undergraduates students at the SMI

Applied Social Sciences BA

Sheffield Methods Institute

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You are viewing this course for 2021-2022 entry.

Key details

Course description

Undergraduates studying

This innovative degree breaks down the boundaries between different social science disciplines. In the first year, you'll study up to three subjects, examining societal issues from various points of view. In the second year, you choose up to two subject areas. In your third year, you'll choose just one area to specialise in from the following:

  • Criminology
  • Education, Culture and Childhood
  • Human Geography
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Social policy

There are plenty of chances to get valuable work experience, including on our placement scheme. You might work on a project for an industry partner, go on placement with a company or do consultation or research work for a government office or research centre.

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Applied Social Sciences L431 course structure
UCAS code: L431
Years: 2021

All our courses share the same first year module options, after which you will choose from our programme paths for your second and third years.

Core modules:

The Foundations of Social Science

This module is designed to provide strong foundations for students on the Applied Social Sciences programme. The module will provide a common foundation of theoretical, empirical and methodological work that is appropriate for students who are familiar or unfamiliar with social science concepts and methods. Following a planned programme of lectures, seminars and group tutorials, it will offer professional and peer teaching and support to students. The module will help to create a solid foundation for a distinct community of learning that will help to sustain students throughout the course of their degree at Sheffield.

40 credits

Optional modules:

Analysing News

This module will focus on how to analyse contemporary news outputs. Students will be introduced to a selection of methods such as content analysis, framing analysis and discourse analysis, which will allow them to analyse news outputs and focus on looking at current issues as they arise. Examples of recent studies will be read and discussed and teaching staff may also talk through how they conducted their own studies. The module will enable students to use basic research methods by starting with the news and topics rather than `dry' methodologies.

20 credits
Analysing Politics

This module is about (1) politics, and (2) how to analyse it. More specifically, it involves (1) understanding how power and truth operate in the contemporary world; and (2) discovering different ways to research these dynamics so to build compelling and rigorous accounts of the political worlds that we find ourselves a part. Students will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and independent study; and will be assessed on the basis of an essay, a portfolio relating to seminar preparation, and an online multiple-choice test.

20 credits
British Politics

This module will introduce students to key concepts and debates in British politics through an examination of post-1976 British political history. Each lecture will take as its starting-point one day in recent British history and will describe what happened on that day and what happened as a result of that day. Each of the seminars will then follow that discussion: paying particular attention to concepts and ideas within the study of politics which can help us make sense of those events.

20 credits
Child Psychology

This module explores the relationship between psychological theory and educational policy and practice, considering some of the ways in which Education and Local Authority services have been influenced by ideas about children developed in psychological research. Some of the core concepts of Psychology are introduced such as cognitive psychology (intelligence, language and learning), behaviourism (including modification techniques), social and emotional development (including family and attachment, trauma) as well as the study of individual differences (with reference to psychopathologies such as autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

20 credits
Comprehending Criminology

1. To give students an overview of the subject area, using a thematic and problem-solving approach, thereby developing a range of critical skills. 2. To acquaint students with central theories and debates in criminology. 3. To enable students to explore a particular substantive area of enquiry in more depth. 4. To develop student skills in the organisation and presentation of knowledge in the subject area. 5. To encourage the development of personal transferable skills. 6. To give students a basis from which to proceed to the study of a range of further substantive areas of criminological knowledge.

20 credits
Development, Planning and the State

The module provides an introduction to state intervention into land and property development and to current planning law and practice. Having considered land-use patterns within an unrestrained market economy, the first part of the module covers the development of state machinery in the nineteenth century and the current structure of national, regional and local government. The central part of the module introduces the British planning system as an administrative tool and the final third of the module explores its application to matters of current concern including the accomodation of new housebuilding at the sub-regional scale, and urban conservation.

20 credits
Education, Power and Society: Introduction to the Sociology of Education

This module explores the relationship between educational institutions/cultures/systems and social inequalities. We focus on class, gender, ethnicity and disability and look at the ways in which education systems serve to tackle or reproduce patterns of inequality and relations of power. The module also evaluates different policy frameworks and goals. For example, whether the focus of education policy should be placed on nurturing active citizenship (and what this would look like) or whether the main priority should be to serve the needs of the economy (and how this might be achieved).

20 credits
Exploring Human Geographies

The module provides an introduction to human geography including key principles and processes in economic, social and cultural geography. It describes the main elements and issues involved in the global economic system including the process of uneven development and how local economic activities are moulded by global forces. It also provides an introduction to social and cultural geography focusing on a range of concepts, current debates and contemporary issues. Drawing examples from around the world and at a variety of geographical scales, the module highlights the value of a geographical perspective on current economic, social and cultural issues.

20 credits
Exploring New Horizons in Geography

Academic Geography is a wide and vibrant field. Geographers contribute actively to new intellectual debates in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and their work addresses some of the most pressing issues facing the modern world, from climate change to food security, informing policy and practice. The module provides level 1 Geography students with a challenging but accessible insight into the cutting edge of contemporary geographical research and how it helps us understand our changing world. It therefore serves as bridge between the general introductory modules of the level 1 BA and BSc courses in Geography, and the more specialist modules taught at levels 2 and 3. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to see the difference that a geographical perspective can make to our understanding of some of the largest challenges facing the world. Each year, a selection of topical issues in contemporary human and physical geography will be explored by academics actively engaged in cutting edge research on those subjects. The course will be taught via lectures and guided reading.

