• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: bOctober 2017
  • 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

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.

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.

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

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below. Please note that online application will open in October 2016.

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.

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.

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.
  • Ours is a vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students.
  • 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.

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 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 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.

    Year 1 compulsory module

    Year 2 compulsory modules

    Year 3 compulsory module

    Indicative option modules

    BSc Social Sciences dissertation (optional)

    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.

    Fees (2016/7)

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 6750 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa
    Birkbeck reserves the right to increase tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students up to £6935 per year from September 2017, subject to confirmation of Government regulations.

    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 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 these professions.

    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 examinations.

    Our research

    Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

    Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

    In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.

    Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.

    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