Social Sciences BSc (Hons)

4 years including placement year, starting in September 2018

Direct your own learning with a broad-based training in the social sciences.

This course offers you a broad-based training in the social sciences. It will appeal if you are interested in the social sciences in general and do not wish to specialise in one discipline.

You will take an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of social issues. In Year 1 you will be introduced to social policy, sociology, economics, psychology, politics and research methods.

During the final two years of the course, you can continue taking a broad-based approach, or choose to specialise in specific areas. You will continue to study compulsory units in research methods.

You’ll learn from academics with expertise in sociology and social policy. Their international collaborations and research activities feed into undergraduate teaching and contribute to your learning experience.

Those who study our social sciences degrees have excellent career options. Our graduates have worked as social and policy researchers, social carers, journalists, accountants and in a variety of business-related roles.

They have gone on to work for :

  • Save the Children
  • Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Education Support Partnership
  • Virgin Media
  • Viiv Healthcare
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Richmond Housing Partnership

Find out more about what our graduates go on to do.

Course structure

This course lasts 4 years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2022. Induction week starts on 24 September 2018.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Placement
  • Year 4


As part of your course you will take compulsory units covering key concepts. You may also be able to take optional units which assist you in developing your own interests.

You need to take 60 credits in each year of your course (usually split equally into 30 credits for each semester), so the number of optional units you can take depends on the number of compulsory units in each year of the course.

Six credits are the equivalent of at least 120 hours of study, including contact time with staff and independent study.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.


The placement year will give you valuable practical experience and is an excellent opportunity to try different careers. It enables you to leave university with a strong CV, setting you apart from other graduates entering the job market. You can take placements in commercial, voluntary or government organisations, or in a research setting.

Our Department of Social & Policy Sciences has established links and partnerships with many organisations. Social Sciences students have recently taken placements at:

  • the Welsh Government
  • UBS
  • The Race Equality Foundation
  • Xerox
  • Disney

Placement opportunities may not be guaranteed. See how to apply for a placement and the support we offer or view an overview video.

Learning and assessment


  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops


  • Attendance
  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Oral assessment
  • Practical work
  • Seminar
  • Written examination
  • Other

Typical assessment breakdown

This average assessment breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Your specific unit choices will determine the actual breakdown of assessment methods that you will experience.

% written exam % practical exam % coursework
Year Written Exam Practical Exam Coursework
Year 1 30% 3% 67%
Year 2 21% 0% 79%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 10% 0% 90%

Typical contact time breakdown

This average contact time breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Scheduled learning and teaching may include: lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Your optional unit choices will determine your actual personal contact hours.

% time in scheduled learning and teaching % time in independent study % time in placement/year abroad
Year Scheduled Independent Placement
Year 1 20% 80% 0%
Year 2 20% 80% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 15% 85% 0%
“This placement has been really inspiring and I’m really happy that I chose to do it. I’ve gained a lot of transferable skills that will stand out on my CV.”
Shivani Govindia

BSc Social Sciences with Placement (placement at Sense) (2016)

Entry requirements

Your application, especially your personal statement, should demonstrate your enthusiasm for your chosen degree. This might include relevant reading, voluntary work or additional study, such as a relevant EPQ. When describing your experiences you should reflect on what you have learnt from them, how they have influenced your development or how they are relevant to your future studies.

We prefer applicants with at least one humanities or social science subject as part of their entry qualifications. This subject might be:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology

If you are taking A levels, we may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh). We do not accept A levels in General Studies. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.


Select the country where your qualification comes from.

United Kingdom qualifications

Typical offer A level


ABB with preference for at least one humanities subject such as History, Religious Studies, Geography, Sociology, Politics, Government and Politics, Philosophy or Psychology.

Alternative offer A level


BBB plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Typical offers for other qualifications

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall and 6, 6, 5 in three Higher Level subjects.

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer:
Pass the Access to HE Diploma, with at least 33 credits achieved at Distinction and 6 credits achieved at Merit above. This must include at least 9 credits achieved at Distinction in an essay-based subject.

BTEC and Cambridge Technical

DDD in a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF)/ BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF)/ Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma.

