Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

BA Social Policy with Enterprise

In this Section:

If you want to ...

  • gain skills in creative problem-solving and business development
  • learn about why social problems and inequalities exist
  • learn how society cares for its most disadvantaged members
  • explore why some groups of people experience discrimination
  • study what social unrest and protest say about society and power
  • question what it means to be a ‘good citizen’ in today’s society
  • discover more about the role of social enterprise and aspire to work in the area

... then BA Social Policy with Enterprise is the course for you.


BA Social Policy with Enterprise offers a unique opportunity to study Social Policy alongside Enterprise, combining the social sciences with business.

You will explore how crime, education, health, housing, and poverty come to be viewed as social problems as well as the social enterprises which seek to address these issues.

In doing so, it involves an investigation of how modern societies understand human need, equality and social justice, and considers the ways in which the institutions of the modern state and supra-states address social problems and how they provide for people's welfare.

At the end of your course, you will know how to connect the issues and problems facing contemporary societies with the big ideas that shed light on their character and create innovative enterprise solutions.

You will benefit from the teaching expertise at the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Leeds Enterprise Centre which is the focal point for enterprise education and research on campus.

Year One

Compulsory modules

Enterprise in Action You will be able to understand, and experience, the consequences of decision making in all aspects of a small business (such as organisational structure, sales & marketing, finance and operations) by simulating best practice with business simulation software. The consequences of these actions will then be explored, evaluated and used to illustrate key concepts in current enterprise and entrepreneurship literature.

Innovation and Creativity in Business This module will give you an opportunity to look at and develop your own skills as well as helping you to organise your ideas and approach activities in an effective way. All employers are interested in people that understand how creativity and innovation can be introduced effectively in organisations.

Leadership in Business Leadership is vital for success in any professional area; the ability to engage co-workers or employees and communicate your ideas effectively to ensure cooperation is something everyone will need. The skills covered in this module offer you the chance to learn how to influence, persuade and lead groups of people, as well as understanding how groups work together and what makes people do what they do.This module will be delivered through a series of ten interactive workshops and four guest lectures.

Social Policy: From the Poor Laws to the Present explores the social, political, economic, cultural and global influences that have shaped the United Kingdom’s welfare state. It shows how the Poor Laws influenced ‘Classic Welfare State’ of the 1940s which, in turn, rested upon false assumptions about the nature of the family, of work and of nationhood.

Understanding Social Enterprise Jamie Oliver's 15, The Big Issue and the Eden Project are diverse examples of the sort of innovation, enterprise and creativity that can change people's lives, they are social enterprises. This module will let you explore real enterprise through case studies, understand how they develop and about finding enterprising win - win solutions to problems. You will develop insights into your own creative and innovative approaches to issues and reflect on how you can use these ideas while you are a student at Leeds.

Understanding and Researching the City will allow you to engage in a sociological exploration of the city and urban spaces in which they live and learn. You will be able to think critically about your everyday lives in a social scientific way. Students will be introduced to a range of social issues and the local community and be given an opportunity to research areas of interest.

Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society introduces key knowledge and training in the social sciences by teaching you the underpinnings of social research, how to undertake ‘real world’ research and think critically about the social world around you and your own everyday life.

Discovery Modules

You also choose one Discovery module from across the university.

Year Two

Compulsory modules

Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods allows you to build bridges between big ideas and social problems. Drawing on the research skills developed at Level One, the module provides you with a thorough understanding of how to design and conduct your own social research, and interpret results in an accurate manner. We explore qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches to social research, providing for how these can be applied in routine and rare contexts.

New Enterprise Planning provides the opportunity to consider how a new enterprise proposal is developed from the initial idea, by considering the key processes in the development and analysis of new business ideas and working in enterprise groups to develop your own enterprise proposal through this process.

Optional modules

You choose two of the following Sociology and Social Policy modules.

  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Drugs: Society, Politics and Policy
  • Disability Studies: an Introduction
  • Welfare and Crime: Continuity, Conflict and Change
  • Crime, Law and Regulation
  • Debates in Childhood and Youth

You then study one of the following Enterprise modules.

  • Managing Innovation in Business
  • Entrpreneurship in Theory and Practice
  • Innovating Social Enterprise

Discovery Modules

You also choose one Discovery module from across the university.

Year Three

Compulsory modules

Social Policy Dissertation brings together the conceptual and research skills developed over the course of your studies. It allows you to complete a significant piece of research on a policy topic of your choosing.  An academic expert will act as your supervisor mentoring through all stages of the research process. The dissertation will be between 10,000 and 12,000 words.

Enterprise Development Project

Optional modules

You choose one Sociology and Social Policy modules from the following list.

  • Governing Cultures, Identities and Emotions
  • Citizenship, Identity and Social Change
  • Disability Rights and the International Policy Context
  • State, Crime and Immorality
  • Education, Culture and Society
  • Contemporary Children, Youth and Families

You then choose one of the following Enterprise modules.

  • Social Enterprise Consultancy
  • Social Networking for Enterprise

Learning across the social sciences

Our School always features highly in league tables for Social Policy but more importantly our aim is to provide every student with an outstanding experience. We are a large School which means we can offer a wide range of module choices built around the research interests of academic staff. We have strong support structures to enable you to achieve your potential.  We can help you to develop your employability and entrepreneurial skills.

Developing an international perspective

You will learn from global, as well as national, contexts. Our academics work with researchers, politicians, policy makers, welfare practitioners and service users around the world, and study different locations. You will learn about social policy using research into the Middle East, South America, North America, Eastern Europe, ‘Middle’ Europe, Northern Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and Canada.

Taught by experts

Academic experts working at the cutting edge of social policy research will supervise your studies. All academics in the School of Social Policy and Sociology are involved in the development of nationally and internationally recognised knowledge, publish their work in books and journal articles and ensure their findings have an impact on the real world.

Importantly for you, fresh knowledge from research, publications and ‘impact’ activities feed directly back into teaching as all our course modules are ‘research-led’. This means that the very people who are developing fresh ideas about social policy will introduce you to their cutting edge knowledge.

Peer support

Undergraduate students in the School of Sociology and Social Policy run a group that offers advice and support, and can help you with course choices, module options, careers advice and employability. The group acts as an official link between students, academic staff and the School’s dedicated Student Experience Manager.

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