What is sociology, social policy and social work?
Sociology is a broad subject concerned with understanding contemporary societies, exploring the social forces that shape our lives. It aims to understand the ways in which societies are created, reproduced and sustained over time and it calls in to question apparently “natural” structures and stratification in societies, trying to understand how inequalities of power and wealth have come about and are reproduced.
Social policy examines the historical development and contemporary practice of welfare, focusing on social problems such as poverty, homelessness, domestic violence and unemployment. It is available as a joint honours degree with sociology or as a specialist pathway within the single honours sociology degree.
The academic study of social work draws together knowledge, values and skills from a number of disciplines that enable practitioners to help people negotiate complex and painful experiences in their lives.
A common theme running through all the disciplines is exploring ways that we can make a difference to the society in which we live through greater understanding and insight. Relevant theories, concepts and research methods are applied to contemporary social issues and you will develop skills in analysis and critical thinking to be able to sustain an argument and communicate this effectively.
How will I study
Teaching is by lecture, seminar, tutorial and workshop. Student surveys regularly praise the enthusiasm of our staff and the interesting modules. You will be supported by our personal tutoring system, which means that you will be taught by your personal tutor in weekly tutorials relating to core modules.
You will develop skills that will enable you to take responsibility for your own learning, to communicate effectively, and to work collaboratively. The needs of our students take priority in the delivery of our courses. Our degrees and modules are subject to regular reviews that draw heavily on student feedback, which help us make them more enjoyable and intellectually rewarding.
Assessment is by a combination of exam, essay, project-work, presentation and dissertation. The first year is a qualifying year, which means you have to pass, but marks do not count towards your final degree. This gives you time to adapt to the University learning environment; the teaching has been designed to provide a broad basis for later studies. In years two and three the grades you obtain do count towards your final award with more weighting being given to the final year. At this stage, you will have more choice to study those elements which most interest you through the dissertation and module selection.
The BA Social Work is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council and meets their professional requirements.
We offer opportunities to spend the first semester of your final year studying abroad. While abroad, you will take appropriate courses at the host university and prepare work for your dissertation.
Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages.
Career prospects and employability
Our graduates follow a wide range of pathways, including employment in health care, welfare and education; administration, management, marketing and IT roles; and graduate training placements with leading national and multinational private sector corporations and businesses.
In 2012, 91.2% of first-degree graduates in the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,750 with the highest being £33,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
Application and interview
Offers are usually made without interview. However, all Social Work candidates must attend an interview; mature students and those without standard entry requirements may also be interviewed.
Visit days for students offered a place are normally held in February, March and April. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us
or for dates of University-wide open days, please visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/opendays