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Politics, Philosophy and Economics BA

Sheffield Methods Institute

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    You are viewing this course for 2023-24 entry.

    Key details

    Course description

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    Studying politics, philosophy and economics will help you understand the ideas and theories which shape our world. You'll learn how and why these subjects are intrinsically linked, and how they've developed alongside each other.

    You'll also develop analytical skills to help you evaluate the impact of government policies of programmes.

    You'll learn how to understand things from multiple perspectives and think creatively about problem solving. Our teaching is informed by real-world events that are happening now, so you'll be using the knowledge and techniques you've learned to tackle current issues.

    For example, you could examine the impact of government policies aimed at addressing climate change, healthcare, education, and financial crisis.

    Our strong links with employers mean you'll be equipped with the analytical skills that they look for when you graduate.

    You'll have the flexibility to specialise in your area of interest. For instance, you could choose to explore modules in international relations, economic history, the philosophy of religion, or macroeconomics.

    We have a partnership with the Civil Service and we support students in gaining employment experience during their degree. We encourage you to spend a year working for governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other third sector employers focused on public policy.

    You'll also have the option to spend a year studying abroad in order to develop your skills and understanding of politics, philosophy and economics in a global setting.

    You can specialise in quantitative economics and convert to a BSc Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

    In the final year, you'll complete a PPE dissertation supported by a dissertation tutor.

    Find out what its like to study our exciting Politics, Philosophy & Economics course from current students Rikzar and Daniel.

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    If you want to specialise in economics then you can choose the BSc exit route. For this you'd need to take an extra economics module in your first year and then take more core economics modules in your second and third years compared to the BA route. 

    Title: Politics, Philosophy and Economics BA L200
    UCAS code: L200
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    Core modules:

    Principles in Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE)

    This module is designed to provide students on the PPE course with an understanding of how politics, philosophy, and economics are interrelated, as well as articulate the reasons why PPE is such an exciting interdisciplinary field of study. It will cover key theories and approaches in politics, philosophy, and economics that provide the foundation for the study of PPE as an interdisciplinary degree.

    20 credits
    Economy, Society and Public Policy (ESPP)

    ESPP is for students who are interested in the big policy problems facing societies today; inequality within and between countries, environmental sustainability, the future of work, health and wellbeing, wealth creation and financial instability and so on.
    This module has been created specifically for social science students who are NOT economists, but who want to understand how the economy works, and how it can be made to work better.
    The module will give you an understanding of the ways in which we can interpret the evidence on the social and economic issues of today, and formulate appropriate public policy interventions. We emphasise issues of power, social norms, fairness, institutions, etc, and illustrate throughout with real-world data.

    20 credits

    Optional politics modules - one from:

    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
    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 introduce 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 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
    Planet Politics

    From the atmosphere to Antarctic ice sheets, the Earth has been fundamentally transformed by human activity: we now inhabit a ‘human planet’. At the same time, from mining and agriculture to modern patterns of resource consumption, humankind has become dependent on the very activities that have caused these transformations. 

    Far from being automatic or inevitable, these transformations are deeply political on multiple levels – in their causes, in their consequences, and in the many arguments and differences over how to respond to them. 

    This module will introduce students to some of this ‘Planet Politics’. It will consider questions such as: 

    Are we on the verge of a planetary ecological crisis? 

    Is capitalism the problem, or the solution? 

    Are there just too many people? 

    Is meaningful international environmental cooperation possible? 

    What are the vested interests obstructing change? What forms of social resistance are appropriate? 

    What is ‘environmental justice’? 

    Examining both key environmental and resource issues and the main approaches to studying them, the module asks some of the biggest questions about life: how should we live, and what should we do?

    20 credits
    The World's Wicked Problems

    This module will introduce students to key international relations concepts and discussions. Students will be able to understand, analyse and reflect on some of  the most pressing issues in the international arena including: 

    migration

    climate change

    poverty and global inequalities

    sexual violence 

    armed conflict 

    This introductory module will equip students with the tools to continue engaging with more in-depth theoretical and empirical international relations discussions as they progress through their studies.

