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

Year of entry

2017

Start date

October 2017

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Four years part-time

Attendance

One to two evenings a week

Other entry years for this course

2018

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 four themes 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.

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.

This course is available for full-time and part-time evening study in central London and Stratford.

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Highlights

  • 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.
  • Ours is a vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
  • You will have access to the Birkbeck Library, as well as other university libraries in Bloomsbury and Stratford. We offer student support and have a wide range of world-class research resources.
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Course structure

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

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 one 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 two 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 one compulsory module, plus a Level 5 option module worth 30 credits and a Level 6 option module worth 30 credits.

In Year 4, you can either choose to undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits and option modules worth 30 credits, or you can choose option modules worth 90 credits.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

    Read more about modules
    • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

      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

      If you are returning to study, the Certificate of Higher Education in Higher Education Introductory Studies (Social Science Pathway) is accepted as an entry requirement onto the part-time BSc. The certificate can lead to exemption from Year 1 if you successfully complete designated modules to an appropriate standard.

      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.

      If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

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

      Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

      If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

      Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

    • Fees We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.

      Fees

      Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
      Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa
    • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

      Teaching

      At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

      Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

      Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

      In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

      Methods of teaching on this course

      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.

      Timetables

      Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

      Indicative class size

      Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

      Academic support

      Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

      • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
      • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
      • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

      Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

      Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

      Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

      Assessment

      Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

      Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

      Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

      Methods of assessment on this course

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

      Feedback

      As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

      Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

      Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

      Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

    • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

      Careers and employability

      Graduates can pursue careers in local or national government, education, social work or research. This degree may also be useful in becoming a charity officer, journalist, social researcher or further education lecturer.

      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.

      Graduate Destinations

      Go on to work and/or study:

      Go on to work and/or study
      Now working: 70%
      Doing further study: 15%
      Studying and working: 10%
      Unemployed: 0%
      Other: 10%

      Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

    • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

      How to apply

      You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

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

      Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

      Application deadlines and interviews

      We assess your suitability by application and interview.

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