Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Social Sciences - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code L340:K

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only

2017

Overview

Studying the social sciences gives you specific knowledge and understanding of society, tools to analyse key issues such as class, poverty, inequality, health, crime, and urban change, as well as concrete skills, for instance, in giving presentations, analysing information, and writing reports.

Perhaps most importantly, our BSc in Social Sciences equips you to better understand the world we live in and gives you the capacity to apply your knowledge and skills in new contexts at work and in everyday life.

The Year in Professional Practice is an excellent opportunity to gain real work experience in a professional setting by putting theory into practice and developing networks and contacts in your area of interest. Employers also greatly value, and seek evidence of, relevant work experience when selecting candidates for posts. 

Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the most highly rated in the country. It is an international centre that has been consistently highly ranked in government evaluations of university research.  You are taught by leading academics in the field, lecturers who have specialist research interests that inform and illuminate their award-winning teaching.

Independent rankings

In The Times Good University Guide 2017, Criminology at Kent was ranked 2nd, Social Policy 5th and Sociology 7th.  

In The Guardian University Guide 2017, Social Policy and Administration at Kent was ranked 4th and Sociology 10th. Criminology at Kent was ranked 5th for course satisfaction.

For graduate prospects, Social Policy at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and Sociology at Kent was ranked 11th in The Complete University Guide 2017. Of Sociology students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 90% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

This introductory course in criminology and criminal justice will introduce students to the ways in which images and notions of crime are constructed and represented, including the links between crime and the key social divisions of age, gender and ethnicity. They will be introduced to the workings of the criminal justice system and its key agencies. Students would also receive lectures covering:

- The measurement of crime

- Media representations of crime

- The aims and justifications of punishment

- The structure and operation of the criminal justice system

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15

This module introduces students to the history of Britain in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, through an exploration of changes and continuities across three themes: the political world; the economy; and social life. The political world theme engages with the creation of a mass democracy in 1918, the varying fortunes of the political parties, and Britain's changing place in the world. The economy theme explores the impact of depressions and recoveries, industrial relations, affluence and globalization. The social life theme draws out the human scale of such experiences, looking at changing social conditions, the experience of war, and shifting social attitudes to gender, race, sexuality and religion. Students will consider the range of primary sources that historians use to analyse past events and processes, building skills in documentary analysis.

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15

This module follows on from Foundations in Social and Criminological Research 1 in developing students' skills in research and critical thinking. The emphasis in this module is on quantitative methods: evaluating the use of quantitative research in 'real life’ contexts, and developing skills in analysing quantitative data. Students will explore descriptive statistics, the evaluation of research designs and learn how to use SPSS to handle quantitative data.

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15

The module will discuss classical and contemporary sociological perspectives (including Marxism, Weberianism, feminism and Bourdieusian), examining how they address key sociological debates, such as modernity, social order, conflict, agency and power. The module will also discuss key sociological concepts (such as class, gender and 'race'), explaining how they are used to understand social practices and structures in everyday life.

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15

The module will discuss a range of substantive topics (e.g., families, deviance, economy and cities), examining how they address key sociological issues, such as agency, power and culture. The module will also discuss the implications of social practices and institutions for understanding everyday life and social change, explaining how class, gender, ethnicity and other social inequalities are significant concepts in shaping people's lived experiences. Classical and contemporary macro- and micro-theoretical perspectives (such as Marxism, feminism and postmodernism) will be employed to understand and explain social practices and institutions.

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15

This module introduces students to the politics of social policy, building specifically on their learning in SO326 Understanding Contemporary Britain. Students will explore the role of politicians, pressure groups, the media and public opinion in shaping responses to social problems, and the party-political and ideological approaches to policy-making.

Students will explore the tensions between welfare and the economy and the main tensions between individualism and collectivism in the political environment of the contemporary welfare state. Students will be introduced to the role of politics in social policy making to understand the different value positions political parties hold. Students will examine these issues through five policy sectors of employment, social security, health, housing, and education.

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15

This module introduces debates about the nature of social research methods principally in sociology, criminology, social history and psychology, with reference to social policy, politics and other social sciences. It will introduce students to social research from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will develop key study and research skills for research methods module in Stage 2 and the dissertation in Stage 3.

Topics to be covered include: the history and politics of the social sciences; interdisciplinarity; what is reality/knowledge?; emotions and reason; positive, normative, moral and political thinking; critical thinking and reading; research skills; essay writing and presentation skills; use of documentary/archival and visual sources.

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15

The lectures will give a brief history and overview of the discipline, followed by an examination of different approaches to explaining human behaviour. Different areas of psychology (such as social and cognitive) will be explained and examples of topics in these areas examined as illustrations. The focus will be on the nature of psychology as a discipline, the types of methods and approaches used in psychology, and how it compares and contrasts with other disciplines in the social sciences.

