Social Policy

Social Policy and Social Change - BA (Hons)

with Quantitative Research

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Social Policy and Social Change addresses the challenges at the heart of our society: child protection, crime prevention, care for older people and those with disabilities, social disadvantage, and the health crisis. Combining quantitative skills, which many employers look for, with an understanding of these issues gives you a chance to contribute to the debate and offers excellent career prospects.

Overview

The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research. Our academics are internationally recognised for their expertise in social policy.

Adding a quantitative research minor to your programme opens your mind to new ways of thinking. Starting with no assumed statistical knowledge, you graduate with an advanced package of practical quantitative skills alongside subject-specific knowledge in the theory and application of social policy.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you take introductory modules in sociology, critical thinking, social policy and quantitative skills.

In your second and final years, you investigate the nature of social problems and use research findings to evaluate policy proposals and recommendations. You extend your quantitative skills and take compulsory modules in social research methods and the welfare state. Optional modules cover a wide range of areas such as poverty, health, crime, education, homelessness, and issues relating to social disadvantage, including class, race, gender, age, sexuality and poverty.

You are encouraged not just to view issues in a detached manner, but also to argue about the way things could – and should – be changed.

In your final year, you choose either a dissertation with a quantitative research focus or (providing you achieve the required academic standard by the end of Stage 2) a placement module where you can put your skills into practice.

Workplace experience is highly valued by employers, and the placements offered through Kent see students completing meaningful, applied quantitative analysis for business and organisations across a range of sectors, giving you the opportunity to add concrete workplace achievements to your CV.

Social Policy is also available as a single honours programme without quantitative research. For details, see Social Policy.

Year abroad

Our students have the opportunity to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions in North America, Asia and Europe. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.

Extra activities

The Social Studies Society is run by Kent students for anyone with an interest in Criminology, Sociology, Law, Social Policy, Economics and Politics. Previous activities include the Criminal Justice in Action guest speaker series.

There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include:

  • research seminars and webcasts
  • career development workshops
  • informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.

Entry requirements

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB 

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Maths at grade C (or 4).

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The School is committed to widening participation and has a long and successful tradition of admitting mature students. We welcome applications from students on accredited Access courses.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in the Politics module if taken, and 60% in LZ013 Maths & Stats (1 & 2) if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 6/B or equivalent.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T Level qualifications in subjects which are closely aligned to the programme applied for. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Placements are arranged by the Q-Step Placement Officer who provides one-to-one guidance and assists with any practical matters, although you have the opportunity to arrange your own placement (subject to agreement) if you wish. You are also assigned an academic supervisor who assists you with your placement assessments.

Placements provide invaluable career experience and insights into the professional world and the repeated practical and professional use of your skills means that you can move seamlessly into quantitative methods careers, in academia or beyond.

All of this is completed alongside your social policy modules.

The course structure below gives examples of the kinds of modules you can expect to take during the programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Converting to a Quantitative Research Minor after Stage 1

Students studying other undergraduate programmes in social policy may convert to the BA Sociology Policy with Quantitative Research after Stage 1 (subject to completion of the compulsory first year social policy modules and consultation with the Director of Studies for Social Policy or their nominee).

To catch up on the quantitative research skills learned in the first year of a quantitative research minor, converting students must attend and pass the Quant GROUP Summer School, in the summer after Stage 1, in order to be eligible to convert.

Stage 1

You complete introductory quantitative modules, which teach you the methodological and technical foundations which you build on in later years. You also learn to think like a quantitative researcher, developing a critical eye for statistics and data analysis, both in academic research and the world around you.

You take all compulsory and optional modules listed below.

Compulsory modules currently include

The module aims to develop the understanding of the policy making process and the role of the different actors within the wider context of the tools and limits of the ability of the UK national government to influence behaviour. It has a particular focus on processes of social control as they relate to social policy. Learning will be centred around two main tasks:

i. Understanding the links between social policy and the regulation of behaviour e.g. the uses and outcomes of incentives, sanctions and educative communication to promote behavioural changes sought by policy makers.

ii. Taking topical examples of policy issues, contextualised analysis of the policy making process, its 'stages', key actors and

institutions will be used to explore how and why particular policy options emerge and evolve. A central concern will be to help students understand the nature of support and opposition for particular policy proposals and the implications for developing alternative policies.

Find out more about SAPO3000

Health, care and wellbeing are central concerns in all our lives; and they raise questions of the interconnected roles of the state, the market and the individual in their creation and support. In this module we explore how we understand and conceptualise these areas, and the potential role of policy interventions in support of them. The module examines the social determinants of health, exploring the ways in which inequalities in society can be replicated. It asks how we might best address changing health needs, particularly in relation to the growing proportion of older people, exploring these in the context of the new politics of the NHS. What are the best structures to deliver health care? How should these best be funded? Life style is increasingly implicated in health outcomes, and the module explores the dilemmas raised by rising levels of obesity and alcohol consumption. These are matters of personal choice, but they challenge the health and wellbeing of the population, and raise questions of how choices are shaped in the context of market production. Governments increasingly declare that they are interested not simply in health or prosperity, but also of wellbeing. The module explores what this means, and why there is a new interest in this area. It also examines the interface between health and care, both institutionally and conceptually and in turn, how these relate to issues of wellbeing. The module's content covers a range of issues affecting adults and children/young people.

