Social Science BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
Available to UK residents only

Course overview

BA Social Science students relaxing

This foundation programme is designed for students who don’t have the standard entry requirements. If you feel you missed out on education and want the opportunity to realise your potential, this course will give you a firm grounding in the social sciences and prepare you to progress onto one of our social science degree courses.

In total, the length of the course will be four years – the first year will be a foundation year, followed by three years studying for an undergraduate degree in the social sciences.

Your first year acts as a ‘Level 0’ foundation year, equipping you with the skills to study social sciences at undergraduate level and introducing you to key concepts and ideas in sociology, politics, crime, education and law.

You’ll need to pass the foundation year to progress onto some of our most popular three-year undergraduate degree courses, including BA Childhood Studies, BA Politics, LLB Law, BA Criminal Justice and Criminology, BA Sociology and Social Policy, BA Social Policy and Crime, BA Social Work and many others.

In a supportive and friendly environment, you’ll be able to explore society and social change while learning how to study and developing important skills to prepare for an undergraduate degree.

The BA Social Science programme is one of a number of courses the University offers for students returning to education without standard entry requirements. Alternative courses are provided by the Lifelong Learning Centre, including the part-time BA Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education, which can lead to a degree in the social sciences.

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Course details

In a friendly and supportive environment, you’ll develop the research and academic skills you need to study the social sciences at university level and apply them to the key areas of law, crime and politics. You’ll look at basic theories and concepts within the criminal justice and political system, both in the UK and worldwide.

Alongside these studies, you’ll be introduced to ideas in sociology, social policy and politics. You’ll explore inequalities associated with gender, class, race, disability and health, using different theories to understand social change and how societies try to address inequalities and discrimination. In addition, you’ll look at key ideas in political and social thought, discussing ideas of citizenship and democracy and learning about the development of public policy.

If you complete this year successfully, you would be expected to progress onto one of our undergraduate degrees. The list of approved degrees you could choose is below:

Sociology and Social Policy

  • BA Sociology (requires a pass at 40)
  • BSc Social Policy, Sociology and Crime (requires a pass at 40)
  • BSc Social and Political Sciences (requires a pass at 60)


  • BA International Development (requires a pass at 60)
  • BA International Relations (requires a pass at 60)
  • BA Politics (requires a pass at 60)
  • BSc Social and Political Sciences (requires a pass at 60)


  • LLB Law (requires a pass at 70)
  • BA Criminal Justice and Criminology (requires a pass at 65)


  • BA Childhood Studies (requires a pass)
  • BA Education (requires a pass)


  • BA Social Work (requires a pass at average 65 and successful interview)
  • BSc Nursing (Adult) (requires a pass at average 65 and successful interview)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health) (requires a pass at average 65 and successful interview)

Lifelong Learning

  • BA Professional Studies (requires a pass at 40 and interview)

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Social Science BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Researching and Studying the Social Sciences 40
Social Inequalities in Contemporary Society 40
Understanding Social Welfare 40

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain a diverse skillset. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. However, independent study is also a vital element of the course, as it allows you to develop your research and critical skills while preparing for taught sessions.

You’ll also have a personal tutor – one of our academics – who will be on hand to offer you guidance and support on academic issues, such as module choices, as well as career and personal matters.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams and essays, there is also an assessed group presentation.

Entry requirements

Alternative entry

Academic entry reqirements

We usually look for evidence of prior study at GCSE level, such as Mathematics and English at GCSE grade 4/C or equivalent. However, we do consider applications from people who can demonstrate their potential and commitment in other ways.

We particularly welcome applications from mature students who don’t meet the standard entry requirements.

All 'shortlisted' applicants will have the opportunity to demonstrate their potential at an informal interview.

Alternative Entry Scheme

If you don't have the required GCSE qualifications, you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme. As part of this, you may be asked to take tests in English and Mathematics. Contact the Programme Lead, Richard Tavernier, for more information:

Professional qualifications programmes

If you’re interested in progressing onto one of our professional qualification degree programmes, such as BA Social Work, you will need to have GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C/4 or equivalent. For BA Social Work, we would consider your application if you were studying for these qualifications alongside your Foundation Year programme.

If you’re interested in some of our other professional qualification degrees, such as Adult Nursing or Mental Health Nursing, you will need to have passed five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Mathematics, English and two Science subjects.

Additional entry criteria

This programme is part of the university’s widening particiaption strategy (see Access and participation plan) and as such we also look to this to guide our recruitment. With this in mind, you must also meet a minimum of two of the below criteria:

  • Your permanent address is in a neighbourhood with low progression to higher education use our online postcode checker
  • You attended a school which achieved less than the national average five A*-C / 9-4 passes (including English and Mathematics) at GCSE or attainment 8 score at GCSE in a state school. We use the All England State funded attainment 8 score, excluding applicants from selective and/or independent schools.
  • You grew up in public care
  • The residual income of your household is less than £25k
  • You will be the first member of your immediate family (excluding older brothers or sisters or your own children) to achieve a degree
  • Your studies have been adversely affected by circumstances in your personal, social or domestic life.
  • Mature Learner (21+)

A levels

We do not consider A Level qualifications as part of our entry requirements. However, if you do have A Level qualifications we would not consider A Level grades above an average profile of CCC. Note: If you have an A Level average profile of BCC and your studies have been adversely affected by circumstances in your personal, social or domestic life, then contact the Programme Lead for more information: Richard Tavernier


UK: £9,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

25 January 2023 is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course via UCAS. However you can apply after this date up to 30 June 2023, if the programme still has places available .

If you’re currently taking a course at a school or college, your institution should have UCAS forms. These are also available online at the UCAS website.

Read our admissions guidance for common queries and advice on personal statements.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Contact us

School of Sociology and Social Policy Admissions (Foundation Year)


Career opportunities

If you complete this foundation programme successfully, you will be able to progress onto one of our undergraduate degree programmes in the social sciences, including law, sociology, education, politics and social work. Careers information for each of these degrees can be found on their individual course pages.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.