Social Policy

Social Policy and Social Change - BA (Hons)

Are you interested in real world issues such as poverty, health, crime and education? Do you want to make a difference? As a social policy student, you examine global societal issues and the policy response to them. You gain an understanding of social justice, public policy and welfare and how these impact on an individual's wellbeing and independence.

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.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you explore the nature of social challenges such as ageing, neglect, crime, health, education, employment and homelessness. As your understanding develops, you study how social and public policies are devised and directed towards alleviating social problems. You can also choose optional modules on criminology, modern culture or sociology.

In your second and final years, you extend your knowledge about the purposes and use of social and public policy and the role of government. You develop your research and analytic skills and explore the nature of welfare systems in different countries and how this impacts on social inequality.

The varied expertise in the School means we are able to offer optional modules that include explorations of childhood, family, environmentalism, gender, political change, crime, race, violence and work, among others. This means that you can choose to study areas of particular interest to you or that relate directly to your career choice.

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

Year abroad

You can choose 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 Course structure 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

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. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

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

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

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.

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.

Form

Stay connected

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent.  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required

You're almost there...

Just a little more information and we'll keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening at the University of Kent.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

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

Modules

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.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • 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

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.

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

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.

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:

  • produce thoughtful, flexible and well-trained social scientists with an up-to-date knowledge of social welfare provision in industrial societies 
  • enable you to link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry and to identify and understand different ideological positions on welfare provision
  • give you the skills and abilities to enable you to become an informed citizen, capable of participating in the policy process and equipped for a dynamic labour market.

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 the political economy of welfare
  • welfare provided by the private and voluntary sectors and the mixed economy of care
  • key concepts used in social policy, such as need, equity, inequality, poverty, exclusion, identity, difference and diversity
  • local, regional, national and supra-national dimensions of social policy
  • the main sources of data relating to social welfare and the methods used to collect and analyse data
  • inter-disciplinary approaches to issues in social policy
  • the key concepts and theories of welfare and the ability to apply these in a comparative approach.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in:

  • problem-solving, the skills to seek solutions to social problems and individual needs
  • research, including the skills to identify a research question and collect and manipulate data to answer that question
  • evaluation and analysis, including the skills to assess the outcomes of policy intervention
  • recognising and showing sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • identifying and using concepts and theories in social policy to analyse social issues
  • seeking out and using statistical data relevant to social issues
  • the investigation of an empirical issue
  • how to distinguish between technical, normative, moral and political questions.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills that enable you to:

  • study and learn independently, using library and internet sources
  • learn and be reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach
  • make short presentations to fellow students and staff
  • communicate ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form
  • prepare essays and reference the material quoted according to conventions
  • use IT to conduct on-line searches, communicate by email and in written documents and access data sources
  • develop skills in time management and work to deadlines
  • work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results.

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

Our Social Policy graduates are highly sought after and have gone on to enjoy careers in areas as diverse as:

  • civil service
  • banking and financial services
  • teaching and research  
  • corporate relations
  • human resources.

Many of our graduates choose to go on to further study at Master’s and 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
  • 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.

If you choose to take the year abroad option, you further increase your skills by gaining experience of living and studying in a different culture and developing an international perspective.

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

Contact us

bubble-text

United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

earth

International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

Discover Uni information

DiscoverUni logo
Full-time
Part-time

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.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

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