Find out more about SAPO3010

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the ways sociologists attempt to document and explain the social experience of everyday life. Each week the category of 'social experience' is held up for analytical scrutiny in relation to a particular component of 'everyday life'. The course aims to illustrate the value of sociology for helping individuals to better understand the contents and conditions of their social experience of the world. It also aims to document the ways in which sociological theories and methods have developed in correspondence with the evolution of modern societies. The curriculum will include topics such as: Sex, Gender and Sexuality, Racial and Ethnic Identities, Risk and Society, Crime and Deviance, Health, Media, Religion or Family.

Find out more about SOCI3360

Sociology is the study of human societies. It is a discipline committed to the attempt to map out and explain the constitution of society. It also aims to attend to and explain the distinctive character of people's social experience of the world. Sociologists operate from the premise that, by working to explain human characteristics and behaviours in social terms and as relative products of society, they stand to offer insights into some of the major forces that determine our thoughts and behaviours. They work under the conviction that human beings are fundamentally social beings and are products of distinct forms of society. This course is designed to provide you with a basic introduction to Sociology. A particular focus is brought to how sociologists venture to understand the social structures and determinant social forces that shape our living conditions and life chances. It also outlines some of the ways in which such matters are addressed as problems for sociological theory and empirical sociological research.

The curriculum will include topics such as:

What is Sociology?

Theories and Theorizing

Methods and Research

Cities and Communities

The State, Social Policy and Control

Globalization

Work, Employment and Leisure

Inequality, Poverty and Wealth

Stratification, Class and Status

Find out more about SOCI3370

This module is designed to help students understand and critique the numbers and research they encounter in their everyday lives. The first half of the course focuses on teaching the knowledge and skills need to critically evaluate factual quantitative claims. Each lecture uses example quantitative claims, largely drawn from the news media, to teach a particular quantitative skill. For example, highlighting a statistic based on a biased sample to teach students the principles of sampling. The seminars build on the content of the lectures and aim to teach students the practical, computer-based skills needed to evaluate quantitative claims.

The second half of the module is based around students conducting their own research, and also brings in qualitative skills element. Students apply the critical and quantitative skills they have learned to conducting their own mixed-methods project.

Find out more about SOCI3410

Optional modules may include

Crime is a major social and political issue and the source of much academic and popular debate. Key criminological issues will be examined during the course of the module within their wider sociological and social policy context. There will be a particular focus on understanding the nature and extent of crime and victimisation, analysing public and media perceptions of crime, and exploring the relationship between key social divisions (age, gender and ethnicity) and patterns of offending and victimisation

Find out more about SOCI3050

This module introduces students to discussions and debates surrounding modern culture. It looks at why culture has always been such a contested sphere and has a decisive impact on society at large. Students will look at culture in the widest sense, ranging from ‘the arts’ to the banalities of everyday life in our consumer society; at how culture has expressed and organised the way people think and live from the days of 'protestantism' to those of post-punk. Books, magazines, radio, TV, movies, cartoons, fashion, graffiti, the cult of celebrity, youth subcultures and pop music will be used to understand class, history, sexuality, colonialism, revolution, conflict and globalisation.

Find out more about SOCI3340

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

You complete introductory quantitative modules, which teach you the methodological and technical foundations which you build on in later years. You also learn to think like a quantitative researcher, developing a critical eye for statistics and data analysis, both in academic research and the world around you.

You take all compulsory and optional modules listed below.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module provides a broad introduction to welfare services in modern Britain, with a focus on England. Successful students will improve their understanding of the recent history and current organisation of the following areas of social welfare provision. These include education, health, social care, and housing.

The module starts with a basic mapping and description of key institutions and issues. It then moves on to: The policy-making process: paying for welfare services; social policy implementation by government and professions; assessing the impact of social policies.

The teaching will emphasise debates, arguments and controversies. Students will learn how to put together an argument and persuade others.

Find out more about SOCI6010

In this module you will begin to understand the process and debates surrounding how researchers learn more about the social world. What techniques and approaches do social researchers draw upon to organise, structure and interpret research evidence? How do we judge the quality of research? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the range of frameworks and methodologies? The first part of the module introduces you to the conceptual issues and debates around the ‘best’ way to explore social questions, forms and issues, and an overview of some popular methods for doing so. In the Spring Term, you will spend most of your time applying what you have learned in a group research project and an individual research design project.

Find out more about SOCI6020

Optional modules may include

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend approximately 6 hours in a school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a log of their activities and experiences at each session. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

This module aims to develop standard research skills into a quantitative research skillset that will enable the student to work with data, from working with different types of datasets/variables to analysing this data and presenting it in oral and written form.

