- UCAS Code: L1L4
Ranked: 1st for Social Policy & top 10 for Economics by Complete University Guide 2021, 2nd for Social Policy for The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
Applicant visit day: March each year
Study with us
- social policy examines the ways in which societies distribute resources and develop services
- economics aims to understand the activities of the different agents in the economy – consumers, producers and the government – and how they all fit together
- learn about the social and economic challenges facing both Scotland and the UK
- gain insight into how different societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs
- our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s)
Why this course?
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.
Following the recent global economic crisis, economics is more important and relevant than ever. Decisions on money, banking, interest rates, taxation and government spending affect us all, with global consequences.
Our degree will give you the ability to explain complex data in simple terms to different audiences. You’ll also develop excellent mathematical, statistical and problem-solving skills.
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 a topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.
You’ll study an Introduction to Economics and take core classes in microeconomics and macroeconomics. You’ll build upon this knowledge in later years.
In your final year, in addition to classes that complement macroeconomics and microeconomics studied in previous years, you’ll also undertake a dissertation.
Strathclyde Business School blog
One of the most important resources available to you is being part of the Strathclyde Business School community. One example of this is the Strathclyde Business School Blog, used extensively by staff and students to showcase our activities.
Prizes for best overall performance are awarded to students in all years of study. We also offer a prize for the best final dissertation in economics in the final Honours year of study. All prize recipients will be invited to attend the Graduation Reception for our final year students.
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, Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Tourism, and Social Policy are available only as Joint Honours Programmes.
The available subject combinations may change each year. Once accepted on the programme you will be allocated an advisor of studies who will be able to let you know which subjects can be combined, in first year, and beyond.
Management Development Programme 1
First Year aims to help you make the transition to the university context. Semester 1 is the Thematic Semester: The World of Business Today and covers topics such as:
- Social-Ethical-Environmental Governance (SEEG)
- Business Ethics
- Disruptive Technologies
Semester 2: Functional Semester: Organisations Today covers topics such as:
- Creativity & Responsibility
- Marketing & Sustainability across Domains
The first year of the programme is centred on the construction of knowledge in classroom setting with theoretical constructs developed. For each topic we’ve recorded a video by a Strathclyde academic who is a leading expert in the field.
You’ll watch these lectures in advance of each session and complete a pre-sessional activity. The pre-sessional work then forms the basis of team based activities work in the classroom (groups of 50 and teams of six-seven) where you develop an agreed understanding of the topic and present this to the group.
The feedback gained from this activity then feeds directly into the assessment for the block. You’ll complete 16 assignments in the two semesters of the class.
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
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.
Introduction to Economics
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, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.
Management Development Programme 3
The third year of centres on individualised experience in an organisational context through one of the following pathways:
- Internship/Charities - gain practical experience in a private or third sector organisation. You need to negotiate and locate your own organisation and experience – this is one of the key learning points of the pathway.
- Research and consultancy - a facility for local small businesses to gain from the experience and expertise of those within SBS. You work on two live business consultancy projects (one in each semester) and, as a team of 6, develop solutions and strategic initiatives for the local SME economy.
- International experience – only available for students who are undertaking an international exchange for either one semester or full year.
- Vertically Integrated Projects - working on a cross-faculty basis to research longitudinal projects (including the ‘Bill Gates Toilet Challenge, Solar Panels for Gambia and Enterprise in Schools) you work with a team of students from all levels of study (first year undergraduate to final year PhD) to further the work of the project.
In addition, you’re required to undertake a social responsibility element (this accounts for one quarter of the overall workload).
These have been designed to provide support to the Curriculum for Excellence and the Widening Access to Higher Education programme. There are no formal classes for MDP3 although there is pathway support with the pathway leads and tutor support.
Research Skills 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.
Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context
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?
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.
Introduction to Econometrics
Economics of Firms & Industries
In the third year econometrics class you’ll have learned about regression in both a cross-sectional data and time series data context. This class extends that knowledge in three ways.