    20 credits
    Gender and the World

    This module aims to interrogate the role of gender and sex in shaping world politics. To do this, it asks how notions of masculinity and femininity shape our institutions, how gender might influence the political problems we prioritise and whose voices are taken seriously in developing responses to these problems. 

    Students will answer these questions through the study of the politicisation of sex, the relationship between gender and violence, how current practices of gender are shaped by colonialism and a range of other timely topics that shape the world today. 

    The module will allow students to develop an understanding of different approaches to gender, be introduced to key concepts from feminism and queer theory, learn to apply these ideas practically to a set of case studies and debate what the future of gender is in world politics. 

    20 credits
    Political Violence

    This module will provide students with an introduction to political violence and begins by engaging with debates over the conceptualisation of violence, and when violence should be understood as “political”.  It will then introduce students to debates over the causes and consequences of violence through an examination of specific topics, which may include:

    histories of violence

    terrorism

    interstate war

    settler-colonial violence

    structural violence

    slow violence

    gender based violence

    war ecologies

    the politics of violence prevention

    violent resistance

    attempts to regulate violence.  



    We will explore these themes by asking how violence is refracted through race, gender, ethnicity, and other forms of social difference. Students will have the opportunity to explore these topics through specific examples and develop the necessary skills to apply them in practice. 

    The module will allow students to develop an understanding of the key theories, concepts, issues and themes in the study of political violence by:

    understanding the debates on the conceptualisation of “violence” and what makes violence “political”

    developing skills in critical analysis, writing, and presentation

    developing the ability to apply theories and issues to specific cases of political violence

    20 credits
    Race and Racism in World Politics

    Through historical and contemporary case studies, students will study how our world today has been shaped by historical events, many of which continue to inform current relations. We will discover how discourses around race, ethnicity, gender and class construct realities today, determining who rules and who is ruled, who lives and who dies. 

    The module will give students a theoretical toolkit, including approaches from the majority world, enabling them to appreciate power and the political significance of silences in accounts of the global and political.

    We will learn about the historical production of the idea of race; how it configured the world in particular ways; how race mandated the colonial project. However, the module will also go beyond race to think about colonialism and the identities that operate in conjunction with race including class, ethnicity, and gender, and how they can determine what type of life people can live or whether they can live at all. For example, they determine whether a child has the right to security, or has to risk losing life in the Mediterranean escaping violence at home. 

    Students will also learn about resistance and efforts to construct a different and more just world. Through rich historical and contemporary case studies, students will learn how to connect theories to understand current affairs, drawing on thinkers from various backgrounds to counter some of the dominant narratives within international relations.

    20 credits

    Optional philosophy modules - one from:

    Self and Society

    This course introduces students to central questions in political philosophy: Do we need a state, and if so, must we obey its laws? When, why and how may states punish citizen for failing to obey the law? What is freedom, and when are we free? Is equality a moral value, and if so, what are its implications for how governments ought to act? What is justice, and how does it relate to freedom, equality, and punishment? Should states be organised democratically, and what does it mean to live in a democracy? The course encourages students to think carefully and clearly about the relationship they have, as citizens, to each other and the state, and to develop their analytical and critical skills in the process. Readings will include influential, historical and contemporary discussions of the state, equality, freedom, justice, and democracy.

    20 credits
    Philosophy of Religion

    This course will pose and try to answer philosophical questions about religion. These include questions about the nature of religion. For instance does being religious necessarily involve believing in the existence of a God or Gods? And is religious faith compatible with adherence to the scientific method? Other questions that the course will cover include questions about the theistic notion of God. Does the idea of an all-powerful being make sense? Is an all-knowing God compatible with human freedom? And is an all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good creator of the universe compatible with the existence of evil? Further questions concern God and morality. Is it true that if there is no God, then there is no right and wrong? The course will examine philosophical arguments for the existence of God, and question whether these arguments are sound.

