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Society, Politics and Policy - BA (Hons)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Entry requirements Modular structure After the course How to apply Meet the team Visit us

Why study this course?

This undergraduate honours degree offers a broad and innovative approach to the study of social sciences. You’ll explore how social policy is created through the lenses of sociology and politics. Employing this joint approach, you’ll examine how the relationship between national governments and their citizens is changing and how this affects contemporary issues such as work, education, equalities, human rights and social justice.

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More about this course

Our Society, Politics and Policy BA (Hons) course offers a unique approach to the study of social sciences, as it draws knowledge from two different disciplines of sociology and politics. Throughout the course you’ll encounter contemporary case studies and we’ll encourage you to think outside the box in order to analyse how politics influences society and vice versa. You’ll get the opportunity to specialise in topics that interest you such as Latin American politics, gender and sexuality, human rights and conflict.

Our course is an excellent opportunity to expand your views, as it’ll provide you with the tools and understanding to reflect on contemporary politics and how it affects you. You’ll also have the opportunity to contribute to your classmates’ learning by sharing the experience of living in your own society, whether that’s in London or abroad.

The course is taught by specialists in sociology, politics and social policy, many of whom are internationally recognised for the quality of their work. Their teaching is supplemented by visits from practitioners, who’ll share their experience and knowledge. We also organise trips to public policy agencies and international organisations, providing you with insight into how policy making works in practice.

We are based in the capital, which is a vibrant place to study with access to a range of social and political institutions. You’ll get to see for yourself how society interacts with major political centres such as Westminster, international embassies and trade unions.

Assessment

Your assessments will be a combination of coursework, presentations. Portfolios and explorative critical thinking projects.

Many of the assessments will be related to real work challenges and you'll have a choice in the areas studied according to your interests and career aspirations. Detailed guidance and support is given for all assessments.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code L202
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of three A levels with grades BBC (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma or Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits)
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday afternoon

    • To introduce the main concepts and debates in international political economy
    • To provide the skills necessary for comparative analysis;
    • To introduce and examine the principle institutions of global economic governance
    • To explore the impact of these institutions on the process of development.
    • to provide the skills necessary for comparative analysis;
    • To enhance the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing;
    • To develop competence in discussion

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    To explain the development and functioning of different models of social policy in the West and to explore key themes and issues in social policy in the UK over recent decades, mapping the ascendance of the neoliberal model and the decline of the classic welfare state.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Tuesday morning

    This module has two broad purposes. Firstly, it gives students an introduction to the main ideas underlying the study of politics. What are the dominant ideologies that have shaped politics and what are their principal contentions. Secondly, it will explore and systematically compare the principal characteristics of government.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    Analyse the social construction of a social problem
    - Collate information on the location and scale of a social problem
    - Reflect upon sociological interpretations of a particular social problem
    - Outline policy responses to a particular social problem

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    This module aims providing an intermediate level examination of comparative politics, one of the key sub-disciplines of political science, aims to:
    • equip students with the analytical and conceptual skills required for critical evaluation of comparative politics and its associated theories and models
    • critically compare political, governmental and non-governmental concepts, structures and institutions both within and between states
    • comparatively analyse politics, government and governance with reference to different actors and levels of government and governance
    • develop the research and communication skills required for effective and informed presentation of knowledge, information and analysis by students in workshops, seminars and the summative report. The subject matter will aid the development of critical skills which are transferable to a variety of contexts, thus assisting employability prospects.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module providing an intermediate examination of governance and public policy aims to:
    • equip students with the analytical and normative concepts required for critical evaluation of public policies and theories and models of governance
    • critically evaluate alternative public policy paradigms and associated policies and models of governance
    • analyse the policy process with reference to different actors and levels of governance
    • develop the research and communication skills required for effective and informed presentation of knowledge, information and analysis by students in workshops, seminars and the summative report. The subject matter will aid the development of critical skills which are transferable to a variety of contexts, thus assisting employability prospects.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The principal focus of this module is for students to build on prior understanding and learning, exploring philosophical accounts of scientific explanation and the theory and practice of sociological research through the use of work-related interactive methods. The module provides work experience for students by developing research for a real world organisation (employer). Students will learn about doing research methods by conducting research for an employer. The employer will contribute to setting out small-scale research aims and objectives; being available to assess student proposals and bids or assess the analysis/ final presentation. The first part of this module examines the theory and philosophical accounts of research methodology, as well as introducing students to the practical skills of doing interviews, transcribing them, and analysing qualitative data (LO2; LO3). The second part of the module concentrates on quantitative methods, and requires students to design research for the requirements of an employer involved in both the aims and outcomes (assessment) of the research. The module provides work-related understanding and application of research methods by involving employer requirements and needs (LO1; LO4).

