice concepts, institutions- including the police, the courts, prisons – and processes are introduced and their roles and functions are subject to critical appraisal.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Your experience

Your course will be delivered by the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, in the School of Law and Social Justice Building.  Students have access to state-of the-art facilities and are a short walk from the Sydney Jones Library. Based in the Knowledge Quarter, 10 minutes walk from the city centre, students are surrounded by history and culture.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

We will enable you to develop a range of social scientific, analytic and communication skills and a variety of transferable skills valued by many employers in a range of industries (eg media organisations, local government and charitable organisations, and commercial and financial service sectors).

Our graduates have gone onto successful careers in:

  • public and private sectors
  • social welfare and criminal justice agencies (the police and probation services)
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Studying with us also provides a sound basis from which you will be able to pursue postgraduate studies either with a vocational orientation (MA in Social Work, Legal Practice Course, for example) or to further your research skills at masters and doctoral levels.

Our recent graduates have found employment with the following:

  • Merseyside Police
  • HM Prison Service
  • National Probation Service
  • Legal Services Commission
  • Mencap
  • IPSOS Mori
  • Shell
  • British Council

Work experience opportunities

In year two, you may have the choice to work as part of your studies. In year three, you have the opportunity of taking up work placements via our ‘Interchange’ service. This connects you with a variety of voluntary and charitable organisations in and around the region. These include the Community Voluntary Service, Refugee Action, Liverpool Student Community Action (homelessness project, play days and Chinese New Year celebrations), Victim Support, Barnados, and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Through this kind of work you will produce reports to help the organisations develop their services and meet local needs – a great thing to have on your CV!

We also offer a series of specialist postgraduate programmes including:

  • Social Research Methods MA
  • Criminology Research MRes
  • Social Research MRes.

79% of sociology, social policy and criminology students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Year abroad fee £11,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels


You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

T levels

T levels considered in a relevant subject.

Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma


International Baccalaureate

33 points with no score less than 4

Irish Leaving Certificate H1,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

ABB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted at grade A with A levels BB or at grade B with A levels at grades AB.
Access 45 Level 3 credits in graded units in a relevant Diploma, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit. Relevant Diploma is Humanities/Social Sciences based.
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our direct entry requirements. Although there is no direct Foundation Certificate route to this course, completing a Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, can guarantee you a place on a number of similar courses which may interest you.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17 and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 95 
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 60
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0500 Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking and listening. Speaking and listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate.
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0990 Grade 4 overall, with Merit in speaking and listening
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0510/0511 0510: Grade B overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0511: Grade B overall.
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0993/0991 0993: Grade 6 overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0991: Grade 6 overall.  
International Baccalaureate Standard Level grade 5 or Higher Level grade 4 in English B, English Language and Literature, or English Language
Cambridge ESOL Level 2/3 Advanced 176 overall, with no paper below 162


Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Sociology with Social Policy BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.

13 September 2022: Entry requirement changes

A level and equivalent entry requirements have increased from BBB to ABB for entry 2023.

5 January 2023: Optional modules updated

Year two and three optional module list updated.