BA Social Policy
In this Section:
This interdisciplinary course explores how crime, education, health, housing and poverty come to be viewed as social problems and how the institutions of the modern state seek to address them.
You’ll gain an understanding of the historical, social and cultural dimensions of policy-making and examine education, housing and urban policies to learn about how states provide for people’s welfare. Using examples from around the world, you’ll consider the experiences of people who receive welfare services to understand the impact social policy has on their lives.
By connecting issues facing contemporary societies to the big ideas that help to shed light on them, you’ll learn about why social problems and inequalities exist and why some activities are seen as deviant or criminal. A wide range of optional modules reflecting our diverse research interests will also allow you to explore broader topics such as disability rights, sex work or crime.
You’ll learn to think sociologically about various social issues and problems from the start of Year 1. A set of core modules will equip you with the research skills to study social policy and an understanding of the methods and techniques used in social research, as well as exploring the development and emergence of modern societies. You’ll also learn more about the formation of social policy in Britain over time and examine how social inequalities have been created.
In the following year you’ll develop your research skills through a single compulsory module, which helps to prepare you for the research you’ll undertake in your final year. Around this you’ll choose from a set of modules related to major social issues such as drugs and crime in the policy context. You’ll also be able to choose from a broader range exploring topics from racism and ethnicity studies to the cultural impact of tourism.
The dissertation you complete in your final year allows you to apply your research skills to a topic of your choice, which you’ll examine in depth. Around this module, you’ll choose from social policy modules on topics such as education or childhood studies, as well as selecting from a more diverse range in areas such as sex work, gender studies or protest movements.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Understanding and Researching the City 20 credits
- Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society 20 credits
- Identities, Inequalities and Policy in Contemporary Society 20 credits
- Formations of Modernity 20 credits
- Social Policy: Poor Laws to the Present 20 credits
- Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods 20 credits
- Key Debates in Social Policy 20 credits
- Crime, Law and Regulation 20 credits
- Disability Studies: An Introduction 20 credits
- The Sociology of Gender 20 credits
- Sociology of Health and Illness 20 credits
- Crime, Race and Ethnicity 20 credits
- Debates in Childhood and Youth 20 credits
- Sociology of Work 20 credits
- Racism, ethnicity, migration and decolonial studies 20 credits
- Urban Disorders, Social Divisions and Social Control 20 credits
- Social and Public Policy beyond the Universtiy 20 credits
- Social Policy Dissertation 40 credits
- Critical Mixed Race Studies - Global Perspectives 20 credits
- Governing Cultures, Identities and Emotions 20 credits
- Postcolonialism and Critical Muslim Studies 20 credits
- Disability Rights and the International Policy Context 20 credits
- Education, Culture and Society 20 credits
- State Crime and Immorality 20 credits
- Contemporary Children, Young People and Families 20 credits
- Data and Society 20 credits
- Gender, Technologies and the Body 20 credits
- Sociology of Capitalism and Modernity 20 credits
- Discipline and Punish 20 credits
- Class in Everyday Life 20 credits
- Protest and Social Movements 20 credits
- Sex Work: Theory, Policy and Politics 20 credits
- Understanding Interpersonal Violence 20 credits
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain diverse skills. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.
The teaching structure varies depending on your level of study – for example, in Year 1 you might expect to have six or seven lectures and three or four seminars per week. However, independent study is also a vital element of the course, as it allows you to develop your research and critical skills while preparing for taught sessions.
You’ll also have a personal tutor – one of our academics – who will be on hand to offer you guidance and support on academic issues, such as module choices, as well as career and personal matters.
Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams, you could also be asked to complete projects based on essays and case studies, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs, project proposals or development agency reviews. In your final year you’ll also submit a 12,000 word dissertation.
Our graduates secure employment with some of the biggest UK companies in human resources, communications management, broadcasting and advertising. They are also ideally equipped to work in the public and third sector including in the civil service, teaching, youth work, fostering/children’s services, probation services, social work, prison service, housing and homelessness prevention.
Graduates from this programme are well prepared for postgraduate study across a range of disciplines. Our recent graduates have gone on to study sociology, social Policy, teacher training, journalism, occupational therapy, human resources, marketing, town planning, social work, criminal justice studies and social research.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.