    10 credits
    Reason and Argument

    Arguments are everywhere - in our newspapers, on our television screens and radios, in books and academic papers, on blogs and other websites. We argue with our friends, families, teachers and taxi drivers. These arguments are often important; they help us to decide what to do, what to believe, whom to vote for, what car to buy, what career path to follow, or where we should attend university (and what we should study). The ability to recognise, evaluate and produce arguments is therefore immeasurably valuable in every aspect of life.

    This course will teach you how to recognise an argument, how to understand it, how to evaluate and criticise it, and how to produce your own. Students in this module will learn how to extract an argument from a complex text, how to uncover hidden assumptions, and how to recognise and critique bad reasoning

    10 credits
    History of Ethics

    How should we live? What is the right thing to do? This module offers a critical introduction to the history of western ethical thought, examining some of the key ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Douglass, Bentham, Mill, Taylor Mill, Nietzsche, Rawls and Gilligan. It provides a textual introduction to some of the main types of ethical theory: the ethics of flourishing and virtue; rights-based approaches; utilitarianism; contractualism. We explore the close interconnections between ethics and other branches of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics), as well as the connections between ethics and other disciplines (e.g. psychology; anthropology).

    10 credits
    History of Philosophical Ideas

    The history of philosophy is made up of a series of debates between competing philosophical traditions and schools: for example, idealists argue with realists, rationalists with empiricists. And at different times, distinctive philosophical movements have dominated the discussion, such as pragmatism, existentialism, phenomenology, analytic philosophy, and critical theory. This module will introduce you to some of these central movements and traditions in the history of philosophy from Plato onwards, and the key philosophical concepts and issues that they have brought in to western thought.

    10 credits

    Optional economics modules - one from:

    Classical and Contemporary Thinkers in Economics

    This module introduces students to a range of classical and contemporary economists, including the founders of the discipline and some Nobel Prize winners, past and present. For each economist, a senior member of the department will give a short biography, outline their contributions to the discipline of economics and the development of the subject, and explain how they have influenced their own thinking and research that is undertaken in economics today. Examples of the contribution of these economists to a range of economic issues will be used to illustrate the continuing relevance and application of their ideas.

    20 credits
    Mathematical Methods for Economics 1

    The aims of this module are: 1. To give an insight into the importance of mathematical methods in economic analysis. 2. To introduce a range of mathematical techniques. 3. To give an understanding of how and when to apply the techniques. The module will include revision of basic concepts, algebra, equations, exponential and logarithmic functions, differential calculus, optimisation, geometry

    20 credits
    Mathematical Methods for Economics 2

    The aims of this module are: 1. To give an insight into the importance of mathematical methods in economic analysis. 2. To introduce a range of mathematical techniques. 3. To give an understanding of how and when to apply the techniques. The module will include revision of basic concepts, algebra, equations, exponential and logarithmic functions, differential calculus, optimisation, geometry

    20 credits
    Economic History of Britain and the Modern World

    This module surveys the economic history of Britain since the mid-eighteenth century (in the first semester) and of the global economy (in the second semester) in order to better understand the forces which determine why some people and countries are rich, and have the capacity for sustained economic growth, whereas others are poor. In particular, we wish to understand the role of government and institutions in driving or retarding economic development, and to provide ideas from the comparative experience of different countries about what policies have been successful in enabling poor people and countries to escape from poverty.

    20 credits

    Choose one or two from (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
    Empire: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages

    Covering the period from the 4th century BC to the 15th century AD, this module invites students to explore the ancient and medieval worlds through the lens of 'empire'. It provides an introduction to ancient and medieval types of empire, their contacts with and legacies to each other, and the connectedness between East and West in this period. Using a wealth of primary evidence and drawing on corresponding historiographical debates, students explore what it meant to live in ancient and medieval empires, what kind of social, cultural and religious encounters they engendered, and whether there was any space for resistance.

