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BA (Hons) Applied Social Science

Social science and its real-world application with a degree you can tailor to your interests

2018/19 entry | 2017/18 entry

UCAS code

L431

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

BBB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

Fees for 2018/19 to be confirmed. See fees and funding.

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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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.

With the breadth of knowledge and transferable skills you'll gain on this course, you'll be well placed to pursue a career in a number of fields, especially in the public and voluntary sectors as a policy advisor, policy analyst, researcher, campaigner, journalist or civil servant.

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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)

Social city

The city of York has a long tradition of social reform and was the site of the world's first scientific study of poverty.

Course content

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.

Study abroad

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.

Year 1

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.

  • Introducing Social Policy: key areas of government policy such as education, health and employment, with central concepts and analytic frameworks. It explores trends in the development of social policy around the world, with a particular emphasis on high income nations.
  • Introducing Social Psychology and Sociology: key theories and concepts in sociology and social psychology. You will develop an awareness of the analytical frameworks used to understand social problems and inequality.
  • Politics and Economics of Social Policy: the exercise of power, political ideas and policy outcomes in the context of British political institutions. It will introduce you to key concepts in economics and their application to social policy problems.
  • Exploring Social Policy and Society: key concepts that underpin the analysis and practice of social policy and their relationship with social, economic and political change. You'll actively engage in problem-solving processes and develop group work skills.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In your second year you'll study one core module and choose three optional modules.

Core module

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.

Optional modules

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:

  • Citizenship, Difference and Inequality
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • The Policy Process
  • Understanding Childhood and Youth
  • Debates in Criminal Justice
  • Victimisation and Social Harm

Year 3

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.

Optional modules

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:

  • Criminal Justice and Policing
  • Death and Policy
  • Gender, Citizenship and the Welfare State
  • Gender and Youth Cultures
  • Housing Policy
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Prisons and Penal Policy
  • Sustainable Development and Social Inclusion
  • The Wellbeing of Children and Young People
  • Understanding Families and Family Life
  • Vulnerability, Deviance and Social Control
  • Welfare States in Crisis
  • Youth Justice

Placement

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.

Dissertation

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:

  • The dilemma of advocacy in mental health
  • Has racism been institutionalised within the structures of English football?
  • Domestic violence and why abused partners stay with their abuser
  • Globalisation, unemployment and social security – what China can learn from the UK
  • Family break-up, lone parenthood and educational attainment

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

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)

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

UK/EU International
£9,250 (2017/18)

Fees for 2018/19 are subject to increase in line with government policy. Updated fees information will be published as soon as possible after the government announcement.
£16,620

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

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 with one-to-one meetings twice a term. Our staff have weekly office hours when you can make an appointment to discuss issues on a one-to-one basis.

How you'll spend your time

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars168 hours
(14%)
168 hours
(14%)
120 hours
(10%)
Independent study1032 hours
(86%)
1032 hours
(86%)
1080 hours
(90%)

Independent study may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work on Campus West. Your teaching will take place in various locations around Campus East and Campus West.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

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.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Coursework95%87%100%
Practical exams5%13%0%
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)

Careers and skills

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. 

Career opportunities

Recent employment destinations include:

  • Working with a local authority
  • Working with a national charity
  • Police officer
  • Trainee TV producer
  • Political marketing and campaigning consultant
  • Hotel management

Other students have chosen to continue developing skills through postgraduate training or masters degrees.

Transferable skills

  • Communications skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Independent study and research
  • Teamwork skills.

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

BBB. We accept General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits achieved from units awarded Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma (QCF) DDM
Cambridge Pre-U M2, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75% overall
International Baccalaureate 31 points overall
Irish leaving Certificate BBBBBB
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AABBB at Higher level

English language

If English is not your first language you may be asked to provide evidence of your ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with 5.5 or better in each section
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 61 overall with no less than 51 in all components
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): grade A

Other accepted tests and qualifications

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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.

 

Next steps

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Social Policy and Social Work

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