Social Policy, Sociology & Crime BSc

Year of entry

2023 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Undergraduate students in a seminar

Our Social Policy, Sociology and Crime degree is a unique interdisciplinary programme that examines the changing nature of social relations, the role of social problems in our everyday lives and how institutions of the state respond to them.  

You will learn about the social and political construction of crime, including who and what comes to be recognised as ‘criminal’. In doing so, you will investigate how certain behaviours and populations are regulated and whose interests these interventions serve. 

By connecting ‘evidence-based’ policy issues facing contemporary societies to social theory, you will be able to comprehend why social problems persist and identify what can be done about them. A wide range of optional modules are available, allowing you to tailor your degree to your individual interests and study key topics in more detail.

Course highlights

  • Study in our world-ranked School of Sociology and Social Policy alongside staff and students from across the globe. 
  • Explore the latest real-world challenges across a range of social subjects and gain a global understanding of them.  
  • Learn from influential academics who are helping to shape policy and hear from inspiring guest speakers.  
  • Get the opportunity to study abroad and develop a global outlook or undertake a work placement to gain practical experience. 
  • Prepare for your future with careers and employability support.

Why choose Leeds for Sociology?

  • Join a diverse and welcoming global learning community.
  • Work together with our students and staff as we grapple with the grand challenges faced by human societies now and in the decades ahead.
  • Benefit from inclusive learning spaces, aligned with the themes of our research centres in gender, racism and disability.
  • Explore different ways to present your knowledge through our alternative methods of assessment, which include video ministerial briefings, research reports and assessments conducted beyond the university.

Course details

The course provides the opportunity for students to combine sociological theory with the critical and creative aspects of the discipline of social policy, and the policy area of crime.  

You will study from both a policy and theoretical perspective, considering the impact of the welfare state on questions of poverty and social exclusion, racial justice, gender recognition, disability, climate change and globalisation.

You will have the opportunity to deploy and combine various techniques of analysis and enquiry within the fields of Social Policy, Sociology and Crime. This will allow you to develop a conceptual understanding of policy debates and describe and comment on particular aspects of scholarship and recent research.  

Your study will be structured in ways that provides breadth, depth, proficiency in the application of policy analysis (both in term of the ‘social’ and the ‘anti-social’) and an aptitude towards theoretical concepts in quantitative or qualitative research. Crucially, you will have the opportunity to develop interests and informed opinions through independent study. 

Finally, you will be able to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding in a final year/level dissertation. This will provide you with the conceptual understanding required for future employment across a wide range of fields in the public, private and charitable sector, including employment spheres relating to crime or criminal justice.

You will graduate with key transferable skills developed in policy analysis and evaluation, critical thinking, research methods and collaborative working.


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

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information please read Social Policy, Sociology and Crime BSc in the course catalogue.

Year 1 compulsory modules 

Exploring the City: Local and Global Contexts (20 credits) – In this module, you’ll look at cities and urban cities from a sociological point of view. This will help you to think critically about everyday urban life. You’ll learn about the issues faced by different social groups within cities, and how local communities reflect global issues. You’ll also have the chance to develop your interests and research skills.

Crime and Society (20 credits) – This module shows you how to study crime via sociology. You’ll receive an overview of key theoretical ideas, and explore topics such as deviance and criminality in greater detail. You’ll also have the chance to examine and challenge these topics in greater depth.

Identities and Inequalities (20 credits) – Here, you’ll examine identities and social inequalities as key subjects in sociology and social policy. You’ll also take part in contemporary debates throughout the module, and explore other important ideas in sociology.

Making Sense of Society: Reading Social Theory (20 credits) – In this module, you’ll be introduced to several core concepts and theoretical approaches in sociology. While many of us know a lot about society (because we’re an important part of it) the module will give you the ideas (and perspectives) to turn your knowledge into a useful critical tool.

Debating Welfare States (20 credits) – In this module you’ll learn about the different influences on welfare states, including social, political, economic and cultural factors. You’ll look at the policy-making process behind welfare states, and see how social policy has developed over the years. You’ll also see how welfare politics has had an impact on questions of gender, race and ethnicity, disability, poverty and inequality.

Year 1 discovery modules 

You will also choose 20 credits of discovery modules. 

Year 2 compulsory modules

Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods (20 credits) – In this module you’ll learn more about different approaches to social research. Topics include research design, ethical issues, creating questionnaires, conducting interviews and observing participants. You’ll also have the chance to attend a series of research seminars.

Crime, Law and Regulation (20 credits) – This module takes on the ‘problem’ of criminality by looking at the rise of criminology. It goes on to look at several different theories of criminology, as well as other topics like the fear of crime, processes of victimisation and issues around crime prevention and policing. You’ll focus on how we explain delinquency, issues of class, gender, ‘race’ and age, and crimes of the powerful – particularly corporate and environmental crime.

You will also study ONE of the following 20 credit modules:

Key Debates in Social Policy (20 credits) – In this part of the course you’ll explore several key areas of social policy concern. You’ll learn about ideological debates, comparative questions and how we make policy. You’ll also be able to apply theoretical ideas to understand how social policies work in real life, within and without the UK.

Central Problems in Sociology (20 credits) – This module focuses on some of sociology’s key thinkers, sharing their ideas and how they have influenced one another. You’ll also look at several ideas related to social integration including the individual and society, power and social change, and the social basis of culture, beliefs and consciousness. These are applied to more familiar topics like religion, power, authority and sexuality, among others.

Year 2 optional modules 

You will choose up to 60 credits of optional modules. In previous years this has included the areas of youth crime and justice, gender and public policy.

Year 2 discovery modules 

If you choose fewer than 60 credits of optional modules you will also choose 20 credits of discovery modules. 

Year 3 compulsory modules 

Dissertation (40 credits) – Your dissertation is an extensive piece of written work that involves research into a topic of your choice. It’s an opportunity to pursue an area you’re interested in or explore a theme from your second and third-year modules in greater detail.

Research Skills for your Dissertation (20 credits) – This module will show you how to find a topic for your dissertation, and turn that into a question you can research. You’ll then choose one of five pathways through the module (based on a particular methodological approach) while helping you develop the skills to carry it out. You’ll undertake a variety of different online tasks including quizzes, guided reading, short videos and participating in moderated discussion.

Year 3 optional modules

You will choose up to 60 credits of optional modules. In previous years this has included the areas of crime and justice, disability and gender.

Year 3 discovery modules 

If you choose fewer than 60 credits of optional modules you will also choose 20 credits of discovery modules. 

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 diverse 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, reports and presentations. In your final year you’ll also submit a dissertation project.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

We do not require A-level Sociology 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.

When an applicant is taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) this can be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be BBB 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 at level 3, including 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit or higher.



Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M2, M2.

International Baccalaureate

34 overall (6,5,5 higher)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers or B in an Advanced Higher and AAABB in Highers or AABBBB in Highers.


We will consider applicants with the following T-levels at grade CACHE A, as well as GCSE English and GCSE Maths at 4 or above:

  • Education and Childcare
  • Health

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

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study a foundation year. Find out more about International 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: £24,500 (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.

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 2024

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy

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 about Careers support.

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.