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    The aims of the module are:

    1. To develop students’ understanding of how social problems and social policy relate

    2. To examine the relationship between the process of policy making and policy implementation, alongside its impact using some key social problem examples.

    3. To elucidate key concepts in social policy: needs, citizenship; community; liberty; equality; social justice; social exclusion.

    4. To delineate shifting debates about social problems and relate these to the delivery of benefits and services.

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  • The broad aim of this module is to develop a grounding in the fundamentals of US foreign policy making in the context of contemporary international relations. In particular, to:

    • Analyse policy making institutions and historical precedents underlying US foreign policy, and to grasp the way those precedents affect America’s approach to global events since the end of the Cold War and the attacks of 9/11.
    • Assess the processes and limitations of US foreign policy making, the contemporary challenges facing the world and the American role in dealing with them, and the expectations of US influence in the world in coming years.
    • Place American foreign policy within the larger theoretical frameworks and approaches to international relations.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    We live in an increasingly unequal world. This module examines the growth in inequalities globally. It also examines some of the key economic and political causes of growing world inequality. In particular, the module critically examines neo-liberal globalisation.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    The broad aim of this module is to develop an understanding of politics in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, in the context of contemporary international relations, and in particular to:
    • describe and explain the processes by which the states and societies of the contemporary MENA region were formed;
    • explore the main ideological currents that have influenced the political development of the MENA region, particularly those inspired by religion and nationalism;
    • examine the interstate and international relations of the region, focusing on the sources of conflicts and the difficult relationship between the West and the region.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    This module explores theories and conceptions of racism and ethnicity, and the practices of racism in contemporary societies. The historical roots of racism will be examined and its contemporary forms studied comparatively. Racism is specifically explored within the context of social and political conflicts.
    Module aims
    • To analyse critically key concepts including racism and ethnicity themselves in order to develop an awareness of their contested nature.
    • To look at these issues as worldwide problems and in a sociological context that explores the meanings ascribed to these terms, their historical origins and key examples of societies where these issues have been or still are important in shaping the social orders in which people live.
    • To consider the impact of racism on specific communities and groups, including national, religious and ethnic groups.
    • To examine the links between class, gender and ethnic differences. 

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    A1. To provide students with an understanding of the diversity of welfare in different countries.

    A2. To examine a range of transnational and global social policies and their influences on national social policies.

    A3. To study the broader political, social and economic context in which social policy is constructed and implemented.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module aims to:

    • Examine competing theories of the modern state
    • Evaluate the historical evolution of modern states
    • Compare and contrast the range of different types of state across the globe, from democracies to authoritarian states
    • Analyse the state in relation to contemporary 21st century issues, such as globalization, social welfare provision, and protest movements
    • Encourage confidence in the use of appropriate analytical, written and oral skills, to enhance students’ transferable skills and employability

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module providing an advanced research element for PIR undergraduate courses aims to:
    • enable the student to demonstrate an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, and be able to apply analytical techniques, problem solving and project management skills.
    • enable the student to synthesise skills and knowledge and apply them successfully to complex issues.
    • provide an opportunity to design a research project relevant to their degree.
    • allow the student to utilise research and analytical skills acquired during their programme of studies.
    • enable the student to undertake relevant research and write up findings in dissertation form.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    • To provide an opportunity for students to identify through a policy analysis the historical, theoretical and methodological issues in their chosen topic.
    • To encourage students to apply the conceptual understanding gained in their programme of study to a substantive issue/theme.
    • To present an evaluation of existing policy relating to the topic of their choice.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    A1. The students will use theoretical and empirical knowledge, research and analytical skills gained in their programme of study to investigate their chosen topic and formulate a dissertation.
    A2. The students will produce an original investigation/examination of a relevant sociological topic.
    A3. The students will learn how to apply their knowledge of research methods, design and analysis to a specific research project.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    The module aims to give students the opportunity to:

    1. Apply their prior learning in an appropriate work environment
    2. Relate specific knowledge and skills – theoretical, methodological, analytical – as appropriate to real-life situations in the work environment
    3. Undertake work based activities relevant to their academic subject area and level
    4. Show awareness of and delineate the culture, structure and changing services delivery of a working environment
    5. Enhance their professional and personal development by developing new capabilities and skills

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module aims to:

    • Examine a range of approaches to the cessation of contemporary conflicts and the conditions that may be necessary for peace
    • Explore the differing mechanisms and strategies for securing peace, including negotiation, mediation and arbitration
    • Focus upon both the domestic and international actors involved in these processes
    • Provide students with an understanding of relevant theories and empirical material for comparative analysis

