Why this course?
Social policy is a theoretical and applied subject which draws on many different disciplines - such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology and politics - to improve our understanding of how different societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas.
This new social policy degree programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and enables you to place these in a broader international and comparative perspective.
It also addresses some of the major questions of our time, such as how should social policy adapt to a changing global, digital, connected and information-rich world? How can we adapt social policies to the needs of a more diverse society? And how should resources be distributed, not only between generations, but also within them?
We also offer some of the best teaching in Human Resource Management (HRM) in both Scotland and the UK.
The Department of Human Resource Management is an accredited centre for teaching HRM. This means our postgraduate courses give students graduate membership of the leading professional body for HR managers – the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Human Resource Management (HRM) is about the relationship between employers and employees and the ways in which people are managed in the workplace.
This covers areas such as recruitment and selection, training and developing and managing conflict at work. These are an important part of the management process in all organisations.
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
What you'll study
Our Semester 1 module provides a wide-ranging introduction to some of the key challenges facing Scottish society in areas such as health, housing, education and social security. The Semester 2 module asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems’. At what point do individual or personal issues come to be defined as social issues, and why?
You'll have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the development of Scottish social policy. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in Social Policy, including such issues as human needs, social welfare, inequality, poverty, citizenship, and social exclusion. You'll also get the chance to discuss the processes through which policies are made and engage in debates about their effectiveness.
You'll be expected to undertake a more detailed examination of the development of Scottish social policy in a UK context, alongside in-depth studies of the particular social policy areas or themes that interest you. You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final year dissertation.
You'll take a core module in Comparative Social Policy, alongside the more detailed study of a particular area or theme. Your classes will be based around the specialist research interests of the academic staff and you will be engaging in debates at the cutting edge of current Social Policy thinking. The 10,000-word Honours dissertation will be your chance to undertake some original research of your own in a key area of Social Policy.
All honours students will have the opportunity to complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake independent research into an issue which is particularly important to you.
It might be based on a detailed analysis of original sources, such as policy documents or statistical records, or you might choose to generate your own data, using interviews or focus groups. The opportunity to undertake original research into an topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.
Human Resource Management (HRM)
What you'll study
You’ll study the introductory class Managing People to get an overview of HRM.
Year 2 & 3
Core classes cover more in-depth HRM theories and techniques. Year 2 focuses upon workplace behaviour from an organisational psychology point of view while Year 3 focuses on more sociological theories.
In Year 4, you’ll study a range of specialist classes at single or joint Honours.
In Year 3, you'll have the opportunity to study in Europe, North America and elsewhere for one or two semesters.
The Peter Bain Prize is awarded each year to the student with the highest mark for their dissertation.
The HRM Society
The HRM Society is run by our students for our students. It aims to bring together all year groups into one network where they can share knowledge and practice, awareness of careers and build relationships with alumni and employers.
Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland
Private Issues & Public Problems
This class is designed to introduce you to some of the major issues confronting Scottish society and to provide an accessible introduction to some of the key concerns of Social Policy. It will examine a range of issues, including questions of poverty and inequality, social divisions, health, housing, education, and criminal justice.
This class examines the different ways in which ‘private issues’ become recognised as ‘public problems’. Using a number of different case studies, such as domestic violence, homelessness or poverty, it will look at the different ways in which social problems have been identified and at the different standpoints from which they can be viewed.
Human Resource Management
In recent years the task of managing employees has been made more challenging by rapid changes in the business environment. This class focuses on the contemporary and practical issues of how people are organised and managed in the workplace and examines theoretical perspectives which help our understanding of the complex relationship between the employer and employee in facilitating the organisation and production of goods and services.
Scottish Social Policy since 1845
Key Concepts in Social Welfare
This class explores some of the different ways in which social policy has evolved in Scotland in response to a variety of social problems since the introduction of the Scottish Poor Law Act in 1845. It covers all the main areas of social policy, including health, housing, education and poverty, and also explores the changing boundaries between individuals, families, communities, voluntary organisations, commercial welfare and state over the course of this period.
The Making of Social Policy
This class explores some of the most important concepts in the academic study of Social Policy, including such concepts as equality, justice, need, happiness, poverty and wellbeing. It also examines a number of different ideological perspectives on these issues, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, social democracy, Marxism, feminism and the New Right.
This class examines the ways in which social policies are ‘made’ at both a national and international level. It examines the roles played by different actors, institutions and ideas. It also looks at the ways in which evidence is used to inform policy-making, and at the ways in which we are all involved, as citizens, in the policy process. These themes are explored with the aid of a series of case-studies, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.
Human Resource Management
This class develops understanding of managing people from a psychological perspective through understanding behaviour, attitudes, motivation and wellbeing of people at work. Areas covered include what leads to positive employee work attitudes like job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and their outcomes in terms of work behaviour, such as job performance, withdrawal, absenteeism, turnover, fair treatment and trust.
