Social policy takes you right to the heart of some of the most hotly debated social issues of our time and addresses the controversial questions discussed by the media, the public and the Government. Our course was ranked 4th in the UK in terms of student satisfaction with teaching (Guardian league tables 2017) and will open up a range of rewarding careers in areas such as the criminal justice system, housing, NHS authorities, the police, local or central government, social enterprise and the voluntary sector.
I have gained so much knowledge over the past year and I know it will help me in my field of work
Social policy draws on a variety of subjects including sociology, politics, economics, social psychology, history, cultural and media studies. Together, we’ll consider the reasons behind, and responses to, a wide range of social issues:
You'll learn how social policy is formulated and implemented, and get to grips with the theory behind social policy-making in an exciting and challenging environment.
We think it's important for you to get out into the real world too, so you'll have the chance to take part in an internship (work experience placement) where you'll put your practical skills to the test. You will get a chance to shadow workers, attend meetings, experience service delivery and carry out some tasks to help your placement organisation. In the past students have attended settings such as local authorities, community organisations, care homes and charities including Jimmy's Cambridge, FoodCycle and Railway House to only name a few.
If you're keen to see how other countries tackle social issues, there's an opportunity for you to study abroad in Sweden for one semester in Year 2. You will be asked to study a Swedish language module and will benefit from the University of Umea's international perspective and a specialist focus on politics.
Throughout the course, there's a strong emphasis on student participation and consultation, and you'll learn to approach policy issues in a rational, analytical way. You'll go on visits, and we'll bring in experts who'll inform – and perhaps challenge – you with their experiences. For example, youth offending practitioners lecture on the course and get students to take part in a mock trial. Our experts will share their experience with you and engage you in debates about ethical and academic issues.
When you graduate, you'll be confident, well-informed – able to identify and research a range of social problems, look at the policies that respond to them, evaluate those policies, and help to create and implement new policies if needed.
The structure of our degree allows you to focus on a particular area within Social Policy. Through optional modules, you can follow a Crime, Education or Health stream. This means you can develop a deeper knowledge of these particular areas and improve your employability for related careers.
When you graduate, your wide-ranging skills will help you to better understand, and have an impact on, many aspects of society.
Graduates from this course have gone into a wide range of interesting and enjoyable careers in the public, private and third sectors, including:
We use a wide-ranging and creative mix of ways to measure your progress on this course. You might be assessed on a presentation you’ve given or a seminar paper you’ve written, or you may have to provide a report on an activity you’ve done. You may also be assessed on your essays, case studies, debates, mind-maps and portfolios. You’ll get advice on how to produce all of these.
In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.
For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages
*Important fee notes
The part-time course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity, or 60 credits per year). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period, or for more credits. All fees are for guidance purposes only. Your offer letter will contain full details of credits and fees, or you can contact us if you'd like more information.
You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.
You must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit or sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.
We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email email@example.com for further information.
We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.
Read this institution's report