Social Policy students learn how to tackle major policy problems. They do this by applying core concepts from social science to intractable social problems such as gender inequality, eldercare, children's rights and climate change. As an applied and critical social science, you will gain knowledge and understanding of contemporary government policies, their impacts, and consider how we can achieve improvements.
Sociology is a scientific discipline concerned with the explanation of social life and human behaviour of all kinds. It equips students with the skills to understand the breadth of social practice, ranging from the global (including power and politics, conflict and peace processes, security, the digital world, climate change, racism and social justice) to individual experiences (such as the body, intimacy, emotions, identity, beliefs and mental health). Through theoretical tools and methodological techniques, Sociology at Queen’s provides students with a unique way of interacting with the world as critical and engaged citizens.
Drawing on multidisciplinary ideas from politics, sociology, economics and law, this course helps create highly relevant and versatile graduates with the ability to enter employment at local, national and international levels.
Social Policy is ranked 17th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2019).
“Social Policy offers a unique insight into various realms of social life, such as the family, the judicial system and the health care system. Not only did this subject enable me to understand how these social realms are interconnected, it opened my eyes to the impact they have on the trajectory of my own life, such as how my income will impact on my health outcomes. I was taught by academics who are truly passionate about their field and who set coursework which was exceptionally varied and designed with employability skills in mind.’’
Erin Delaney, BA (Hons) Social Policy and Sociology graduate (2016)
|Exit Route||Students who wish to benefit from specialist training in quantitative research can undertake a series of dedicated social science research modules over the course of their degree studies. Successful completion of 80 CATS credits of advanced quantitative research training (four modules) in level 2 and level 3 will receive the enhancement of BSc “with Quantitative Methods” added to the name of the degree awarded.|
|Introduction||The degree concentrates overall on policy in the UK and Ireland, but also takes a comparative perspective that explores, where appropriate, how other nations provide public services.|
|Stage 1||Compulsory modules|
Introducing Social Policy
Themes and Issues in Social Policy
Visualising the Social World
|Stage 2||Compulsory modules|
Welfare in Theory and Practice
The Power of Social Theory
Qualitative Research Skills
Quantitative Research Skills
Social Inequalities and Diversity
Questions for an Ageing World
|Stage 3||Compulsory modules|
Policy Briefing Paper
Gender, Family and Social Policy
Disability and Society
|Stage 3 Optional Courses||Contemporary Irish Society|
Religion: Death or Revival
Modern Families, Intimate and Personal Relationships
Norms and Social Change
Emotion, Power, Politics
Global Risk Society
Modelling the Social World
Social Identity: Difference and Inequalities
Welfare States on the Move: Social Policy Reform in Comparative Perspective
|What else will you do?||Students will receive detailed instructions on assignments in tutorials or in one-to-one meetings with tutors and lecturers.|
Véronique’s expertise lies in the globalisation of religion, new religious movements, religious exoticism, responses to cultural and religious diversity, and anti-Semitism. Véronique is also Director of the Sociology programme and first point of contact for queries. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures
|Personal Study||24 (hours maximum)|
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum)|
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
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:
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
As students’ progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
The School is located in a recently renovated building, with state-of-the-art learning facilities. There is also a dedicated student common room which students can use freely between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. The common room has seating, basic kitchen facilities and computer access with printing.
|A level requirements|
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65%.
|BTEC Extended diploma|
Successful completion of BTEC Extended Diploma with 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit.
There are no specific subject requirements to study Social Policy and Sociology.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-Levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-Level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit.
For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with a Merit in each unit.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only.
Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for last year, the standard set was an overall average of 65% in Level 3 modules.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of Social Policy and Sociology, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
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 degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
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.
Employment after the Course
Social policy students have gone on to work for Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the civil service, charities such as the Peter McVerry Trust and Age NI. Many go on to further study in social policy at masters and PhD level.
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
Commission for Victims and Survivors NI
Belfast City Council
South Eastern Library Board
University of Ulster
Queen’s University Belfast
Students undertaking project SPY3002 (Policy Briefing) in year 3 will incur travel costs visiting partner organisations, the cost of which will vary depending on location.
The highest achieving students are regularly awarded prizes and scholarships, such as the SWAN prizes for best pieces of work on gender, the Lockheed Prize and the Foundation Scholarships.
Top performing students are regularly awarded prizes/scholarships. A Sociology student was a Global Winner of the Undergraduate Awards (2017), a world leading undergraduate awards programme. She is now studying for a masters degree in Social Policy.
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,275|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU *||£4,275|
Tuition fees for 2020-21 have not been set. Those quoted above are for students commencing study in 2019-20. These will be subject to an increase for students commencing study in 2020-21.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Social Policy and Sociology costs
Students undertaking project SPY3002 (Policy Briefing) in year 3 will incur travel costs visiting partner organisations, the cost of which will vary depending on location.
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.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application 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/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00).
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.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Fees and Funding
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11