Perspectives examined in the course will include:

• biopsychology ( the nervous system, including structure, functions and effects of damage)

• evolutionary principles and their relevance to behaviour

• behaviourism (principles of learning through conditioning)

• cognitive psychology (e.g. memory, decision-making)

• social psychology (e.g. group membership)

• clinical issues (anxiety disorders)

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15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

This module will introduce students to methodological approaches in psychology with a focus on quantitative methods. The aims are to strengthen skills in designing and conducting practical work, to acquaint students with a range of descriptive and analytical statistical techniques (including training with SPSS), to provide experience with reporting research, and to prepare students for the dissertation module in the final year. The module is also designed to cover requirements for some postgraduate psychology courses that do not require an accredited psychology degree. As well as developing research skills, the module should enhance the ability to critically evaluate published psychological research. Completion is a requirement to undertake a psychology dissertation in Stage 3. Techniques will be demonstrated through their application to practical work carried out by students.

Content will include:

• Reliability and validity in research design

• Descriptive statistics.

• Probability and significance testing.

• Different analytical tests.

• Correlation and causation.

• Reporting research.

• Critical evaluation of research claims.

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15

This module is designed to develop awareness and critical understanding of methodological issues and practices within sociology. It will give students both a theoretical and practical understanding of sociological approaches and techniques, with a particular emphasis on qualitative approaches. Students will be equipped to tackle research design, undertake research using specific techniques, and analyse and present their findings. They will be able to make judgements about appropriate matches between research questions, design and techniques, and claims about the knowledge produced in their own and other research. The course includes practical work for students to learn first-hand about the research process. The module builds on Stage 1 Methods of Social Research Methods and further develops students' methodological and analytical skills as a preparation for their Dissertations in the final year of the degree programme.

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15

This module introduces students to the theory and practice of historical research, building upon learning in methods and contemporary British history at Stage One and preparing students for historical/documentary-based dissertations in Stage Three. The module begins by exploring the major theoretical approaches in historical research – Marxism, Annales, post-structuralism, life history and feminism – before looking more closely at how historians do research. This module takes full advantage of the Medway campus's location within a proposed World Heritage Site in order to train students in the use of archives and the physical environment for historical research. Students will visit local archives and museums such as Chatham Historic Dockyard, the Royal Engineers’ Museum and Library, the Kent Police Museum and Archives as well as the Medway Archives – as part of their training in how to handle documents and objects in historical research. The final mini project for this module will unite theoretical and applied knowledge, and provide a potential foundation for dissertations at Stage 3.

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15

Youth crime is a field that frequently attracts much public, political and media attention, and the aim of this module is to encourage students to critically assess the true prevalence and severity of crime committed by young people. The module starts by locating the fascination with youth and crime in its historical context, demonstrating that youth crime is neither a new nor novel phenomenon. The course then moves on to examine the developing and competing theories which seek to explain why young people commit crime.

The module traces the way in which young people and their subcultures are frequently made the focus of 'moral panics' by the media, with juveniles themselves becoming the archetypal 'folk devils'. We look at the position that ‘persistent young offenders’ hold in the public consciousness, and how the politics of youth justice has thrived on the fear of youth crime. The course concludes by providing an overview of how the state seeks to prevent children from committing crime and a critique of the societal responses to young people who violate the law.

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15

The correctional services are fundamental to the exercise of criminal justice and to the punitive bite of the criminal justice system. This module offers students the opportunity to examine critically the complex contemporary role, use, and work of prisons and probation in England and Wales and their sometimes ability to enable the rehabilitation of serious offenders. Besides its focus on the Prison and Probation Services, the module considers prisoners' experiences of being 'behind bars’, models of offender rehabilitation and methods of working with serious (violent and sexually violent) offenders to help them to change, risk assessment and parole, the resettlement of former prisoners in the community, and why and how people stop committing crime. Seminar discussions include debate about the merits and demerits of prison privatization and the use of ‘real life’ examples of exercises undertaken with offenders to challenge their thinking and case studies of released prisoners who re-offended.

Please note: This module requires, at times, explicit discussion of sexual offending and the treatment needs of sexual offenders. Students who think they will find these topics uncomfortable or upsetting are advised not to take this module.

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15

This course examines the relationship between drugs and crime, and the emergence of the prison as a locale for the delivery of drug treatment. It examines the evidence for the link between drug use and crime, looks at definitions of drug and addiction, and tracks changes in policy. It examines the changing role of prison and the identification of drugs as a key factor in offending and the development of interventions as a key re-settlement strategy.

