- UCAS Code: PL54
Ranked: 1st for Communication & Media Studies / 3rd for Social Policy (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)
Work placement: strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations
Applicant visit day: March each year
Study with us
Our BA (Hons) Humanities & Social Sciences degree, explained.
Why this course?
Today’s media industry expands beyond traditional print and broadcast journalism. It includes professional bloggers and vloggers, freelance writers and editors, podcasters, people working in entertainment TV, radio, or film, creators of video games and interactive apps, promoters of ideas and products, and many others.
The most successful professionals in today’s media are not only highly skilled in reporting, writing, editing and pitching their material, but they're also excellent communicators online and offline, and problem-solvers. They're innovative and entrepreneurial, bold and curious, open-minded and collaborative. These are also some of Strathclyde’s core values, which guide our own teaching, research, and public engagement.
Social Policy examines the ways in which societies distribute resources and develop services to meet individual and social needs. Key social policy issues examined include poverty; economic, race, age and gender inequality; social justice health; education; criminal justice and housing.
It utilises a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to improve our understanding of how societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas.
This programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and place these in a broader international perspective. It draws on disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology, social anthropology and politics.
What you’ll study
Journalism, Media & Communication
All students take one core required class per semester in year 1, which introduces them to the larger field of journalism, media and communication (semester 1) and to essential skills of journalism reporting and writing (semester 2).
In the second year of the course, you must take two required classes and one option, which will enhance your conceptual understanding of the field and strengthen your practical skills, plus will introduce digital media.
In third year, you can choose from various option classes, which build on your practical skills and introduce more advanced conceptual topics, which are based on our staff’s research specialisms.
In the Honours year, you again can choose from a variety of specialised practical and conceptual option classes. You can also choose between an academic dissertation in journalism, media or communication, or a practice-based final project. The final year is designed to help enhance your professional profile for after graduation: whether pursuing employment in the media and communication field, entering the graduate job market in the private/public sector, or staying on for further study at postgraduate level.
Every year, students from our programme win nominations for their work at the Scottish Student Journalism Awards. Many also win prestigious nationwide scholarships and grants to conduct research on various topics, and industry placements in various media organisations in Glasgow and beyond.
Our strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations in Glasgow and Scotland allow us to host many external speakers as guest lecturers in various classes or as extracurricular talks and events on campus.
We also organise field trips to newsrooms in Glasgow, such as BBC, STV, The Herald and Radio Clyde, and work continuously with students on ideas for future professional events.
Our students apply their skills in various ways beyond the classroom through student societies, volunteering for events on campus, and working at university offices. They staff and often run the campus newspaper Strathclyde Telegraph, run the industry-focused Byline Club, the podcast society, the photo club, etc.
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.
You'll begin by deepening your knowledge and understanding of the historical development of social policy in Scotland since 1845. You'll also discover more about some key concepts in social policy. This includes issues such as human needs, citizenship, and social exclusion, and about how social policy is made nationally and internationally, and the consequences of this for the services people receive.
You'll choose one optional class based on the specialism of a member of staff. The list of available classes changes each year, but has included welfare reform and criminology. You'll also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final-year dissertation, and a module exploring the differences and similarities in social policies between countries. An optional placement module allowing you to apply your subject knowledge in a relevant workplace will also be available in either this year, or Year 4.
You'll take a core module on the global challenges facing Social Policy, focusing on issues such as inclusive growth; migration and climate change. You can take further optional specialist classes. The list of available classes changes each year, but has included disability and gender-based violence. The 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 a topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.
Single & joint Honours information
English, English and Creative Writing, History, Politics and International Relations and Psychology may be studied to Single or Joint Honours level.
Education, French, Spanish, Law, Journalism, Media and Communication and Social Policy are available only as Joint Honours Programmes. Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Mathematics and Tourism can also be studied alongside a Humanities and Social Sciences subject.
The available subject combinations may change each year. Once accepted on the programme you'll be allocated an advisor of studies who will be able to let you know which subjects can be combined, in first year, and beyond.
Work placement & links with industry
Work placement can be pursued as a credit-bearing option class in fourth year. Students can take a short-term experience placement in a variety of organisations:
- third-sector organisations
- government bodies
- various industries
Our strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations in Glasgow and Scotland allow us to host many external speakers as guest lecturers in various classes or as extracurricular talks and events on campus. We also organise field trips to newsrooms in Glasgow, such as BBC, STV, The Herald and Radio Clyde. We work continuously with students on ideas for future professional events.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Introduction to Journalism, Media & Communication
An introductory conceptual class on these topics, it will provide a wide overview of the media, journalism and the communication fields. Key contemporary issues in journalism, media and communication will be introduced and discussed.
