Introduction to Social Sciences (Certificate of Higher Education): 1-year, full-time

Year of entry

2017

Start date

September 2017

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

UCAS Code

L110

Duration

One year full-time

Attendance

One to two evenings a week, plus one to two Saturdays per term

Other entry years for this course

2018

This course provides an introduction to studying social sciences at university and will help you develop the learning approaches and study skills you need to progress to an undergraduate degree in social sciences, including Birkbeck's BSc Social Sciences

This flexible, one-year course has been specifically designed for people who want to study social sciences at university level, but who don't have any qualifications or are returning to study after a break from formal education. 

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Highlights

  • Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, delivering stimulating teaching that is specially designed for people returning to study.
  • You will have access to the University of London's wealth of study resources, including Birkbeck Library, which has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
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Course structure

In term 1 you begin with the Approaches to Study module, or, if English isn't your first language, Approaches to Study with English Language Support.

In term 2, you progress to the compulsory Writing and Language module, which focuses on the development of writing skills.

In term 3, you choose two option modules from Geography, History, Maths and Statistics, Psychology or Sociology. An option module in Politics is also available, which runs in term 2.

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 applications from applicants without traditional entry qualifications. We assess by interview and application your suitability for degree level study, taking into account the knowledge and skills that you have gained since leaving formal education.

    This programme has no specific formal entry requirements. It is not suitable if you already have an undergraduate degree.

    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 6.0, with not less than 5.5 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.

    Please note that this course is not open to international students who require a Tier 4 visa.

    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

    Full-time home/EU students: £ 6000 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 6000 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

    During this course you will experience a wide range of teaching styles, as preparation for further study. These include lecturer-led discussions, collaborative work, small group tasks, gathering and interpreting data, seminars, chaired debates, structured home study, a virtual learning environment, problem-solving exercises, individual presentations, constructive review of peers' work, and one-to-one tutorials.

    Study skills and active, independent learning are integrated into each module. You will develop study skills in areas including time management, note-taking, reading, critical thinking, essay writing, finding and using information and resources from libraries, the internet and other sources, and referencing sources.

    The value of learning outside the classroom is reinforced by the inclusion of visits to museums, film viewing, seminars and meetings.

    This is an intensive programme and you must be willing to work independently outside of class for 15-20 hours a week.

    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

    You usually complete three or four pieces of assessed work for each module, which will total around 5000 words. You also complete a timed in-class assessment in at least one module on the programme.

    Tasks include critical analysis of specific sources, essays, reports, case studies, oral presentations, reflective commentaries, written tasks and learning reviews.

    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

    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.

  • 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

    If you are applying for a one-year, full-time Certificate of Higher Education at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you are applying between 30 June and 30 September 2017, you have to apply through UCAS Clearing.

    Avoid the rush and get a place through Clearing at Birkbeck today by following these steps:

    • Contact our Student Advice Service on 020 3907 0700 and tell them which course you are interested in.
    • Our Student Advice Service will put you in touch with the relevant department, who will discuss your application with you.
    • If you are then offered a place, enter Birkbeck and your course details into ‘Track’ on the UCAS website. We will then be able to confirm your acceptance to UCAS.

    If you are waiting for A-level results, the Birkbeck Clearing hotline will be available from 8am to 6pm on Thursday 17 August and from 9am to 6pm on Friday 18 August 2017 on 020 3907 0700.

    Find out more about Clearing at Birkbeck, including key dates and how it all works.

    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.

    UCAS Code

    L110

    Application deadlines and interviews

    15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.

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