Social Sciences BSc | Coventry University

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Social Sciences BSc (Hons) 2019/20 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
5 years part-time


Coventry University


September 2019



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


The global challenges we face in the 21st century have led to a growing demand for the type of critical insight and analysis social scientists can provide.

Are you interested in what shapes us as human beings individually and collectively? Do you want to make a difference and understand how best we can improve people’s lives?  

From poverty, hunger and access to clean water to migration, violence and terrorism, this course draws on social research to discuss issues facing society and explores potential policy and practice solutions.  

Building on our social sciences expertise in psychology, sociology, criminology, community development and social policy, this exciting course offers the chance to participate in cutting-edge, evidence based discussions to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary pressures facing people in society. It is designed to prepare you for future careers shaping policy or informing social action in local or national government, education, working within non-government agencies (NGO) and research.

See the facilities available in our brand new Alison Gingell Building

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Our Facilities

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The Alison Gingell building contains a state-of-the-art SuperLab, capable of holding up to 270 people at once. The lab's facilities include equipment for microscopy, DNA analysis and forensic testing.


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Life Sciences Research

Our facilities include a real ambulance, which students can use as part of their studies, and a purpose-built Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre. This allows for much improved training quality in patient care and patient safety.


Facilities Test Image

Hospital Wards

We have two fully-equipped mock hospital wards, each containing 4 beds. The wards are built to NHS standards and contain moveable beds, first aid equipment and patient monitoring tools.

Course information

This is an undergraduate degree using interdisciplinary social sciences perspectives to explore contemporary UK and global issues affecting individuals, groups, communities and society, the methods of change and the impact of media influence.

We will encourage you to be original thinkers and problem solvers in the fields of welfare, public, private and third sector research and policy development, locally and internationally. There are opportunities to work together on case studies and on real tasks brought to the University by partner organisations, which could include the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.


The UK's Top Modern University 

The Guardian, 2019

Course Specification
Download PDF (156kb)



The first year will introduce you to social sciences perspectives, theories and methods, drawn particularly but not exclusively from psychology, sociology and criminology. Four topics (migration, poverty, security and the environment) are then explored to illustrate how social sciences theories can be used to analyse global challenges from different perspectives. For example, taking the challenge of food poverty: how does it feel to experience famine, what should society do about it and what is the connection between international famine relief and corruption?

You will also be given training in key study skills, the use of information technology and library resources. This lays the foundations for developing rigorous research approaches to gain a better understanding of important social issues.


  • Social Sciences Perspectives

  • Migration and Transnational Lives

  • Psychology: Self and Others

  • Human Rights and Security

  • Sociology: Power and Society

  • Poverty and the Environment


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


In the second year, we give attention to global and local issues and social policy. We will cover how to draw upon theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence, such as census data and organisational case studies, to study contemporary challenges like discrimination, inequality, environmental impact on society and groups or health and social care for an ageing population.

We will expand on the range of research methods available to social scientists, emphasising the need for ethical, rigorous collection and analysis of data, comparative across time and place. You should gain hands-on experience of problem and enquiry based learning; for example, undertaking exercises to define a social problem you are concerned about, explore the extent of the problem and its causes and come up with possible solutions to test.


  • Globalisation and Social Policy

  • Political Ecology

  • Methods and Models for Local Change

  • Social Sciences research methodologies

  • Contemporary Issues in Social Policy

  • Real World Challenge


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


After your second year, you can choose to take an optional sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement.


  • Enhancement Year


The final year considers in further detail the application of social science theories and methods to working in organisations, developing evidence-based policies, interventions and social action. There is an emphasis on values, ethics and social research. This stage of the course offers an opportunity to be creative and develop your own academic and professional interests in preparation for employment or postgraduate study, depending on your choice of topic for the independent research project.


  • Philosophy and Ethics: Thinking and Acting

  • Interventions with Individuals, Groups and Communities

  • Evidence based social action

  • Social Sciences Research Project

  • Organisations and Working Lives


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


We are ranked as the 13th best University in the United Kingdom - Guardian University Guide 2019

In more detail...

  • Taught by staff with a variety of professional experience as community and youth workers, teachers, town planners, journalists, researchers and international development workers for local authorities, charities, schools and the media.
  • Opportunity to attend guest lectures, which have previously included contributions from Coventry Refugee Centre advisors, as well as people recovering from substance abuse problems and neuropsychological conditions, such as strokes

Small group and individual tutorials designed to help support your personal, academic and professional development.

Our main study themes are:

  • Theoretical Perspectives: You should develop familiarity with major theories about globalisation, social policy, diversity, values and ethics; and an awareness of a variety of social and political ideas, with the view to you being able to form a conceptual knowledge base regarding the nature and scope of social sciences. As you progress, you should have more detailed knowledge of international perspectives from social science disciplines within optional areas of specialisation in greater depth. This should allow you to form a thorough understanding of critical debates about people, behaviour and society. 
  • Different contexts: We will explore contrasting social, political and environmental contexts, for example, we will discuss migration and its consequences for migrants, for their families and friends and for their new neighbours. You should learn about the consequences of ecological changes for people’s lives and debate issues arising from the impact of policy decisions on different groups of people. 
  • People and Society: All the way through the course, we will consider the effects of social policies and local and international challenges on particular individuals, groups and communities, including you, issues and people you care about. You will be asked to assess needs of specific groups of people such as service users of social care, or refugees and asylum seekers. You should be able to identify key elements of social problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution.
  • Evidence: You will be expected to provide evidence to support arguments, policies and actions. You should to be able to examine evidence to inform ethical debates about crime prevention, security and discrimination. You should learn how to effectively employ investigative skills and methods of enquiry; and how to engage in evidence-based social action.
  • Contemporary Issues: You will be encouraged to follow international current affairs using a variety of news media. We will analyse power in society including conflicts concerning race, nationality, class, gender, sexuality, disability and faith. Guest speakers will be invited to share the latest research and campaigns they are involved in and you will design and conduct your own research about a contemporary issue of special interest to you.
  • Personal Development: Through regular individual and group tutorials, you should reflect on your personal, academic, social action and career choices. You will be supported to decide what your priorities are now and in the future. 