20 credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics

This module examines the utility of the comparative approach to politics in an era of the proclaimed 'end of history' and 'global convergence'. It examines executives in a number of political systems. It focuses on 'constitutional engineering' by examining the effect that electoral and party systems have on the structure of executive authority and the types of executive commonly used in political systems. These are presidential, prime ministerial and mixed systems. It considers what is meant by 'strong' and 'weak' executives. The cases examined are: US presidency, Brazilian presidency, UK prime minister, German Federal Chancellor, Russian presidency and the French presidential system.

20 credits
Introduction to Global Political Economy

This module provides an introduction to global political economy (GPE). It covers key mainstream and critical theories and considers critically what GPE is. Following this, the main focus will be on sketching the outlines of the global economy (past and present) by considering particular commodities. This provides a novel way to introducing the student to the major processes of global trade, finance and production. It also considers the political economy of race, class and gender as core theoretical themes that interweave the empirical examination of the global political economy, from roughly 1500 through to the 21st century.

20 credits
Introduction to International Relations

This module will introduce students to the discipline of International Relations (IR) and therefore the study of global politics. IR is a complex, multi-level and multi-actor field whose terrain spans global to individual issues. To provide a comprehensive introduction to IR, the module will focus on two questions: 1) What is the subject matter of IR? And 2) What is the unit of analysis? Structuring the module as such will introduce students to key debates in IR and provide a broad overview of the subject matter (from global governance to individual activism) and different actors (from the UN to terrorists).

20 credits
Introduction to Western Political Thought

This module provides an introduction to key themes and thinkers in Western political thought. It explores the different meanings of the nature of politics and the political in this tradition. One key theme will be the relation between human nature and politics. This will be explored through a series of deep conflicts between reason and desire, the state and individual, and the public and private. These conflicts are examined through the different visions of politics of a selection of ancient and early modern thinkers. The module will also engage with critiques of the canon of Western political thought itself, in particular from a postcolonial perspective.

20 credits
Reporting Institutions

This module aims to help students understand how the world works - how the levers of power operate in international, national and local politics and how they can use this information and understanding to hold those in power to account on behalf of readers, viewers and listeners.

20 credits
The Making of Urban Places

This module will introduce you to cities and urbanisation, from the very first settlements to contemporary metropolises, using examples from across the world. The module focuses on thinking about the role of cities within societies and civilisations throughout history. We will look at how various forces shape cities, the outcomes of urbanisation for cities and their populations and how urban governments and planners have sought to respond to the challenges of urbanisation. We will explore influential ideas which have changed our thinking about cities and examine some of the major global challenges facing cities today.

20 credits
Classical Sociological Theory

The aim of this module is to introduce foundational theories in sociology. The lectures will describe the ideas of leading theorists Durkheim, Marx, and Weber with reference to the social context in which they lived and wrote. Lectures will analyze the primary texts of sociological throught with reference to the social contexts in which they emerged. This will include a look at the concerns of the first generation of sociological thinkers, their understanding of changes in European societies at the time, and the way in which their ideas inform an understanding of issues and problems in the contemporary world.

10 credits
Exploring Classical Social Thought Seminars

The purpose of this seminar module is to provide a medium for students to discuss, evaluate, assess, and engage foundational theories in sociology. The seminar topics will seek to relate major sociological theories to (historical) events of concern to the theorists themselves, and events of interest to contemporary students of social affairs. The discussions will emphasise ideas and concepts in key sociological writings and their contribution to shaping sociological enquiry.

10 credits
Gender, Sexuality and Society

This unit intends to address the following questions regarding gender and sexuality and their interaction with society: What do we mean by gender and sexuality? How do we do gender and sexuality? How do we see gender and sexuality? How do we control gender and sexuality?

10 credits
Introducing Criminology

Crime is a major social problem in virtually all societies. In this module, sociological understandings of crime are discussed, often with reference to their implications for policy. The module will introduce you to major research about crime in contemporary Britain and help you to understand the contribution of sociology to its analysis. This module will be of value to anyone thinking about a career in the criminal justice services, journalism, public service, the voluntary sector and anyone interested in understanding the significance of crime in contemporary British society

10 credits
Social Divisions Seminar

The aim of this unit is to explore a key concern of sociology to explain how and why material and symbolic rewards are distributed unequally. The unit will focus on how social constraints and opportunities arise from social divisions and will explore how various social divisions interact to produce unequal outcomes. It will evaluate critically sociological research that provides evidence of structured inequality in society. A key aim of the unit is to provide students with a sociological framework to assess critically how social divisions operate in their own lives through the constraints and opportunities they encounter.