Learning will be orientated towards:

• Learning ways to work with and manipulate datasets to make them ready for statistical analysis (i.e. to create tidy data)

• Critically understanding the limitations of simple (OLS) regression, with particular emphasis on endogeneity/confounding and causal heterogeneity;

• Learning a number of advanced methods for investigating the social world through quantitative research (e.g. associative and causal methods). For each method, students will first consider the rationale for the method (its strengths and limitations), and then use the method in hands-on statistical analysis sessions using appropriate statistical software (e.g. R);

• Learning how to communicate and present data and quantitative analysis (e.g. with various types of data visualisations).

Find out more about SOCI5012

This module provides students with an understanding of the concept of social status: how it differs from (and interacts with) other aspects of social stratification, such as power, class, and material circumstances. Students will explore theories for why human beings value social status so highly, and why they often take such dramatic steps to avoid losing it. The module will examine how considering social status concerns helps us to understand a variety of important social phenomena, encompassing health, violence, education, cultural participation, morality, and identity. Students will become familiar with the empirical tools researchers have used to understand the role of status, along with the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Find out more about SOCI5013

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature and extent of crime and deviance in contemporary society, and the main ways in which they can be explained and controlled. Focusing upon contemporary sociological theories of crime against a background of the classical ideas within the field, this module will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates in an area of great interest in contemporary society.

Find out more about SOCI5050

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the 'greening' of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Find out more about SOCI5250

This module introduces students to the sociological approach to understanding and critiquing mental health. It begins by outlining historical definitions of mental health; and how policy and practice have changed over time from incarceration in large institutions to present-day community care. Sociological perspectives of mental illness (for example, labelling and social causations of mental ill-health) are considered alongside psychiatric and psychological approaches to treating people with mental illnesses. The module then looks at social inequalities in relation to opportunities to recover, including gender and race, as well as other 'actors' Please note, as this is not a clinical module material covered will not include in-depth investigations of specific diagnoses of mental illnesses

Find out more about SOCI5320

The module will be organised around the following themes:

• The history, development and structure of the institutions of the Criminal Justice System(CJS)

• Current issues facing the Criminal Justice System

• Crime, crime control and social exclusion

• Crime prevention and community safety

Within the organisation of the module students will be encouraged to cooperate on issues based around the above themes and to participate verbally within the context of class discussions, group presentation and class debate.

Find out more about SOCI5360

The key focus of this course is to provide students with a good understanding of issues surrounding gender and the labour market in a comparative sociological perspective. The course is designed around the core research questions in the gender inequality literature in relation to work-life balance in the context of family, company, the labour market and the welfare states. The module starts off examining the key questions of whether there is a gender wage gap and each week discusses the potential explanation of why there is a gender gap, starting with the preference theory – women earn less because they make bad choices in their lives, moving on to more structural problems restricting women's choices. We also examine some of the key methods which gender inequality research has used recently.

Find out more about SOCI5440

This module focuses on poverty and inequality and how such social security policies impact upon them. Students will analyse the nature, extent and causes of poverty and inequality, with reference to the UK. The module will make students aware of current issues in welfare reform as it relates to groups vulnerable to poverty including: people who are unemployed; people who are sick or disabled; older people; children; lone parents; people from Black or minority ethnic groups. The module also shows how social security policies encompass different principles of need, rights and entitlement for users of welfare services.

Find out more about SOCI5750

Contraception, abortion, and teenage pregnancy are the subjects of public controversy in Britain. This module takes these aspects of ‘reproductive health’ as its main examples. We will consider why contraception, abortion and teenage pregnancy became the subject of policy-making, and look at how policy about them has changed over time. Attention will be drawn to areas of debate that are currently particularly controversial, to encourage students to consider the ways in which policy could develop.

Find out more about SOCI5950

This module provides a broad introduction to welfare services in modern Britain, with a focus on England. Successful students will improve their understanding of the recent history and current organisation of the following areas of social welfare provision. These include education, health, social care, and housing.

The module starts with a basic mapping and description of key institutions and issues. It then moves on to: The policy-making process: paying for welfare services; social policy implementation by government and professions; assessing the impact of social policies.

The teaching will emphasise debates, arguments and controversies. Students will learn how to put together an argument and persuade others.

Find out more about SOCI6010

This course will provide students with a sociological understanding of the changing and central importance of individualization for contemporary society, situated both in historical and global comparative terms. The fracturing of collective bonds and assumptions and the casting of individuals into a 'life of their own making' is driven by a combination of economic, technological and cultural forces and is becoming apparent across the globe. This has provoked concern with the implications for social order, mental health and even the future of families and populations. The neglected theme of individualization allows us to examine changing social norms, the changing boundaries of private and public, the management of social order and cohesion in increasingly diverse societies and how anxieties concerning these developments may be overstated or misplaced. At the same time, this module will also emphasize the importance of attending to the ethical and practical implications of unchecked individualization in a variety of contexts and through different case studies

