Social Policy and Sociology

Social Policy and Sociology BA (Hons)

Make a difference, have your say - and help initiate change at an individual, community and societal level. This challenging, invigorating and dynamic degree programme combines key elements of Social Policy and Sociology to reflect on topical issues, current affairs and political agendas. You will graduate ready to influence policy and effect change in a range of social issues, including poverty, social exclusion, unemployment, homelessness, crime, health and education inequalities. If you are driven by the desire to address social injustice, this is the course for you.

Applicants with less points and with experience in community work/ social care may also be considered. 

The BA (Hons) Social Policy and Sociology programme is geared towards an analysis of the historical, theoretical and policy debates and developments that have influenced economic and social wellbeing, as well as examining the challenges that will determine the shape of human welfare in the future, such as globalisation, ageing populations, environmental issues and immigration. In this sense, it is a dynamic and constantly moving programme, at the cutting edge of national and global debates which ultimately determine government and non-governmental responses to national and international economic and social problems. Hence, the programme will seek to develop an understanding of the ‘very real’ policy issues and debates that affect people’s life chances and opportunities in the UK and elsewhere.

Whilst studying for your degree in Social Policy and Sociology, you will be given the opportunity to study particular areas and themes in depth, and the chance to link your academic work to a significant piece of practical voluntary, work, or research experience. You will therefore acquire not only subject knowledge directly relevant to a whole range of careers, but also a range of transferable skills of analysis, communication and synthesis, which are essential in a rapidly changing labour market.

These studies have helped me develop qualities that I can use in the workplace. It has provided me with the tools to be able to research any welfare issue, and to interact with other service providers. The knowledge that I have gained has made me a more effective communicator

The initial stages of your studies will be devoted to gaining an understanding of interests and forces that have historically shaped responses to social problems in ‘developed’ countries, such as the UK, and ‘developing’ countries. This will give you an appreciation of the historical, political and economic imperatives that have shaped the emergence of welfare and human rights across the globe.

From this foundation, you will move on to examine key issues and debates that continue to influence the trajectory of societal responses to economic and social problems. Hence, our students study a wide range of modules relating to, for example, housing, health, criminal justice, poverty, social security, substance misuse and social work provision. Students can also focus on specific areas of social divisions, by completing modules which examine the interaction between, for instance, childhood, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, religion, disability and social inequality. In the second and third years of the programme, you will also be given the opportunity to gain a significant level of relevant practical research and work experience. 

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time: Usually five years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

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

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 - 112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction* Distinction - Distinction* Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 106 - 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

DBS Checks

This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

Course Overview

Year 1


  • SW 1804 Contextualising Welfare 1: The Development of British Social Policy
  • SW 1805 Contextualising Welfare 2: Theories, Concepts and Issues
  • SO 1116 Sociological Ways of Thinking
  • SO 1114 Doing Social Research

Optional Modules

  • SW 1801 Society in Focus: A Sociological Understanding
  • SO 1004 Media, and Culture
  • SO 1115 Youth, Identity and Difference
  • SW 1729 Student Initiated Module

As an alternative, you may want to choose a module from the Electives Catalogue

Year 2


  • SW 2802 Management, Markets and Delivering Welfare
  • SW 2041 Comparative Social Welfare
  • SO 2214 Contemporary Thinkers
  • SO 2015 Innovative Research

Optional Modules

  • SW 2803 Power, Oppression and Society
  • SW 2800 Working in Community Practice: Research and Development
  • SW 2720 Health, Ageing and Social Care
  • SW 2801 Social Care: Theory and Practice
  • SW 2005 Drugs and Society
  • SW 2018 ‘Race’, Racism and Ethnicity
  • CI 2008 Diversity and Inclusive Practice With Children and Adults
  • SO 2002 Sociology of Religion
  • SO 2212 Childhood Inequalities
  • SO 2103 Sociology of Social Movements
  • CJ 2007 Understanding Interpersonal Violence
  • SW 2729 Student Initiated Module (Social Policy)

Year 3


  • SW 3723 Social Theory: A Textual Analysis
  • SO 3107 Contemporary Social Theories

Optional Modules

  • SW 3802 Critical Social Policy
  • SW 3105 Disability Studies
  • SW 3017 Crime and Society
  • SW3728 Sex and Power
  • SW3721 Poverty, Homelessness and Supported Housing
  • SW3100 Mental Health and Social Care
  • SW3012 Racism and Social Welfare
  • SW3726 Youth Matters
  • SW3720 Social Enterprise and Community Management
  • SW3800 Applied Community Practice: Research and Development
  • SO3003 Suspect Populations and Insecure Places
  • SO3020 Sociology of Childhood
  • SO3004 Sexy Bodies: Sexuality and the Body
  • SO3110 The Sociology of Disability
  • SW3739 Student Initiated Module (Social Policy)

Students must also opt to take one of the following dissertation options:

  • SP 3990 Social Policy Dissertation Full Year (single), or
  • SP 3991 Social Policy Dissertation Full Year (double),


  • SO 3990 Sociology Dissertation Full Year (single), or
  • SO 3991 Sociology Dissertation Full Year (double),


  • SW 3801Community Research Project

Apply now for September 2019 Apply now for September 2019

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Over the years, we have developed close links with Social Policy and Sociology colleagues at partner Universities abroad, and visiting lecturers from these institutions have contributed to the delivery of our programme. Building on these strong international links, a number of students have chosen to undertake part of their studies in one of our partner institutions. Obtaining invaluable, unique first-hand experience of how other nations respond to the same sorts of issues and problems that we as a country face.

Combination of campus based learning with a optional work element/component. With visits off site to engage students in regional, national and international perspectives.


In both the second and third year of your studies, you will be given the opportunity to undertake structured work experience through one of the following;

  • Structured work experience in a community based project, or other social care/welfare setting for adults and/or children.
  • Participation in a community resource analysis for a specific user groups identifying current level of service and gaps with recommendations for further service development.

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Social Work, Care and Community
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course 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.