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BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy

UCAS Code L431 Part-time study available Fast-track your degree Study abroad opportunities

Choose a Sociology and Social Policy degree to understand society and social welfare. We’re ranked 3rd in Scotland for Sociology (The Guardian University Guide 2019).

Sociology and Social Policy

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September or January
  • Duration 48 months or 36 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

Our Sociology and Social Policy course will let you understand the way society works and the processes and outcomes of social welfare. You’ll explore social differentiation and contemporary social issues, as well as looking at historical and theoretical perspectives on welfare. You’ll also be introduced to the development of social theory and get lots of practical experience in methods of social research and analysis.

With our international and comparative approach, you’ll study topics that analyse society and welfare issues in a range of countries. We have particular expertise on Scotland, the UK, the European Union, Western and Central Europe, Australasia, North America and Latin America.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers
    ABBB – one sitting
    AABB – two sittings

    GCE A-levels
    BBB

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)
    DDM

  • Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

    SQA Advanced Highers
    ABB – one sitting

    GCE A-levels
    ABB

    IB Diploma
    35 points

    Essential subjects
    To include Sociology 

  • Other qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Minimum entry: Bs in graded units

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and distinctions

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

  • Advanced entry

    Advanced entry is possible with an HNC or HND in Social Science. For information on accepted courses please consult our Advanced Entry pages.

  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

    Mathematics Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.

  • Other routes of entry

    Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

    If you’re an international student and don’t meet the academic and English-language requirements for entry onto this degree, there are other options to prepare you. You could take our International Foundation programme. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our Stirling campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS - 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our English language requirements

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

In Semesters 1-3, you’ll take core modules in:

  • Social Differentiation - explores gender, age, ethnicity, class and disability in relation to the ways in which individuals and groups are valued and treated in different societies.
  • Social Problems - contemporary social issues and policy responses.
  • Understanding Social Policy - historical and theoretical perspectives on welfare; comparative social policy analysis.

You’ll also choose two other subjects per semester.

In Semesters 4-8, you must take core advanced modules in:

  • The Development of Social Theory
  • The Research Process - split into two intensive core modules, we give you the opportunity to develop practical research skills through qualitative and quantitative research and an introduction to the methods of social research and analysis.

Additionally, you’ll choose optional modules from a list of 18, including: Housing Policy; Ageing; Society and Social Policy; Scottish Society; and Urban Society. In Year 4 you’ll undertake a research dissertation, providing you with highly valued transferable skills.

Modules

The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

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Course details

  • Teaching

    You’ll be taught through lectures, workshops and small discussion groups.

    Year 1 modules aim to bridge the gap between school and university study through coursework assessments. You’ll also receive tuition in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which is invaluable for your Year 4 dissertation.

  • Assessment

    Assessment for each module is normally based on a combination of coursework and examinations. For example, one essay (30 percent) and an examination (70 percent). The final-year dissertation counts for two modules. Your dissertation gives you the opportunity to put research methods you’ve studied into practice, and focus on a particular interest.

  • Classroom hours

    Typically, each module in Sociology and/or Social Policy consists of two lectures plus one workshop per week.

  • Contact
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2020 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on the University website.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.

    £1,820*

    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.

    £1,820*

    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.

    £9,250 £9,250

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £12,140 £12,450

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

What can you do with a Sociology and Social Policy degree?

Our Sociology and Social Policy graduates work in the private, public and voluntary sectors. There are some careers where a Sociology or Social Policy degree is required, such as a sociological researcher or teacher of sociology. However, there are many other professions where the knowledge and understanding you’ll develop on this course is highly valued, including:

  • civil servant and government employment
  • working within the police or prison service
  • social work and housing officers
  • voluntary sector employment
  • human resources
  • intelligence analyst roles

Many students value their learning experience with us and go on to take a masters or PhD at postgraduate level, with a view to becoming a researcher or academic.

  • More than 97% of our undergraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17)
  • Employability skills

    Your employability is one of our highest priorities, and we want to give you an advantage when you enter the job market. Your Sociology and Social Policy degree will equip you with transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, such as:

    • critical evaluation
    • research methods – quantitative and qualitative
    • independent learning
    • teamwork
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