Social and Political Sciences BSc

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students in a seminar

This interdisciplinary degree combines the study of society with cultural and political processes which shape human experience. As a Social and Political Sciences student, you will study the organisation and structure of society and consider the changing nature of human action, as well as the political theories that structure our political systems and the social forces that shape political life. You’ll gain expertise in analysis, research, critical thinking and more as you develop an understanding of key topics.

In addition to areas such as comparative politics and central problems in sociology, you’ll use examples from around the world to gain a firm grounding in the institutions and practices of modern political systems while exploring social values and the impact of social divisions.

The second and third years have a large amount of choice with very few compuslory modules. This reflects the broad scope of this exciting joint programme which brings together expertise from the School of Sociology and Social Policy together with the School of Politics and International Studies.

Within this flexible approach, you will be able to construct your own programme in line with your interests and skills either combining a wide range of different subjects or selecting a theme to specialise in, with one of our optional module routes:

  • Divisions and Inequalities
  • Crime and (In)Security
  • Global Development
  • Understanding Policy
  • Culture, Media and Technology

Course details

The programme is structured by a 'core' module pathway that guarantees a platform of learning and training complimented by a wide range of optional modules, enabling you to develop your interests in specialist areas. Within this 'optional' element, you will be able to follow one of our module 'routes' or construct your own programme in line with your interests and skills.

You'll have the opportunity to study abroad which will enable you to develop an international perspective on your subject or undertake a work placement which will help you to develop your skills, and give you an insight into working life in a particular organisation or sector. Throughout the course, you'll gain a diverse set of skills that will be valuable to you as a citizen, as well as for your future career plans.

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 and Political Sciences BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
British Politics 20
International Politics 20
Politics and Social Transformation 20
Sociology of Modern Societies 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You can select up to 20 credits of optional modules.

Module Name Credits
Understanding and Researching the City 20
Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society 20

Year 1 discovery modules

Depending on the number of optional modules you select, you can choose up to 40 credits of discovery modules.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods 20
You will choose 20 credits from the below options:
Theories of International Relations 20
Revolution and Reaction: Political Problems in the 20th Century 20
Justice, Community and Conflict 20
Key Debates in Social Policy 20
Central Problems in Sociology 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 80 credits of optional modules. You can either choose to follow a themed route or select your own suite of options across different areas.

Module Name Credits
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
Spin Doctors and Electioneering 20
North-South Linkages 20
Politics and Policy in the EU 20
Politics of Contemporary China 20
State and Politics in Africa 20
Security Studies 20
Crime, Law and Regulation 20
Disability Studies: An Introduction 20
The Sociology of Gender 20
Crime, Race and Ethnicity 20
Debates in Childhood and Youth 20
The Sociology of Culture 20
Racism, ethnicity, migration and decolonial studies 20
Central Problems in Sociology 20
Sociology and the Climate Crisis 20
Urban Disorders, Social Divisions and Social Control 20
Social and Public Policy beyond the University 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

You will select one of the following dissertation options below:

Module Name Credits
Dissertation (Politics and International Studies) 40
Dissertation (Sociology OR Social Policy) PLUS 20 credit research skills module 60

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 60-80 credits (depending on your dissertation choice) of optional modules. You can either choose to continue a themed route from your second year, take a new pathway or select your own suite of options across different areas.

Module Name Credits
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in Historical Perspective 20
British Foreign Policy 20
International Development and Social Policy 20
Violence and Reconciliation in Africa 20
Britain and the EU 20
Gender and Security in Global Politics 20
American Foreign Policy 20
Nuclear Weapons and Global Politics 20
Terrorism: Concepts, Debates, Cases 20
Philosophy of Human Rights 20
Radical Political Ideas 20
Reimagining Politics: Gender, Race, and Popular Culture 20
Video Games: Politics, Society and Culture 20
Disability and Development 20
State Crime and Immorality 20
Global Terrorism and Violence 20
Gender, Technologies and the Body 20
Ethnicity and Popular Culture 20

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain a diverse set of skills. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.

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, you could also be asked to complete essays, case study based projects, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs or project proposals. In your final year you’ll also submit a 12,000 word final year project.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

We do not require A-level Sociology or Politics for this course. However, in general you should be in the process of studying social science, arts and humanities subjects for A-level. See our accepted subjects document to see which subjects we accept.

We accept A-level General Studies.

When an applicant is taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) this can be considered alongside A-levels and may attact an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be ABB at A -level and grade A in the EPQ.

GCSE: grade 4/C or above in Mathematics.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 credits Distinction grade at Level 3.



Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M1

International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6,5,5 higher)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

(Leaving Certificate): AAAAAB

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAAAB overall (AB at advanced level)

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer:

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, we offer a foundation year for UK students who meet specific widening participation criteria. Learn more about the BA Social Science (foundation year).


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Sociology and Social Policy Undergraduate Admissions Team.

International foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

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.

We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we review applications after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration. Please see our Admissions Guidance page for more details as well as advice on personal statements.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy
School of Politics and International Studies

Contact us

School of Sociology and Social Policy Admissions Team


Career opportunities

Graduate destinations

Our graduates secure employment with some of the biggest UK companies in human resources, communications management, broadcasting and advertising. They are also ideally equipped to work in the public and third sector including in the Civil Service, teaching, youth work, fostering/children’s services, probation services, social work, prison service, housing and homelessness prevention.

Postgraduate opportunities

Graduates from this programme are well prepared for postgraduate study across a range of disciplines. Our recent graduates have gone on to study sociology, social policy, teacher training, journalism, occupational therapy, human resources, marketing, social work, criminal justice studies and social research.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

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.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.