The course can be studied full-time over three years or part-time, typically taking between four to six years. You have the option of extending the course by an additional sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement.

Core course content will be delivered during the lectures, while the associated seminars and workshops offer opportunities for you to explore topics more independently, receive guidance on coursework assignments, begin to apply your knowledge and develop your academic and transferrable skills. 

We produce lecture notes, podcasts and other recordings to help you to review the lessons. You will be involved in projects using photographs, video content and discussion forums.

Our teaching team includes academics engaged who have undertaken research on the experiences of young Muslims in the UK, social accounting, aspirations of young migrants to the United Kingdom, child welfare inequality, the relationship between African Caribbean communities and ‘urban gun crime’, and ‘the rise of the professional society’.

Teaching methods include: lectures, small group seminars and practical, ‘hands-on’ skills workshops.

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include coursework and formal examinations.

This course is predominantly assessed by coursework.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The theoretical basis for understanding individual, institutional and social human behaviour, including social sciences theoretical concepts, frameworks, perspectives; and research methodology; understanding cross cultural communication.
  • The nature of contemporary social issues and global challenges, including social processes that lead to marginalisation, isolation and exclusion, services in a diverse society, empowerment, anti-discriminatory practices, human rights, working across professional boundaries and within different disciplinary groups.  
  • The philosophical underpinning of values and ethics, including values, concepts of rights and responsibilities, authority, justice, sustainability, equality and power.
  • Contexts for the application of social sciences, including historical and comparative perspectives, contemporary public and social policy, decision making and interventions by international statutory, voluntary and private agencies, and organisational behaviour. 
  • Social Sciences research methods and approaches, including theoretical and practical research issues, research methodologies, quantitative and qualitative research methods, analysis of data, argument and evidence in social sciences.


On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Obtain verbal, written and numerical information relevant to a particular issue from a variety of sources and organise the material into a usable form.
  • Prepare for, and work with individuals, groups and communities to assess their needs and circumstances and work together for positive change and development; communication and working with others, including digital literacy.
  • Evidence the ability to write clearly and analytically.
  • Demonstrate skills in communication and information technology (C&IT) and numerical skills.
  • Demonstrate evidence based problem solving skills – managing problem solving activities, gathering information, assessment, analysis and synthesis, intervention and evaluation, planning, decision making, meeting deadlines, monitoring and reviewing.
  • Demonstrate communication skills with individuals, groups and organisations.
  • Demonstrate skills in working with others.
  • Evidence an understanding of the application of social sciences skills in personal and professional development.
  • Design and execute a research project.

In a typical teaching week, you will have approximately 10 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: You will meet with your Academic Personal Tutor (APT) either individually or as a small group at least twice per semester, or later you will have individual research project supervision
  • Large/Medium group teaching: 9 or 10 hours of lectures/workshops/seminars each week.

In addition there will be guided learning resources to support the taught sessions on-line and course activities such as guest speakers and external visits.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 23 hours of self-directed study each week e.g. completing the recommended reading that accompanies your lectures, working on coursework assignments.

The curriculum will be deliberately international in its scope and should prepare you to work in a wide range of organisational contexts. For example, we will explore contemporary global issues and community action based approaches to tackling them on other continents, as well as the role and function of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and the inter-relations between Governments and NGOs.

At the end of the second year, the University offers a sandwich year that can be used to study or gain work experience abroad. Coventry has links with over 20 institutions in Brazil, Cyprus, France, Malta, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. Courses are largely taught in English, but there are opportunities to learn and attend courses in a foreign language. If you apply to study a year abroad, you will not be charged and may receive a contribution to living expenses. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: HLSU155
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
BBB excluding General Studies DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma 27 points 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English Language and Maths, or specified equivalents.


A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

A pass in the Access Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade A*-C, or specified equivalents.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements.

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language An IELTS overall of 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language An IELTS overall of 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2019

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2019

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2019

£13,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

Career prospects

Careers guidance services have identified key skills employers are looking for from graduates as being: literacy; numeracy; time management; organisation; communication; team working; creative problem solving; initiative and enterprise; critical and analytical thinking; information gathering; evaluation and synthesis; and adaptability. These and more are addressed within our programme.

On successful completion, you will be ideally placed to pursue careers in social research, policy making, welfare, advice, community development, international development and management in the public, private and voluntary sectors. 

Additionally, the course should provide good preparation to apply to one of the many graduate training schemes, including the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, as well as related job roles, such as marketing, human resource management, public relations, corporate social responsibility and journalism. 

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase for UK and EU Students is expected to be in line with inflation. For international students, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.