3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB (full entry requirements)
September 2024 (semester dates)
£9,250 per year
£23,700 per year
BA Social and Political Sciences allows 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.
You'll also 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 Departments of Sociology and Politics were ranked top 10 in the UK for their research. Sociology, in particular, were ranked 1st in research impact according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).
We're ranked =28th In the World and 7th In the UK for Social Policy and Administration according to the QS World Rankings, by Subject, 2023.
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:
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
The placement year provides you with an opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of fields while putting your academic learning into practice. You could apply to roles that are related to your degree, such as the House of Commons Placement Scheme or a placement with YouGov, or to a business-related placement in a wide variety of organisations and industries.
Your first year will provide a strong foundation in politics, sociology and social policy. You'll take introductory modules across the three departments, which provides you with a strong interdisciplinary grounding.
You will also study one option module. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
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 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 the three departments during your final two years.
You will also study four option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
You will engage 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 will also study four option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
Our 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.
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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.
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.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 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.
Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).
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.
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||5-6 hours per week|
|Workshops||0-4 hours per term|
These figures are representative of a typical 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, practice 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 semesters. 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 - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.
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.
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:
|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|
|T levels||We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||Scottish Highers - AABBB Advanced Highers - not required for entry We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.|
|International foundation programme||Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.|
|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: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. 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 (Academic)||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|Cambridge CEFR||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|Oxford ELLT||7, with a minimum of 6 in each component|
|Duolingo||120, minimum 105 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C / Grade 4|
|LanguageCert SELT||B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|LanguageCert Academic||B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|KITE||459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component|
|Skills for English||B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 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 English language test 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
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.
Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.