Introduction to News & Features
A practical introductory class on journalism reporting and writing. Students will learn the basic rules of reporting, interviewing, writing news and features, and editing them. The specifics of each format of writing will be emphasised. Assessments include writing real-life stories on topics chosen by students.
Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland
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.
Private Issues & Public Problems
In this module we'll ask why and how certain issues become defined as 'social problems' and what impact this has on the social policy that we make in response.
Why do societies change the way they understand 'social problems' over time, and how does this impact policy change? Can we understand social policy differences between countries in terms of how they conceptualise 'social problems' differently? What role does political ideology and the media have in framing how societies understand the 'social problems' they face and how to resolve them?
Are some groups unfairly targeted as being a source of social problems?
Do the ways that we understand issues around the benefits system, crime, disability, migration, and families and young people really reflect their empirical reality and what can we do to begin tackling these issues differently?
These are some of the key questions this module seeks to ask and to answer.
Journalism, Media & Communication
News Reporting and Writing
A practical intermediate class focusing on journalism skills related to news writing. Students explore news reporting and writing in more depth, including how to work with numbers, how to interview and write about vulnerable people and how to conduct research online. Assessments are real-life news stories written on topics assigned by the instructor or chosen by the student.
Journalism, Media & Communication: Theories & Methods
A theoretical class, which takes an in-depth look at major theories of the field and related methods. The class will prepare students for research by exploring the main methods of studying the media. It will connect these methods to the major theories in journalism, media and communication, which aims to bring a deeper conceptual understanding of the field.
Digital Media: Histories, Theories, Practices
This class mixes conceptual and practical elements with a focus on digital media. It explores the history of digital media and asks students to think conceptually about it, but also to gain relevant practical skills related to digital journalism & effective communication in the digital age.
Scottish Social Policy since 1845
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.
Key Concepts in Social Welfare
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.
The Making of Social Policy
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
A practical intermediate class focusing on journalism skills related to feature writing. Students learn about different types of features (e.g. profile, review, news backgrounder, column, travel or sport), in-depth reporting and writing.
Assessments are real-life features on topics chosen by students.
Journalism and Popular Culture
A theoretical class exploring in depth concepts around popular culture, as related to journalism. The class analyses the construction of the popular, along with those historical, economic and cultural forces involved in deploying the popular to establish hierarchies of judgment and legitimacy.
Law for Journalists
A conceptual class covering Scots law for journalists. The class explores specific cases of media law in Scotland and how students need to conduct their reporting and writing in a way that respects those boundaries.
Communicating Politics: Truth, Legitimacy, Participation
A theoretical class on concepts and theories from political communication. The class will explore recent developments in politics, political communication and the media, and will discuss their implications for democracy.
Research Methods in Social Policy
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.
Comparative Social Policy: Theories, Methods & Analysis
Why are some societies more unequal than others? Why do many women participate in the labour market in some countries, and less in others? Why do health care, education and housing policies differ across developed societies?
The answers to these questions are all related to the study of Comparative Social Policy.
In this third-year module in the Social Policy programme you'll be introduced to the key theories, methods and data sources employed in comparative and international social policy research.
Interest in comparative analysis continues to grow in the social sciences and this module is designed to give you a deeper understanding of the comparative nature of social policy and the development of different welfare systems. CSP will introduce you to a range of new key concepts and theories, and will help you to understand new methodological and analytical approaches for thinking about social policy comparatively.
Teaching on CSP is research-led and the use of case-studies from the literature will help you to understand how researchers conduct research on welfare systems in the real world, and apply social theory.
Optional specialist modules
You'll choose at least one optional class based on the specialism of a member of staff. The list of available classes changes each year, but in the past has included welfare reform and criminology. A placement module will also be on offer in either Year 3 or Year 4, which will give you opportunities to use your research skills and subject knowledge in a relevant organisation such as a charity, think tank or government organisation.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Dissertation/Special Project (Semester 1 or 2)
Students can choose to do an individual project on a topic related to journalism, media or communication, which involves original academic or journalistic research under one-on-one supervision with staff. An academic dissertation involves individual scholarly research on a chosen topic. The special project is an extension of feature writing skills and will take those to a new level by requiring students to produce a much longer and more sophisticated portfolio of work.
Media and Health
The class mixes conceptual and practical elements for an in-depth look at the media’s role in society’s health and wellbeing. The class covers topics such as media coverage of disease and disability, chronic versus acute conditions, how the media shape the image of doctors, people with various conditions.
