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Social Science (BSc)

  • L301

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Our Social Science BSc is an excellent way to obtain the maximum benefit from your time studying in one of the UK's largest and most successful centres of social science. The course embraces sociology, psychology, anthropology, criminology, education and social policy, and - with the right combination of modules - it is recognised by the British Psychological Society as the basis for graduate membership (GBC), which is the starting point to a career in psychology.

From 2015 the single honours Social Science degree will no longer offer a BPS accredited route. For entry in 2014 to the Social Science degree, please contact an admissions tutor to enquire if there are spaces on the BPS accredited route.

Key Facts

UCAS Code L301
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Accreditation  An optional route is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) – limitations on module option choices apply to this route
Typical places available The School admits 300 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes of which approximately 50 are studying the Social Science degree scheme
Typical applications received 1,500
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB-BBB
Admissions Tutor Michael Arribas-Ayllon
Tel Number 029 2087 5122
Email address
School website

Our Social Science BSc provides an opportunity for a truly interdisciplinary degree in the social sciences. By organising your studies thematically you can study the same topic from number of different perspectives such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, criminology, education and social policy. In this way you are able to gain a more holistic understanding of complex social phenomena.

Because of its broad scope, this programme is a very good way to obtain the maximum benefit from your time in one of the UK's largest and most successful centres of social science. Your chosen specialism will make up at least a quarter of your final degree and will allow you to learn from leading experts in that domain.

Social Science at Cardiff

You will select an interdisciplinary topic to study in greater depth. These special areas reflect current research strengths and include psychology, anthropology, children and childhood, crime and punishment, social work, educational policy, European governance and policy, identity and subjectivity, gender and sexualities, health and medicine, and business and economic development.

All students on the social science route start with a solid foundation in the range of social science perspectives and methods that make up the Cardiff School of Social Sciences. Over the course of your degree, you can then build on this foundation by choosing modules that reflect your own academic and career interests. We have developed some pathways based on the research strengths within the School of Social Sciences but the degree programme contains enough flexibility for you to choose your modules in a way that suits your needs and interests.

It is also worth noting that, if you pass the right combination of modules and obtain a 2ii overall, then your degree will be recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). This would make you eligible for further training or postgraduate study in psychology-related professions such as educational psychology, occupational psychology, clinical and forensic psychology.

Single or Joint honours?

Given the nature of the scheme, the Social Science route is only available as a single honours option. It is, however, characterised by a minimal number of core modules and the flexibility to great flexibility and pick-and-mix modules from all the other undergraduate schemes in the School of Social Sciences. Please note, however, that if you choose to follow the BPS route then your module choices will be reduced as a result of the accreditation requirements imposed by the BPS.

Whichever route you choose through the Social Science degree scheme you will benefit from teachers who are leading experts in their fields. By developing an inter-disciplinary understanding of a topic that interests you, you will also have the chance to build a programme of study that plays to your strengths and really works for you.

Course structure

All degrees schemes within the Cardiff School of Social Sciences put great emphasis on the combination of theory and method that is needed to apply social science work to real world problems. Our degree schemes are developed with this in mind and provide a solid foundation in core concepts and methods before moving on to more independent and critical thinking about their application in specific contexts.

For the Social Science degree, this progression is accomplished as follows. In Year One, all students, take two core modules:

  • Key Ideas in Social Science: this traces the origins of social scientific theories and introduces the work of key thinkers in a range of social science disciplines.
  • Introduction to Social Science Research: an introduction to the principles and skills that underpin social science research.

They then complete their programme of study by choosing any four modules from those offered by the Sociology, Social Policy, Education or Criminology schemes. Students following the BPS pathway must be sure to include all the relevant psychology modules amongst these, but once these are selected are free to choose any of the modules offered by other schemes within the School of Social Sciences.

In Years Two and Three, students consolidate their understanding of core methodological and theoretical issues in the social sciences and choose the specialist pathway that will guide their module choices. Each pathway consists of a pair of modules, one is taught in Year Two and the other in Year Three. Students are then able to build their degree around these modules by choosing their remaining modules from those on offer across the Sociology, Psychology, Social Policy, Criminology and Education degree programmes. The degree programme this creates is highly flexible and allows students to combine insights from experts across the School of Social Sciences. These pathways currently available include:

  • Health and Medicine
  • Anthropology
  • Educational Policy
  • Crime and Criminal Justice
  • European Governance and Policy
  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Work and Labour Markets
  • Social Theory
  • Psychology
  • Children and Childhood

In addition, all final year students have the opportunity to undertake dissertation project in which they will be able to design and conduct a small scale research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff. If you choose to follow the BPS route through the scheme then the dissertation is compulsory.

More information about the modules currently available is available from the Cardiff School of Social Sciences website. Please note, however, that module titles and content can change from year to year.

Teaching in the School of Social Sciences is research-led and reflects the inter-disciplinary nature of the School.  Students are taught about the latest ideas within the social sciences by internationally recognised scholars who are themselves shaping the future of their respective fields.  Students also play an important role in the development of the curriculum, with the Staff-Student Panel being consulted about major changes and all students contributing to module evaluations and an annual student survey.

The teaching programme is designed to support students in the transition into University learning. Each academic year, students take six modules, each of which will be taught via weekly lectures and fortnightly seminars. In between this formal contact time, students will be given guided reading, online exercises or other work designed to consolidate and develop their knowledge. All teaching is directed towards meeting clearly stated learning outcomes, which are then assessed at regular intervals. Assessment methods vary from module to module but, over the course of their degree, each student can expect a mixture of exams, essays, practical work, individual and group projects and presentations.

The style of teaching also changes over the course of the degree. In Year One, all students are expected to meet with personal tutor every two weeks in order to follow a structured programme of study skills and readings through which they will learn how to be social scientists. In Years Two and Three students are increasingly able to study and learn independently and so have the opportunity to read more widely and develop their own interests. For many, this will culminate in their final year dissertation, where they will work with a member of academic staff to design and carry out an independent research project.

Typical A-level Offer ABB-BBB
Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core, plus grades AB or BB at GCE A-level dependent upon offer
Typical Int Bacc Offer  32-34 points
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

In addition to its substantive content, our degree in Social Science provides skills in critical thinking, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and report writing. As such, social science graduates are able to find employment in both public and private sectors and their graduate employment rates compare favourably with other subjects. Examples of the careers our graduates have followed include: educational psychology; social care professions; youth and community work; local government; retail and other management; police and probation services; teaching; careers guidance; human resource management; speech therapy; social science, market and policy research.

According to Unistats data available in 2012, 63 per cent of graduates from the Cardiff School of Social Sciences were in employment within six months of graduating, while another 23 per cent were undertaking further study. Both these figures compare very well with other institutions and other degree subjects.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: SOCSI Undergraduate Admissions Office  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5122 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4175 


School Website:

More information

School of Social Sciences