Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Social Sciences with Data Science BSc

This BSc degree programme focuses on understanding the social and economic forces that shape our world. Crucially, it combines insights from the social sciences with rigorous training in the skills of quantitative data analysis that are highly valued in the labour market. You will study at least three social science disciplines including sociology and economics.

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 lower than 5.

Contextual offer

34 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 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

  • A multidisciplinary programme that allows you to choose from a wide range of modules across the social sciences and to tailor the programme to your own interests.

  • You will be trained in specialist skills in data science, which are highly valued and are in short supply among social science graduates.  These skills are highly prized in a range of professions including the civil service, academia, journalism, financial analysis and marketing. 

  • Part of the UCL Q-Step Centre which offers state of the art training in social data science.

  • The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is a world-leading centre for education and social science, ranked as the world number one for Education for the eighth year running (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).

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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).

Year one provides a firm foundation in the core disciplines of sociology and economics. It also covers the principles and practice of social inquiry, and the basics of data analysis.

In all years you can choose optional modules from other social science subjects across UCL, subject to availability.

In years two and three you continue with advanced modules in data science, study subjects across the social sciences, and undertake a dissertation. You may also opt to spend your third year abroad, returning to UCL for your final year of study.

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


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)

Introduction to Economics I
Introduction to Economics II
Introduction to Sociology
Social Change Within Contemporary Society
Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Political Science
Principles of Social Science Research - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Political Science

Optional modules

You will choose two optional modules, including but not restricted to the following:
Foundations of Psychology I
Foundations of Psychology II
Understanding Social Policy

Compulsory module(s)

Data Analysis (double module) - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Political Science 

Optional modules

You will choose six optional modules, including but not restricted to the following:
Social Inequality and Mobility
Political Sociology
Economics of Public Policy
Economics of Education
Health, Wellbeing and Society
Work and Employment Relations
Sociology of Childhood
Social Psychology

Compulsory module(s)

Dissertation: Social Science with Quantitative Methods
Choose two Q-Step modules among:
- Causal Analysis in Data Science - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Political Science
- Measurement in Data Science - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Political Science
- Social Network Analysis - Q-Step module hosted by the Social Research Institute
- Cartography and Data Visualization - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Geography
- Mining Social and Geographical Data Sets - Q-Step module hosted by the Department of Geography

Optional modules

You will choose four optional modules.  The list is to be confirmed, but the options are likely to include the following:
Game Theory for the Social Sciences
Economics of Developing Countries
Migration and Society
Social Network Analysis
Ageing and Society

Your learning

Teaching will be delivered through lectures, seminars allowing in-depth discussion, computer laboratory classes analysing a range of different social science data, group work, and UCL's virtual learning environment.

Students take four modules each term.  Each module has a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour seminar per week.  So altogether there are 12 hours of "classroom time" per week.  In addition, students can be expected to spend 20 to 25 hours per week on self-directed study.


Assessment is through a mix of examinations, practical exercises, essays, individual and group presentations and a dissertation in the final year of study. The weight given to each assessment method will vary across modules to ensure manageable workloads throughout the programme.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Social Sciences with Data Science 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.


The UCL Q-Step Centre was set up in the UK as part of a £19.5 million programme to combat the shortage of quantitative skills in the social sciences.

Having a degree in data science can increase your job opportunities as graduates with strong quantitative skills and social science insights are in short supply. Professions include those in the civil service, academia, journalism, financial analysis and marketing. The breadth and depth of the social science subjects and the methodological training provided by this degree will also equip students for Master's or PhD study.

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
The lecturers were really helpful – whenever we had problems the department tried to sort it out. The lecturers would share the research they were working on and it was good to see first-hand what they were doing. Read more Lida Ghanadian - Social Sciences with Data Science BSc

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
To be confirmed (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

You will require the approved model of calculator for use in exams.  Currently this is either the Casio FX-85GT X or Casio FX-83GT X, which can be purchased for around £11 - £15.  For details please see the UCL examinations guide.

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 should explain why you are interested in issues in the social sciences. These might include education, inequality, health and illness, poverty, social mobility, environment, development, social welfare, and so on. A preference for a multidisciplinary approach rather than limiting yourself to one discipline will also be an advantage.

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