Institute of Education


Social Sciences BSc

You will be taught by leading academics engaged in cutting-edge research on children and families, social mobility, diversity, and migration and will study at least three social science disciplines taught at UCL, including sociology and psychology, gaining an understanding of the social and economic forces shaping our world. There is also the opportunity to study abroad for one academic year.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects.
(contextual offer)
ABB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
No specific subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-requirements

IB Diploma

A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.
(contextual offer)
34 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.

AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher).

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • A global social sciences degree at UCL - London's global university - giving students the opportunity to explore the relationship between the individual and society.

  • An interdisciplinary degree offering you an understanding of key global issues - their genesis and ways to tackle them. Rigorous training in research skills is invaluable for future employment and study. The degree offers students a considerable choice of optional modules.

  • You will be taught by leading researchers in the Department of Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and by other UCL scholars.

  • The IOE is a world-leading school for education and social science, ranked as the world number one for Education for the fifth year running (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018).

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Each year, you will take a number of individual modules. First year core modules focus on sociology and psychology, and an introduction to research methods. You can specialise in a further social science discipline through optional modules.

In year two, core modules focus on social theory, social psychology, and advanced research methods, while the wide range of optional modules allows you to pursue your own areas of interest and specialise further.

Year three combines a core social science seminar module, involving workshops and seminars with invited guest speakers, with a wide range of optional modules. You will also conduct a research project and write a dissertation.

Modules focus on understanding social, cultural, and economic dynamics and processes in societies and individual lives, including education, health, gender, the labour market, income inequality, poverty, and public policy affecting them.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Introduction to Sociology
Social Change in Modern Society
Foundations of Psychology I
Foundations of Psychology II
Introduction to Social Science Research
Discovering Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Optional modules

You will choose 1.0 credits of optional modules from a list, which may include the following:
Understanding Social Policy
Introduction to Economics
Families in Society
Introduction to Social Anthropology
Comparative Politics
Living in a Schooled Society
Note: not all modules are available every year, and some modules are capped. Not all module combinations are possible due to timetabling clashes.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Social Theory
Social Psychology
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods

Optional modules

You will choose 2.0 credits of optional modules from a list, which may include the following:
Public Health in Context
Sociology of Gender
London Lab
Health and Social Epidemiology
Sociology of Childhood
Economics of Education
The Economics of Children and Families
Demography and the Life Course
Economics of Public Policy
Social Inequality and Mobility
Work and Employment Relations
Political and Economic Anthropology
Cognitive Psychology
Note: not all modules are available every year, and some modules are capped. Not all module combinations are possible due to timetabling clashes.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Social Science Seminar 

Optional modules

You will choose 2.0 credits of optional modules from a list, which may include the following:
Gender, Work, and Family
Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality
Migration, Diversity, and Transnationalism
Culture and Psychology
The Sociology and Anthropology of Food
Economics of Higher Education
Note: not all modules are available every year, and some modules are capped. Not all module combinations are possible due to timetabling clashes.

Your learning

Teaching on the degree includes a stimulating mix of lectures, small-group seminars, and workshops. All students have a personal tutor throughout the three years of the degree. You will also attend practical sessions to discover, explore, and analyse qualitative data (such as interviews, visual material, and other data) and quantitative data through statistical techniques.


Assessment is through a mix of essays, written examinations, practical exercises, and a dissertation in the final year of study. The weight given to each assessment method varies across modules to ensure a manageable workload throughout the programme.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Social Sciences BSc.


Social Sciences BSc students learn to understand and analyse complex global and social issues, gain multidisciplinary training in research skills, and learn how different research methods contribute to understanding real-world phenomena. You will also have an opportunity to conduct an independent research project for your dissertation.

The degree prepares you for a wide range of careers in the public and private sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations. It will also provide a strong social science foundation for future graduate study.


The first cohort of students admitted to the Social Sciences BSc is due to graduate in 2019. Therefore, information about career destinations for students on this programme is not yet available.

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Student view
Social Sciences is a programme for people who want to learn more about how people work; why we do things, how people are linked, and the way in which the world affects us. It's an interactive degree which makes learning about new concepts so much more interesting. Anna Adams - Social Sciences BSc First Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2019/20 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2019/20 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2019/20)
Overseas students
£19,970 (2019/20)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2018 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2019 entry will be published when they are available.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In your personal statement you will need to demonstrate strong writing skills and analytical ability. You should also demonstrate your interest in global social issues, including social justice issues. You should show awareness that this is a broad-based interdisciplinary degree. Finally, you need to show that you can work effectively both on your own and as part of a group. We assess applications in the round, and value voluntary work and evidence of engagement in social issues.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2019


For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.