Find out more about SOCI6011

This module aims to get students to think about their place in their social worlds, and in particular the importance of our ethnic and racial backgrounds and identities in shaping this sense of belonging. What is the nature of ethnic ties and membership? How do understanding of ethnic group identity and membership influence our interactions with one another, and structure our opportunities in the wider society? How do our ethnic backgrounds intersect with our gender, religion, and sexuality? These issues are now critical in multi-ethnic societies such as Britain, where our use of ethnic categories and terms are central to societal organization and function, whether in the census or in everyday interactions. But given the dizzying speed with which our societies are become super-diverse, via various forms of migration, and interracial and interethnic unions, the terms and categories we use are much less 'obvious' than they may have been in the past. Membership in ethnic groups themselves is now increasingly contested, and we also question what we mean by terms such as ‘minority’ or ‘BME’

Find out more about SOCI6012

'This module provides an analysis of health policy primarily focusing on recent policy changes in the UK and identifying the major influences which have shaped these policies. There have been considerable changes in health service policy and public health policy in the UK over the last two decades involving changes to existing policies and the development of new policy themes. The latter have included the rise and fall of policies aimed at social inequalities and the decline in life expectancy in some areas; the increasing emphasis on 'nudging' lifestyle change and on wellbeing in public health policy; a continued focus on the views and/or the voice of the user and the public and increasing emphasis on democratizing the health service and co-production; the re-emergence of the importance of environmental health policy; the marketisation and privatisation of health care in the context of a reduction in public funding; the introduction of managerialism and the attempts to regulate the medical profession and the effectiveness of priority setting agencies such as NICE with their emphasis on evidence based decision making This module is theoretically informed and the approach taken lays emphasis on the interplay of powerful structural interests such as the influence of professional medicine and other occupational groups, the media (including the social media), the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, commercial health care companies, the State and the socio-political values associated with the government in power, patient’s groups, the third sector and the wider global environment.'

Find out more about SOCI6030

The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.

Find out more about SOCI6050

The module introduces students to a range of case studies and topics – both historical and contemporary – that are analysed through the framework of state crime. Beginning with a theoretical introduction to this framework, students will learn to integrate their understanding of state-perpetrated atrocity with a criminological analysis of the nature of state violence, the objectives and driving forces of state crime, the denial of state crime, and the potential avenues for accountability and justice. It will examine not only state crime but also examples of resistance to state crime in the form of protest, documentation, legal challenges and artistic and media responses. The module will allow students to understand the potential to resist state crime and the limits of that potential in complex circumstances

Find out more about SOCI6220

This module will provide students with an understanding of both the art and science of philanthropy (that is 'voluntary action for public good'), culminating with students distributing philanthropic funding to local community causes. Exploring the role of philanthropy in contemporary society, students would be encouraged to critically examine who gives in society and why. We will examine the mechanisms of giving, and how and why philanthropy impacts on all parts of civil society. We explore the economic, social and moral frameworks of giving, debating notions of worthy and unworthy causes, and how social policy shapes philanthropic giving, as well as how philanthropy helps shape and drive social policy. As part of this module students will be facilitated to reflect on and make their own giving decisions, exploring the role of the philanthropist and how to define philanthropic impact. The module concludes with students ‘becoming’ philanthropists, distributing small grants to local organisations and evaluating these giving decisions.

Find out more about SOCI6240

Social care is of central significance in the support of a range of vulnerable adults, forming one of the key services of the welfare state, albeit often with a lower profile than the closely related field of health care. In this module we trace the historic evolution of social care services (including recent processes of deinstitutionalisation and interactions with other welfare services). The role of the state is analysed in relation to the now well established 'mixed economy of welfare' present in social care. We consider in more depth the main groups of service users, namely vulnerable older people, those with mental health problems, physical or learning disabilities and informal carers. Also examined are key issues relating to user participation and empowerment, personalisation and adult protection/safeguarding. These issues are set within wider contexts of inequalities and diversity and UK (devolved) services within comparative context

Find out more about SOCI6250

This module critically examines the historical role that animals have played in the making of modern society and the current nature of human/nonhuman relations in contemporary cultures. Students will also be introduced to intersections of race/class/gender and species. The final part of the course considers collective action and social policy as it relates to past and present efforts to challenge problematic aspects of human/nonhuman relations.

Find out more about SOCI6260

The course aims to develop an empirically grounded and theoretically engaged understanding of how social experience from the Global South informs, corrects and extends contemporary sociological theorisation and norms of sociological investigation. The module consists of three parts: 1) By putting the Global South and its power struggle in historical context, the module starts with critical examination on the blind spots of our presumed 'global' or 'cosmopolitan' social outlook. It problematises the once taken-for-granted universality of Eurocentric norms and discusses what good social research should look like. It also provides in-depth critique on the socio-political limitations of alternative theorisation from the Global South. 2) After establishing a solid historical and conceptual understanding of key debates, this module uses region-specific lectures (e.g. China, India and Africa) to deepen understanding on the Global South’s views on universality and difference, resistance and subversion, national and transnational solidarities. 3) This module concludes with methodological and conceptual reflections on mainstream sociology

Find out more about SOCI6270

This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking.