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15

It has been said that 'The development of modern policing and the evolution of a policed society are of fundamental importance to an understanding of the society in which we live.' This module examines the historical development of police forces from the late 18th century to the present day with particular reference to the United Kingdom. The social and political context in which modern policing was introduced is examined, together with the conditions affecting policing practice in 19th and 20th century Britain. Among other topics for investigation are the historiography of English policing, police and work culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, accountability, centralisation and political control of the police, the role of gender in 20th century policing and the role of private policing. While the module is primarily about policing in Great Britain, comparisons will be made with other countries.

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15

Would you like to volunteer for a cause you believe in while learning useful skills and gaining real world experience? If you would this is the module for you!

Social Justice Practice provides an opportunity for you to gain practical experience of the voluntary and community sector and combine it with academic study of the sector and related theoretical concepts such as social capital, social justice, volunteering, altruism and philanthropy. Lectures also cover topics such as the role, management, financing and governance – essential knowledge if you are planning to work in a wide range of different professions.

Students undertake at least 100 hours of voluntary work with a charity in Kent or Medway during the academic year. Once you sign up for this module you will be invited for an interview to discuss your volunteering plans and so you can find out more about the module and the volunteering you plan to do for it. Register in the usual way and you will be invited for an interview towards the end of the summer term (late May or early June).

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30

The module is intended to increase awareness of continuity and change in patterns and perceptions of crime and the responses to it by the legal system and other agencies over the period 1750-1900.

Students will study historical perspectives on the history of crime and punishment – Whig, Marxist, revisionist etc.

They will have a chance to undertake critical evaluation of the sources of crime history and learn about change and continuity in the criminal justice system over the period covered.

Policy case studies include juvenile delinquency, transportation, capital punishment, the development of the prison, violent crime, and the treatment of victims.

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15

This module addresses many of the issues that have shaped the modern practice of policing in recent times. It traces the way in which landmark events have served to mould and shape the daily practice of policing, and the implications that these have for police discretion. The module encourages students to think critically about these issues and to analyse the repercussions that their legacies have had for the routine, everyday social world of police officers and the communities that they serve. Topics include the Brixton Riots, the Macpherson Report, police cultures, corruption allegations, stop-and-search practice and the rise of managerialism.

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15

This module provides an introduction to the study of women's relationships with the criminal justice system. The subject is analysed in both its historical and contemporary contexts and there will be a strong emphasis upon theoretical understanding of gender, on feminist research methodology and on inter-disciplinary approaches. Amongst the topics under consideration are feminist criminology, women offenders (including property, violent and young offenders), prostitution, women in penal institutions, women as prosecutors and victims, and women in criminal justice employment.

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15

This module examines the changes and continuities in the provision of social welfare in Britain from the early nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on the period after 1945. It considers the context of policy and policy reform, as well as the processes. The module will proceed chronologically, using specific major developments as a framework, e.g. the New Poor Law, the Liberal Reforms, the Second World War and reconstruction, the rise of free market ideologies from the 1970s. Within these milestones, students will engage with changes in claims to citizenship and the economy over this period, and how these have impacted on the direction of policy. Students will also look at the mechanics of the policy process, examining such topics as the decline of the Royal Commission, the rise of single-issue campaigning groups etc. Through the historical case studies to be examined, students will also engage with micro, meso and macro policy analysis and its application.

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15

This module will concern issues relating to mental health and psychopathology. Controversies in defining 'abnormality' will be examined from different perspectives. Methods of diagnosis and different approaches to explaining psychological disorders will be discussed along with approaches to treatment. We will also consider ethical and social issues relating to a diagnosis of psychological abnormality. Topics will include:

• Controversial issues in defining normality and abnormality.

• Critical evaluation of current diagnostic and classification systems.

• Comparison of different approaches to explaining abnormality.

• Developmental, anxiety, mood, personality and psychotic disorders.

• Controversies in evaluating different approaches to therapy and effectiveness

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15

This module concerns the application of psychological theory and research to issues in criminal justice. We will consider psychological research and application in areas such as offender profiling and investigative psychology, detecting deception, confessions and false confessions, jury decision making, and eyewitness testimony. Recent psychological findings will be emphasised. Students will be encouraged to take a critical approach to assessing the validity of theories and applications. Students should gain an understanding of the potential and limitations of psychology's contributions to criminal justice. Topics will include:

• Offender profiling & investigative psychology.

• Psychological research on detecting deception.

• Interrogation, confession, & false confession.

• Factors affecting reliability of eyewitness testimony.

• Psychological investigation of jury decision making.

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15

Emotion and motivation are core concepts in psychology. Both terms relate to the psychological forces underlying human experience and action. This module will consider the nature of positive and negative human emotions, their biological basis, and cultural variation in emotional experience and expression. We will also examine the roles of emotions, drives, and instincts in explaining human motivation, including the relationship between arousal and performance, and the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Topics will include:

• Intrinsic & extrinsic motivation.

• Applications of motivation research.

• Emotion, communication, and facial expression.

