Social Science with Foundation Entry BA (Hons)

This course is validated by: Lancaster University
Award: BA (Hons) in Social Sciences
Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: F300
Code: IA3120A12Z
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Duration: Full time: 4 academic years
Part time: N academic years
Start Dates: september 2018
Term Dates: View term dates

Our BA (Hons) Social Science with Foundation Entry degree course is designed for students who want to study the social sciences, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to start the Honours degree programme just yet.

Our exciting course is based round the 4 core Social Science subjects of Sociology, Politics, Psychology and Economics and is ideal for those who wish to gain an understanding of the big issues in contemporary global, European and UK society. Specific pathways in each of the core subjects; Psychology, Politics, Sociology and Economics are available as well as a range of inter disciplinary modules, so that you can put together a programme that best suits your interests and strengths.

We assume that new entrants have no previous knowledge of any of the 4 core subjects and therefore we start from basics. Year two (level 4) study introduces you to key theories, ideas, concepts and debates in each of the disciplines and thus provides the academic and intellectual foundations for Years Two and Three (levels 5 and 6). In Years 3 and 4 (Levels 5 and 6) you have a choice of subjects and modules (see below). The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, field work and private study.

If there's a subject you didn't like in the second year it is however possible to drop it as you progress through the programme. Throughout the programme there are numerous visits and study trips. In 2013 students went to South Africa, in 2012, Marrakesh (Morocco), in 2011 to Istanbul, in 2010 to Prague as well as visiting the European Parliament in Brussels.

There is a strong guest speaker programme which has included (to date) the Foreign Secretary, the Leader of the House of Commons, the Minister of Justice and the Minister for Tourism as well as other distinguished persons and a variety of academics from other universities. We also have a range of partnership schemes which allow you to gain work experience in Social Services and other Public sector employment; a real help when it comes to job applications; many of our students are also volunteers in a myriad of different agencies.

What will I study?

In the first year of this programme you will study 3 modules in total. These have all been designed to help you develop the skills you’ll need for higher level study of the social sciences. You will also develop an understanding of the requirements of degree level study and it will give you an opportunity to practice studying and taking part in University level assessments. In short, you will receive a firm grounding for the subject you want study at degree level before starting your Honours degree.

The second year of the programme, if you choose to study full-time, is designed to give you a foundation in the key Social Science subjects of Sociology, Politics, Psychology and Economics. It assumes no prior subject knowledge in any of the 4 key areas and consists of 8 modules. There are also study visits, conferences and guest speakers to complement the modules. Levels 5 and 6 (Years 3 and 4, if studying full-time) are the areas of study upon which the final classification of the degree is based, and these years of the degree build upon the knowledge obtained at Level 4. You will be given the opportunity to follow discreet pathways in each of the core subject areas as well as to opt for multidisciplinary modules. For example, you can choose to follow a Sociology pathway and combine this with choices from say Politics and Psychology alongside a number of the multidisciplinary modules or alternatively not to opt for Sociology at all but to stick to Psychology and Politics or Economics with some multidisciplinary modules. So, whatever your interests in the Social Sciences, this programme allows you to concentrate on options of your choice. Currently there are some 46 modules potentially available with Social Science Research Methods including IT applications and a Dissertation module being the only two compulsory modules.

Modules include:

First year modules include:

  • Preparing for Higher Education
  • A World in Crisis? A Foundation in Social Science

And one module from the choice of:

  • Foundation in English Language and Literary Studies
  • Foundation in Psychology
  • Popular Culture and Leisure in Victorian and Edwardian Britain

You will then move on to study the following modules in the remaining 3 years of the programme:

  • Introduction to Social Science
  • Introduction to Social Theory and Method
  • Social Differentiation and Division in Contemporary Society
  • Introduction to British Government and Politics
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Personal Differences
  • Understanding Economics and Economic Policy

Compulsory modules at Level 5 and 6 (3rd and 4th year if studied full-time) include:

  • Dissertation
  • Social Science Research Methods (SSRM)

Optional modules at Level 5 and 6 (3rd and 4th year if studied full-time) include:

