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Discover Social Sciences

Social Science covers a broad and exciting group of subjects. It is the science of people and can tell us about the world beyond our own experience. Social scientists can help explain how our own society works - from the causes of unemployment, to what creates economic growth, to how and why people vote, or why places carry meaning for people.

All Discover Social Sciences students will get a feel for what studying these subjects at university is really like over two years, as well as an insight into career options. You will learn about what university is like from our current social sciences undergraduates.

This pathway is for students who meet specific Academic and Widening Participation (WP) criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region. See 'How to apply' section below for more information.

If you’re fascinated by people and society then Discover Social Sciences is definitely for you!

Adjusted offer

Students who successfully complete the pathway will be eligible for a conditional adjusted offer for degrees at the University of Sheffield, with the exception of degrees in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health.

What's involved?
Year 12 Year 13
  • Join us for a welcome event where we’ll tell you all about the pathway
  • Explore all Social Sciences subjects and the problems and issues they study through workshop events.
  • Get information on all the degree courses on offer to see which suits you best
  • Experience a three day residential summer school giving you a taste of life as a Social Sciences Student.
  • Participate in revision and academic study skills workshops to help with the transition to university
  • Be allocated your own student e-mentor who will support you with the key decisions you'll be making.
  • Visit major cultural destinations such as museums, art galleries and theatres

  • Get expert guidance on applying to university and student finance at our UCAS workshop
  • Discover 'A day in the life of a student' in your preferred subjects.
  • Continue developing revision and academic study skills and continue to access dedicated student e-mentor support.
  • Visit major cultural destinations with us such as museums, art galleries and theatres
  • Join us for a Celebration event to recognise your success

Who can participate?

This pathway is for students who meet specific Academic and Widening Participation (WP) criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region.

Academic criteria WP Criteria (meet both) WP Criteria (additional - between one and all of the following)

A Level (or equivalent) requirements:

  • No specific subject requirements but should be studying a minimum of 3 A Levels or relevant equivalent and at least 2 should be on the University’s acceptable subject list.
    Please note: Psychology is not included on this pathway as it is included in Discover STEM.

Acceptable subjects information

  • Attend a State School
  • Are in the first generation of their family to enter HE (other than siblings, or parents who attended HE as a mature student)
  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability

GCSE requirements:

  • Min. 5 A*-B (or 9-6), plus a minimum of C (4) in English and Maths if not already included.

Pupils who meet the academic criteria and one or more of the following criteria will be prioritised for participation on this pathway:

  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability
  • Have individual circumstances that mean they will need to overcome other barriers to learning/progression. (We will assess this element on an individual basis, based on the information provided by the school)
How to apply

If you have the potential to achieve good grades at A Level or equivalent and would either be in the first generation of your family to go into Higher Education, or you are a Looked after Child, look after someone in your family or have a declared disability, you may qualify to apply for the programme.

Talk to the head of your sixth form or your course leader to find out. They will tell you if you are eligible based upon the criteria and information we have provided for them.

You and your parents or carers will then need to complete the online application form, via your registered school/college coordinator.

Note: Taking part in Discover Social Sciences shows commitment and could enhance your university application. However, it does not guarantee you a place at university. Places are subject to availability and you can only be registered on one sustained Outreach pathway at the University of Sheffield at any one time.