Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Social Sciences BSc

A rapidly changing global landscape raises fundamental issues about the relationship between individuals and society. The interdisciplinary Social Sciences BSc at UCL offers opportunities to engage with global perspectives on social change, and tools for understanding, shaping and innovating in future policy and practice. Social Sciences students will develop excellent skills in critical thinking and empirical analysis, preparing you for employment or further study.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer

ABB (more about contextual offers)
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

IB Diploma

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

Contextual offer

34 (more about contextual offers)
A total 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 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

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: 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

  • The Social Sciences degree at UCL provides students with a unique opportunity to explore relationships between the individual and society through an interdisciplinary lens. Students will use a range of methods to understand key global issues, their genesis, and ways to tackle them.

    You will also have the opportunity to study abroad for one academic year.

  • The programme offers core modules in sociology, psychology and research methods, plus a wide choice of modules exploring gender, politics, social justice, inequalities, international relations, and economics through which students will be able to identify and pursue their own areas of interest.   

  • The programme emphasises research-led teaching from leading scholars, at all stages of their careers, who bring a range of disciplinary perspectives to bear on contemporary issues, while putting these in historical and global context.

  • Rigorous training in research skills is invaluable for future employment and study. There is a strong emphasis on equipping students with practical and transferable skills in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. 

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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. Subject to availability, students also have access to a wide range of social science modules offered by other UCL Departments, including those in anthropology, philosophy and political science.

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 within the social sciences.

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 an independent research project and write a dissertation. An optional module offers students an opportunity to gain advanced research skills by undertaking a mentored research internship within the Social Research Institute.  

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

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Social Sciences.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

Foundations of Psychology I
Foundations of Psychology II
Introduction to Sociology
Social Change Within Contemporary Society
Introduction to Social Science Research
Discovering Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods (DQQRM)

Optional modules

Students choose two optional modules. Modules offered include:
Politics: from Power to Participation
Understanding Social Policy
Introduction to Economics I
Introduction to Economics II
Note: Students also have access to a wide 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, Security and Crime Science, 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.

Compulsory module(s)

Social Theory
Social Psychology
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods

Optional modules

Students choose four optional modules. Modules offered include:
Sociology of Gender
Uncertainty in contemporary societies: A psychosocial approach to wellbeing
London Lab
Public Health in Context
Social Inequality and Mobility
Sociology of Childhood
Health, Wellbeing and Society
Work and Employment Relations
Economics of Education
Economics of Public Policy
Families in Society
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, Security and Crime Science, Education Studies, from the BASc degree, and other Departments. Some modules are capped and not all module combinations are possible due to timetabling clashes.

Compulsory module(s)

Social Sciences Dissertation
Social Science Seminar

Optional modules

Students choose five optional modules. Modules offered include:
Research Internship in the Social Sciences
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
International Development
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, as well as film screenings, field visits and specialist guest lectures. 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. All students have a personal tutor throughout the three years of the degree.

There is the opportunity to study abroad for one academic year at one of our partner institutions.

Undergraduate students are expected to carry out 40 hours of study per week during term time. Approximately 30% of this time is spent in lectures and seminars. The remainder will be independent personal study time – i.e. research, reading, writing, etc. 

There are no lectures, seminars, or tutorials on Wednesday afternoons. This allows students to attend various activities available at UCL or elsewhere. 


Assessment is through a mix of essays, written examinations, practical exercises, blog posts, film reviews, explainers, 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.

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


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Social Sciences BSc students learn to understand and analyse complex global and social issues, gain multidisciplinary training in research skills, and learn how different 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, including government, public administration, charities and international development, politics, journalism, teaching and research, as well as non-governmental organisations.

The degree also prepares students for graduate studies in the social sciences.

UCL is committed 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
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
Student view
What I love about Social Sciences is that a lot of my classes have provided me with a critical lens to understand the world with. I like that what we learn in our course makes us constantly think and question the things around us in everyday life. The topics we talk about in lectures and in seminars definitely aren’t confined to the classroom. I find myself constantly thinking about them. Read more Carolina Abbott Galvão - Social Sciences BSc
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

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK 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 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below. Fees for the 2022/23 academic year will be advertised as soon as they are available.

UK students
£9,250 (2021/22)
Overseas students
£23,300 (2021/22)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

This programme does not have any additional costs outside of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


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.

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 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: 26 January 2022


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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 5 August 2021