BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy

Choose our Sociology and Social Policy degree and you'll gain international expertise in society and social welfare.

Sociology and Social Policy

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2022, January 2023
  • Duration 48 months or 36 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code L431
  • Study abroad opportunities

Overview

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for your country/region

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AABBB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

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 Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

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

Other qualifications

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

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Advanced entry

Year 2 and Year 3 entry
Entry into Year 2 or Year 3 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may by possible depending on your qualifications. To find out more go to our advanced entry page.

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.

Other routes of entry

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 Academic or UKVI 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 24 March 2022

If you are from India, Bangladesh, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on 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

Course details

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.
  • The Development of Social Theory – exploring the key theorists and ideas of the disciplines.

You’ll also choose two other subjects per semester.

In Semesters 5-8, you must take core advanced modules:

  • The Development of Social Theory

The Research Process is 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 seven optional modules, which could include: Home, Housing and Community; Ageing, Social Policy and Society; Sociology of Childhood; Cooperation and Participation; Alcohol and Society; and Race, Ethnicity and Migration

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2021). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

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 usually 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 three 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

Dr Ian McIntosh, Course Director

+44 (0)1786 467699
sspc@stir.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2021/22 2022/23
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £15,100 £15,900
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,100 £15,900

Scottish students

* This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland can 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.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, Islands or Ireland and are starting a course of study in Scotland in session 2021/22 will be entitled to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. See more information on the SAAS website.

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities below for more information.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students from the Republic of Ireland should see the fee and funding information under England, Wales, NI and Republic of Ireland.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Funding opportunities

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students domiciled in Scotland

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

EU students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Republic of 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, Northern Ireland and Republic of 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.

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.

After you graduate

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.

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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What our students said

Lesley Dugan
Lesley Dugan
Northern Ireland
BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy
My degree gave me a broad skill set by combining sociological theory with research skills, which I found particularly useful when drafting cases for support in my fundraising work.
Read Lesley's story

Flexible study

Are you interested in more than one of our courses? You might not have to choose between them. Here at Stirling, we believe in choice and offer more than 220 course combinations.