Work Psychology for Human Resource Management
This class looks at applying psychological theories explaining effectiveness and well-being of people at work to Human Resource Management as an approach to managing people and the employment relationships. Areas covered include organisational and individual decision-making relating to the recruitment and selection process, the impact of performance management on employee perceptions, team working, and the impact of leadership on attitudes and trust.
Research Skills in Social Policy
Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context
This class will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key methods used by researchers in the field of social policy. It will introduce you to a number of different qualitative and quantitative methods, and to some of the basic principles of research design. It will provide an essential foundation for your final-year dissertation.
This class examines the ways in which recent political developments have placed questions of social policy at the heart of debates over the future of the United Kingdom. To what extent do the different parts of the UK face different social problems? To what extent do different parts of the UK possess a different approach to the resolution of these issues? How has the governance of social policy in different parts of the UK been affected by its current constitutional arrangements?
Human Resource Management
Work, Employment & Society
This class critically explores changes in the nature of work, employment and society through investigating the extent to which current developments in the workplace can be seen to represent a fundamental shift in the nature of workplace regulation. It'll provide contrasting and complementary perspectives on workplace behaviour to those provided in year 2.
You'll be introduced to the British system of employment relations, and the general principles, processes and outcomes. It'll consider different theoretical approaches to the study of employment and industrial relations and then examine the role and objectives of trade unions, employers and the state, and their interactions in collective bargaining, employee participation and industrial conflict.
The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective
This class examines the development of welfare states as a global phenomenon. It asks what we mean by the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and looks at the ways in which welfare states have developed in different countries. It also explores some of the major differences between different types of welfare state, using the concept of ‘welfare régimes’.
Many students find that the dissertation is the most fulfilling part of their degree. It will provide you with the opportunity to undertake your own in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice, and to develop skills as an independent researcher.
Human Resource Management
Advanced Organisational Behaviour
This class draws on current themes in work and organisational psychology, and HRM understood from the perspective of micro-organisational behaviour theory and research. It's structured around the concepts of Reframing Organisations and, although the emphasis is on ‘micro’, or individual-level, approaches to organisational behaviour, ‘reframing’ takes into consideration more ‘macro’ or sociological and critical management approaches as well.
HRM & Employment Relations in Public Services
Perspective on Work & Employment
The aim of the module is to provide you with a critical understanding of the context and content of ‘New Public Management’ and alternative public management reform strategies. There's particular reference to impacts on HRM and employment relations.
The module will enable you to compare how different countries’ reform trajectories have impacted on changes in HRM and employment relations.
This module builds on the year 3 class, Work, Employment and Society, and explores the contribution of social theory to understandings of the contemporary conditions of work and organisations.
Human Resources in the Global Economy
This class looks at HRM within a broader understanding of globalization and the international political economy. It places current themes in an international and comparative perspective by analysing and comparing different national ‘models of management’, and a range of employee response to them and, amongst other things, asks questions about the ways in which these management practices are disseminated by multinational companies (MNCs).
You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including not only traditional essays and exams, but also oral presentations, group work and other forms of assessment.
Human Resource Management
The majority of classes are assessed by a final unseen exam in addition to individual and/or group coursework.
In some cases, you can earn an exemption from the exam by achieving a specified coursework mark. Exams are normally held at the end of the semester in which the class is taught.
You normally have one opportunity to be re-assessed for a failed class.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
1st sitting: AAAA
2nd sitting: AAAAB
- Higher English plus at least one subject from the list below
- National 5 Maths or National 5 Lifeskills Maths or Intermediate 2 at Grade C or above
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
Year 1 entry:
Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)
Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)
Year 2 entry:
Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)
Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)
36 (Maths SL5)
A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C/ Intermediate 2 C
Irish Leaving Certificate
Subjects and grades as for Highers
Deferred entry not accepted.
Admission to Honours
All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of year three of the Honours programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have qualified for the award of the Bachelor of Arts degree and achieved an approved standard of performance.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course
We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing pre-undergraduate programmes at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.
You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
Course materials & costs
Students are encouraged to purchase the core textbook for each Human Resource Management module.
- approximate cost - £40 to 50 per textbook
PG Diploma and MSc Human Resource Management is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD). Students wishing to achieve the Associate Membership of CIPD are required to join as a student member during studies. This is not a mandatory requirement for passing the course but is required by CIPD to achieve membership update on passing the course.
Costs for 2015/16 membership:
- £40 admission fee
- £90 annual subscription
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
The most common employment destinations for social policy graduates include:
- local & national government policy development and research
- regional & urban development
- business administration & management
- third sector/charity research & policy development
- children’s services
- health & social welfare
- protective services
Recent HRM graduates have found employment in insurance, retail, manufacturing, recruitment consultancy and in the public sector. Some are employed in jobs such as HR trainee, HR assistant and recruitment consultant while others are employed in general administration and management.