- UCAS Code: R4L4
1st in the UK for Communication & Media Studies (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)
Study abroad: year abroad studying/working in Valencia or Zaragoza
Applicant visit day: March each year
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Our BA (Hons) Humanities & Social Sciences degree, explained.
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.
With more than 500 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world. Speaking Spanish will help you conduct business more confidently in countries that are becoming increasingly important in world markets.
Studying with us will give you the chance to become a fluent linguist and, with our year abroad programme, an opportunity to experience living, working and/or studying in another country.
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
In every year, teaching focuses heavily on language work, but you'll also discover the culture of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.
Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with Higher Spanish or equivalent qualification in their chosen language and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary Spanish language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.
Year 2 & 3
You'll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. In the cultural class each year, you'll learn more about the history, politics, literature, and cinema of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.
Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining experience on a work placement or studying at a foreign institution.
This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students not just in terms of language, but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.
In your final year, you'll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. You'll also have the chance to write a dissertation in Spanish. If however, you choose to write your dissertation for your other Honours subjects, you'll take two of our cultural classes. These classes reflect the research expertise of our staff and currently focus on topics such as social and political issues in Spanish and Latin American cinema, Spanish 20th century philosophy and history or an Introduction to Translation theory.
At Honours level, you'll work on a specific project for your dissertation. You'll be supervised by a member of our teaching staff.
The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship is a competitive award which offers students funding towards a project they wish to undertake while on their year abroad. Staff select and interview several candidates for this each year.
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.
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.
This course will further your knowledge of the Spanish language and develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language through intensive practical and communicative language work. This course aims to bring you up to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You'll extend your knowledge of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and focus on the development of contemporary Latin America and on how issues relating to it are reflected in its cultural production (for example, films, journalism, songs).
Following on from Spanish 1A, this course will broaden your knowledge of the Spanish language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Spain through the materials used. Practical language activities, such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to Spanish through audio, video and written texts, will enable you to progress from the levels achieved in Spanish 1A. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish 2A in semester 1 of second year.
Introduction to Spanish 1A
This course aims to give an introduction to the Spanish language, assuming limited or no previous knowledge of Spanish. It introduces everyday Spanish language, as well as certain aspects of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The class is intended to help students to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish.
Introduction to Spanish 1B
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Introduction to Spanish 1A. The class will broaden your knowledge of Spanish language and enhance skills already acquired of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish. This class also introduces students to new aspects of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
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.
This course will introduce you to more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the different cultures of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+/B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2A and will introduce you to yet more complex and formal areas of language, improving and developing further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish at third-year level. This course aims to bring you up to level B1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Spanish & Latin American Studies II
This course will explore the interlinked themes of independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America. The class is intended to give students a broad overview of Spanish and Latin American social, political and cultural history through the examination of specific texts and films, as well as to develop their critical and research skills.
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.
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2B and will consolidate the students’ knowledge and use of the Spanish language within an appropriate cultural context in order to enable the student to live, study and work in a Spanish-speaking country. This course aims to bring you up to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
This course aims to build on and develop the knowledge acquired in Spanish 3A and will focus on two relevant topics which includes the preparation for the year abroad. This course aims to bring you up to level B2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In addition to the final exam, a comprehensive project will comprise the other 50% of your final mark for this course. This project will enable you to put into practice and further develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge you have developed since you started studying Spanish at Strathclyde.
Spanish & Latin American Studies III
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America - Hispanic Studies 2 (R4200), and adds a dimension of critical and theoretical awareness, as well as developing critical skills through a study of individual texts and films from Spain and different countries of Latin America, to build an understanding of the history and cultures in which they were produced.
This is the year abroad, spent either studying in a foreign university or working as a language assistant or on a work placement. This year is compulsory to gain entry into Honours.
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.
Spanish Honours Language 4
There are three strands in the Spanish 4 Language programme, which are closely integrated with each other: Language A (writing in Spanish), Language B (analysis and translation into English of Spanish texts), and Language C (oral presentation and interpreting). The programme will enable students to function in the target language at a sufficiently high level of ability, both spoken and written, to be accepted as a fully competent member of the target language community, and effectively to discharge a professional role within and/or in relation to that community.
Hispanic Studies 4
This is a level four Honours class designed to build on the knowledge of Hispanic cultural studies acquired in Spanish and Latin American Studies 1A, II and III. The purpose of this class is to explore contemporary issues in Hispanic cultures. Class content will reflect the research specialisms of staff in Spanish and the actual texts and films studies may vary from year to year to reflect student demand and staff availability, as determined by the research focus of the subject. Each year, the class will focus on specific aspects of Hispanic history, politics, society and/or cultures. For example, possible class titles are: Gender and Sexuality in the Hispanic world; The Politics of the Fantastic in Hispanic Fiction and Film; Dictatorship and Resistance in Hispanic Cinema.
The Latin American Short Story
This course builds on and develops the knowledge on Latin American literature and culture acquired in Spanish and Latin American Studies II and III; and adds a dimension of theoretical analysis, as well as developing critical skills through a study of texts from the different countries of Latin America.
Shaping Spain: Ideas, Beliefs & Identity
Rooted in the Spanish History of Ideas, this course explores the condition and motivations for the development of some of the existing main currents of thought in Spain since 1989. It encourages a critical understanding of Spanish history and contextualises the work of several Spanish seminal thinkers (Unamuno, Ortega, Azaña and Zambrano) and it explores their thought in relation to the key themes of the course: ideas, beliefs, and identity.
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
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.
Our assessment methods include:
- written examinations, including translations
- writing for a specific purpose
Continuous assessment ranges from online grammar tests to group projects, while oral/aural tests are performed throughout the course.
You'll also write a dissertation in the final year.
Learning & teaching
We focus on the four important language skills:
We make great use of technology in the classroom – interactive lectures and digital language laboratories. Outside, through the use of web-based learning and streamed Spanish television.
In later years you'll perform presentations, write reports and interpret into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.
Required subjects are shown in brackets.
Standard entry requirements*:
(Higher English, Higher Spanish B, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B-C, or equivalent)
Minimum entry requirements**:
(Higher English B, Spanish B and Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)
Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB
(A Level Spanish B, GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 1 entry
Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Higher Spanish B; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent
View the entry requirements for your country.
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
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 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 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.
Course materials & costs
The majority of course materials are available to students via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students can print course materials at their own expense.
The cost of course texts does not normally exceed £30 per academic year. Key language texts are used over 2 or 3 years of study. Multiple copies are also available in the University Library.
Studying abroad is an integral part of the degree course in Modern Languages - and usually takes place in Year 4. Students who choose to study in France or Spain are eligible for an Erasmus and grant to help minimise the extra costs of living abroad. This, however, is not a full maintenance grant.
Typically, students will receive around £3,000 for a full academic year of study abroad. Students are required to meet travel, accommodation and extra living costs. These costs will vary dependent on the country of study. An estimated extra spend of £1,000 should be budgeted.
A range of scholarships are available for students of Modern Languages and awarded on a competitive basis.
Students who work as English language assistants will receive a monthly stipend. In the case of France, this amounts approximately to €964.88 per month gross (€800 net after social security deductions). Similar stipends are paid in Spain.
Visa & immigration
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
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?
Dean's International Excellence Award 2023/24
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.
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.
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?
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
Modern language graduates are in high demand across a range of areas. Some language graduates become teachers or translators, while others work in multilingual or international environments. Many of our students now work in journalism and broadcasting.
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
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 & Spanish (1 year entry)
Prospective student enquiries
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 444 8600