  • Development Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology, Brain and Behaviour
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Local and Regional Government in Britain and Europe
  • New Politics in Britain
  • European Union
  • Political Ideas and the Making of the Modern World & the Western Perspective
  • Political Ideas and the Making of the Modern World & the Islamic Perspective
  • Government and Politics of the USA
  • Politics in Literature
  • Campaigning
  • Welfare and the origins of the Welfare State
  • Leisure and Society
  • Identity, Culture and Globalisation
  • Cities in the 21st Century
  • Europe, Culture and Society
  • From Modernity to Post-Modernity -& Contemporary Social Theory
  • From Guttenberg to Gates - a Sociology of the Media
  • Crime and Society
  • The Economics of the European Union
  • Britain's Economic Performance
  • Communication and Interpersonal Psychology
  • Psychology of the Abnormal
  • Forensic and Criminal Psychology
  • International Relations and Globalisation
  • The Psychology of Media, Advertising and Cyberspace
  • Riots, Public Disorders and responses of the State
  • Issues in International Human Rights
  • The International Politics of Post-War Europe (1945 -& Present)
  • United States Foreign Policy and the making of a New Global Order
  • Saving the World: Green Politics, Green Society
  • Utopian Visions and Everyday Culture
  • War And Peace: Studies In Conflict, Political Violence And Their Resolution
  • Sociology of Health and Medicine
  • E- Communications, Ideas and Interactivity
  • Sociology of Death and Dying
  • Tourism, Sex and Gender
  • Societies in the Majority World
  • Risk, Society and Freedom
  • Have I Got News for You? Contemporary Issues in the Media
  • Humanity, Science and Technology: Into the 21st Century
  • The Economics of a Globalised World
  • Development Economics

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Social Science. The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Entry Requirements


Applicants to the foundation year with A-level (or other level 3 qualifications) gained within 5 years of entry will be required to have either a minimum 32 UCAS points from subjects related to Social Sciences or a minimum of 48 UCAS points overall.  Students meeting this criterion may be admitted without interview.

We welcome applications from mature students without formal qualifications for these courses or from mature students whose Level 3 qualifications were gained more than 5 years ago. If this applies to you will be interviewed before your course and offered a place on the basis of your previously gained skills and experience.

You will not be required to have GCSE (or equivalent qualifications) at level 2 in English and Mathematics.

If you are an International Student from outside of the EU it is a requirement for you to have a Tier 4 Visa in order to study with us. In order for you to undertake this particular programme of study, you will also need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English and will require a UK VI Academic IELTS score of 6.0. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £9,250 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.

New UCAS Tariff 2017 Entry. UCAS has introduced a new tariff system which aims to provide a fair and more transparent process of allocating tariff points across a wide range of qualifications. This new tariff system will be used for courses starting 2017. Applicants should note that new tariff points for a qualification may be different to the points for the same qualification in the previous system – generally tariff points will be lower on the new tariff.






How will I be assessed?

In your first year your assessment is designed to give you a flavour of how you will be assessed in the later stages of the programme.  In the later stages, most modules are assessed through a combination of 50% coursework (essay/seminar paper) and 2 hour unseen exam. Every student undertakes a Dissertation in their final year. Where this is not the case assessment is 100% coursework, a long-essay or mini-dissertation. If there is a medical reason why a method of assessment will impact on your ability to take the assessment, you should speak to our Disability Services team.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

A UCBC BA (Hons) Social Science graduate is knowledgeable, imaginative, articulate, confident, multi-skilled and a highly employable person. Social Science graduates are amongst the most sought after and well rewarded in the European jobs market.

Amongst other areas Social Science graduates develop careers in social work and the social services sector; the media and research organisations; local government and health service management; the Police and armed forces; retail management and business, where their analytical abilities are highly prized. Many want to be teachers, firstly taking a PGCE then going into teaching at primary, secondary and post 16 levels whilst some of our graduates having gone on to postgraduate study now teach in Higher Education.

Post-graduate study is a popular option whilst others undertake further study via professional courses.

Former graduates of the programme include: an MEP, Social Workers, Teachers, Probation Officer, Local Government Officer and various roles in the voluntary sector. One of our graduates has even opened her own micro-brewery and bar - there are multiple career paths open to you.

Student Stories

Gabby HargreavesBA (Hons) English Language & Literary Studies

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"The team should be commended for their general composition and delivery of an interesting and diverse curriculum:
a curriculum that combines a strong foundation of social science knowledge and skills with innovative thematic modules that are of contemporary relevance, interdisciplinary quality and imaginative approaches."

External Examiners Report 2014/15