Find out more about SOCI6570

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a ‘risk society’ which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous ‘risks’ which shape our lives. The course will explore basic concepts of risk, hazard and probability and how risk is managed and communicated. Topics will include risk and globalization, and risk and the media. Developments will be examined through key examples such as ‘mad cow’ disease and genetically modified ‘frankenfoods’. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

Find out more about SOCI6590

Work and economic life is one of the central themes of sociology. Work allows us to think about class, gender, race and issues of identity. Work defines how people live their lives and is a major constituting factor in identity formation. In recent years work has changed enormously with the rise of globalisation, of deindustrialisation and the ending of old certainties which used to underpin working lives. This module examines how sociology and sociologists have looked at the issue of work in the past as well as in contemporary societies. It charts the theoretical background to the assumptions sociologists make about work as well as the methods they use to investigate work and employment. The module will focus on issues industrialisation, deindustrialisation, notions of career and identity and places and spaces of work. A major part of this module is the discussion of innovative ways of looking at work including through visual methods and approaches, and in addition it will draw on material from the arts and humanities.

Find out more about SOCI6680

This course will enhance your Curriculum Vitae, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

• Active community volunteering

• Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

• Active university volunteering

• Training facilitator

• Mentoring

• Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.

Find out more about SOCI6700

Images of 'trim, taut and terrific' bodies surround us in contemporary consumer culture. They look down on us from billboards, are increasingly central to advertisers’ attempts to sell us clothes, cosmetics, cars, and other products, and pervade reality television programmes based on diet, exercise and ‘extreme’ makeovers. These trends have occurred at the same time that science, technology, genetic engineering and medicine have achieved unprecedented levels of control over the body: there are now few parts of the body which cannot be remoulded, supplemented or transplanted in one way or another. In this course we explore how culture represents and shapes bodies, and also examine how embodied subjects are themselves able to act on and influence the culture in which they live. We will seek to understand the relationship between the body and self-identity, embodiment and inequalities, and will explore various theories of the body. In doing this we range far and wide by looking at such issues as work, music, sex/gender, cyberbodies, Makeover TV, film, transgenderism, sport, music, work and sleep. Embodiment is the enduring theme of this course, though, and we will explore its many dimensions via a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and by asking and addressing a range of questions such as ‘How and why has the body become increasingly commodified?’, ‘Why has the body become increasingly central to so many people’s sense of self-identity?’, ‘If we live in a culture that has been able to intervene in the sizes, shapes and contents of the body like never before, have people have become less sure about what is ‘natural’ about the body, and about how we should care for and treat our bodily selves?

Find out more about SOCI6760

This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor – a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students' progress, workshops on bibliography development (Autumn term) and data analysis (Spring term).

Find out more about SOCI6790

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of one of the most important intellectual and political issues of our times, namely, 'globalization' and global social change. In so doing, this module poses a number of key questions: what is globalization, and what forms does it take? How does globalization reconstitute our relationship to society? How is globalization experienced across the world, and what power relations does it create? This module presents contemporary modes and challenges of doing sociology in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. Students will critically evaluate contending theories of globalization, and explore key topical debates in global issues, including the impact of global economic treaties on poverty, trade, and urban growth in the Global South; the flows, opportunities, and conflicts in the creation of global culture, and resistance to global forces and power relations in the form of anti-globalization movements.

Find out more about SOCI6840

This course will introduce students to the sociological analysis of prisons and penal policy. The module is organised around the general theme of a discussion of current debates in the criminology and sociology drawing on both theoretical and empirical research. More specific themes covered will include:

- The historical development of imprisonment

- An investigation of the growing 'crisis' of imprisonment

- An examination of the reasons for the growth of imprisonment in both the UK and America

- The imprisonment of women and ethnic minority groups.

- An exploration of issues impacting on the experience of imprisonment

- A discussion on the future of imprisonment

Find out more about SOCI7110

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Find out more about SOCI7120

This module provides an introduction to the major issues and controversies that have shaped key developments in contemporary social theory. It surveys the development of social theory through the second half of the twentieth century and up to the present day. Following on from the SO408 module on ‘classical’ social theory, it questions the distinction between the ‘classical’ and the ‘contemporary’ so as to highlight the intellectual decisions, values and problems involved in the packaging of social theory under these terms. It also provides critical introductions to the following theorists and issues: Talcott Parsons and his legacy; Symbolic Interactionism up to Goffman and beyond; The Frankfurt School: Critical theory and the crisis of western marxism; Jurgen Habermas and the decline of the public sphere; Michel Foucault and a his understanding of ‘power’; Pierre Bourdieu and the reproduction of inequality; From Modernity to Post-modernity?; The feminizing of social theory; Globalization, networks and mobilities; New challenges for the twenty-first century.