    20 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
    Introduction to Media and Communication in Society

    This module examines the relationship between media and society. It examines the nature of influence and persuasion, representation, ownership, and identity in contemporary media environments.

    10 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. The first half, on the history of urbanisation and urban settlement, looks at how various forces have shaped cities, and the outcomes of urbanisation for cities and their populations. The second half, on contemporary global urbanisation challenges, examines some of the major global challenges facing cities today. Throughout, we will explore influential ideas which have changed our thinking about cities, and look at how urban governments and planners have sought to respond to the challenges of urbanisation.

    20 credits
    The Making of the Twentieth Century

    This module considers the twentieth century as a time that transformed the social and political order in the world, calling into question the role of the European powers in global contexts, and dramatically reorienting the relationship between states and societies. You will engage with case studies representing key themes in twentieth-century global history: imperialism and the processes of decolonisation; the challenges of building the postcolonial nation; revolutions and the emergence of new states; war, genocide and conflict; and the institutions of international order.

    In addressing these themes, The Making of the Twentieth Century has a particular aim of counteracting prevailing tendencies towards Eurocentrism.  You will gain a considerable body of knowledge on the histories of Asia, Africa and Latin America especially.  At the same time, emphasis is placed on the empirical and theoretical grounds upon which competing interpretations rest in order to encourage you to develop critical awareness of the character of historical analysis.  More generally, this module aims to develop analytical, conceptual and literary skills through class discussion and written assignments.  Communication skills will also be emphasised in weekly seminars that will allow specific issues to be discussed in more depth, often with reference to primary source material.  Above all, the module seeks to stimulate an interest in history and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

    20 credits
    Writing Philosophy

    Philosophical writing is a skill that you, the student, must hone early on in order to succeed in your degree. It is also a transferable skill that will serve you in your post-academic career. Philosophical writing combines the general virtues of clarity, organisation, focus and style found in other academic writing with particular philosophical virtues, namely, the ability to expose the implicit assumptions of analysed texts and to make explicit the logical structure of one's own and other people's arguments. A precondition of philosophical writing is a unique form of textual analysis that pays particular attention to its argumentative structure. In this module you will learn and practice philosophical writing. You will learn how to read in preparation for philosophical writing, learn how to plan an essay, learn how to rework your drafts and learn how to use feedback constructively. You will write five drafts and five essays and will have one on on tutorial on each essay you write. The lectures in the course will be split between lectures of the art of writing and lectures on philosophical topics in the domain of fact and value. Essay topics will be based on the topical lectures and their associated readings

    20 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
    Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

    Whether you're a journalist writing stories for the public, or a social research analyst working in government, you need to be able to understand, use and present data. This 10 credit module aims to demystify data and encourage critical thinking on statistics; often wrongly used, and sometimes in very misleading ways. The module will equip you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to become a discerning data user, through engaging teaching, active learning and examples from the news media. The module is comprised of a mix of lectures and computer workshops and is assessed through a multiple choice exam.

    10 credits
    Development, Planning and the State

    The module provides an introduction to spatial planning in theory and practice, exploring arguments for and against spatial planning and the rationale for state intervention into land and property development. The first part of the module covers key debates on the purposes of planning, the historical development of planning as a state activity and the current structure of national, regional and local government. The central part of the module introduces key aspects of the English planning system and key debates about its role and purpose. The final third of the module explores how spatial planning responds to major societal challenges.

    20 credits
    Politics, Economy and Society in China

    This module explores what it means to study China at university level, and considers how 'area studies' research on China fits within disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary China: including how Chinese society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    20 credits
    Politics, Economy and Society in Japan

    This module explores what it means to study Japan at university level, and considers how ‘area studies’ research on Japan fits within disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary Japan: including how Japanese society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    20 credits
    Politics, Economy and Society in Korea

    This module explores what it means to study Korea at university level, and considers how ‘area studies’ research on Korea fits within disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary Korea: including how Korean society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will trace how postwar developments and the division of the Korean Peninsula have shaped contemporary political and social issues.

