I would describe Social Policy as a course full of questions, assumptions and general curiosity, but also an interesting academic concept of learning and study.
Currently a third year social policy student, I can say there has been so much I have enjoyed about the course. Before I started my studies, I didn’t know much about social policy and while I don’t regret this I think being familiar with some subject information would probably prepare you more about what to expect on the course – and most importantly, how it may help with your further education and career options.
Reflecting back now, there were a few questions I would have liked to ask before I started. I would like to share those questions with you.
What does a social policy course involve?
Social policy is an interdisciplinary course; this is because it involves various sorts of studies and not just one academic discipline. It involves subjects such as politics, economics, sociology, education and social services. So, yes it is one course, however a course with many branches which makes studying social policy – as well as its relevance to contemporary society and people – interesting and engaging.
I have heard you can get into social work through studying social policy. How?
Going into social work after a social policy course means undertaking further studies. For example, ARU offers a Masters degree in Social Work. Other universities may offer similar routes and any work experience related to the field is important.
Why are there no exams on the course?
This is one of the most interesting questions, as you would assume with every undergraduate degree, there would be formal exams. However, instead of exams, there are other modes of study and assessment. You will gain academic knowledge and discipline through essay based writing, reports, debates, presentation work, case studies, critical analysis, research based writing.
I believe these forms of assessments prepare students for real life work and what Social Policy or any social science field is about. They engage students more into the practicality of the course and encourage them to develop creativity and discipline. You also gain understanding and expertise into the research field. These skills also help with further studies and employability within social science courses or jobs. By gaining these skills, you are a step closer to progression in your chosen sector/field.
What kind of job can I get into after my studies?
There are various routes of progression after an undergraduate study of social policy. However, some routes may involve further studies. Here is some information regarding further studies and careers.
Is there one-to-one support on this course?
Yes, each student is given a tutor at the beginning of the academic course. This tutor is your first mode of contact for any queries about your studies and you can talk to them about other things you need to share. Then each module has lecturers who are a second form of contact. Provided there is time, all tutors are willing to help and support students throughout their academic studies.
What kind of applicants/course can be accepted onto the course?
Ideally, a social science-related course, for example an A Level, HE Diploma, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or International Baccalaureate Diploma. There is more information on the Social Policy course page about entry requirements. You will also find out the grade requirements. There might be more acceptable qualifications so please contact admissions if you are unsure about yours.
Where are the best places to look for internships, work experience and jobs associated with social policy?
This is important for any prospective student. Gaining some form of practical skills and experience before and during studies is key. For formal advice and guidance, I recommend the Careers Adviser and the Employability Team as a first source of contact, or check the Careers and employability web page.