Study

Social Policy and Sociology (BA Joint Hons) LL43

BA Joint Honours

Social Policy and Sociology

Talk to us

Get in touch

Key Course Information

Entry Year

2017

Course length

3 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *

BBB

Faculty

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Attendance

Full-Time

Professional Year Out

No

UCAS Code

LL43

School

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.

Overview

Social Policy is about understanding how we can improve human well-being through tackling intractable social problems and delivering better-quality public services.

As an applied social science, Social Policy provides a useful and relevant bridge between politics, sociology and economics and it draws on insights from these disciplines to analyse current policy and consider how we can achieve improvements.

Social Policy asks questions such as:

  • How much responsibility falls to the individual or to society and the state when an individual is homeless, unemployed, poor or ill?
  • Should the welfare state offer care and protection to everyone 'from the cradle to the grave' or should society help those who help themselves?
  • Do people have a right to a basic income, a home, a job and education, or are obligations and duties more important than rights?

Against a backdrop of social and economic upheaval it is more important than ever to understand the effects of government policies on individuals, families and communities, and the practical, political and ideological reasons underlying the formation of specific social policies.

Our degrees concentrate overall on policy in the UK and Ireland, but also take a comparative perspective that explores, where appropriate, how other nations provide public services.

Why Queen's?

Award-winning Teaching: students in the School are educated in a dynamic academic environment by award-winning teaching staff, and in a recent government-sponsored review of research, staff in the School achieved 'world-leading' and 'international excellence' status for the high quality of their research work.

Prizes: the highest achieving students are awarded the Lockheed Prize annually.

Study Abroad: students have the opportunity to spend time studying in one of our linked universities in Europe, contact Dr Veronique Altglas for more information (v.altglas@qub.ac.uk).

Entry Requirements

 

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level: BBB or equivalent in an Access Course

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3

All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Social Policy.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

How to Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.

Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Course Content (including module information)

Core Social Policy modules studied are:

Stage 1

  • Introducing Social Policy
  • Themes and Issues in Social Policy

Stage 2

  • Ageing and the Life Course
  • Welfare in Theory and Practice

Stage 3

  • Health and Social Care Policy
  • Project: Policy Briefing Paper

Optional modules in Disability and Society and Gender, Family and Policy: Comparative Perspective are also offered.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential. On the joint BA (Hons) in Social Policy and Sociology we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Social Policy students at Queen's are taught in a dynamic academic environment by an award-winning teaching staff, in a School that was rated as one of the leading departments in the United Kingdom. The School is located within a recently renovated building, with state of the art teaching and learning facilities, together with dedicated student space including a large student common room. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Seminars/tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students).  These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers.  You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example, online discussion forums, research methods modules involving statistics, additional learning resources, online readings, and opportunities to use IT programmes in project- based work.
  • Supervised research:  In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research for a voluntary organisation on a topic selected through liaison with the Northern Ireland Science Shop.  You will receive support to guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will be provided with feedback in person and via email.
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor from their first day at the university. The Personal Tutor is available to meet with them and to give advice throughout their time at Queen’s, in support of their academic development and to act as an important point of contact with the School.
  • Peer Mentoring:We offer a peer mentoring scheme for our BA students, which sees specially- trained second and third year students, under the guidance of staff and the Centre for Educational Development, help first year students settle into life at Queen’s through social events, small group or one-to-one informal support and learning skills workshops.
  • Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Study Tours:  Study visits and field trips are integrated into several of our option modules. The purpose of these tours are to help students apply their learning to the real-work context and to exercise critical thinking and interpretation. Back in the classroom, students undertake a number of group-based tasks in workshops focused on the field trip and present their findings to classmates. 
  • Study abroad opportunities: Students have the opportunity to spend some time studying in one of our linked universities. For example, this can take the form of a semester’s study in Sweden (Lünd) (for which credits are transferred back to your degree here in Queen’s) or an intensive two week international study school in Spain (Barcelona).
  • Prizes: The highest achieving students in Sociology are awarded the annual Lockheed Prize. We also support our students entering essays to the annual Undergraduate Awards, for which one of our students received a prize in the Social Science category in 2011.

Career Prospects

Social Policy and Sociology graduates are ideally placed for work in a range of occupations, including the civil service, public services, policy analysis, media, research, teaching, business, the voluntary sector, commerce, marketing and management. Some graduates build on the degree by undertaking postgraduate training in fields such as social work, law, social science research and teaching. Tailored careers advice and study guidance is available to all students throughout their time at Queen’s.

Studying for a Social Policy/Sociology degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.  Graduates from this degree are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline. 

The diversity of interests and topics covered in the discipline, plus the wide range of skills it equips you with, means that our students enter a wide range of careers on graduation. These include the public sector (e.g. social services, education, criminal justice, social work), private sector (e.g. market research, policy analysis, human resources), and third sector (e.g. policy analyst, researcher, youth support worker, charity fundraiser). A number of our students also go on to postgraduate study, on a full or part-time basis.

The following is a list of some of the employers that have attracted graduates from the School in recent years:

  • Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • National Health Service
  • Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
  • PWC
  • Ulster Bank
  • Commission for Victims and Survivors NI
  • Santander
  • Belfast City Council
  • Ipsos Mori
  • South Eastern Library Board
  • REED
  • University of Ulster
  • Queen’s University Belfast 

Employer Links

Consultations:We have an active and engaged Employers Forum, which is a panel composed of individuals of high ranking in organisations in fields directly relevant to our degree programmes, including G4S, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hastings Hotels, Craigavon District Council, and NI Community and Voluntary Association. The members of this panel advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of our degree programmes and in helping prepare our students for the world of work. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.

Graduate Careers and Achievements

Many of the School’s former graduates have risen to the top of their fields, for example:

  • Dr Michael Maguire,Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland and former Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland
  • Professor Marie Breen Smyth, Chair of International Politics, University of Surrey
  • Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being
  • Dr Liz Fawcett, Managing Director and Principal Consultant with Liz Fawcett Consulting
  • Dr. John Doyle, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin City University
  • Paul Burns, former Director of Corporate Services, Arts Council of Northern Ireland

You should also take a look at www.prospects.ac.ukfor further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Social Policy and Sociology Graduates.

Further study is also an option open to Social Policy/Sociology graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofSociologySocialPolicySocialWork/Education/PostgraduateTaughtCourses/

Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  As a Queen’s student, you will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, you will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  

Our full employability statement can be viewed at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/filestore/Filetoupload,284878,en.pdf

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development supports as well as involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies,  and sports. 

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers. 

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers. Further information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/degreeplus

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning Objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.  As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.  Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service. 

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

Visit Us

Visit Queen's to sense the atmosphere of our historic campus, tour our world-class facilities, and experience for yourself the exceptional learning environment we provide. Find out when our next Open Days are, or arrange a guided tour to suit you.

Learn more

Other courses you may like

Connect

If you’d like more information on admissions, how to apply or studying at Queen's please get in touch.

Get in touch

Or connect with us on social media:

Enquiries

Telephone

+44 (0)28 9097 5117

Email

soc@qub.ac.uk

Website

http://www.qub.ac.uk/soc

Talk to us

Get in touch

Visit Queen's

Learn More

Life at Queen's

Find out more

Belfast Student City

Explore Belfast

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work

School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Queen's University of Belfast
6 College Park
Belfast
BT7 1LP

Visit Website

Get Directions

Other students also search for…