The BA (Hons) Social Sciences course introduces you to a range of social science disciplines before allowing to specialise in politics, policy and or sociology combinations.
This suite of degrees offers a foundation of broad-based social science skills with a strong emphasis on developing problem-solving skills across the first two years. After this foundation, you can elect to follow one of three specialist pathways, highlighting in-depth disciplinary knowledge in either Politics and Policy, Sociology, or Sociology and Policy.
Additionally, you will develop your research and inquiry skills throughout the degree from first year through to the final year dissertation. In fact, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of social science and engage with classical and contemporary social science theory and research.
Our degree in Social Science prepares you to make a positive contribution to society.
The suite comprises:
BA (Hons) Social Sciences - both campuses
BA (Hons) Social Sciences (Politics & Policy) - Paisley Campus
BA (Hons) Social Sciences (Sociology & Policy) - Paisley Campus
BA (Hons) Social Sciences (Sociology) - Lanarkshire Campus
The first two years are common and thereafter you can specialise your studies through the selection of a number of optional modules according to your career preferences.
Social Science graduates are equipped with sought after skills in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Many of our graduates work in teaching, politics, teaching, research, public services, the third sector, health and social care.
You will also be able to undertake further study at master's level courses such as: MPA, MSc Applied Social Science, MSc Policy Analysis and Global Governance, MSc Career Guidance & Development.
What qualifications do you need?
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points (4 at HL)
SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC:Social Science or Social Studies
SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Childhood Practice
SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND:Social Sciences or Social Studies
SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND:Social Sciences or Social Studies (with B in the Graded Unit)
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for most courses
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
overall score 6.0
no sub-test less than 5.5
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)
IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 6.5
no sub-test less than 6.0
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 7.0
no sub-test less than 7.0
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 5.0
no sub-test less than 4.5
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students. For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
C6 or above in English
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).
In thiscourse we will help you develop a range of key transferable skills to enhance your employability, including critical research skills, information literacies, data-handling and analysis and communication skills.
Throughout the course, you will be supported and encouraged to become a reflective, self-regulated and independent learner.
Through the 40-credit Research & Inquiry 1 module, we will immerse you in the world of social science research. Alongside this you will be introduced to the key issues and concepts in Sociology, Social Policy and Politics.
1 optional 20-credit module from Making the Modern World (Lanarkshire) or Criminal Behaviour and Deviance (Paisley)
Three 20-credit modules:
Democracy in the UK
Development of Social Policy
You will deepen your engagement with the key debates in social science. Core modules address questions of power, citizenship, global society, and the classical works of social and political thought. Your studies will be underpinned by the Research & Inquiry 2 module which builds on the research skills that you developed in your first year.
Research & Inquiry 2 (40-credit module)
Power, State & Citizenship (20-credit module)
Foundations of Social & Political Thought (20-credit module)
Global Society (20-credit module)
plus 1 (20-credit module) option from:
Social Policy & Social Change (Paisley)
People, Places & Capitalism (Lanarkshire)
You will undertake the Research & Inquiry 3 module which will help you deepen your developing skills as a researcher ahead of your final year dissertation. In addition to this 40-credit core module you can select from a menu of topics.
Research & Inquiry 3 (40-credit module)
plus two (20-credit modules) from:
Gender, Body & Society
Social Issues, Power & Public Policy-Making (Paisley)
American Society, Politics & Policy (Paisley)
two (20-credit modules) from:
Western Culture in Crisis (Paisley)
Work, Welfare & Society (Lanarkshire)
Democracy & European Political Parties (Paisley)
Media & Society (Lanarkshire)
Year 4 (Honours)
In your Honours year you will undertake a 40-credit core dissertation, which will serve as the completion of your Research and Inquiry journey you began in first year. In addition, you will choose from a variety of electives.
Social Sciences Dissertation (40 credits)
plus two (20-credit modules) options from:
Migration, State & Society
Participation & Democracy (Paisley)
UK Political History 1945-2001 (Lanarkshire)
Health Policy (Paisley)
Experiencing City Life (Lanarkshire)
two (20-credit modules) options from:
Parliamentary Studies (Paisley)
Art, Culture & Society (Lanarkshire)
The Embodiment of Social Inequality
Family Life & Social Welfare (Paisley)
International Relations in the Modern World
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
Graduates with a Social Science degree are equipped with invaluable attributes and key transferable skills that are much sought after in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Many graduates work in teaching, health and social care, public services, politics, and research.
Close links are maintained with UWS Careers and Employability Services and careers staff will input into the Social Science degree course at various stages.
The course can lead to further study on a variety of postgraduate programmes. The MSc Applied Social Science offered within the School would be an ideal next step.
Youhave the opportunity to take Work Based Learning modules as options. Key employability skills are also embedded and assessed within the curriculum.You willbe provided with an employability pathway, supported through Personal Development Planning.
Undergraduate Tuition Fees
Scottish campuses non-lab-based 2019/20
Scottish & EU
£1,820 cost per year of study (paid by the Scottish Government via SAAS*)
English, Northern Irish & Welsh
£9,250 Cost per year of study for four years but not more than £27,750
Channel Islands & Isle of Man
£9,250 Cost per year of study for four years but not more than £27,750
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.
Tuition Fees* & Living Cost Support
Tuition Fees & Additional Costs
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All UK and EU applicants for undergraduate study, not applying through an agent or partner, should apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)
The on-time application deadline for 2019/20 entry is 15 January 2019, 18:00 (UK time). For some courses it may still be possible to apply beyond this period, subject to suitable vacancies remaining. The final deadline for late applications via UCAS is 30 June 2019, 18:00 (UK time). Beyond this deadline, you may be able to apply via ‘UCAS Clearing’ if the course you are interested in has remaining places.
Students from non-EU/non-EEA countries can apply directly to UWS via our dedicated online application system. The latest we can process your application is 6 weeks before the course start date to allow for visa processing times. For more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS please refer to our International Undergraduate Application Guide.
For part-time & online study, you should apply directly to the University through our online application system, not through UCAS. Please select the part-time mode of study when submitting your application. Before you begin your application, it is important to read the part-time application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
To come to UWS as a visiting student on a study abroad or exchange programme, you must apply entirely through our online system.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Get in touch
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.
Life at UWS
Going to university is about much more than getting a qualification, it’s also the chance to enjoy an exciting social life, gain some independence and make the most of the new opportunities available.
We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.