Politics and Social Policy BA (Hons)

Politics and Social Policy BA (Hons)

School of Humanities and Social Sciences




Under- graduate



Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time: Usually Five years.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    LL42; Short form: BA/PSP

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

This course taps into key debates on welfare and looks at issues that are fundamental to people's lives and livelihoods. It has a local, national and international dimension that reflects current affairs and political agendas, so if you want to make a difference, have a say and help initiate change and action policy at an individual, community and societal level, this course will give you the challenges and motivation to do so. Transferable skills of political analysis are embedded in the course so that you benefit from a comparable and critical academic grounding in these two related social science areas. You’ll also get the opportunity to apply for work placements and experience in relevant community, voluntary and welfare settings to broaden your personal development and future professional career.

Entry Requirements 2017/18

104 Points at A2; General Studies accepted
BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Distinction
Pass Access to HE with 106 Points
International Baccalaureate 26P
IELTS grade 6 with no subscore lower than 5.5
5 GCSEs at grade C including Maths and English or equivalent.

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

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Course at a Glance

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

  • Power, Politics and the State
  • British Politics
  • Contextualising Welfare 1: The Development of UK Social Policy
  • Contextualising Welfare 2: Theories, Concepts and Issues

Optional Modules

  • Global Politics: An Introduction to International Relations
  • Society in Focus: a Sociological Understanding
  • Plus Free Choice Elective (e.g. a Language)


Year 2

Compulsory Modules

  • Globalisation: History, Theories and Approaches
  • Research Methods in International Relations and Politics
  • Comparative Social Welfare
  • Power, Oppression and Society

Optional Modules

  • History of Political Ideas
  • The International History of Europe, 1914-1991
  • Cold War in Asia, 1945-89: History, Society and Conflict
  • America and the World, 1898 -2001
  • Drugs and Society
  • Race, Racism and Ethnicity
  • Health, Ageing and Social Care
  • Working in Community Practice: Research and Development
  • Social Care: Theory and Practice
  • Management, Markets and Delivering Welfare

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Politics Dissertation
  • Social Policy Dissertation
  • Community Research Project
  • Social Theory: Textual Analysis
  • Critical Social Policy

Optional Modules

  • Contemporary Anglo-American Political Philosophy
  • Continuity and Change in British Politics
  • Terrorism and Security
  • Political Islam and Islamic Movements
  • India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan since 1947: International Conflict and Democracy
  • African Nationalism and Independence, 1921-1982
  • A Place Apart? The Northern Ireland Troubles
  • Kennedy, Johnson and the World: US Foreign Policy, 1961-69
  • Thatcher’s Britain 1979 - 1990
  • Racism and Social Welfare
  • Crime and Society
  • Mental Health and Social Care
  • Disability Studies
  • Social Enterprise and Community Management
  • Poverty, Homelessness and Supported Housing
  • Youth Matters
  • Gender Issues
  • Applied Community Practice: Research and Development

Further Information

Politics is commonly understood as the study of power, authority, competition and conflict resolution in its national, international, regional and local dimensions, and the course addresses the core areas of the discipline that provide the overarching academic framework for understanding and critically evaluating contemporary political themes, issues and developments that affect us all in our daily life: government and political institutions and processes locally, nationally and internationally; political theory, ideas and ideologies and the increasingly important sphere of international and global politics. Transferable skills of political analysis are also embedded in the course that allow students to adopt an analytical, critical and evaluative approach to their academic study and to reflect upon its relevance and utility to their broader personal development and future professional career.

Social Policy provides students with the knowledge and understanding of welfare policy, issues and perspectives within this broader political framework and context of political developments. It further explores the role of comparative analysis in social policy, through an examination of welfare systems in British and other national societies, and the role of national and supra-national institutions in the shaping of welfare policy. By furthering students’ understanding of comparative social policy analysis, it also enhances their capacity for the critical evaluation of relevant analytical and theoretical perspectives and their application to real-world issues, dilemmas and problems. 


