Institute of Education


Social Sciences BSc

The BSc Social Sciences at UCL offers a global perspective on social change, providing the tools for understanding and shaping future policy and practice. We provide a broad-based education in the social sciences (including sociology, psychology, politics and economics) through the study of topics such as education, migration, social inequalities and social mobility. The programme also offers the opportunity to study abroad for one academic year.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2020
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects.
Please refer to UCL’s list of preferred A level 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-reqs

Contextual offer

ABB (more about contextual offers)
No specific subjects.

IB Diploma

A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

Contextual offer

34 (more about contextual offers)
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 academics engaged in cutting-edge research on children and families, social mobility, diversity, migration and other key topics.

  • The IOE is a world-leading school for education and social science, ranked as the world number one for Education for the sixth year running (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019).

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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 Contemporary Society
Foundations of Psychology I
Foundations of Psychology II
Introduction to Social Science Research
Discovering Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Optional modules

Students choose 1.0 course units of optional modules. Modules offered include:
Politics: from Power to Participation
Understanding Social Policy
Introduction to Economics 1
Introduction to Economics 2
Note: Students also have access to a range of social science modules offered by other UCL Departments, subject to availability. In the past, our students have taken modules in Political Science, Anthropology, Education Studies, from the BASc degree, and other Departments. 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

Students choose 2.0 course units of optional modules. Modules offered include:
Sociology of Gender
London Lab
Public Health in Context
Social Inequality and Mobility
Sociology of Childhood
Health, Wellbeing and Society
Work and Employment Relations
Economics of Education
The Economics of Children and Families
Population Studies
Economics of Public Policy
Personality and Individual Differences
Note: Students also have access to a range of social science modules offered by other UCL Departments, subject to availability. In the past, our students have taken modules in Political Science, Anthropology, Education Studies, from the BASc degree, and other Departments. Some modules are capped and not all module combinations are possible due to timetabling clashes.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Social Sciences Dissertation
Social Science Seminar

Optional modules

Students choose 2.5 course units of optional modules. Modules offered include:
Thinking through identities
Gender, Families and Work
Citizenship, political exclusion and the racialised state
Power, Conflict and Collective Action: The Sociology of Social Movements
Love, intimacy and sexuality
Migration and Society
Social Justice and Social Psychology
Food and Society
Political Sociology
Ageing and Society
Economics of Developing Countries
Game Theory for the Social Sciences
Social Networks
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.


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. You will develop excellent skills in critical thinking and empirical analysis, helping to prepare you for employment or further study.

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
I think the most valuable thing my degree has given me is my ability to think independently and to have, sustain and justify my own opinions. I think that is really important - it has given me a lot of confidence in myself. Read more Ashly Fuller - Social Sciences BSc Third year
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. Meet more IOE students Anna Adams - Social Sciences BSc Third Year
Student view
If you want to study an inter-disciplinary global degree that is going to change your perspective on social issues or help you shape your views on the world around you, the Social Science BSc will do just that. Read more Omar Hallab - Social Sciences BSc Third 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

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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 2020


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