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module introduces students to the key concepts and theories relating to the social construction of gender and sexuality and their application to a range of social sectors and issues in the UK and abroad. The ways in which gender and sexuality are both constitutive of the social and are constituted through social structures, institutions and interactions are explored, as are the ways in which theories of gender and sexuality have informed the sociological study of the family, work, health, education, crime, the welfare state and politics, media and the body.
    Module aims
    • To introduce and critically analyse key concepts in the sociological study of gender and sexuality;
    • To introduce a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the operation of gender and sexuality at the levels of social structures, social relations and social identities;
    • To consider the impact of gender and sexuality across a range of social sectors and social issues;
    • To consider the links and intersections between gender, sexuality and other forms of social identity and difference, including class, race, ethnicity, etc.
    • To consider the social and political sources of the persistence of discrimination and inequalities on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    • To develop an understanding of the international human rights framework and consider debates and theories challenging this framework (including a critical assessment of the concept and implementation of the universality of human rights).
    • To evaluate various international conventions on the protection of human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    • To examine violations of human rights in the light of various social and political contexts across the world and gain an understanding of how human rights applies in specific contexts; how such violations impact societies, communities and individuals; and how individuals and organisations work for justice in such harrowing circumstances.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    The broad aim of this module is to question the assumptions about contemporary Latin America as a region and its place in the world and, in particular, to examine:

    • the underlying political ideas and trends instrumental in shaping Latin American politics today, including the role of the USA;
    • the internal politics of modern Latin American states and the role of these states within the region;
    • the impact due to globalisation and the rise of political and economic importance of other developing regions;
    • to encourage students to think about the complexities of problem-solving in this context.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module will provide students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary thinkers and debates in social theory. They will be required to critically examine the ideas of contemporary social theorists and explore the application of their ideas to an ever-changing world (LO1; LO2). The module will explore what it means to be human and examine how different perspectives on this impact upon a range of issues, from state policies to the development of artificial intelligence. Overall, the aim of the module is to develop the students’ capacity to utilise theoretical ideas taken from philosophy and sociological theory by applying them to the social world (LO3; LO4).

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module focuses on the principal developments in British politics since the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1979. In particular, students will evaluate the claim that there was a ‘Thatcher revolution’ during the 1980s and explore the impact of various economic, ideological and electoral factors shaping policy during this period. On this foundation, the module then explores the Major governments and the end of the Conservative ascendancy, the rise of ‘New Labour’ in the 1990s and the record and doctrinal position of the Blair party and governments since 1997, the impact of the Cameron coalition since 2010 and the transformative effects of the Brexit vote.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This cutting-edge module explores one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding fields of contemporary diplomatic studies and an area which has seen a wide variety of innovations in state practice in recent decades. As public opinion has come to be seen as increasingly influential and important in world politics, states and other international actors have rediscovered public and cultural diplomacy, a form of diplomatic practice in which states engage with publics both abroad and at home. Due to changes in global communications, this form of diplomacy is undergoing rapid change, which makes it especially interesting and important.
    The module examines the changing nature of public and cultural diplomacy in the context of the evolution of global political communications. It explores the nature of international political communication, evaluating key concepts such as propaganda, place branding and strategic communications, and examines the role of culture in world politics more broadly, including media such as film and the internet, as well as key actors such as celebrity diplomats. It explores competing definitions and interpretations of public and cultural diplomacy, along with how their practice has changed in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War.
    This is a practically-oriented module which will ensure equitability in student learning experiences towards the overall degree qualification. . Blended learning is encouraged in the classroom through the use of multimedia and internet resources. This is complimented by students gaining experience of the nature of contemporary public diplomacy and international political communication through visits to embassies, guest lectures by serving or former public diplomats, and role-play exercises and simulations.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module will provide students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary debates on the relationship between social science and religion. Students will be required to critically examine the ideas of the classic and contemporary social scientists on religion and explore the application of their ideas to an ever-changing world. Overall, the aim of the module is to develop the students’ capacity to utilise social scientific concepts and perspectives in their analyses of religion in contemporary society. The disciplinary focus of the module will, initially, be the sociology of religion. The application of a range of social scientific approach will also be introduced - historical, political, economic and social psychological approaches.

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After the course

The wealth of transferable skills you’ll gain on this course will allow you to pursue a career in a range of industries and roles.

This undergraduate honours degree is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study. You can continue to study at London Met on courses such as our Political Violence and Radicalisation MSc and Woman and Child Abuse MA.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats - key information set

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

Apply to us for September 2019

Applying for a full-time undergraduate degree starting this September is quick and easy – simply call our Clearing hotline on or complete our online Clearing application form.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course.

Our UCAS institution code is L68.

Visit UCAS for more details.

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