First, for cross-sectional data, the class deals with regression techniques where the dependent variable may be restricted or limited in some way. In such cases, the regression model as taught in the third year class is not appropriate; this class develops models which are similar in spirit to the standard regression model, but can handle all of these cases.
A second purpose of Applied Econometrics is to develop regression methods which can be used when you have panel data - consisting of both cross-sectional and time-series dimensions.
Third, the class will build on the introduction to the econometrics of time series data developed in this class by developing two classes of models.
Financial Development & Economic Growth
This class gives a balanced view of the role of finance in promoting long-run economic growth, but also booms and busts. The nature and role of financial intermediaries will be introduced, and, afterwards, formally addressed in a simple aggregate growth model. Empirical evidence will be examined, before turning to the specifics of micro-finance. The importance of financial globalisation will also be investigated. Finally, the rest of the class will be devoted to deciphering the causes and consequences of the current financial crisis.
Behavioural Economics offers alternative theories that merge psychological insights with economic theory and are based on experimental and other evidence, that attempt to provide a better explanation of real-world behaviour.
This class is concerned with exploring these new behavioural theories with the aim of providing you with an expanded toolkit with which to approach ‘real-world Economics’ that is based on the burgeoning Behavioural Economics literature that has emerged over the past two or three decades.
After studying this, you should be able to extend much of your previously-learned knowledge in Microeconomics in various directions that take into account more realistic ways of modelling how individuals behave.
Natural Resource, Environmental & Energy Economics
The class provides you with an introduction to natural resource, environmental and energy economics and policy. It focuses on the contributions of economics to understanding environmental, energy and resource problems, their causes, and the design of effective public policies to counteract them.
Triple-accredited business school
Learning & teaching
Teaching is over two semesters in blocks of 12 weeks. Classes are taught through lectures, tutorials and seminars, alongside team-based projects, online materials, practical labs, online wikis, problem-based learning and interactive sessions using personal response systems.
External contributors from partnership corporate organisations are involved in teaching and/or assessment of student presentations.
Throughout the degree programme, there will be guest lectures from industry and our international partners.
The innovative and highly acclaimed Management Development Programme (MDP) is at the core of our undergraduate degrees in the Business School and comprises a series of classes which you take throughout Years 1 to 3.
You develop knowledge and skills in key areas of management, and team-working, communication and decision-making skills, all of which are highly sought-after by employers.
Major employers and alumni from all sectors are involved in the MDP, participating in group sessions, observing student presentations, and providing feedback. Organisations involved include Barclays, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble and Ernst & Young. In first year the best teams are selected to present to senior staff in one of the sponsoring organisations, and there are prizes for the best projects.
The programme builds your confidence and entrepreneurial capabilities and promotes awareness of globalisation and ethical issues in personal and business decision-making. In Year 3, you develop your own pathway from internships, involvement with business projects, engagement in interdisciplinary activities and business clinics.
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.
The majority of classes involve a final unseen exam which is normally at the end of the semester. This is usually supplemented by individual and/or group coursework.
In some cases, you can get exemption from the final exam if you achieve a specific mark for your coursework (and satisfy attendance requirements). You’ll normally have one opportunity to be re-assessed for a failed class. For exams, this usually takes place during the summer.
Assessment methods are varied and include class tests, essays, practical reports, dissertations, individual presentations, group presentations and degree exams.
Individual classes often use more than one form of assessment.
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)
Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB
(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 1 entry
Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent
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 will 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 100 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 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 fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2021-22, 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.
Course materials comprise both textbooks and course handbooks. All of the compulsory handbooks are available to students free on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Some classes may have a recommended core textbook which you may wish to purchase but copies will be available in the University Library.
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.
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!
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.
Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!Find out all about life in Glasgow
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
Economists can work across many different industries and often go on to specialise in individual areas, such as agriculture and manufacturing.
Our Economics graduates find work in accountancy and business services, retail and investment banking, insurance, government and industry. Job titles include:
- management accountant
- business analyst
- investment analyst
- risk consultant
- commercial manager
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.
Social Policy & Economics (1 year entry)
Year of Entry: 1 year