Gender Issues in the Media
A theoretical class, underpinned by feminist media studies, which explores gender issues in relation to media production, representation and consumption practices – both in relation to mainstream media and ‘alternative’ content and distribution strategies. This class explores how gender intersects with other structural inequalities such as race, class, sexuality, dis/ability and age.
Digital Communication and Society
This class explores the implications and futures of digital technology in communication. It incorporates the range of digital communication, from mediated conversation, through social media, to blogging and the production and distribution of video content. The importance of the digital environment for politics and the labour market is also explored.
Working for and with the Scottish media
A seminar class, which capitalises on staff’s relationships with media organisations, NGOs and government bodies in Scotland and brings professionals into the classroom for guest talks and discussions of professional nature. The class will help students with establishing professional connections in the media field and with getting an overview of the media landscape in Scotland.
Ethical Issues for Journalists: Controversy, Responsibility, Care
A conceptual class that builds on journalism practice and explores it from a theoretical perspective. The class explores the accountability systems used by journalists, both external such as IPSO and internal such as methods of self-censorship. Students examine a series of ethical dilemmas emanating from the concepts of truth and trust, taste and offence, privacy and intrusion and respecting people.
Digital Tools & Skills in Journalism
A practical class on current software and online tools that enhance digital storytelling for journalists. It explores the changing nature of journalism in the face of rapidly advancing technological environment and asks a range of questions: how does the rise of information-driven society change journalistic practices? How do technological affordances help develop novel forms of storytelling? Which tools can develop and maintain professional presence on online platforms?
Journalism and Popular Culture
A theoretical class exploring in depth concepts around popular culture, as related to journalism. The class analyses the construction of the popular, along with those historical, economic and cultural forces involve in deploying the popular to establish hierarchies of judgement and legitimacy.
Global Social Policy is all about the global challenges of the 21st Century and about how we can think differently for building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all.
A global perspective encourages you to think critically about the global causes of poverty and inequality and climate change, for example, and the possibilities of global social policy, global social governance and the role of international organisations play in shaping the GSP agenda. Here, you're encouraged to reflect on the meaning and impacts of social policy from a holistic global perspective.
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.
Optional specialist modules
You'll choose at least one optional class based on the specialism of a member of staff. The list of available classes changes each year, but in the past has included disability policy and gender-based violence. A placement module will also be on offer in either Year 3 or Year 4, which will give you opportunities to use your research skills and subject knowledge in a relevant organisation such as a charity, think tank or government organisation.
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.Life in Glasgow
Assessment methods include:
- group work
- reflective diaries
Learning & teaching
Our learning and teaching aims to help you:
- develop knowledge and understanding of the professional practices, skills and social contexts of the journalism, creative writing and communication industries
- help you think and work critically and constructively
- become a confident and responsible graduate, equipped to develop your potential throughout your career
A programme of visiting speakers from the world of broadcasting, publishing and newspapers, including Gaynor McFarlane (BBC) and Alan Ramsay (Connect Communications) runs alongside the Literary Lunch, run by our Keith Wright Literary Fellow. This series showcases the best in Scottish writing and features poets and novelists such as Liz Lochhead, James Robertson and Andrew Greig.
Required subjects are shown in brackets.
(Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B-C, or equivalent)
(Higher English B and Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)
(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 1 entry:
View the entry requirements for your country.
Not normally accepted
Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.
Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.
In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.
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.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.
All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.
Annual revision of fees
Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.
Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
*Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2023/24, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.
|University preparation programme fees|
International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
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
Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:
You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.
We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.
Journalism graduates from Strathclyde have won awards for student journalism and have gone on to succeed at national newspapers, the regional press and as published authors.
Our graduates work as press officers, marketing and media officers, freelance journalists, fundraiser and PR assistants.
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
Chat to a student ambassador
If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!
Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.Chat to a student ambassador
This is a very exciting time to be in journalism. The media industry is very dynamic and constantly changing, which may feel scary, but is also very exciting, as new opportunities develop constantly. Our campus environment is equally lively and interesting, with class assignments reflecting the real world, various media-related campus clubs, specialised events and guest speakers.
Programme Leader, BA Journalism, Media & Communication
Please note that you only need to apply once for our BA degree programme.
For instance, if you have applied for BA Honours English and are considering your options for a Joint Honours degree, e.g. a BA Joint Honours in English and French you only need to apply for one or the other on UCAS.
If accepted on to the BA programme, you can study one of the many available subject combinations.
Start date: Sep 2023
Journalism, Media and Communication & Social Policy (1 year entry)
Discover Uni includes official statistics about higher education courses taken from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges about all their students.