    20 credits
    Climate Action

    Humans are altering the climate, with significant impacts on livelihoods, wellbeing, equality, and the environment across the globe.  While international organisations and governments are crucial in mitigating and adapting to these threats, individual and small group collective action are also essential in creatively exploring how the necessary changes can be realistically and equitably implemented.

     

    This module uses the community linked to the University as a Living Lab.  Focusing on one aspect of daily life in which there is potential for more mitigation or better adaptation, you will identify and plan an investigation or intervention (a 'project') to take a step towards more or better climate action.  You will need to justify your choices by elaborating what you would consider success, how you would deliver it, as well as assessing the impact of its wider implementation.

    10 credits
    Urban Economics

    This module provides an introduction to economic concepts and theories and to the way in which they are applied to the analysis of selected markets and policy challenges. The module seeks to offer an economic perspective on planning issues by focusing on land market and urban development. The overall aim of the module is to develop students' understanding of the economic environment within which planners and other urban professions operate and to enhance understanding of economic theory and the property market in general.

    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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    As a student on the Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree programme at the Sheffield Methods Institute you will be taught through a variety of methods including lectures, seminars to help you learn how to understand things from multiple perspectives and think creatively about problem-solving.

    Our teaching is informed by real-world events that are happening now, you'll have the option to choose optional modules throughout your degree to enable you to use the knowledge and techniques you’ve learned to tackle current issues.

    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

    You will benefit from the expertise and experience of our academics in the departments of Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

    You’ll also study specialist PPE modules with our expert academics in the Sheffield Methods Institute who will teach you the methods and techniques to analyse and interrogate policy, skills that will set you apart from other graduates.

    Assessment

    You'll be assessed through a number of methods including essays, exams, group presentations and a final year dissertation.

    Every student is assigned a personal tutor within the SMI who is there to support you throughout your studies.

    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

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAA

    International Baccalaureate 36

    BTEC Extended Diploma D*DD in a relevant subject

    BTEC Diploma DD + A at A Level

    Scottish Highers AAAAA

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels A + AA

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in Social Sciences, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB

    International Baccalaureate 34

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject

    BTEC Diploma DD + A at A Level

    Scottish Highers AAAAA

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in Social Sciences, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction and 9 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B

    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 4/C; 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 qualifications | UK and EU/international

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

    Sheffield Methods Institute

    Five reasons to study at the Sheffield Methods Institute

    1. We specialise in small group teaching - you'll be part of small lecture and seminar groups, giving you the chance to ask in-depth questions and discuss topics in detail
    2. We'll get you career ready - we'll develop your employability with industry-relevant skills and you'll have the opportunity to take a placement in industry
    3. Choose your own study pathway - you'll have the chance to tailor your learning experience and follow your own interests
    4. We're here for you - we know you all as individual students and have a dedicated support team
    5. You'll be taught by experts - our staff are active researchers and use cutting-edge research to really bring a subject to life

    Annual student conference

    Our conferences brings together students from all our undergraduate courses to hear from and network with industry professionals, share knowledge, present research findings and explore new topics from across the social sciences forum.

    SMI Student Conference

    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.

    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.

    Sheffield Methods Institute

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university
    QS World University Rankings 2023

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    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


    Student profiles

    Portrait photograph of student ambassador Narnie Furlong

    I really enjoy the small size of the department because I’ve been able to form great friendships with my peers and good relationships with the lecturers, meaning that I don’t just feel like a number or a statistic.

    Georgiana Furlong
    Sheffield Methods Institute student

    Graduate careers

    This degree prepares you for work in government, NGOs and other third sector employers, and organisations focused on understanding, interpreting and advocating in the public policy arena. We'll teach you the principles and skills to start your career and make an impact in the workplace.

    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.

    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

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    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

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    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

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

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

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

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    2023-2024