BA Hons Social Policy & Human Resource Management

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: N6L4
  • Applicant visit day: March each year

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Our BA (Hons) Humanities & Social Sciences degree, explained.

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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.

Human Resource Management (HRM) 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.

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What you’ll study

Social policy

Year 1

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.

Year 2

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.

Year 3

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.

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.

Major projects

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.

Postgraduate study

Human Resource Management

Year 1

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 on workplace behaviour from an organisational psychology point of view while Year 3 focuses on more sociological theories.

Year 4

In Year 4, you’ll study a range of specialist classes at single or joint Honours.

Study abroad

In Year 3, you'll have the opportunity to study in Europe, North America and elsewhere for one or two semesters.

Student competitions

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.

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.

What is social policy?

Find out more about social policy including its origin, its study as an academic discipline and the differences between social policy and public policy.

What is social policy?

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Course content

Social Policy

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.

Human Resource Management

Managing People

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.

Social Policy

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.

Human Resource Management

Work Psychology
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.

Social Policy

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.

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.
Employment Relations
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.

Social Policy

Global Challenges

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.

Dissertation

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.

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

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.

Perspective on Work & Employment
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).

Assessment

Social policy

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.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements*:

  • 1st sitting: AAAA
  • 2nd sitting: AAAAB

(Higher English, Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 B-C, or equivalent)

Minimum entry requirements**:

  • 1st sitting: AABB
  • 2nd sitting: AABBB

(Higher English B and Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)

A Levels

Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB
Year 2 entry: AAA-ABB

(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

32-30

HNC

Year 1 entry

Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

Not normally accepted

*Standard entry requirements

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.

**Minimum entry requirements

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Widening access

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.

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.

International students

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

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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.

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Scotland

2023/24: TBC
2022/23: £1,820

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

£9,250

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.

International

£17,400

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.

Additional costs

Human Resource Management

Course materials

Students are encouraged to purchase the core textbook for each HRM module but copies are also available in the University library (approximate cost £40-50 per textbook).

Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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?

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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.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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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.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

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Careers

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
  • education
  • 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.

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Apply

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

Social Policy & Human Resource Management (1 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2023

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

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Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

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Contact us

General enquiries

Find out more about the programme

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak our team are working from home and can be contacted via our online enquiry form.

Course-specific enquiries

Work, Employment & Organisation

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3974

Email: weo-ug-hrm@strath.ac.uk

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

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.