School of Sociology and Social Policy

Teaching and Learning

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We are a friendly and supportive school, committed to excellence in teaching.

The quality of our teaching provision has been recognised in recent years by the achievement of Lord Dearing Awards for excellence in teaching and learning, a University Chancellor's Award for teaching quality, a Vice-Chancellor's Award for exceptional achievement in teaching, and staff nominations for the Students' Union Staff Oscars.

Teaching methods

Teaching is delivered through interactive weekly lectures and small group seminars. Some modules also include practical workshops and the dissertation module has masterclasses, conference days, and one-to-one supervision.

Lectures are taken by between 40-140 students (depending on whether they are core or optional modules), and seminar classes are limited to no more than 25 students throughout your studies.

In the second and third years, personal tutorial groups are limited to just 10 students to reflect the increasing demands of study in these years.


You will be assessed through a combination of methods including exams, essays, project work and presentations, as well as a final year dissertation. You will normally receive feedback within three weeks of submission to enable you to improve for next time.

At the end of each semester, you will meet with your personal tutor to discuss all of the assessments and help you identify areas for improvement.

Course structures

The academic year runs from September to June and is broken down into two semesters, which run from the end of September to the end of January, and the end of January to the middle of June. Both semesters last 14 weeks, with 12 weeks for teaching and revision and two weeks dedicated to assessment.

There are also two extra weeks at the end of the second semester for completion of the assessment process and to enable returning students to discuss their results with their tutors and plan the next session's work.

Joint honours degrees

A joint honours degree offers a grounding in each of your chosen subject disciplines. Your core and optional modules will normally be split evenly between the two subjects, and there is also the opportunity to study modules from outside of the school.

Social work students

Teaching methods

For social work students, modules are delivered through lectures, seminars, workshops and work-based learning opportunities.

We use a variety of teaching methods to help you develop the professional knowledge and practical skills required to become a qualified social worker, including the use of audio-visual technology, role‑play, and information communication technology.

During year one, you will shadow a social worker and observe their practice. In subsequent years, university-based learning during the first semester is followed by around three months of full-time work experience in a social work-related setting.

Class sizes vary between 30-60 students, with seminars held with 10-15 students at a time.


Social work students are assessed against the professional standards for social work as well as academically.

Course structures

Social work students will spend their first year based at the university, where they will undertake work in applied skills for practice.

Second and third year social work students will be based at the university during the first semester and will go out on placement during the second semester.



School of Sociology and Social Policy

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

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