BSc Social Science

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

This innovative new degree provides a unique opportunity for you to combine knowledge from different disciplines and develop an advanced understanding of the social relations and structures, and social and psychological processes occurring in the world. At the heart of this degree is an exploration of how societies vary across space and time, having a distinctive geography and history that is reflected in a wide range of global, social, political, cultural and economic processes. Taught by world-leading staff in the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology, the degree will enable you to build an inter-disciplinary social science degree. It will also enable you to specialise in different areas of human geography, politics, psychology, and history. The degree employs a range of assessment methods, and there are opportunities to undertake social science research in overseas destinations (currently New York or Dublin).

Department of International Politics: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of International Politics who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)


At the heart of this degree is an exploration of how societies vary across space and time, having a distinctive geography and history that is reflected in a wide range of global, social, political, cultural and economic processes. 

The Social Science degree provides an excellent opportunity to do an inter-disciplinary degree: combining the theories and methods of separate disciplines to increase knowledge and understanding. This degree allows students to select modules from across the social science spectrum – including human geography, history and Welsh history, International Politics, and psychology – with the potential for additional options to be taken in criminology, education and management and business. You will learn to think outside of conventional disciplinary boundaries, and a core teaching provision will provide a catalyst for students to explore connections between these disciplines. 

The Social Science degree creates a unique context in which to learn how to undertake inter-disciplinary social science research. The modules in the first year address broad-based themes and provide an introductory engagement with key concepts, theories, methods and approaches, including a core module on Understanding the Social World. 

Students can choose from over twenty first year optional modules, with typical examples including Perspectives on Social and Individual behaviour, Place, Culture and Society, Approaching the Political, and Capitalism and the Making of the Modern World. 

In Years 2 and 3 you will focus on core social science research methods and skills, choosing specialist modules from a choice of over thirty. Typical optional modules include: Social Psychology, Modern China, Modern Welsh Society, Sustainability and Resilience, Gender, Conflict and Security, and the 21st Century Self. By the end of your final year you will have produced a social science dissertation on a subject of your choice. 

You could take advantage of not only the teaching and research expertise here at the University, but also its array of overseas and work-based educational opportunities. There are a variety of international fieldtrips, work-placements and internships on offer, and you will be encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities as well as Aberystwyth University’s Year in Employment Scheme and its Erasmus and International Exchange programmes. At present, optional overseas fieldtrip opportunities would enable you to undertake urban social science field research in Dublin or New York.

Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Options Students must the following Degree Scheme Core Modules: SA10120 and PS11300(20) or SA11300(20)

Semester 1

Introduction To Psychology: Investigation And Communication PS11300

Understanding The Social World SA10120

Cyflwyniad I Seicoleg: Ymchwilid A Chyfathrebiad SC11300

Semester 2

Introduction To Psychology: Investigation And Communication PS11320

Cyflwyniad I Seicoleg: Ymchwili A Chyfathrebiad SC11320

Year 1 Options Students must take 60 credits from the following

Semester 1

Place, Culture And Society GG14410

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 1 GW12420

Cyflwyno Hanes HA12120

Introduction To History HY12120

Exploring The International 1 IP12420

Introduction To Core Topics In Social And Individual Behaviour PS11420

Semester 2

Power, Place And Development GG14210

Approaching The Political IP10820

Perspectives On Psychobiology And Cognition PS11220

Year 1 Options Students must take 20 credits from the following

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

The City And Country: Processes Of Conflict And Change GG10210

Cymru A'r Byd: Cysylltiadau A Dylanwadau 1860 - 2000 HC11520

Applications Of Psychology PS11520

Semester 2

Y Dirwasgiad Mawr: Hanes Cymharol America A Phrydain HA10620

Exploring The International 2 IP12520

Conceptual And Historical Issues In Psychology PS11820

Year 2 Options Students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Researching People And Place GG20510

Semester 2

Quantitative Research Methods PS21310

Contemporary Debates In The Social Sciences SA20120

Year 2 Options Students must take 80 credits of optional modules from the following pathways - you must choose three out of the four departments - Human Geography, Psychology, History and Welsh History and International Politics

Year 3 Options All students must do the core dissertation module SA30140

Year 3 Options Students must take 80 credits of optional modules from the following pathways - you must choose three out of the four departments - Human Geography, Psychology, History and Welsh History and International Politics


BSc Social Science prepares graduates with the skills necessary for a wide range of employment sectors, including a detailed knowledge of the working of contemporary societies. These skills are in increasing demand amongst employers, and recent research has shown that social science graduates are highly employable. In 2013, a report titled “What do social science graduates do?”, published by the Campaign for Social Science, revealed that “3.5 years after graduating, the proportion of social science graduates in employment is higher than that of graduates of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) or the arts-humanities” and that a “higher proportion of social science graduates are in managerial and senior official roles than graduates of STEM or arts-humanities subjects, at the same point in time”.

Transferable Skills 

Studying this BSc will help you develop a broad and deep understanding of the social sciences, its content, methods and philosophy. You will gain specialist knowledge and understanding of your subjects, and develop powers of critical, analytical thinking and logical argument. The transferable skills include writing skills, computer literacy, numeracy skills, graphicacy, problem setting and problem solving, report writing and some fieldwork skills.

The course aims to enable you to specialise in the areas of social sciences that interest you and will provide you with the opportunity to develop research techniques through research methods training and an independent research dissertation. You will also be able to abstract and synthesise information, critically judge and evaluate evidence, interpret data, text and images, develop ways of solving problems and develop a reasoned argument. 

  The transferrable skills also include:

• Working independently
• Working as part of a team
• Respecting the views, beliefs, opinions and values of others
• Listening to and engaging with other speakers
• Effective communication in a range of settings – debates, group discussions and formal presentations
• Effective written communication
• Use of information technologies to present and communicate information
• Time management
• Problem solving
• Adapting to change
• Note taking and recording information

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The scheme employs a range of assessment methods. You will be assessed through unseen examinations, seen examinations, coursework essays and projects, oral and group presentations, study skills exercises, seminar contributions, practical exercises, fieldwork notebooks and the independent research project.

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

Request More Information

Key Facts

UCAS Code: L301

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 300

Entry Requirements: GCSE: grade C in English or Welsh and Mathematics or equivalent. Grade B in any A level subject required.

Course Length: 3 Years