• Cultural variability in experience and expression of emotion.

• Specific 'moral' and 'self-conscious' emotions such as guilt, shame and disgust, and their roles in social and group behaviour.

Read more
15

Social psychology is a core area of psychology which deals with aspects of human behaviour which are particularly affected by the presence of other people, and the influences (deliberate or otherwise) which they have on us. Topics covered in the module include:

• self concept and self knowledge

• attribution processes (i.e. how we make sense of other people's behaviour);

• processes of attitude formation and change;

• methods of persuasion and communication;

• pro- and anti-social behaviour (including altruistic and aggressive behaviours).

Read more
15

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's cognitions, emotions and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. This module will apply social psychological research and theory to problems and processes that people experience in their daily working lives. An Environmental Psychology component will consider the interaction between workplace behaviour and features of the physical, social and organisational environment. An Occupational Psychology component will then focus on specific issues faced by employees in the workplace (e.g. employee selection and training; motivation, job performance, and job satisfaction; balancing home and work life; and workplace stress), applying material on individual, social and group processes to inform an understanding of these issues. Finally, a component on Consumer Behaviour will consider the psychological processes and behaviours of those who use services, and will examine how service providers and advertisers use their knowledge of consumer processes to maximise employee and organisational productivity.

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15

This module is an honours level module that introduces key ideas in urban sociology. Although the module considers the historical development of cities, the focus is on the contemporary city and the ways it is experienced by different social groups. The module will hence focus on key questions of who belongs in - and who is excluded from - the city, and will include discussion of the ways that marginal social groups - for example, the homeless, ethnic minorities, sexual dissidents, the elderly and the young - often find their presence in the city questioned by the social 'majority'. Key concepts here include questions of belonging, transgression, discipline, policing, surveillance and the control of space.

This module will hence show how sociological theories and ideas can help us understand cities as complex, multicultural and contested, and hopefully also encourage students to think about the city as a key site where sociological and criminological theory is developed.

The module will include an element of self-led fieldwork in the Medway towns designed to encourage students to think about the social experience of spaces of consumption in the city.

Read more
15

For much of its history criminology has been concerned with the offender and the victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these initial investigations, the victim became the central focus of academic scholarship from which the discipline 'victimology' emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are deemed to be central to crime detection and the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its major theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also examine the changing role of the victim within the criminal justice system.

Read more
15

This module encourages students to take an international view of social policy, beyond the national state, and to develop understanding of the global links and comparisons that can be used to consider welfare in this way. It is recommended that students take this in their third year having studied one or both of the second year social policy modules (SO545 or SO749).

Introductory lectures and seminars will introduce the challenges and risks facing contemporary welfare regimes, including neoliberalism, globalisation and financial uncertainty, and the notion of mixed economies of welfare. Another block of learning will provide accounts of comparative approaches to welfare and explore histories and contemporary dynamics of welfare in the US and in mainland Europe. Finally a series of welfare topics on migration, care, work and citizenship will be introduced in order to explore issues and policy responses within a global framework.

Read more
15

This module is intended to provide students with direct experience of how the issues and debates they have studied in the classroom are handled in professional practice. The experience of a placement year part way through their studies will then mean that at stage 3 students on this programme will be able to reflect on their work in relation to new social sciences learning. This will also be of benefit to other students in the group who have not undertaken a placement year.

Read more
30

This module is intended to provide students with direct experience of how the issues and debates they have studied in the classroom are handled in professional practice. The experience of a placement year part way through their studies will then mean that at stage 3 students on this programme will be able to reflect on their work in relation to new social sciences learning. This will also be of benefit to other students in the group who have not undertaken a placement year.

Read more
90

This module approaches the study of social policy and welfare from the perspective of the everyday contexts in which it is implemented and experienced. Via this focus it will explore key substantive issues in contemporary social policy areas including health and social care, family, childhood and education, work and housing, as well as responding to contemporary and live debates. Key conceptual concerns include inequality and difference, the nature of care and the changing identities of welfare subjects and professionals. These concerns are set within the context of shifting welfare settlements and entitlements at national and international level. The policy issues are organised around everyday scales and spaces of policy intervention, including the body, home and family, neighbourhood, community and institution. This approach will enable students to engage with how welfare and social policy is ordered, experienced and contested within everyday contexts, as well as unevenly distributed at a local and regional level. Case studies relevant to each lecture will enable students to explore lived experiences of welfare in diverse settings as well as develop analytical skills in responding to empirical research data. The module has a focus both on UK and European welfare contexts, and on how these local experiences of welfare are shaped by global change and dynamics, for example around migration, health and care.

