• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    Approximately 4 contact hours a week plus 8-10 hours of independent study.

    Different modules are held on different evenings in the week.

  • Location:

    Central London

  • Professional bodies that recognise this course:

Programme overview

The BSc Social Sciences is a flexible, interdisciplinary degree that will give you the theoretical tools and knowledge to better understand the social-political world, why social inequality persists and how your own life experiences intersect with wider social structures, such as 'race', class and gender. The knowledge and skills that you will build on this programme are highly valued in today's world of work and will build your capacity as a thinker, communicator and analyst.

The course is structured around 4 courses that cover the fundamentals of social theory, social and public policy, and research methods. You can choose from over 30 option modules each year from across the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy, so you can make the degree your own, focusing on your own interests, strengths and experiences. You can graduate with either a general BSc Social Sciences or with a specialism in one of: anthropology; communication; development studies; geography; history; politics; psychosocial studies; or social policy.

BSc Social Science students come from a range of backgrounds and pursue a wide spectrum of careers, including in central or local government, public policy, cultural industries, enterprise, social research and journalism. You will study in the evening alongside London's working professionals and be taught by academics who are world-leading researchers and experts in their field, committed to engaging and participatory teaching.

To find out more, read our programme handbook (2014-2015).

This course is also available for full-time evening study over 3 years or for part-time evening study over 4 years in Stratford.

How to apply

You will need to apply online for this course.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

Application deadlines and interviews

We assess your suitability by application and interview.

Online application

Social Sciences (BSc): 4-year, part-time, central London (Part-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • Birkbeck's innovative, creative and interdisciplinary courses will help you become a competent, critical and responsible student of the social world and the psychological and social forces that shape individuals.
  • Follow your interests and choose to specialise in communication, geography, history, politics, psychosocial studies, social anthropology or social policy.
  • You will join a flourishing and diverse undergraduate student community.

Course structure

This programme consists of modules worth a total of 360 credits, comprising 120 credits at Levels 4, 5 and 6 respectively.

If you intend to graduate with a certain specialism, you must select option modules in that area (to the value of 90 credits): 1 module at Level 5 and 2 modules at Level 6.

A typical part-time route through the programme is as follows:

    In Year 1, you are introduced to key contemporary debates in the social sciences and to university study in general. You take 1 compulsory module and choose option modules at Level 4 worth a total of 60 credits.

      In Year 2, you study the debates associated with the social science disciplines about the person as an individual and as a member of multiple local, national and international collectivises. You are introduced to debates in social theory, drawing on a number of disciplinary perspectives. You are also introduced to the research methods used in the social sciences, including qualitative and quantitative techniques and related epistemological debates. You take 2 compulsory modules and choose a Level 5 option module worth 30 credits.

        In Year 3, you are introduced to issues of social and public policy and how these relate to theoretical debates in the social sciences. You take 1 compulsory module plus a Level 5 option module worth 30 credits and a Level 6 option module worth 30 credits.

          In Year 4, you take an advanced social theory course and can opt to develop advanced analytical and research skills by undertaking an independent dissertation. You take 1 compulsory module and can either choose to undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits or option modules worth 60 credits.

            Year 1 compulsory module

            Year 2 compulsory modules

            Year 3 compulsory module

            Year 4 compulsory module

            BSc Social Sciences dissertation

            Entry requirements

            We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

            Alternative entry routes

            Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.

            Students who take modules worth 90 credit points with a minimum pass mark of 50% can progress into Year 2.

            International entry requirements

            If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

            Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


            Part-time home/EU students: £ 6750 pa
            Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

            Payment and Fees Discounts

            Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

            Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

            Funding and Financial Support

            With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

            Careers and employability

            Graduates go on to careers in central or local government, education, social, health or housing service, cultural industries and other statutory, private and not-for-profit sectors, social research in the social science disciplines, and journalism.

            Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

            We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

            Teaching and assessment


            Most of the teaching will take the form of lectures and seminars. For the dissertation, learning will rely more heavily on one-to-one tutorials/supervisions. Students are encouraged through learning journals and other pieces of coursework to become self-aware and independent learners.


            A range of assessment methods is used, for instance essays, other written tasks (e.g. learning journals, policy briefs), presentations and end-of-module exams.

            Further study opportunities

            Not ready to do a degree?

            We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

            If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

            Key Information Set

            Welcome to Birkbeck, London's evening university: Consistently voted number 1 in London for teaching and student satisfaction in the UK National Student Surveys.