2019
2020

Sociology and Social Policy BSc (Hons)

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A level (2019 entry)
    BBB
  • BTEC extended diploma (2019 entry)
    DDD
  • International baccalaureate diploma (2019 entry)
    32 points in the IB diploma (including TOK/Bonus points) with 6,5,5 at HL. Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
  • Further requirements (2019 entry)
    GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.
More information

Key Dates

  • Start date
    September
  • Open Days
    Our next Open Day is taking place on:
    Saturday 5th October

We’re #1 for Added Value. Comparing our students’ entry grades (A Levels/BTECS/IB etc) with their final degree result shows the quality of our teaching.We’re ranked us 1st in the UK by this measure (Guardian, 2020)

We’ll give you a head start. Social Policy is ranked 7th in the UK for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide, 2020)

We’ll make sure you’re career-ready. Employed Aston Social Studies graduates earn £5,300 (22%) more than expected five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2018)

Explore how social structures impact on our lives and develop your understanding of policy making at a global, national and local levels.

Course summary

Sociology and Social Policy is a multi-disciplinary programme that examines the major economic and social issues facing governments across the world, and the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations.

Entry Requirements & Fees (2020 entry)

A level entry

  • BBB from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.
  • A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.
  • We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

BTEC

  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: Distinction plus two A Levels at grade BB*.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: Distinction, Distinction plus grade B* in one A-level.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma  Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
  • *Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

IB

  • 32 points in the IB diploma (including TOK/Bonus points) with 6,5,5 at HL.
  • Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
  • Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

Access to HE

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis. 

Other qualifications

EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice, plus an alternative offer which will be one grade lower plus a grade B in EPQ, providing this course is selected as their Firm UCAS choice.

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

International Qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your future webpage.

Foundation Programme in Social Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

Key Information:

3 years full time or 4 years full time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LL24

GCSE requirements:
GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.

Tuition fees 2020/21: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £15,600* (£2,500 during placement year) for overseas students. More on fees.

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

  • Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated below).
  • In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement.
  • Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:
    • Have A level (or equivalent) qualifications similar to those required for first year entry
    • Have gained (or be expected to gain) 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
    • Obtained (or be expected to obtain) an overall average of 60% or above on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
    • Have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere
    • Individual programmes may have additional requirements in addition to those stated above. These will be clarified upon application.
  • Applicants receiving offers are invited to an Applicant Visit Day.

View our Admissions Policy. 

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Course Outline

Subject guide and modules


Sociology and Social Policy is a multi-disciplinary programme that examines the major economic and social issues facing governments across the world, and the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations. It builds upon various A-Levels including Politics, (e.g the role of the government), Sociology (e.g. modern forms of power), Economics (e.g. market failure), Geography (e.g. globalisation) and Business Studies (e.g. government support for enterprise).

You will investigate the economic, social and political forces which influence government decision-making, and which give rise to conflict between the achievement of economic, environmental and social objectives. You will also examine why governments take particular decisions in key policy areas and develop a detailed understanding of processes of policy making at a global, national and local levels of government.

You will also study the nature of policy delivery and management by various organisations, such as local governments, schools and businesses. Finally, and most importantly, the programme explores in depth the outcomes and consequences of various government policies on the economy and society.

“Sociology enables us to understand the personal and private lives of individuals and engage with the messy nature of everyday life. All of this can then be viewed in the context of the public sphere. For example, one of my areas of research is around the impacts of inclusion and exclusion for children and young people and in the UK ‘Every Child Matters’ promotes a meaningful sense of well-being for all children and ‘Education for All’ positions a global inclusive education strategy. These are just two of the policy contexts that address education as a means to promote inclusion and meaningful learning. But do they? Large numbers of pupils are not included, have poor educational experiences and are either marginalised or demonised. Education is failing children and young people. Not least of all because they are disengaged, alienated and excluded from a meaningful learning process. League tabling and competitive schooling is stifling. We need to address these divisions as sociologists. This focus is just one area that within teaching sociology we can really get to the heart of understanding difference and diversity. More broadly, as a sociologist I have written Parenting and Inclusive Education, Critical Approaches to Care (with Susie Weller) as well as working on Intellectual Disability and Social Theory.”

Sample module options: The modules below are indicative only. When an offer is made, students will receive a detailed programme specification which forms part of our terms and conditions.

 

Year 1
Core
Introduction to Social Theory
Becoming a Social
Scientist
Critical Debates in Society and Policy
From Social Problems to Public Policies
Identities and Inequalities I
Identities and Inequalities II


Year 2
Core
Research Methods
Advanced Social Theory

Options
Advanced Research Methods
Critical Policy Analysis
Embodiment and Feminist Theory
Media and Society
Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context
The Social Life of Stuff
Racisms
Organising for Social Justice
Welfare States and Welfare Change
Environmental Policy
CSI: Crime Subversion and Injustice
Global Society
Contested Cities


Year 3
Integrated placement year


Final Year
Core
Dissertation

Options
Work, Organisations and Society
Bodies, Power and Resistance
Contemporary Social Movements
Pregnancy and Politics
Religion and Society
Community Engagement
Corporate Power in a Globalised World
Education and Digital Society
Migration, Borders and Belonging
Health Policy
The Challenges of Climate Change

Career Prospects

Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers who value their understanding of different organisations, their communication skills and motivation for team work.  

Graduate stories

Ana Indi Amona

Ana - Sociology and Social Policy Graduate

Ana Indi Amona

Spain Internship

'Spain Internship was the perfect environment for personal development. I had low self-esteem and confidence before my placement, but now I feel so strong and powerful; ready to defy stereotypes.'

Read Ana's Story 

Learning, teaching and assessment

You will participate in lectures, tutorials, seminars, group and individual project work. The courses deal with many topical issues, and as a result we try to incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and to link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible.

You will be require expertise in critical reading, writing, research and presentation. For his reason, many of our courses are designed to help you develop skills in these areas. You will undertake a range of different kinds of course work and research, from informal interventions into issues of concern to formal research dissertations. Modules are assessed through essays, written and oral exams, project work and presentations.

Facilities & equipment

The School of Languages and Social Sciences has a dedicated Learning Support Team and excellent facilities including:

  • 70 computers in 4 rooms
  • Free DVD library (French, Spanish, German, English)
  • Audio and video-editing tools
  • Corpus linguistics tools (Wordsmith and Antconc)
  • Research software (NVivo and PASW/SPSS)
What's it like to study at Aston?

The staff and facilities at Aston blew me away, but the real winner was the opportunity to do a year abroad in any industry. During my placement year I worked in a secondary school, in Alicante, teaching English. I hadn’t considered a career in teaching before, but after finishing the year I knew it was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. The lifelong friends at Aston were one of the best things about my time here. Being a small community, it was like one big happy family. I would do university at Aston all over again.

Nishtar Hussein
BSc Sociology
What's it like to study at Aston?

During my time at Aston, I received great academic teaching and support from lecturers. My placement prepared me for a career which is fast-paced and challenging. I am able to manage my workload efficiently and use my initiative.

Kanisha Warrican
BSc Sociology
What's it like to study at Aston?

I worked as an English Language Assistant in France during my year abroad. The highlight for me was getting to experience a new culture and having the opportunity to travel and explore new cities. The experience also gave me the ability to live independently and filled me with confidence and open-mindedness to grabbing new challenges.

Sumbal Gul Zaman
BSc International Relations and Sociology

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