Many congratulations on securing your place to study at the University of Bath! As your Director of Studies for BSc Sociology, BSc Social Policy, BSc Social Sciences, BSc Sociology & Social Policy and BSc International Development with Economics, I would like to be the first to welcome you to the University and the Department.

Welcome Week

Welcome week runs from Monday 24 September to Friday 28 September 2018. On Monday 24 September you will have an introductory meeting for all new students in the department. This will give you the opportunity to meet key colleagues and other students studying within the Department.

Support available in your Department

As a new student you will be assigned a Personal Tutor, who will be responsible for your pastoral and academic care. Alongside this you will also have a Peer Mentor who is a current second or final student of the University and who will be able to share their experience and answer any questions you may have about being a student here in Bath. You will have an opportunity to meet your Personal Tutor and Peer Mentor during welcome week.

Department pre-arrival information

Pre-arrival reading

We’ve put together some suggested texts to help you read around your subject area and core units, before you commence your studies with us. You are not expected to buy or read all the books but may find the list a useful guide. All first year students in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences take the same compulsory units in sociology and social policy, and the books shown below are linked to these. You will also be able to choose some units in Politics, Psychology or International Development.

Sociology, social policy and social sciences

  • Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P.T. (2013) Global Sociology, 3rd ed. (London: Palgrave Macmillan)

  • Fulcher, J. and Scott, J. (2011) Sociology, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

  • Giddens, A. and Sutton, P.W. (2013) Sociology, 7th ed. (Cambridge: Polity Press)

  • Macionis, J.J. and Plummer, K. (2012) Sociology: a global introduction, 5th ed. (London: Prentice Hall)

  • Alcock, C., Daly, G and Griggs, E. (2008) Introducing Social Policy, 2nd ed. (Harlow: Pearson)

  • Alcock, P., May. M. and Wright, S. (eds) (2012) The Student’s Companion to Social Policy, 4th ed. (Oxford: Wiley)

  • Beland, D. (2010) What is Social Policy? Understanding the welfare state (Cambridge: Polity Press)

International Development with economics

Non-fiction – an eclectic mix

  • Ben Rawlence (2016) City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp (Picador: New York).

  • Katherine Boo (2012) Behind the beautiful forevers: life, death and hope in a Mumbai slum (New York: Random House).

  • Marcelo Giugale (2014) Economic Development: what everyone needs to know (OUP).

  • Adam Swift (2014) Political philosophy: a beginner’s guide for students and politicians (Cambridge: Polity).


Read fiction to complement the above, to soak up depth and detail without worrying about what you don’t remember – and of course for pleasure! Someone once defined good novels as ‘rescuing the truth with a lie’. Look out particularly for books such as:

  • Achebe, C. (1958) Things Fall Apart (London: Heinemann).

  • Ali, M. (2003) Brick Lane (London: Doubleday).

  • Ballard, J.G. (1994) Rushing to Paradise (London: Harper Collins).

Choosing your optional units

You will be asked to select your optional unit choices for your first year when you arrive. We have scheduled in a talk about the optional units and a session in a lab to choose your options during the week. However, you may find it useful in advance to have a look at the optional units open to you. Make sure you look up your specific course and year to see what is available. First year units start with a ‘1’. Optional units operate on a first-come-first-served basis, so planning ahead may help with ensuring you get onto the units in which you have an interest.

You can find more information about Welcome Week and things you can do in preparation for your arrival at Bath. These pages will be updated as the time draws closer to Welcome Week (particularly during September). Therefore, please do continue to visit these pages ahead of your arrival.

Please do not hesitate to contact Claire Goldie, UG Administrator on 01225 386245 or hss-socialpolicy@bath.ac.uk if you have any course related queries.

I look forward to meeting you when you arrive in September.

Yours faithfully

Dr Rana Jawad

Director of Studies – Year 1 BSc Sociology, BSc Social Policy, BSc Social Sciences & BSc Sociology & Social Policy &

Dr Séverine Deneulin

Director of Studies – BSc International Development with Economics