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BSc Social Science

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BSc Social Science

BSc
  • UCAS code L301
  • Option 3 years full time
  • Year of entry 2021

The course

Our School has an intellectually challenging approach to research and education. Studying Social Science at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts from within sociology, criminology, law, social policy and social work who will share their research and experience so that you gain invaluable skills, such as research and data analysis, which are highly sought after by employers. 

The BSc Social Science will help you to take a broad view of current social issues, and explore them from a range of different perspectives. It will introduce you to understanding society and people in society, not only from sociological and social policy perspectives, but also from socio-legal and applied ethical viewpoints.

Our approach to social issues involves a practical approach to research which includes evaluating policy and service provision and undertaking practical research projects.

This degree course will also provide you with practical experience of working with individuals and groups in society through a credited volunteer module, and there is also an optional year in industry module.

  • A rigorous and critical approach to understanding people in society
  • Practical experience of working with individuals and groups in communities
  • Broad academic training including social legal perspectives and applied ethics
  • Practical skills in evaluation and research

Core Modules

Year 1
  • Regulating Society: Law, Policy and Values
  • Social Division and Complexity in Contemporary Life: Poverty and Affluence, Identities and Cultures
  • Perspectives on People in Society: Life Span/Social Psychology
  • Applied Ethics and Social Issues
Year 2
  • The Welfare State and its Context: Past, Present and Future?
  • State, Communities and Individuals: The Legal System in its Social Context
  • This module provides you with an introduction to the philosophical issues in social research. You will look at ethics in social research and theory, quantitative versus qualitative methods, sampling, observation, interviewing, media analysis, and questionnaire design. You will be given the opportunity to work through the research process on a topic of independent study of your choosing.

Year 3
  • Comparative Welfare Societies
  • Critical Skills in Social Inquiry: Exploring Aspects of Marginalisation in Society
  • Research Project

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 2
  • Crime and the Law
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Youth in Society: The Sociology of Youth & Youth Culture
  • Public Law (Constitutional, Administrative and Human Rights Law)
  • Perspectives on People in Society: Life Span/Social Psychology
  • Madness and Society
  • Critical Perspectives on Children, Families and Communities
Year 3
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of different sociological approaches to the study of health and illness, with an awareness of the social patterning and causes of ill health. You will critically examine debates in the sociology of health and illness, considering factors such as social class, gender and ethnicity.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of different sociological approaches to the study of health and illness, with an awareness of the social patterning and causes of ill health. You will critically examine debates in the sociology of health and illness, considering factors such as social class, gender and ethnicity.

  • Critical Readings in Sociology
  • Critical Readings in Criminology
  • In this module you will develop a historical and sociological understanding of the study of race, racism and ethnicity, with an awareness of the way in which these interact with other social divisions and inequalities. You will anylse the extent to which race and ethnicity are central to how society is organised and structured, with knowledge of the models of race relations and the relevance of geography and politics.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of key debates in relation to children, society and risk, childhood, children's rights, citizenship and social harm. You will look at empirical and theoretical studies in these areas and understand the ways in which social policy, and criminal justics agencies, are adapting their responses to deal with crimes commited against children.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the different criminological, sociological and psychological appraoches to the study of terrorism. You will gain an oversight of terrorism within the content of current policy and global governance, with specific reference to international law and human rights. You will examine debates on the threats posed by terrorism, considering the emergence of the new terrorism in Britain.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of terrorism on the global stage, examining different perspectives on its history and development, starting with the emergence of new terrorism in the post 9/11 era. You will analyse global repsonses to terrorism, considering the differentiated impact of terrorism on a global scale, and the way in which fear of terrorism can be used as an instrument of political power by various state agencies. 

  • In this module you will develop a knowledge of illicit drugs, their effects and how they have been used cross-culturally through time. You will gain an insight into the sociological and psychological theories that seeks to explain addiction and problem drug use, with practical knowledge of how drug users and drug markets have been controlled through policy, enforcement and legislation.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of key sociological, psychological and criminal-legal approaches to gender and sexuality. You will think critically about how theories of gender and sexuality have informed the study of crime and shaped our understanding of sexual offences, and the relationship between gender, sexuality and criminal justice, from the 19thcentury to the present day. You will look at case studies that have shaped the study of gender, sexuality, and crime hisotrically and in the present day, such as the violations perpetrated against women through the diagnosis of 'hysteria', the development of the law of rape, sociological and psychological appraoches to sex offenders, and debates about the crimialisation of pornography.

  • International and Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Voluntary Work in the Community
  • ’You will complete 120 credits each year mainly made up either 15 or 30 credit units.’In the first year all units are compulsory in the second and third year there will some choice of optional units, including a 30 credit ‘Year in Industry’ unit.
  • Teaching will involve a range of methods including, lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, peer group work and practical activities (such as court visits and engagement with community groups) 
  • Assessment will involve a range of methods including, essays, examinations and tests and practical projects.
  • Throughout the course a tutor will be available to you to provide advice on the choice of courses and to offer pastoral support.
  • In the final year of the course you will undertake a research project and you will be allocated a specialist dissertation supervisor to support you with this.

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