Find out more about SOCI7270

This module covers key issues and debates in the sociology of religion in order to interrogate the significance of religious practice and belief in the modern world. After an introductory lecture, the module is organised into two connected parts. Firstly, it explores classical statements on the sources, meaning and fate of religion in modernity by examining the writings of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel, and using their analyses to interrogate current events (e.g. ‘prosperity Pentecostalism’, the rise of the supernatural in culture through such media as the Harry Potter novels, and violent responses to transgressions of what religions consider to be sacred). The emphasis here is on developing in students the knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate and engage critically with the significance of religion for the development of sociology, and with key statements about the modern fate of religion in and beyond the West. Second, the module explores core issues concerned with and associated with the secularisation debate. Here, we look not only at conventional arguments concerning secularisation and de-secularisation, but also at the significance of ‘the return of the sacred’ in society, civil religion, the material experience of religion, and the manner in which religious identities and habits are developed in the contemporary world. This enables us to develop new perspectives on the viability of religion in current times.

Find out more about SOCI7360

This module will involve students undertaking quantitative research in a real world setting, culminating in an assessed report on their work. This real world setting can be of the form of an individual research project, working in a support role with an academic or within a placement organisation. Students will receive support by a supervisor and receive lectures covering such topics as:

- Turning an organisations ideas into a viable research project;

- Good practice in undertaking quantitative research projects (e.g. data security, data management, replicability);

- Ethics in applied quantitative research (certainty/uncertainty, power, and 'usefulness');

- Reflecting on research practice (linked to both of the assessments below).

Find out more about SOCI7480

This module introduces and applies ideas in critical, cultural and communications theory to debates and issues surrounding media and popular culture, focusing on such themes as cultural elitism, power and control, the formation of identities, the politics of representation, and the cultural circuit of production and consumption. It investigates the relationship between the development of contemporary society and societal values and the changing technological basis of mediated culture.

Find out more about SOCI7500

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of one of the most timely and pressing issues of recent times, namely, migration, and its relationship to politics of identities, belonging and citizenship in global societies. It aims to introduce students to key themes and issues related to the social experience of migration in a diversity of contexts. Over the course of the term, we will debate and critically explore the ways in which migrants, refugees and diaspora communities shape their societies of settlement and origin and how they have become key actors of a process of 'globalisation from below' at different social and spatial scales. We will critically discuss key concepts and theories deployed to analyse contemporary processes of migration, transnationalism and diaspora and assess their relevance across a wide range of migration case studies. Examples of the central questions this module will address are: what are the main drivers of contemporary migration? To what extent can migrants become transnational citizens? What is the link between migration and homeland development in third world countries? How are gender, class and race relations affected by migration?

Find out more about SOCI7550

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You can apply to add a year abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year. The year abroad takes place between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. For a full list, please see Go Abroad.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the year abroad. The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards your final degree classification.

Stage 3

You apply what you have learnt in either a quantitative work placement or a quantitative research dissertation. Here, you hone your skills in a practical setting, gaining vital workplace or research experience, and demonstrating to employers that you can apply your skills to real life problems.

You take compulsory modules and choose either SO748 or Advanced Quantitative Dissertation. You then choose specialist modules from an approved list. See below for examples of possible optional modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

Welfare states face many challenges in the contemporary world. This course takes a comparative approach by systematically analysing key fields to show how a variety of countries have identified and tackled problems of social policy. It starts with a consideration of theoretical frameworks but most of the course is directed at consideration of welfare issues in different countries and to specific topics such as globalisation, migration, population ageing, disability and austerity measures.

Find out more about SAPO5030

This module aims to develop standard research skills into a quantitative research skillset that will enable the student to work with data, from working with different types of datasets/variables to analysing this data and presenting it in oral and written form.

Learning will be orientated towards:

• Learning ways to work with and manipulate datasets to make them ready for statistical analysis (i.e. to create tidy data)

• Critically understanding the limitations of simple (OLS) regression, with particular emphasis on endogeneity/confounding and causal heterogeneity;

• Learning a number of advanced methods for investigating the social world through quantitative research (e.g. associative and causal methods). For each method, students will first consider the rationale for the method (its strengths and limitations), and then use the method in hands-on statistical analysis sessions using appropriate statistical software (e.g. R);

• Learning how to communicate and present data and quantitative analysis (e.g. with various types of data visualisations).

Find out more about SOCI5012

This module will involve students undertaking quantitative research in a real world setting, culminating in an assessed report on their work. This real world setting can be of the form of an individual research project, working in a support role with an academic or within a placement organisation. Students will receive support by a supervisor and receive lectures covering such topics as:

- Turning an organisations ideas into a viable research project;

- Good practice in undertaking quantitative research projects (e.g. data security, data management, replicability);

- Ethics in applied quantitative research (certainty/uncertainty, power, and 'usefulness');

- Reflecting on research practice (linked to both of the assessments below).

