3 years full-time
Our BA Applied Social Science degree offers you an excellent opportunity to combine a broad and balanced foundation in the social sciences with an exploration of a range of social problems such as poverty, unemployment, crime, child abuse, pollution and environmental damage.
Given the breadth of knowledge and transferable skills gained on this degree, as a graduate of this course you will be well placed to pursue a career in a number of fields, but especially in the public and voluntary sectors as a policy advisor, policy analyst, researcher, campaigner, journalist or civil servant.
I decided to keep my degree as open and flexible as possible, opting for the BA in Applied Social Science. This allowed me to structure my degree around my emerging preferences and each of the modules I undertook felt relevant and absorbing. The quality of teaching was excellent with many of the lecturers being real experts in their field and obviously passionate about their subject.Clair, BA Applied Social Science (2011)
This degree allows you to study a wide range of social science disciplines. You'll find it's suitable if you want to address social issues such as poverty, social exclusion and child wellbeing. It will also help you explore public policy and how social, economic and political decision-making influences people's lives.
You'll study core modules designed specifically for this course that will give you a thorough grounding in social sciences. From your second year you'll choose from a selection of modules which allow you to tailor your degree to your own interests.
Between your second and third year you have an option to undertake a placement which is an ideal way to experience the way policy is implemented on the ground.
In your first year you'll study a range of core modules that give you a broad introduction to a range of core social science subjects.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
In your second year you'll study a core module as well as choosing three modules from a range of second year modules.
Social Research Methods: You'll get hands on experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. You'll also look at the theoretical and philosophical basis for social research. You will use understanding gained from this module as you develop a proposal for your own dissertation.
Module options change on a regular basis to reflect the teaching and research interests of staff, as well as to ensure the degree is up-to-date. Examples of past modules for the second year include:
In your third year you have a choice of four optional modules or three optional modules and a work placement. You'll also complete a dissertation.
You'll choose three modules from our third year modules, these change regularly to reflect the teaching and research interests of our staff. Previous modules include:
In the summer holiday before the third year starts you can undertake a work-shadowing placement that lasts around 80 hours. This will allow you to learn from professionals in a field you're interested in. Watching professionals at work is a completely different learning experience which many students find useful in developing their dissertation and follow in the development of their own careers.
The third year dissertation is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding in independent supervised research on a topic of your interest. Previous dissertation titles include:
There are many international opportunities for Applied Social Science students to get involved with, including Worldwide Exchange at partner universities, Erasmus+ study placements in Europe, International Study Centres, Summer Schools and Travel Awards for independent projects.
York is a great student city with lots of activities to take part in on & off campus. The teaching is very engaging and there’s a friendly atmosphere.Lydia, BA Applied Social Science (2016)
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework the Department of Social Policy and Social Work was placed third in the UK for research activity, with 100 percent of its research impact rated at the highest rank of 4*.
We emphasise small-group working: you'll mainly be taught in lectures of 50-100 students and take part in seminars of 12-15 people. In the second and third years the lecture groups will be smaller as you begin to specialise.
You'll also take part in group-based workshops: some will involve scenario-based role play and some will be practical sessions examining data to help you understand a specific issue in depth. You'll also hear from external speakers about the latest issues in policy and practice.
You'll be supported by your personal supervisor, who will have one-to-one meetings with you twice a term. Staff will also have weekly office hours when you can make an appointment to discuss issues on a one-to-one basis.
You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, with emphasis on continuous assessment. The most common form of assessment is by essay, and you'll be supported with seminar sessions on writing academic essays. You may also be assessed by presentation, group workshop reports, data analysis exercises and portfolios of work. There is minimal use of closed examinations.
Your dissertation will be 10,000 words long and you'll be supported by a supervisor who specialises in the subject you're interested in.
As a city, York has been home to researchers making an impact on people's lives for over a century. Seebohm Rowntree conducted the first scientific study of poverty on York's streets. His work was a revolution in the way that poverty was understood and helped provide a foundation for the welfare state. His work was re-issued on its 100th anniversary with a foreword by Professor Jonathan Bradshaw.
My lecturers know me personally and the department is really friendly. As students you feel like you are an important part of the department, not just there to be preached at. The staff are always asking for our views and opinions and adapting to our needs. I feel like our opinions are really valued.Katherine, BA Applied Social Science (2016)
A high proportion of our graduates are employed within six months. The nature of our degree means you can pursue career-related interests throughout your study and the optional work-based placement is a useful way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to future employers.
We have a list of career profiles and mentoring opportunities for our students. You can view the stories of our alumni and learn where their degree has taken them. Login as a 'friend' to view the profiles.
Recent employment destinations include:
Other students have chosen to continue developing skills through postgraduate training or masters degrees.
All applications must be made through UCAS.
We pay particular attention to your personal statement and we look for students who have an academic interest in society. This could come through family circumstances, employment or other contribution to society such as school clubs or volunteering.
You will not be invited to interview, but we invite you to attend a visit day in Spring term to give you an opportunity to learn more about us.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AABBB at Higher level
M2, M2, M2
Access to Higher Education
30 credits achieved from units awarded Merit or higher
BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
31 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate
75 percent overall
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally asked to provide evidence of English language ability. Exceptions may be made where an applicant's other qualifications provide sufficient evidence of ability to use English in an academic setting at degree level.