School of Sociology and Social Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled this list of frequently asked questions to help applicants. You might also find it useful to visit the university's frequently asked questions page.

Undergraduate FAQs

How many contact hours are there per week?

In addition to weekly staff office ours, the School follows the University’s Policy on contact and teaching hours. More information can be found in the Academic Regulations section of the Quality Manual.

How do I apply for undergraduate study?

All applications must be made through the UCAS system.

Can I visit the School of Sociology and Social Policy?

If you are considering applying to the school, we recommend attending one of the university-wide open days held in June and September each year.

Mini open days are also held in the autumn and offer the opportunity to have a tour of the school as well as speak to current students and academics about the course you are interested in.

There is also the opportunity to visit the university as part of a self-guided campus tour.

If you are made an offer, you will also be invited to attend an offer-holder day.

How much are the fees for undergraduate study?

Please see our fees webpage for fee information.

If you are an international applicant, please see the university's international students' information.

What financial assistance is available?

The university offers a generous package of support to students from lower income households.

These are in addition to any support you may receive from the government. For more information, please see the financial support webpage, or take a look at the 'funding' tab on the relevant course entry in our online prospectus.

If you are an international applicant (outside of the EU), please see the university's international students' information.

What support do you offer for students with disabilities?

We welcome applications from students with disabilities and will provide you with as much support as possible.

We are committed to promoting access for students who have a disability, dyslexia, or a long-term medical condition, with the aim to enable students to fulfil the requirements of the course as independently as possible.

What support is available for students with children?

There are a range of childcare services available, including a university day nursery, a play scheme and play centre day care.

There is also a scheme to help students fund childcare.

Do I need sociology at A level?

There are no specific subject requirements, but we have a preference for subjects with an essay component and do not accept general studies or critical thinking.

Can I apply for more than one course?

Yes, just detail which courses you wish to apply for on your UCAS form.

Can I defer entry for a year?

Yes. Please tell us something about your plans for your gap year in your personal statement.

Can mature students apply?

Yes, we encourage applications from mature students. View more information about being a mature student.

Are the courses open to international students?

Yes, we welcome applications from international students and have students from many parts of the world studying with us.

Support and advice on visas, immigration regulations, working and living in the UK and entry requirements is available on our international applicants website.

Do you accept other qualifications, other than A levels?

BTEC National Diplomas, Scottish Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate and the Welsh Baccalaureate are taken to be equivalent to the standard A level requirements.

Those with non-standard qualifications are advised to seek advice from the school. All applications are treated individually and are considered equally, with any decisions based on merit.

Will I need to attend an interview?

BA Social Work applicants are required to participate in a two-stage candidate assessment process comprising of an assessment day and interview, which take place between January and April.

We do not normally interview applicants for our other degree programmes.

Can I study part-time?

Yes, although it should be noted that all of our teaching is during the daytime. If you are interested in studying part-time with us, please contact the school in the first instance.

Are there any opportunities to study abroad?

Yes. Students on our undergraduate sociology, criminology and joint honours criminology and sociology degree programmes can apply to spend a semester at an overseas university through our study abroad programme.

Please be aware that study abroad, compulsory year abroad, optional placements/internships and integrated year in industry opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities or placement/industry hosts, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university's control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

What are the options if I don't quite achieve the grades I need?

This is a difficult one to answer as it very much depends on how many places there are available, the performance of other applicants, and other market factors. In previous years we have taken 'near miss' applicants that have dropped a grade so while we can't promise a place, we certainly give serious consideration to those that don't quite achieve their grades.

Can I transfer into year two from another university?

Students who transfer into our courses from other institutions normally start in year one, but we would consider transfers directly into the second year in exceptional circumstances. For the BA Social Work course, however, students must start in year one.

Will I need Disclosure and Barring Service clearance for the BA Social Work programme?

Yes, all applicants will need to apply for DBS clearance once registered on the programme.


Postgraduate FAQs

I need to apply for a visa. How do I get my CAS certificate?

Before a CAS certificate can be issued you would need to pay a deposit, which must be paid before the start of your course. You also need to have an unconditional, firmly accepted offer. For further details on CAS Certificates and visas please see the international applicants webpages.

Who do I contact for information on accommodation?

Please contact the accommodation office.

Is there a deadline for applications?

Due to the timescales in obtaining a visa, there is a deadline for international students of mid August. See the applicants portal for the current deadline.  

When can I start my studies?

All our MA programmes have start dates in September.

PhD students can take up their places at the beginning of semester one, in October, or semester two in January each year.  

Can I defer my place?

It is normally possible to defer entry for one academic year; however applicants need to confirm this within three months of their offer start date.

How do I apply?

You can apply via our online application form.

How much is my course and who can I contact for my query on fees?

Tuition fees vary depending on your chosen programme.

The postgraduate prospectus has a range of helpful information about fees and funding.

Where can I find out about scholarships?

Funding is made available every year by the university to provide opportunities to study with us at postgraduate level.

In addition to the funding offered by the school, the university makes significant funding available to International and European Union applicants to support their study.

What conditions might my offer include?

The offer might be conditional on:

  • receiving two satisfactory references
  • successful completion of your undergraduate or postgraduate degree
  • fulfilment of the English Language requirements
  • evidence of previous degrees

All documents must be originals in the form of official documents with university/awarding body stamps or seals.

What are the entry and English Language requirements?

All graduate students are expected to be fluent in written and spoken English.

Candidates whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate that their English meets the minimum level of proficiency required by the school. Details can be found on the relevant pages of the postgraduate prospectus.

Students who do not meet the required level of proficiency may need to take a presessional course offered by the university's Centre for English Language Education, covering language, study skills, social English and orientation to living in Britain.


Postgraduate research specific FAQs

Should I include a research proposal?

Yes, for postgraduate research students, before we consider your application we need to have an indication of your proposed research topic. This should be between two and four pages long and needs to cover the following:

  • Your research topic
  • A clear and manageable set of research questions
  • A brief indication of relevant literature in your research area
  • Some of the key concepts and frameworks you will be using 
  • An indication of the research methodology, in particular techniques of data collection and analysis
  • How you will get access to your research sites, if required
  • The contribution to knowledge that your research is intended to make

We will not make any offer of a place until we have received a detailed research proposal, so please include this with your application. If we do not receive a proposal either with your initial application, or within a month of our requesting one, we will assume you are no longer interested in a place here.

We would also like to see a sample work submitted for your MA. Please scan and submit a copy of your best piece of work, with marks.

What happens once I apply for a postgraduate research degree?

We will look at your application closely to see if you have met our academic standards and English language requirements. Please note that we require at least a pass with merit at masters level. We will then try to match your research interests with those of the staff here. We will only offer you a place if we have two appropriate supervisors.

Once supervisors have been identified, you will be invited to partake in an interview to discuss you proposal. This can be done via Skype or telephone for convenience.

How long will it take to process my application?

Once we have received your application and research proposal we aim to make a decision within 21 days. This may take a little longer if relevant staff are away from the university, especially in December and August.

What conditions might the offer include?

The offer might be conditional on:

  • receiving two satisfactory references
  • evidence of masters degree at Merit
  • evidence of 2:1 (or equivalent) for your undergraduate degree
  • fulfilment of the English language requirements

Evidence of qualifications must be in the form of official documents with university/awarding body stamps or seals.

Entry is directly to PhD study. The first year of PhD registration is provisional until after the Confirmation of PhD review after nine months of full-time registration or 18 months part-time.



School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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