I found the degree at UCLan extremely stimulating, the resources that were offered by the lecturers were always relevant to the topic/module and there was always the opportunity for further study which was supported and encouraged by the teaching staff. They are all well versed in their chosen subject and I have always found them to be accessible. Enquiries are always answered quickly, with further one-to-one feedback offered if required.



Employing the academic and analytical association and links between the two closely related subject areas, this course equips students to use and apply knowledge, understanding and analysis of political science, political theory, government and political institutions and developments and trends of international politics, to critically review and evaluate problems and directions of social policy and social welfare with relevance to a wide range of career opportunities. Teaching is by lectures, seminars, workshops and one-to-one tutorials. Students also have the opportunity to gain experience in work-based settings, which will allow them to ‘embed’ issues of politics, social theory and social policy into day-to-day settings and practice.

You will study a total of 18 modules, six per academic year. Optional modules may be taken alongside an 'elective' module, to make up the yearly quota of six. Elective modules offer a choice from a wide range of modules offered across the university, and may for example include a language module, a work placement, or a careers or employability module. Modules are reviewed annually and may therefore vary, in content or availability, from those listed.

The course in Politics and Social Policy provides a comparable and critical academic grounding in the key academic, analytical and applied aspects of two integrated social science disciplines, and provides opportunities for work placements and experience in relevant community, voluntary and welfare organisation settings in preparation for employment and careers in local and national government, charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), policy development, public sector social and welfare services, the police and criminal justice, the civil service and education.

The School has developed employability and community links within the North West of England and the UK as a whole. This ensures that you have the opportunity to engage with employers, community groups, professionals and practitioners from ground-breaking organisations to develop their academic portfolio and pathway into to the world of work. We provide you with the opportunity to meet, communicate and network with a wide range of professional associates, from multi-disciplinary settings, who can provide first-hand experience and knowledge of the key skills required to be successful in their career destination.

Course Specification and Handbook

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

Apply Now

You can apply through UCAS to start in September 2017 until 30th June

Contact Us

+44(0)1772 892400

Fees 2017/18

Full-time: £9,250 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540 per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Industry Links

The University’s School of Social Work possesses comprehensive links with a range of organisations in the social work and social policy spheres. Many courses are accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which ensures that we implement its requirements to the highest standard, and provide opportunities for work-based education and placements.

The School has developed and nurtured working partnerships within numerous professional environments, such as the National Health Service, Lancashire Constabulary, Social-Enterprise Entrepreneurs, Armed Services, Criminal Justice system, multi-faith communities, non-government organisations, third sector providers, primary, secondary and further education, local councils, social services, the Probation Trust and equality and diversity practitioners. Examples include people from the Lancashire Constabulary, Merseycare, Stepping Stones Nigeria, Recycling Lives.

Professional Accreditation

Opportunities exist through specific work placement modules within our Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, some of which are accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

ILM logo

Learning Environment and Assessment

Teaching methods range from lectures and seminars, to group debates, and simulation of political scenarios. Discussion and debate is a distinctive feature of both Politics and Social Policy teaching, and you will be encouraged and supported to discuss and develop your own ideas both inside and outside of formal teaching sessions. Every teaching session has specified pre-reading, and for preparatory work you will have access to a well-equipped library, and a variety or open and restricted access online resources.

Assessment methods include coursework essays, written exams, seminar presentations, case work, reviews, reflective and critical assignments and work placement portfolios.


The School of Humanities and Social Sciences works to support students to achieve improved employment outcomes. Within each programme of study, there are embedded employability skills within a number of modules to enhance and promote employability skills and graduate attributes.

Work experience and placement opportunities are provided through the extensive links of the School of Social Work with public sector, social and charitable organisations, practice which will allow you to apply and ‘embed’ issues and perspectives of politics, social theory and social policy into day-to-day settings and practice.

International opportunities exist to spend an academic semester or year abroad with partner institutions in Europe and North America. There are additional opportunities to usefully learn a language and travel abroad through the Worldwise Learning Centre.

Graduates from this course will look for employment and careers in local and national government, charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), policy development, public sector social and welfare services, the police and criminal justice, the civil service and education.

Some recent Politics and Social Policy graduates have also gone on to research degrees (MPhil/PhD).

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