Social Sciences - BSc (Hons)

Our Social Sciences degree gives you the skills to better understand the world you live in. You study key issues such as class, poverty, inequality, health, crime, and urban change and are encouraged to think of innovative ways to tackle them.


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 and challenge you to develop your own opinions and ideas, encouraging you to become an independent thinker. We offer high levels of support and our staff are friendly and accessible.

Our degree programme

The Social Sciences degree at Kent offers an exciting opportunity to understand how society works and how social change happens from different disciplinary perspectives – sociology, psychology, social policy, history, and criminology.

You acquire the key methodological tools to undertake social science research and analyse issues such as social class, poverty, health, crime, urban change and identity, understanding them through applying interdisciplinary insights.

The programme is flexible and enables you to study what interests you most. You can choose from a wide range of modules without specialising, or focus your studies by following one of our pathways:

  • Psychology and Criminology
  • Sociology and Psychology
  • Sociology and Social Policy
  • Sociology and Criminology

Between Stages 2 and 3, you can choose to spend a year in professional practice as part of your degree. This enables you to develop workplace skills and to build essential contacts and networks.

Year abroad

It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See the year abroad section on the Course structure tab for more details.

Year in professional practice

Your year in professional practice takes place between your second and final year. You gain work experience in a professional setting and can put the theory you have learnt into practice. It is also gives you the chance to develop networks and contacts in your area of interest. Employers also greatly value, and seek evidence of, relevant work experience when selecting candidates for posts. See the Course structure tab for full details.

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.

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.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level


  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C

  • medal-empty 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.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Merit, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 14 at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.


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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/placement year), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad/placement year)


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 ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.


The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6300
  • International part-time £8400

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

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates 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.


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.


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

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.

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

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.

Independent rankings

Sociology at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2021 and The Times Good University Guide 2021.

For graduate prospects Social Policy at Kent was ranked 4th in The Times Good University Guide 2021.


Graduate destinations

Social Sciences graduates go on to work in careers including:

  • teaching
  • research
  • local government
  • the Civil Service
  • management in the public, private or voluntary sectors
  • marketing
  • care and counselling
  • psychology
  • the police.

Some of our graduates choose to go on to further study at Master’s or PhD 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 School has excellent links with local outside agencies, such as the probation and youth justice services, the police and social services.

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.

Career-enhancing skills

As well as your subject-specific knowledge, you also develop the key transferable skills graduate employers look for. These include:

  • excellent communication skills
  • organisational and research skills
  • the ability to analyse problems
  • teamworking.

Taking the year in professional practice can also considerably enhance your career prospects, as employers actively seek graduates with relevant work experience.

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


We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254

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