Sociology with Social Policy BA (Hons)

  • Offers a Year in China

Key information


Our Sociology with Social Policy programme offers students the opportunity to combine two closely related and complimentary disciplines.

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 well-being. 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.

Programme in detail

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.

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.

Mandatory modules in year two of the programme build on these foundations by introducing students to more advanced and contemporary sociological theorising, comparative social policy and the study of social exclusion, as well as more advanced social science research methods. Students are also required to select two options from our constantly evolving list of research led modules. These modules allow students to specialise and develop expertise in specific topic areas and reflect the staff groups own unique research interests and expertise.

In year three of the programme students are required to undertake a substantive piece of supervised but original research either in the form of a dissertation or an applied Interchange Portfolio project. Both provide students with the unique opportunity to apply the competencies they have been developing over the previous two years, and to a topic area or issue that is important to them. The third year also provides opportunities for students to further their specific interests and specialisms and via selected optional modules.