Read more
15

This module, Young People and Violence, approaches the study of interpersonal violent crime as it relates to young people. It will explore violence experienced in everyday life paying particular interest to the social context in which it can occur; for example urban spaces, schools, familial setting and 'gang, gun and knife culture'. The concern with youth, crime and violence is critically appraised in the context of shifting political focus on disaffected young people. It will seek to understand violence within the context of youth in late modernity. One of the primary objectives of this module will be to engage students in analytical debates on crime and violence as experienced by young people as perpetrators and victims. It will examine and apply criminological theory to youth violence exploring the connection between crime and violence through the intersection of race, gender, ethnicity and class. In particular, the module will investigate the link between structure and agency. In this module, students will have the opportunity to review the impact of changing political and criminal justice responses to the youth crime problem. The module will have a national as well as international focus.

Read more
15

This module will introduce students to the ways in which visual sources – in this case, films, television programmes and other visual broadcast media – can be used in historical research. The module will focus upon the case study of British film and television from the 1930s. Students will consider the role of film and television programmes in a variety of historical contexts: the impact of economic depression and rising affluence upon the consumption of leisure products; the utilisation of film by governments for propaganda and morale-boosting in wartime; for social and political critique; and the cinematic codes by which idea[s] of Britain[s] could be conveyed to domestic and overseas audiences.

Students will explore films from a range of genres, including feature film, documentaries and wartime propaganda. Within this, students will also consider the development of subgenres, such as Ealing comedies, kitchen-sink realism, soap opera and reality television. The module will also introduce students to the broader historical contexts of cultural production and exchange. Alongside close analysis of set films and television programmes, students will also be required to read and discuss critical studies of these texts. The course will explore the evolution of leisure in Britain, and the economic and political history of the media and film industries. Students will also consider the relationships between cultural consumption and social identities.

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15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year in industry

The Year in Professional Practice is taken between Stage 2 and 3 and is an opportunity to apply your social science learning in practice. You learn about the pragmatic contexts in which voluntary and public sector organisations operate and also develop your knowledge about employment opportunities in these areas. Not only does placement year help you to gain work experience and contacts, it also encourages you to look at your studies in a new light. Graduates from our degrees with a Year in Professional Practice leave the School with the much sought after combination of the skills and competency gained through a university education, and the ability to demonstrate these in a practical work setting.

The option of a placement year is open to those students who have attained a good academic record at Stages 1 and 2, and have successfully completed an interview process.

Alternatively, you can use our pathway options to specialise in two subject areas in Stages 2 and 3, and therefore graduate with a BSc (Hons) Social Sciences (Sociology and Psychology) or (Sociology and Criminology) or (Psychology and Criminology) or (Sociology and Social Policy).

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

This module will introduce students to the ways in which visual sources – in this case, films, television programmes and other visual broadcast media – can be used in historical research. The module will focus upon the case study of British film and television from the 1930s. Students will consider the role of film and television programmes in a variety of historical contexts: the impact of economic depression and rising affluence upon the consumption of leisure products; the utilisation of film by governments for propaganda and morale-boosting in wartime; for social and political critique; and the cinematic codes by which idea[s] of Britain[s] could be conveyed to domestic and overseas audiences.

Students will explore films from a range of genres, including feature film, documentaries and wartime propaganda. Within this, students will also consider the development of subgenres, such as Ealing comedies, kitchen-sink realism, soap opera and reality television. The module will also introduce students to the broader historical contexts of cultural production and exchange. Alongside close analysis of set films and television programmes, students will also be required to read and discuss critical studies of these texts. The course will explore the evolution of leisure in Britain, and the economic and political history of the media and film industries. Students will also consider the relationships between cultural consumption and social identities.

Read more
15

This module, Young People and Violence, approaches the study of interpersonal violent crime as it relates to young people. It will explore violence experienced in everyday life paying particular interest to the social context in which it can occur; for example urban spaces, schools, familial setting and 'gang, gun and knife culture'. The concern with youth, crime and violence is critically appraised in the context of shifting political focus on disaffected young people. It will seek to understand violence within the context of youth in late modernity. One of the primary objectives of this module will be to engage students in analytical debates on crime and violence as experienced by young people as perpetrators and victims. It will examine and apply criminological theory to youth violence exploring the connection between crime and violence through the intersection of race, gender, ethnicity and class. In particular, the module will investigate the link between structure and agency. In this module, students will have the opportunity to review the impact of changing political and criminal justice responses to the youth crime problem. The module will have a national as well as international focus.

