The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research. Our academics are internationally recognised for their expertise and challenge you to develop your own opinions and ideas, encouraging you to become an independent thinker. We offer high levels of support and our staff are friendly and accessible.
Our degree programme
As a Social Sciences student, you study society from a range of perspectives. These include sociology, social policy, psychology, criminology and social history.
In your first year, you take one compulsory module on social research methods and are then able to choose modules that focus on areas of interest to you. You also have the option to choose a subject pathway to focus on throughout your degree; choosing a pathway means that at least 50% of your modules are in the named subject areas.
You select from the following specialisms:
Psychology and CriminologySociology and CriminologySociology and PsychologySociology and Social Policy
In your second and final years, you further develop your research skills and can then select modules dependent on your interests. Modules are wide-ranging and currently cover areas such as the history of policing, forensic psychology, politics and power and drugs in their cultural context.
It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See the year abroad section on the Course structure tab for more details.
Year in professional practice
Your year in professional practice takes place between your second and final year. You gain work experience in a professional setting and can put the theory you have learnt into practice. It is also gives you the chance to develop networks and contacts in your area of interest. Employers also greatly value, and seek evidence of, relevant work experience when selecting candidates for posts. See the Course structure tab for full details.
The Social Studies Society is run by Kent students for anyone with an interest in criminology, sociology, law, social policy, economics and politics.
There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include:
research seminars and webcastscareer development workshopsinformal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
If you choose to take the placement year, you have the opportunity to spend 900 hours in a relevant professional setting, approved in advance to be suitable for your respective degree. Although you are responsible for obtaining your own placement, guidance is offered in the form of tutorial support and access to networks of providers developed and maintained by the School. You are visited once (where possible) during your placement, to ensure that the placement activities are suitable and achieving the programme learning outcomes. Assessment is on a pass or fail basis and the marks gained do not contribute to the final degree classification.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the key concepts and theories used to analyse society
- the key issues and debates within the social sciences
- the methodology of the social sciences and how to critically evaluate research
- how to conduct research relating to a problem in social sciences
- the main sources of social science data and how it is collected and analysed
- understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to social science issues.
You develop intellectual abilities in:
- problem-solving skills and strategic thinking
- research skills including the ability to analyse problems and issues
- collecting and interpreting data
- sensitivity to the needs and values of others
- critical and evaluative skills
- assessing the implications of policy outcomes
- spotting flaws in arguments within written documents and the spoken word
- developing a logical argument
- using the internet to research issues in the social sciences.
You gain subject-specific skills in how to:
- identify and use concepts and theories to analyse issues within the social sciences
- find and use statistical data relevant to the social sciences
- undertake an investigation involving primary research
- distinguish between positive, normative, moral and political issues and questions.
You gain transferable skills in how to:
- communicate effectively and develop a strong line of argument in written and verbal form
- plan ahead and manage time in order to meet deadlines
- work as a member of a team
- listen to others and understand their point of view
- analyse questions and write reports and essays setting out options and alternatives
- reference material according to accepted conventions
- use internet and library resources to study independently
- make clear and effective presentations to peers and staff
- have a critical and reflective approach to study and work
- compare and contrast the strength and weaknesses in the arguments and opinions of others.
The programme aims to:
- provide knowledge and understanding of key areas of social sciences
- develop your critical, analytical and interpretative skills so you can engage with debates in the field
- provide the opportunity to develop research techniques
- enable you to specialise in areas of social science that interest you
- provide opportunities for students from different educational backgrounds
- equip you to succeed in the employment market.