3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB (full entry requirements)
September 2021 (term dates)
£9,250 per year
£18,350 per year
This degree is designed for students who would like to develop a strong philosophical dimension to their study of social and political sciences.
You'll be taught by world-leading academics across four departments and study the most up-to-date theories in social and political sciences. As your studies progress you'll have the flexibility to tailor your degree to allow you to focus on your own interests, from globalisation, human rights and the future of the welfare state to migration, equality and social justice.
You'll have the opportunity to contribute to your own high-profile seminar series and become involved in the dynamic student-run SPS Society. You'll be encouraged to take up an internship or work placement in which you'll get first-hand experience of the work you're interested in.
The disciplines in SPS complement each other perfectly and the addition of philosophy only further aids the thorough exploration of these subjects. In particular, philosophy has given me the skills to critically assess the debates studied in my modules, enabling me to complete assignments to a higher standard.Antony, BA Social and Political Sciences with Philosophy
The departments you'll study with are highly regarded research departments. In the Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, Politics, Sociology and Social Policy were ranked within the top 10. The Department of Philosophy had 96% of activity judged as internationally recognised.
You'll start by studying core Political and Social Science disciplines and a choice of Philosophy modules to develop your philosophical skills. You can then go on to choose from a wide range of modules offered across Politics, Sociology and Social Policy alongside your continuing study of Philosophy. You can study a varied range of modules across the three years or select from focused clusters of modules. These topics might include:
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
Your first year will provide a strong foundation in philosophy, politics, sociology and social policy.
You'll take a year-long introductory module for each of Sociology, Politics and Social Policy, as well as the online skills module Beginning Philosophy.
You'll choose two Philosophy modules:
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module 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:
You'll study our core interdisciplinary module, a choice of Philosophy modules and have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of option modules. You'll need to study at least one module from each of Politics, Sociology and Social Policy during your final two years.
In the second year you'll choose:
Current Key Ideas options include:
Current short Key Ideas options include:
Current option modules include:
You'll be also able to choose three modules from across a range offered by the other three departments. Current options include:
Department of Sociology
Department of Politics
Department of Social Policy
Your dissertation will engage you in independent research in social and political science. You’ll work closely with a personal academic supervisor who will help to guide your research and keep your project on track, helping you to develop valuable transferable skills for future research and careers.
You'll choose four option modules, one of which must be from the Department of Philosophy. Current options include:
Department of Sociology
Department of Politics
Department of Social Policy
Department of Philosophy
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
The fees and funding figures below are for 2021/22 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year
|UK (home)||International and EU|
Although students may decide to purchase some textbooks or other resources, we have an extensive physical and electronic library, so that there is no requirement to do so.
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status
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.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
I was president of the student SPS society last year. Working with the committee and the school on guest speaker events and organising trips has supplemented my academic experience. It's also cultivated skills such as: project management, teamwork and leadership.Kyle, BA Social and Political Sciences
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. 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.
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.
You'll attend a mix of lectures, small group seminars and workshops, with an increasing emphasis on independent work in later stages. You'll actively define what you want to learn, and be supported by your personal tutor in exploring these issues in greater depth.
The student-run SPS Seminar Series will allow you to engage with leading academics from across the country.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||6-7 hours per week|
|Seminars||6 hours per week|
|Workshops||0-4 hours per term|
These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.
Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practise completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.
You will be based at the School of Social and Political Sciences on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place nearby.
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 will be by a mixture of essays, projects and examinations. In your third year you'll do a 10,000-word dissertation on a subject you want to investigate and you'll construct the questions you want to answer under the supervision of a tutor.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
As an active researcher in the areas of environmental policy, sustainable development and social inclusion, I often discuss real life research issues with my students. Students benefit from engagement in current research while I find their input extremely valuable.Dr Carolyn Snell, personal supervisor and lecturer in Social Policy
Many of our students organise work placements out of term time in an area that interests them. We encourage you to do this so you can gain workplace experience and a deeper insight into issues that interest you, and many of our graduates secure jobs as a result of their first-hand experience from their internships and work placements. Placements have ranged from an internship at the US House of Representatives to work experience in a London hedge fund and an internship in a global investment bank.
The flexible nature of this degree also makes it a good springboard to postgraduate study across specialist areas in Social and Political Sciences. Other graduates take conversion courses for law and teaching and many go on to work for international organisations.
Graduates go on to a wide variety of careers across the public and private sectors including:
I studied at the University of Lund in Sweden via the SPS Erasmus programme. It gave me the opportunity to learn a new culture and language, make friends from around the globe and study at a world class university. I've also been an intern on Wall Street, shadowed a Secretary of State and worked at a FTSE 100 company. It's great work experience that shows how valuable the course is for employers.Tom, BA Social and Political Sciences
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDD|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, D3, M2|
|European Baccalaureate||80% overall|
|International Baccalaureate||35 points|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.|
|Contextual offers||If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.|
|EPQ||If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
|Core Maths||If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|TOEFL||87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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