Read more
15

This module approaches the study of social policy and welfare from the perspective of the everyday contexts in which it is implemented and experienced. Via this focus it will explore key substantive issues in contemporary social policy areas including health and social care, family, childhood and education, work and housing, as well as responding to contemporary and live debates. Key conceptual concerns include inequality and difference, the nature of care and the changing identities of welfare subjects and professionals. These concerns are set within the context of shifting welfare settlements and entitlements at national and international level. The policy issues are organised around everyday scales and spaces of policy intervention, including the body, home and family, neighbourhood, community and institution. This approach will enable students to engage with how welfare and social policy is ordered, experienced and contested within everyday contexts, as well as unevenly distributed at a local and regional level. Case studies relevant to each lecture will enable students to explore lived experiences of welfare in diverse settings as well as develop analytical skills in responding to empirical research data. The module has a focus both on UK and European welfare contexts, and on how these local experiences of welfare are shaped by global change and dynamics, for example around migration, health and care.

Read more
15

This module encourages students to take an international view of social policy, beyond the national state, and to develop understanding of the global links and comparisons that can be used to consider welfare in this way. It is recommended that students take this in their third year having studied one or both of the second year social policy modules (SO545 or SO749).

Introductory lectures and seminars will introduce the challenges and risks facing contemporary welfare regimes, including neoliberalism, globalisation and financial uncertainty, and the notion of mixed economies of welfare. Another block of learning will provide accounts of comparative approaches to welfare and explore histories and contemporary dynamics of welfare in the US and in mainland Europe. Finally a series of welfare topics on migration, care, work and citizenship will be introduced in order to explore issues and policy responses within a global framework.

Read more
15

For much of its history criminology has been concerned with the offender and the victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these initial investigations, the victim became the central focus of academic scholarship from which the discipline 'victimology' emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are deemed to be central to crime detection and the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its major theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also examine the changing role of the victim within the criminal justice system.

Read more
15

This module is an honours level module that introduces key ideas in urban sociology. Although the module considers the historical development of cities, the focus is on the contemporary city and the ways it is experienced by different social groups. The module will hence focus on key questions of who belongs in - and who is excluded from - the city, and will include discussion of the ways that marginal social groups - for example, the homeless, ethnic minorities, sexual dissidents, the elderly and the young - often find their presence in the city questioned by the social 'majority'. Key concepts here include questions of belonging, transgression, discipline, policing, surveillance and the control of space.

This module will hence show how sociological theories and ideas can help us understand cities as complex, multicultural and contested, and hopefully also encourage students to think about the city as a key site where sociological and criminological theory is developed.

The module will include an element of self-led fieldwork in the Medway towns designed to encourage students to think about the social experience of spaces of consumption in the city.

Read more
15

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's cognitions, emotions and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. This module will apply social psychological research and theory to problems and processes that people experience in their daily working lives. An Environmental Psychology component will consider the interaction between workplace behaviour and features of the physical, social and organisational environment. An Occupational Psychology component will then focus on specific issues faced by employees in the workplace (e.g. employee selection and training; motivation, job performance, and job satisfaction; balancing home and work life; and workplace stress), applying material on individual, social and group processes to inform an understanding of these issues. Finally, a component on Consumer Behaviour will consider the psychological processes and behaviours of those who use services, and will examine how service providers and advertisers use their knowledge of consumer processes to maximise employee and organisational productivity.

Read more
15

Social psychology is a core area of psychology which deals with aspects of human behaviour which are particularly affected by the presence of other people, and the influences (deliberate or otherwise) which they have on us. Topics covered in the module include:

• self concept and self knowledge

• attribution processes (i.e. how we make sense of other people's behaviour);

• processes of attitude formation and change;

• methods of persuasion and communication;

• pro- and anti-social behaviour (including altruistic and aggressive behaviours).

Read more
15

Emotion and motivation are core concepts in psychology. Both terms relate to the psychological forces underlying human experience and action. This module will consider the nature of positive and negative human emotions, their biological basis, and cultural variation in emotional experience and expression. We will also examine the roles of emotions, drives, and instincts in explaining human motivation, including the relationship between arousal and performance, and the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Topics will include:

• Intrinsic & extrinsic motivation.

• Applications of motivation research.

• Emotion, communication, and facial expression.

• Cultural variability in experience and expression of emotion.

• Specific 'moral' and 'self-conscious' emotions such as guilt, shame and disgust, and their roles in social and group behaviour.

Read more
15

This module concerns the application of psychological theory and research to issues in criminal justice. We will consider psychological research and application in areas such as offender profiling and investigative psychology, detecting deception, confessions and false confessions, jury decision making, and eyewitness testimony. Recent psychological findings will be emphasised. Students will be encouraged to take a critical approach to assessing the validity of theories and applications. Students should gain an understanding of the potential and limitations of psychology's contributions to criminal justice. Topics will include:

• Offender profiling & investigative psychology.

• Psychological research on detecting deception.

• Interrogation, confession, & false confession.

• Factors affecting reliability of eyewitness testimony.

• Psychological investigation of jury decision making.