10 credits
The Sociological Imagination Seminar

Drawing upon the lectures in the accompanying module (SCS100), students will use the seminars to explore a range of everyday life situations - such as mobile phone use, shopping, and travel - from a sociological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on students reflexively exploring their own experience, on the one hand, and gathering exemplary material from print and digital media. Students will be required to do exercises on specific topics.

10 credits
The Sociology of Everyday Life

This module aims to introduce students to basic sociological concepts, such as 'the sociological imagination', 'social interaction', 'social identity', 'deviance' and 'globalisation' and illustrate how these can be applied to everyday life. Drawing on the work of key thinkers in sociology, a range of everyday life situations, such as mobile phone use, shopping and travel will be used as exemplary cases

10 credits
Understanding Inequality

The aim of this unit is to explore a key concern of sociology to explain how and why material and symbolic rewards are distributed unequally. It will consider the unequal distribution of wealth, privilege and power and, in doing so, will question common-sense understandings of various inequalities in society. It will focus on various social divisions including the `big three' of social class, gender and race, as well as sexuality, age, religion and disability. Major themes will be explored with a predominantly British- and policy-related focus, although global divisions and inequalities will also be included for consideration.

10 credits
Welfare Politics and the State

This unit introduces students to some of the material and theoretical concerns of social policy by focusing on the politics of `welfare'. It is organised around unpacking common contemporary 'welfare myths' - e.g. 'the benefit scrounger', 'welfare tourism' and the need for austerity - by taking a long view of their articulation through history, exploring their ideological roots, examining policy responses and assessing the empirical evidence to support them. In doing so the unit also focuses on the policy making process, examining in particular issues of power in contemporary UK and the role of the media in perpetrating 'welfare myths'.

10 credits


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You'll learn through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you'll also benefit from small group teaching within the department.

You'll be taught how to use quantitative and qualitative methods and become confident in dealing with all types of data. You'll be asked to present your findings in a variety of formats, allowing you to develop the skills necessary to present yourself to an international audience.

You'll have the opportunity to work with local community institutions and businesses on various projects and you can also apply to take summer or year-long placements.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Our courses draw on research and teaching expertise from across Sheffield's highly rated Faculty of Social Sciences. Our academics are highly respected leaders within their fields and are working at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Their world-class research addresses the major challenges facing society and it drives and enhances our teaching.

Assessment

Assessments on the course range from essays, projects and presentations to practical assignments based on real-life case studies and data. In your final year, you'll complete a dissertation and will be supported by a dissertation tutor.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB + B in a relevant EPQ BBB + B in a relevant EPQ

International Baccalaureate | 33 32

BTEC | DDD in a relevant subject DDM in a relevant subject

Scottish Highers | AAABB AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB B + BB

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a social sciences subject with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits and Merits in 15 Level 3 credits 60 credits overall in a social sciences subject with Distinctions in 24 Level 3 credits and Merits in 21 Level 3 credits

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade C/4; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Sheffield Methods Institute

Undergraduate class at Sheffield Methods Institute

The international jobs market is going to need a different kind of social science graduate. We're leading the way with two innovative degrees.

Today, social science graduates are expected to have more than one area of expertise. Our degrees are taught by experts from across the social sciences faculty so you're not limited to just one subject. We also have a strong focus on research skills that will set you apart from other graduates.

We're committed to providing individual support to help you succeed - while you're a student with us and after you graduate. Work experience and practical skills are a big part of our degrees. They're built into our courses so you'll have opportunities to go on work placements, for short periods or for a whole year, and you'll learn methods used by the world's leading social sciences researchers.

Our courses draw on research and teaching expertise from across Sheffield's highly-rated Faculty of Social Sciences. Our academics are highly respected leaders within their fields and are working at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Their world-class research addresses the major challenges facing society and it drives and enhances our teaching.

As part of one of the most diverse social science centres in the country, the Sheffield Methods Institute sits within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield situated in the ICOSS building. We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in ICOSS, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

Facilities

At the SMI we bring together the brightest talents in the fields of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Our students have access to our specially-developed data laboratories and learn from our expert staff.

Sheffield Methods Institute

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017

  No 1 in the north for graduate employment
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020


Sheffield Methods Institute

World Top 100 for social sciences

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

UK top 10 for social sciences

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020


Graduate careers

Sheffield Methods Institute

Our courses have been specifically designed to meet the growing demand for social science researchers with data analysis skills. You might choose to apply your skills in the public or private sector, for a charity or an NGO.

Previous students from the SMI have gone into analyst roles in local government and the private sector. Some have gone onto research positions and others have started their own business.

Our placements give you valuable work experience and help prepare you for life after you graduate. To hear more about our placements from our students and employers, see the link below.

Work experience and practical skills are a big part of our degrees. There are opportunities to go on work placements, for short periods or for a whole year, and you'll learn methods used by the world's leading social sciences researchers.

Our graduates have gone into analyst roles in local government and the private sector, or further research. Others have launched their own businesses.

Profile image of SMI alumni Rhiannon Denby

My career so far - specialising in working with data

Rhiannon Denby BA Applied Social Science with Sociology

Rhiannon graduated with a degree in BA Applied Social Science with Sociology in 2018 and has since gone on to complete a Masters degree and land her perfect role.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you're eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022