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Sociology and Social 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 popular course prepares you for a career in policy and research in the public, private and voluntary sectors with modules addressing multidisciplinary concerns relevant to current public issues.

You will explore how welfare policy influences our everyday lives in domestic and international contexts and take advantage of opportunities for work placements, tailored to your interests and specialisms, as well as links to employers and international study programmes.

More about this course

Social exclusion, racism and homelessness are just a few of the social problems we face today. Explore global inequalities in the twenty-first century and the sociological imagination during this stimulating and highly-rated course. You'll develop the knowledge and skills to analyse these issues,learn to communicate your ideas effectively and will be encouraged to think critically and challenge everyday assumptions.

Choosing from options such as crime, media and technology and youth resistance and social control, you will develop the most up to date techniques to devise and sustain arguments and to solve problems.

With a guaranteed career-related work placement in year three, there are opportunities to take advantage of the University’s links with housing associations, and domestic and international charities, as well as community organisations, campaigning groups, welfare agencies and local authorities, and London Met does its best to match your placement to your interests and specialisms.

With traditional lectures, seminars and presentations, supplemented by group work and case studies you will be provided with skills to pursue a career in the fields of social and public policy in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Assessment

You are assessed with essays, individual and group research projects, media practice project, and a final dissertation.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code LL4J
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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

  • a minimum grade BBC in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic subjects (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National, OCR Diploma or Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Social Work Extended degree.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

These requirements may be varied in individual cases. Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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) - 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) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    This module provides the foundation for an explicit, clear focus on social research throughout Sociology and related degrees in addition to supporting students to acquire understanding of and skills in academic literacy. The methodological principles and perspectives for effective social research are explained and also illustrated through exploration of research case studies. It will additionally provide experience in using the vast array of text, visual and statistical primary documentary sources and their interpretation for research. Research as process will be examined including main research approaches, the formulation and development of research questions and social, ethical and political contexts of research practice.

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

    This module will provide students with an introduction to the discipline of Sociology and some of the basic skills of identifying, applying and evaluating sociological approaches, concepts and debates to everyday situations (LO1; LO2). It will also provide an introduction to constructing sociological arguments, thinking critically and assessing sociological evidence (LO3; LO4).

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Year 2 modules include:

  • 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:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    This module introduces students to some of the key sociological approaches used to explore and explain the sociological notion of ‘self’. This will involve an examination of a range of major 20th century sociological thinkers on the nature of the social construction of self - eg. Mead, Goffman - and it’s constrains - e.g. Parsons, Merton and Dahrendorf. The intention is to use some of the major sociological theorists and apply their insights into current concerns with the ‘project’ of self and identity. That is, to examine how much choice we have in becoming who we are.

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

    To introduce students to sociological understanding and methodology of observing and explaining the everyday life: its routines, rhythms and those aspects of social life that we consider familiar and known.

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

    1. Consider the various relationships between media, technology and crime

    2. Develop an understanding of the role of the media in shaping perceptions of crime
    and criminal justice, with a particular emphasis on marginalised groups

    3. Develop an awareness and familiarity with the emerging forms of deviant
    behaviour facilitated by contemporary technologies and/or the media

    4. Provide an overview of the way technologies interact with crime and the criminal
    justice system

    5. Develop summarising and analytical skills

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Familiarise students with the theoretical perspectives that have shaped criminological thought on violence by young people
    2. Encourage students to develop a critical overview of young people’s engagement in violent crime
    3. Develop students’ ability to research, analyse and communicate critical and informed arguments relating to the theory, policy and practice underpinning youth involvement in violent crime.

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

    A1. To provide students with a historical, theoretical and comparative understanding of the diverse forms of youth culture and youth social organisation;
    A2. To explore the social origins of youth gangs and street violence;
    A3. To consider the key developments in political mobilisation of young people;
    A4. To investigate the concepts and nature of social control in relation to youth;
    A5. To develop confidence in use of appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills when dealing with current youth issues.

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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) - 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 - Thursday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    The module examines the history of housing policy in the UK, focussing in particular on the shift to neo-liberal housing policies from the 1980s. Key contemporary housing issues and the key causes of the current ‘housing crisis’ in London and the UK are examined.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Place changes in housing management in the context of wider social, economic and organisational changes;
    2. Introduce the key practical issues facing housing professionals, and good practice in addressing these issues;
    3. Identify ways in which housing service users and community workers can challenge poor performance and get involved in service improvement;
    4. Examine the benefits and challenges of partnership working in dealing with housing issues;
    5. Explain current discussions on the balance of rights and responsibilities for social housing tenants and other local residents.

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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:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module builds on earlier studies of social problems, social inclusion and exclusion, and education policy. We will reflect further on the meaning of social inclusion and exclusion in society, and the specific meaning of the terms in education in relation to the world of education and students with special educational needs. The study of the role of education and schooling in relation to achieving inclusion in both arenas is the focus of this module.

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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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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn 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

    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:
    • 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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If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 modules include:

  • Researching Social Life
  • Social Policy and Society
  • Social Problems and Social Issues
  • Sociological Imagination

Year 2 modules include:

  • Interactive Research Methods
  • Self and Society
  • Global Inequalities in the 21st Century
  • Crime, Media and Technology
  • Youth, Resistance and Social Control
  • Racism and Ethnicity
  • Work and Working Lives
  • Extension of Knowledge Module

Year 3 modules include:

  • Comparative and Global Social Policy
  • Living Theory
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Sociology Dissertation
  • Social Policy Dissertation
  • Inclusion and Special Educational Needs
  • Education: Issues, Inequalities and Futures
  • Homelessness and Housing Policy

After the course

Successful completion of this course offers improved career opportunities in central and local government, voluntary, charity and care agencies, pressure groups, research institutes and private companies. Our previous graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Friends of the Earth.

This course is also excellent preparation for further research or study.

Work placement

We guarantee a job-relevant work placement in year three to help you gain useful skills for your future career. You could work at a housing association, global, national or local charity, community organisation and many other types of organisations.

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 January 2019

Start a degree in the new year. Applying is quick and easy – simply call our January hotline on or apply to us online.

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 for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

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.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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