Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

BA Social Science

In this Section:

  • Do you feel you missed out on education?
  • Do you want to realise your potential?
  • Do you want to explore society?
  • Do you want to investigate social change?
  • Do you want to discover how to study?

Would you like to study at University, but do not have the standard entry requirements for an undergraduate degree?

If so, BA Social Science is the perfect course choice.

BA Social Science is an extended four-year degree programme, designed for prospective students that do not have the standard entry requirements.

The first year of the programme forms a 'level zero' foundation year. Delivered in a friendly and supportive environment, this level offers students a unique combination of academic and skill-based modules, blending a firm academic grounding in social science with study skills and information technology.

Successful completion of the foundation year will allow students to progress on to some of the most popular degree programmes within the faculty, including Sociology and Social Policy, Education, Law, Politics and Social Work.

We also consider applications for this course all year round.

You will study three core streams during your first year.

Stream one

Social Inequalities in Contemporary Society provides an introduction to understanding how society is socially divided based on key sociological concepts. You will explore the inequalities associated with gender, class, race, disability and health to give you a thorough understanding of how 'individuals' and groups in society are disadvantaged across the life-course. We design the module to enable you to use theory to understand social change, social institutions, and how practices and policies attempt to address inequalities and discrimination.

Key topic areas

Childhood and Youth, Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity, Disability, Researching Adulthood, Gender and Health.

Stream two

Researching and Studying the Social Sciences introduces you to the study skills required for study at undergraduate level. We provide you with the opportunity to gain and practice skills in time management, the collection and evaluation of information, effective reading, note taking, essay writing, preparation for examinations and giving presentations. 

You will be able to grasp the relevancy of study skills through practically applying them to the areas of law, crime and politics. You will look at historical and contemporary basic theories and concepts within the criminal justice and political system both nationally and internationally, and be able to demonstrate academic writing and presentation skills.

Key topic areas

Introduction to and Developing Study Skills, Sociology of Crime, the Criminal Justice System, Young People and Crime, Researching Crime. Framing Politics, Political Parties, the Extreme Right in Europe and Britain, Human Rights and the European Human Rights Act, and Globalisation.

Stream three

Understanding Social Welfare will provide you with an introduction to the key ideas in political and social thought -- in particular, the Liberal, Marxist and Feminist traditions. You will discuss ideas of citizenship and democracy, and consider the development of public policy in the light of these key ideas. We encourage you to reflect upon the relevance of these theoretical positions in relation to welfare policy and citizenship.

Focusing on the British experience, we encourage you to use theory to explain social change and also use theory to critically assess existing social institutions.

Key topic areas

Conservatism, The Social Democratic Welfare State, Marxism, Welfare and Citizenship, Liberalism,The Welfare State Today, Feminism, Poverty-Definitions and Measurement, Children, Young People and Welfare.

Sean McKillop on his experience on the BA Social Science

Following the successful completion of this 'level zero' foundation year, you would be expected to progress onto a full undergraduate degree. Details of approved Social Science degrees are below.

Sociology and Social Policy

  • BA Sociology (requires a pass)
  • BA Social Policy (requires a pass)
  • BA Social Policy and Sociology (requires a pass)
  • BA Geography and Sociology (requires a pass at 60%)
  • BA Sociology and International Relations (requires a pass at 60%)
  • BA Social Policy and Crime (requires a pass at 40%)


  • BA Politics and Social Policy (requires a pass at an average 60%)
  • BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies (requires a pass at average 60% and successful interview)
  • BA International Development (requires a pass at average 60%)
  • BA International Relations (requires a pass at average 60%)
  • BA Politics (requires a pass at average 60%)
  • BA Politics and Sociology (requires a pass at an average 60%)


  • LLB Law (requires a pass at average 70%)
  • BA Criminal Justice and Criminology (requires a pass at average 65%)

A maximum of three places will be available on these two courses.


  • BA Childhood Studies (requires a pass)

Health Care

Lifelong Learning

  • BA Child Welfare and Social Studies (requires a pass)
  • BA Integrated Social Studies (requires a pass)
  • HE Cert Child Welfare and Social Studies
  • BA Contemporary and Professional Studies (requires a pass and interview)

Career information for those courses can be found on their relevant web pages.

Entry requirements

Usually, we look for evidence of prior study at GCSE level, such as Mathematics and English at GCSE Grade C or equivalent.

However, we do consider applications from people who can demonstrate their potential and commitment in other ways. We particularly welcome applications from mature students that do not meet the standard entry requirements.

All applicants will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their potential to succeed at an informal interview.

Professional qualification programmes

If you are interested in progressing onto one of our professional qualification degree programmes -- for example,  BA Social Work -- you will need to have passed Mathematics and English at GCSE Grade C (or above).

Alternatively, we would consider your application to the BA Social Work programme if you were studying for the two subjects previously mentioned alongside the Foundation Year programme.

How to apply

You should apply for BA Social Sciences through UCAS.

If you are presently taking a course at a school or college, your institution should have UCAS application forms. Application forms are also available online at UCAS.

We also consider applications for this course all year round.

Further information and help with applications

  • For further information or help with applications, please contact the Foundation Year Coordinator Richard Tavernier at r.t.tavernier@leeds.ac.uk.

Fee structures change every year. If details on fees are not yet available for the coming session, details for the previous session are provided as a guide.

Fees for 2015/2016 session

Foundation year courses

For UK students from England, our fees for foundation year courses will be ...

  • £3000 for students with a household income of up to £25,000.
  • £6000 for students with a household income of £25,001 to £42,600.
  • £9000 for students with a household income of £42,601 and over.

We are still considering our foundation year course fees for UK students from outside England and for other EU students.

Fees for all our courses may increase each year in line with government regulations.

© Copyright Leeds 2015