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15

This module will concern issues relating to mental health and psychopathology. Controversies in defining 'abnormality' will be examined from different perspectives. Methods of diagnosis and different approaches to explaining psychological disorders will be discussed along with approaches to treatment. We will also consider ethical and social issues relating to a diagnosis of psychological abnormality. Topics will include:

• Controversial issues in defining normality and abnormality.

• Critical evaluation of current diagnostic and classification systems.

• Comparison of different approaches to explaining abnormality.

• Developmental, anxiety, mood, personality and psychotic disorders.

• Controversies in evaluating different approaches to therapy and effectiveness

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15

This module examines the changes and continuities in the provision of social welfare in Britain from the early nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on the period after 1945. It considers the context of policy and policy reform, as well as the processes. The module will proceed chronologically, using specific major developments as a framework, e.g. the New Poor Law, the Liberal Reforms, the Second World War and reconstruction, the rise of free market ideologies from the 1970s. Within these milestones, students will engage with changes in claims to citizenship and the economy over this period, and how these have impacted on the direction of policy. Students will also look at the mechanics of the policy process, examining such topics as the decline of the Royal Commission, the rise of single-issue campaigning groups etc. Through the historical case studies to be examined, students will also engage with micro, meso and macro policy analysis and its application.

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15

The aim of the Dissertation is to enable students to undertake independent research. In the course of their projects, students will deepen their critical understanding of research design and the application of specific techniques, and will further develop theoretical and practical understandings of the approaches of the relevant discipline.

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30

This module provides an introduction to the study of women's relationships with the criminal justice system. The subject is analysed in both its historical and contemporary contexts and there will be a strong emphasis upon theoretical understanding of gender, on feminist research methodology and on inter-disciplinary approaches. Amongst the topics under consideration are feminist criminology, women offenders (including property, violent and young offenders), prostitution, women in penal institutions, women as prosecutors and victims, and women in criminal justice employment.

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15

This module addresses many of the issues that have shaped the modern practice of policing in recent times. It traces the way in which landmark events have served to mould and shape the daily practice of policing, and the implications that these have for police discretion. The module encourages students to think critically about these issues and to analyse the repercussions that their legacies have had for the routine, everyday social world of police officers and the communities that they serve. Topics include the Brixton Riots, the Macpherson Report, police cultures, corruption allegations, stop-and-search practice and the rise of managerialism.

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15

The module is intended to increase awareness of continuity and change in patterns and perceptions of crime and the responses to it by the legal system and other agencies over the period 1750-1900.

Students will study historical perspectives on the history of crime and punishment – Whig, Marxist, revisionist etc.

They will have a chance to undertake critical evaluation of the sources of crime history and learn about change and continuity in the criminal justice system over the period covered.

Policy case studies include juvenile delinquency, transportation, capital punishment, the development of the prison, violent crime, and the treatment of victims.

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15

Would you like to volunteer for a cause you believe in while learning useful skills and gaining real world experience? If you would this is the module for you!

Social Justice Practice provides an opportunity for you to gain practical experience of the voluntary and community sector and combine it with academic study of the sector and related theoretical concepts such as social capital, social justice, volunteering, altruism and philanthropy. Lectures also cover topics such as the role, management, financing and governance – essential knowledge if you are planning to work in a wide range of different professions.

Students undertake at least 100 hours of voluntary work with a charity in Kent or Medway during the academic year. Once you sign up for this module you will be invited for an interview to discuss your volunteering plans and so you can find out more about the module and the volunteering you plan to do for it. Register in the usual way and you will be invited for an interview towards the end of the summer term (late May or early June).

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30

This module traces the way in which criminal justice and criminal justice policy have become increasingly politicised in recent years. It utilises key examples, such as terrorism, dangerous offenders, and capital punishment to highlight the interaction between popular opinion, research, policy formation and the criminalisation of particular groups within society. The module will analyse how and why crime has become such an important issue on the political agenda, as well as examining the important role that pressure groups (such as NACRO and the Howard League for Penal Reform) have played in mediating political rhetoric and policy.

Topics covered within the module include the criminalization of social policy; terrorism; 'dangerous' offenders; penal populism; and the politics of risk.

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30

It has been said that 'The development of modern policing and the evolution of a policed society are of fundamental importance to an understanding of the society in which we live.' This module examines the historical development of police forces from the late 18th century to the present day with particular reference to the United Kingdom. The social and political context in which modern policing was introduced is examined, together with the conditions affecting policing practice in 19th and 20th century Britain. Among other topics for investigation are the historiography of English policing, police and work culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, accountability, centralisation and political control of the police, the role of gender in 20th century policing and the role of private policing. While the module is primarily about policing in Great Britain, comparisons will be made with other countries.

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15

This course examines the relationship between drugs and crime, and the emergence of the prison as a locale for the delivery of drug treatment. It examines the evidence for the link between drug use and crime, looks at definitions of drug and addiction, and tracks changes in policy. It examines the changing role of prison and the identification of drugs as a key factor in offending and the development of interventions as a key re-settlement strategy.