Find out more about SOCI7480

Optional modules may include

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend approximately 6 hours in a school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a log of their activities and experiences at each session. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

This module introduces students to the sociological approach to understanding and critiquing mental health. It begins by outlining historical definitions of mental health; and how policy and practice have changed over time from incarceration in large institutions to present-day community care. Sociological perspectives of mental illness (for example, labelling and social causations of mental ill-health) are considered alongside psychiatric and psychological approaches to treating people with mental illnesses. The module then looks at social inequalities in relation to opportunities to recover, including gender and race, as well as other 'actors' Please note, as this is not a clinical module material covered will not include in-depth investigations of specific diagnoses of mental illnesses

Find out more about SOCI5320

The key focus of this course is to provide students with a good understanding of issues surrounding gender and the labour market in a comparative sociological perspective. The course is designed around the core research questions in the gender inequality literature in relation to work-life balance in the context of family, company, the labour market and the welfare states. The module starts off examining the key questions of whether there is a gender wage gap and each week discusses the potential explanation of why there is a gender gap, starting with the preference theory – women earn less because they make bad choices in their lives, moving on to more structural problems restricting women's choices. We also examine some of the key methods which gender inequality research has used recently.

Find out more about SOCI5440

This module focuses on poverty and inequality and how such social security policies impact upon them. Students will analyse the nature, extent and causes of poverty and inequality, with reference to the UK. The module will make students aware of current issues in welfare reform as it relates to groups vulnerable to poverty including: people who are unemployed; people who are sick or disabled; older people; children; lone parents; people from Black or minority ethnic groups. The module also shows how social security policies encompass different principles of need, rights and entitlement for users of welfare services.

Find out more about SOCI5750

Contraception, abortion, and teenage pregnancy are the subjects of public controversy in Britain. This module takes these aspects of ‘reproductive health’ as its main examples. We will consider why contraception, abortion and teenage pregnancy became the subject of policy-making, and look at how policy about them has changed over time. Attention will be drawn to areas of debate that are currently particularly controversial, to encourage students to consider the ways in which policy could develop.

Find out more about SOCI5950

This course will provide students with a sociological understanding of the changing and central importance of individualization for contemporary society, situated both in historical and global comparative terms. The fracturing of collective bonds and assumptions and the casting of individuals into a 'life of their own making' is driven by a combination of economic, technological and cultural forces and is becoming apparent across the globe. This has provoked concern with the implications for social order, mental health and even the future of families and populations. The neglected theme of individualization allows us to examine changing social norms, the changing boundaries of private and public, the management of social order and cohesion in increasingly diverse societies and how anxieties concerning these developments may be overstated or misplaced. At the same time, this module will also emphasize the importance of attending to the ethical and practical implications of unchecked individualization in a variety of contexts and through different case studies

Find out more about SOCI6011

'This module provides an analysis of health policy primarily focusing on recent policy changes in the UK and identifying the major influences which have shaped these policies. There have been considerable changes in health service policy and public health policy in the UK over the last two decades involving changes to existing policies and the development of new policy themes. The latter have included the rise and fall of policies aimed at social inequalities and the decline in life expectancy in some areas; the increasing emphasis on 'nudging' lifestyle change and on wellbeing in public health policy; a continued focus on the views and/or the voice of the user and the public and increasing emphasis on democratizing the health service and co-production; the re-emergence of the importance of environmental health policy; the marketisation and privatisation of health care in the context of a reduction in public funding; the introduction of managerialism and the attempts to regulate the medical profession and the effectiveness of priority setting agencies such as NICE with their emphasis on evidence based decision making This module is theoretically informed and the approach taken lays emphasis on the interplay of powerful structural interests such as the influence of professional medicine and other occupational groups, the media (including the social media), the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, commercial health care companies, the State and the socio-political values associated with the government in power, patient’s groups, the third sector and the wider global environment.'

Find out more about SOCI6030

This module will provide students with an understanding of both the art and science of philanthropy (that is 'voluntary action for public good'), culminating with students distributing philanthropic funding to local community causes. Exploring the role of philanthropy in contemporary society, students would be encouraged to critically examine who gives in society and why. We will examine the mechanisms of giving, and how and why philanthropy impacts on all parts of civil society. We explore the economic, social and moral frameworks of giving, debating notions of worthy and unworthy causes, and how social policy shapes philanthropic giving, as well as how philanthropy helps shape and drive social policy. As part of this module students will be facilitated to reflect on and make their own giving decisions, exploring the role of the philanthropist and how to define philanthropic impact. The module concludes with students ‘becoming’ philanthropists, distributing small grants to local organisations and evaluating these giving decisions.

Find out more about SOCI6240

Social care is of central significance in the support of a range of vulnerable adults, forming one of the key services of the welfare state, albeit often with a lower profile than the closely related field of health care. In this module we trace the historic evolution of social care services (including recent processes of deinstitutionalisation and interactions with other welfare services). The role of the state is analysed in relation to the now well established 'mixed economy of welfare' present in social care. We consider in more depth the main groups of service users, namely vulnerable older people, those with mental health problems, physical or learning disabilities and informal carers. Also examined are key issues relating to user participation and empowerment, personalisation and adult protection/safeguarding. These issues are set within wider contexts of inequalities and diversity and UK (devolved) services within comparative context

Find out more about SOCI6250

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a ‘risk society’ which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous ‘risks’ which shape our lives. The course will explore basic concepts of risk, hazard and probability and how risk is managed and communicated. Topics will include risk and globalization, and risk and the media. Developments will be examined through key examples such as ‘mad cow’ disease and genetically modified ‘frankenfoods’. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

Find out more about SOCI6590

This course will enhance your Curriculum Vitae, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

• Active community volunteering

• Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

• Active university volunteering

• Training facilitator

• Mentoring

• Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.

