Skip to content
Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Social and Political Sciences (BA)

BA (Hons) Social and Political Sciences

Use expertise from three world class departments to understand the pressing social and political issues of our time

2018/19 entry | 2017/18 entry

UCAS code

LL32

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB (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)

Open Days

Explore what studying and living in York is really like at one of our Open Days.

Book your place

A BA in Social and Political Sciences will allow you to study a flexible choice of modules from a huge range offered by three highly respected academic departments.

You'll be taught by world-leading academics 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, whether that's globalisation, human rights, the future of the welfare state, migration, equality or social justice.

Contribute to our 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.

true
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, team work and leadership.
Kyle, current SPS student

Course content

You'll start by studying the core Political and Social Science disciplines. You then go on to choose from a wide range of modules offered across Politics, Sociology and Social Policy. You can study a varied range of modules across the three years. Or you can focus on specific topics, and take modules from different departments which relate to those topics. These topics might include:

  • Cultural Identity
  • Global Justice
  • Social Inequalities
  • Migration
  • The Future of the Welfare State
  • Human Rights
  • Social Justice

Study abroad

For 2017 entry you can opt to add a year to your course between Years Two and Three and study abroad at one of the best universities in the world. Adding an international experience to your course will help enhance your CV, enable you to experience a new culture, develop your language skills and make new friends along the way. To transfer onto the four-year course you will need to ensure you obtain a minimum mark in your first and second year.
There are many other international opportunities for you to get involved with at York through our Centre for Global Programmes.

Year 1

The first year will provide a strong foundation in politics, sociology and social policy. You'll take a year-long introductory module in each of the three departments and a fourth module chosen from one of the departments.

Introductory modules:

Choice of module from:

Please note that the modules above are indicative of those running for our current students.

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

The second year is a mix of one interdisciplinary compulsory module and the flexibility to choose from a wide range of optional modules.

Compulsory module:

You'll be able to choose three modules from across a range offered by the three departments. You'll need to study at least one module from each of the three departments during your final two years.

Choice of modules from the Department of Sociology:

Choice of modules from the Department of Politics:

Choice of modules from the Department of Social Policy:

Please note that the modules above are indicative of those running for our current students.

Year 3

In the third year you'll again be able to choose four modules from a large range across the three departments.

You'll also undertake a dissertation, which will engage you in independent research in social and political science and allow you to develop valuable transferable skills for future research and careers.

Modules from the Department of Sociology:

Modules from the Department of Politics:

Modules from the Department of Social Policy:

Please note that the modules above are indicative of those running for our current students.

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

At school I really enjoyed all of my Humanity based A level subjects and struggled with the thought of having to restrict myself to just one for university. SPS has allowed me to further develop my analysis of the world through political, economical, sociological and philosophical dimensions.
Bel
Current SPS Student

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

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.

  • You'll be taught by world-leading academics from each of the three departments.
  • Our research-led teaching means you can focus on the latest ideas and debates.

The student-run SPS Seminar Series will allow you to engage with leading academics from across the country.

How you'll spend your time

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars216 hours
(18%)
180 hours
(15%)
144 hours
(12%)
Independent study984 hours
(82%)
1020 hours
(85%)
1056 hours
(88%)

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 at the School of Social and Political Sciences on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place nearby. 

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

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.

  • You'll receive a report with feedback on your work for every module.
  • You'll be assigned a supervisor who will give academic and pastoral support.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams28%30%0%
Coursework59%70%100%
Practical exams13%0%0%

Careers and skills

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. 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.

Career opportunities

Over 85% of our graduates are working or in further study six months after completing their studies. Many of them secure jobs as a result of their first-hand experience from their internships and work placements.

Graduates go on to a wide variety of careers across the public and private sectors including:

    • Finance
    • Management
    • Social research
    • Public administration

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.

Transferable skills

  • Problem solving
  • Analysis of complex ideas
  • Time management
  • Communication and reporting
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, SPS graduate (2015)

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

AAB

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 9 awarded Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall
International Baccalaureate 35 points
Irish leaving Certificate AAAABB
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB at Higher level and AB at Advanced Higher level

English language

IELTS: score of 6.5 overall, with 5.5 or better in each section

Pearson (Academic PTE): 61 overall with no less than 51 in all components

CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 176, with 162 or better in each component

TOEFL: 87 overall, with at least 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing

Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components

Applying

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

All applications must be made through UCAS.

Mature students are welcomed and applications considered individually.

Next steps

Contact us

Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions

Learn more

School of Social and Political Sciences

Discover York

Accommodation

We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

The city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.