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15

The correctional services are fundamental to the exercise of criminal justice and to the punitive bite of the criminal justice system. This module offers students the opportunity to examine critically the complex contemporary role, use, and work of prisons and probation in England and Wales and their sometimes ability to enable the rehabilitation of serious offenders. Besides its focus on the Prison and Probation Services, the module considers prisoners' experiences of being 'behind bars’, models of offender rehabilitation and methods of working with serious (violent and sexually violent) offenders to help them to change, risk assessment and parole, the resettlement of former prisoners in the community, and why and how people stop committing crime. Seminar discussions include debate about the merits and demerits of prison privatization and the use of ‘real life’ examples of exercises undertaken with offenders to challenge their thinking and case studies of released prisoners who re-offended.

Please note: This module requires, at times, explicit discussion of sexual offending and the treatment needs of sexual offenders. Students who think they will find these topics uncomfortable or upsetting are advised not to take this module.

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15

Youth crime is a field that frequently attracts much public, political and media attention, and the aim of this module is to encourage students to critically assess the true prevalence and severity of crime committed by young people. The module starts by locating the fascination with youth and crime in its historical context, demonstrating that youth crime is neither a new nor novel phenomenon. The course then moves on to examine the developing and competing theories which seek to explain why young people commit crime.

The module traces the way in which young people and their subcultures are frequently made the focus of 'moral panics' by the media, with juveniles themselves becoming the archetypal 'folk devils'. We look at the position that ‘persistent young offenders’ hold in the public consciousness, and how the politics of youth justice has thrived on the fear of youth crime. The course concludes by providing an overview of how the state seeks to prevent children from committing crime and a critique of the societal responses to young people who violate the law.

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15

Teaching and assessment

We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.

If you choose to take the placement year, you  have the opportunity to spend 900 hours in a relevant professional setting, approved in advance to be suitable for your respective degree. Although you are responsible for obtaining your own placement, guidance is offered in the form of tutorial support and access to networks of providers developed and maintained by the School. You are visited once (where possible) during your placement, to ensure that the placement activities are suitable and achieving the programme learning outcomes. Assessment is on a pass or fail basis and the marks gained do not contribute to the final degree classification.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide knowledge and understanding of key areas of social sciences
  • develop your critical, analytical and interpretative skills so you can engage with debates in the field
  • provide the opportunity to develop research techniques
  • enable you to specialise in areas of social science that interest you
  • provide opportunities for students from different educational backgrounds
  • equip you to succeed in the employment market.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the key concepts and theories used to analyse society
  • the key issues and debates within the social sciences
  • the methodology of the social sciences and how to critically evaluate research
  • how to conduct research relating to a problem in social sciences
  • the main sources of social science data and how it is collected and analysed
  • understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to social science issues.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in:

  • problem-solving skills and strategic thinking
  • research skills including the ability to analyse problems and issues
  • collecting and interpreting data
  • sensitivity to the needs and values of others
  • critical and evaluative skills
  • assessing the implications of policy outcomes
  • spotting flaws in arguments within written documents and the spoken word
  • developing a logical argument
  • using the internet to research issues in the social sciences.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in how to:

  • identify and use concepts and theories to analyse issues within the social sciences
  • find and use statistical data relevant to the social sciences
  • undertake an investigation involving primary research
  • distinguish between positive, normative, moral and political issues and questions.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in how to:

  • communicate effectively and develop a strong line of argument in written and verbal form
  • plan ahead and manage time in order to meet deadlines
  • work as a member of a team
  • listen to others and understand their point of view
  • analyse questions and write reports and essays setting out options and alternatives
  • reference material according to accepted conventions
  • use internet and library resources to study independently
  • make clear and effective presentations to peers and staff
  • have a critical and reflective approach to study and work
  • compare and contrast the strength and weaknesses in the arguments and opinions of others.

Careers

Our graduates are adaptable and flexible in their thinking and approach tasks in a rigorous, ethical, yet creative and reflective fashion. They develop key transferable skills including: communication, organisational and research skills; the ability to analyse complex information and make it accessible to non-specialist readers, write reports and use data analysis computer programs, and can take on positions of leadership in addition to working effectively and considerately in teams. These skills and attributes are valued in a wide range of professions.

The School has excellent links with local outside agencies, such as the probation and youth justice services, the police and social services.

Social Sciences graduates go on to work in professions including teaching, research, local government, the Civil Service, management in the public, private or voluntary sectors, marketing, care and counselling, psychology and the police.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBC

GCSE

Grade C or above in Mathematics.

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

Distinction, Merit, Merit

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 14 at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events. 

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810
Part-time £4625 £6920

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

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.* 

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 Abroad/Industry

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

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.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.