Find out more about SOCI6700

This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor – a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students' progress, workshops on bibliography development (Autumn term) and data analysis (Spring term).

Find out more about SOCI6790

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only the 2021/2022 fees for this course were £9,250.

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC
  • Home part-time TBC
  • International part-time TBC

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

In addition to learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, project supervision, and statistics classes, this degree prides itself in its aim to let students carry out hands-on research in the ‘field’ through placements and field trips. Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • produce thoughtful, well-trained and flexible social scientists with an up-to-date knowledge of social welfare provision in industrial societies
  • help students to link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry and to identify and understand different ideological positions on welfare provision
  • give students the skills and abilities to enable them to become informed citizens, capable of participating in the policy process and equipped for a dynamic labour market
  • provide students with the statistical and analytical tools to independently and successfully conduct advanced quantitative research
  • help students make persuasive arguments using quantitative research, and to critically assess the arguments made by others in the course of social life
  • help students link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry, so that they understand how to conduct and critique social research in the real world.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the origins and development of UK welfare institutions
  • the current sources of welfare in the UK, including health and social services, social security, housing and education
  • the operation and financing of the policy process and an understanding of the political economy of welfare
  • the welfare provided by the private and voluntary sectors, and an understanding of the mixed economy of care
  • the key concepts used in social policy, such as need, equity, inequality, poverty, exclusion, identity, difference and diversity
  • the local, regional, national and supra-national dimensions of social policy and understanding of the links between them
  • the main sources of data about social welfare and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
  • interdisciplinary approaches to issues in social policy and the ability to use ideas from other social sciences
  • the key concepts and theories of welfare and the ability to apply these in a comparative approach
  • the strengths and weaknesses of statistical techniques applied to the study of social issues
  • cross-disciplinary understanding of advanced quantitative reasoning and application of these methods to the analysis of complex societal problems
  • how to abstract findings from the application of quantitative research methods to examine essential features of complex societal problems and provide a framework for assessment of contemporary institutional arrangements
  • the value of comparative analysis across disciplines
  • ethical implications of social sciences’ inquiry.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • problem-solving skills and the ability to seek solutions to social problems and individual needs
  • research skills, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect and manipulate data to answer that question
  • evaluative and analytic skills, to assess the outcomes of social policy intervention on individuals and communities
  • sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference
  • quantitative: the appropriate use of analytical methods – including advanced methods – in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data across relevant disciplines. Ability to interpret both research data and official statistics.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • identifying and using theories and concepts in social policy to analyse social issues
  • handling and interpreting statistical data relevant to social issues.
  • undertaking an investigation of an empirical issue, either on your own or with other students
  • distinguishing between technical, normative, moral and political questions
  • constructing criminological arguments using quantitative empirical evidence.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources
  • an appetite for learning and being reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach
  • making short presentations to fellow students and staff
  • communicating ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form
  • preparing essays and referencing the material quoted according to conventions in social policy
  • using IT to word-process, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
  • developing skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
  • developing interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results
  • appropriately using analytical methods – including advanced methods – in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data in diverse real-world settings.

Independent rankings

Social Policy at Kent was ranked 3rd for research quality and 10th overall in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Social Policy at Kent was ranked 3rd for graduate prospects and 10th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Careers

Graduate destinations

In an increasingly competitive job market, graduates with quantitative skills are in high demand by all employers from across the public, private and third sectors. 

Our social policy graduates have been extremely successful in finding employment in a wide range of areas including:

  • social work and health care
  • policy analysis
  • human resource management
  • advice services
  • education and research 
  • the Civil Service.

Some graduates choose to go on to further studies at postgraduate level.

Help finding a job

The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research has its own employability team who work with businesses to maximise opportunities for our students. We also hold an Employability Month every February and run networking events throughout the year to help you develop your skills and contacts.

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Work experience

There are opportunities to apply your newfound skills in quantitative analysis in professional settings through placements and applied research modules. We have links to placements across many sectors, including government (national and local), think tanks and charities, cultural organisations and the private sector. 

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with subject-specific knowledge that is essential if you plan to work in the broad area of social policy. Alongside this knowledge, your advanced quantitative research skills, which give you the ability to understand, explain and critique data in diverse real-world settings, can set you apart from other graduates.

You also develop the key transferable skills graduate employers look for. These include:

  • the ability to analyse problems
  • excellent communication skills
  • teamworking
  • the ability to use data analysis computer programs
  • an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the values and interests of others.

You can also gain additional skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a new language or volunteering.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Social Policy at Kent was ranked 8th in The Times Good University Guide 2018 and 11th in The Complete University Guide 2018.

Of Social Policy students who graduated from Kent in 2016, 100% were in work or further study within six months, making them the most successful in the UK (DLHE).

According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £18,500.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

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Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.