If you are studying towards the above Cambridge Technical qualification, we prefer you to have taken optional units in Sociology and Public Health.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Pre-U

Typical offer:
D3, D3, M1

Alternative offer:
D3, M1, M1 plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challange
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

Open University Credits

Typically, we would be looking for you to have studied units worth at least 120 credits, including at least 30 credits at Level 2. We would generally be looking for you to have taken relevant units in essay-based subjects, preferably social sciences.

This information is a guide and all students applying with Open University Credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. Please contact us to discuss your profile prior to making an application.

Typical offer:
Pass units worth 120 credits, including a minimum of a Pass 2 with 70% in a relevant essay-based Level 2 unit.

Please note that taking OU credits may be counted as degree-level study by the Student Loans Company and therefore may be counted as previous study and have an impact on your ability to access student loans/grants for the entirety of your chosen degree. We recommend that you discuss this in detail with the SLC before following this progression route to the University of Bath.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer:
AB in Advanced Highers plus AAABB in Scottish Highers.

Combinations of qualifications

Your application will be considered individually based on the particular combination of qualifications and subjects that you are taking.

We can consider combinations of accepted qualifications, such as A levels and a BTEC:

  • AB in two A level subjects plus D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) / National Extended Certificate (RQF) OR the Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (QCF)/Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (RQF)
  • A in one A level subject plus DD in the BTEC Diploma (QCF) / National Diploma (RQF)
  • AB in two A level subjects plus M1 in a Pre-U Principal Subject
  • AB in two A level subjects plus 5 in an IB HL Certificate. While we do not consider the IB Careers Programme for entry, we are able to consider the combinations of components that are typically offered by this route, such as BTEC and IB HL Certificate combinations
  • ABB in two A level subjects excluding Accounting plus the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies

We can also consider combinations that are not listed and do not include A levels. You should read the information about essential and preferred subjects and subject combinations. We cannot consider different qualifications in the same subject area.

Ireland qualifications

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 in 6 Irish Leaving Certificates.

Hong Kong qualifications

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

544 in 3 elective subjects OR 54 in 2 elective subjects plus 5 in any Mathematics extended paper.

France qualifications

French Baccalaureate

14 overall with 15 in either Economics and Social Sciences or History and Geography.

Option Internationale Baccalaureate (OIB)

13 overall with 15 in either Economics and Social Sciences or History and Geography.

European Baccalaureate qualifications

European Baccalaureate

76% overall with 8.5 in one subject.

India qualifications

Higher Secondary School Certificate (12th Standard)

Average of 75% across 4 subjects with 80 in one subject.

We do not accept Physical Education as one of these 4 subjects.

These requirements are for the CBSE, HSSC and ISC boards. Please contact us if you are taking this qualification with a different board.

United States of America qualifications

Advanced Placement Tests

5, 4, 4 in 3 APs.

We accept no more than one Calculus AP as one of these 3 subjects.

You will also need to pass your High School Diploma and achieve an ACT score of 28 or SATR scores of 680 in both Mathematics and Evidence based Reading and Writing.

SAT Subject Tests

We do not accept SAT Subject Tests for direct entry to our degrees.

Spain qualifications

Titulo de Bachiller

A score of 8 overall.

Germany qualifications


1.8 overall.

Singapore qualifications

Singapore A levels

ABB in 3 H2 level subjects.

Polytechnic Diploma (3 years)

3.2 overall.

Turkey qualifications

Lise Bitirme Diplomasi

CGPA of 75% with 75% in an essay based subject from the final year.

Greece qualifications


18.5 in the Apolytirion plus AB in two A levels .

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels. We do not accept Pan Hellenic examinations in place of an A level.

Cyprus qualifications


18.5 in the Apolytirion plus AB in two A levels .

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels.

Fees and funding

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

Read more about your payment options


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.

Placement fees

Placement fees vary

You will normally pay a reduced tuition fee while on a placement period or studying abroad. Find out more about placement fees and study abroad fees.


You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Application information

  • Course title
    Social Sciences
  • Final award
    BSc (Hons)
  • Mode of study
  • Course code
  • Institution code
  • UK/EU application deadline
    30 June 2018
  • Overseas deadline
    30 June 2018
  • Application eligibility
    UK and Overseas students are eligible to apply
  • Regulator

Course enquiries

Undergraduate Selection

Apply for this course through UCAS.

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