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UCAS Code: Combined Honours only – see combinations tab|Duration: 3 years|Full Time|Hope Park|UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
Entry Requirements


Social Policy explores the ways in which welfare provision is delivered in society, exploring who is eligible for support and who provides it. Our Social Policy degree is multidisciplinary in its approach and draws on ideas from sociology, economics, politics and geography. It explores a number of issues, including ill health and wellbeing, child welfare, unemployment, anti-social behaviour, educational opportunity, disability, homelessness, lone parents, mental health, globalisation, crime and immigration.

Studying Social Policy at Liverpool Hope University allows you to explore the answers to questions such as should the state be the main provider of welfare and what roles should the private profit making or voluntary sectors have? How should scarce resources be allocated in society? How can we understand different approaches to welfare delivery across different historical periods in British society? Why do women and minority ethnic groups experience greater levels of disadvantage?

The degree draws on an experienced team of lecturers who are published in the field of social policy/social welfare and are experts in particular fields of the discipline. The School is also a member of the national network of Social Policy course providers and benefits from engagement with national subject debates. There are a number of fieldtrips to enhance your learning, and we also have annual research days where leading academics, civil servants and politicians come to talk about various social problems and social issues.


Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. There are a number of compulsory and optional fieldtrips, as well as guest lectures throughout your studies. You also have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week.

For the Social Policy part of your Combined Honours degree, in your first year of study there are approximately 6 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 5 teaching hours in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours studying independently each week, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments that you may have.


Throughout your three years of study, you will have a number of assessments, including essays, tutorial portfolios, presentations and written exams.

You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.


Introduction to Social Policy

This theme examines the history and development of the welfare state since the Industrial Revolution. It explores how different groups and behaviours in society have been constructed as problematic and explores how social problems and their proposed solutions have been framed across time. Key to the theme is to get you to begin to think differently about what are often taken-for-granted social issues.

In relation to welfare policy, you examine policy shifts through four main phases of development: the liberal era (1800-1880); the interventionist period (1880-1940); the era of the classic welfare state (1940-1976) and the current neoliberal regime (1976-present). Consideration is given to what are social problems and how they are defined and conceptualised; how ‘problem communities’ are identified and regulated and the historical development of state ‘anti-poverty’ strategies.


Explorations in Social Policy

Your second year explores the core social divisions in late capitalist society. We look at four main divisions in the context of UK society: gender, race, disability and age. We focus on how social, economic and political processes play a role in the creation of these divisions. For each of the divisions we explore how it is related to wealth and poverty, looking at how disablement or gender are associated with lower wages, unemployment or insufficient benefit payments. We then examine some of the theories which can help to understand why certain groups are marginalised.

Finally, we link welfare state policies to the marginalisation and exclusion of certain groups. When looking at age, for example, we show how insufficient pensions, exclusion from the formal labour market and lacking care services actually create the marginalisation of elderly populations. You are also introduced to research methods in the social science and undertake a research project which looks at the welfare needs of one of the marginalised groups discussed.


Advanced Studies in Social Policy

At the advanced level we start to look at a range of global social problems such as global poverty, climate change, human rights, and a range of international and national state policy developments to address such issues. We also undertake comparative study and look at how other countries meet their health care, child care of social service needs. You also have the opportunity to undertake an individual project dissertation reflecting your particular social policy interest.


UCAS Tariff Points120-112. UCAS Tariff points must come from a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent). Additional points can be made up from a range of alternative qualifications
Access to HE120 - 112 Tariff Points
Irish Leaving Certificate120 - 112 Tariff Points from Higher Level qualifications only
Welsh BaccalaureateThis qualification can only be accepted in conjunction with other relevant qualifications
Subject RequirementsNo specific subject requirements


Specific Country RequirementsSelect your country
IELTS6.0 overall (with reading and writing at 6.0) and no individual score lower than 5.5


Social policy equips you with combinations of personal and general skills that are often highly transferable and valued by potential employers. Career paths for Social Policy graduates are wide-ranging in both the private and the public sector. Graduates often gain employment in the housing, health or educational sector as researchers, administrators or managers, as well as attaining posts in local government. They are also recruited to positions within the criminal justice and legal system. Some go on to study for higher degrees that give them a specific expertise in a field of social policy. Social policy graduates will also be particularly well qualified to apply for MA programmes in Social Work.

The School of Social Sciences has a very strong partnership with Person Shaped Support (PSS), one of the largest voluntary sector organisations on Merseyside. This creates opportunities for you to hear directly from frontline practitioners and, if you wish, to undertake voluntary placements in relevant work areas.



The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.

Study Abroad

As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.


The tuition fees for 2019/20 are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.

If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.

The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.


On top of tuition fees, you need approximately £100 to purchase core textbooks.

You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.


We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.


The International tuition fees for 2019/2020 entry will be released in due course.

Visit our International fees page for more information.

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School of Social Sciences


  • The degree is led by research active staff, which ensures teaching is research informed and of the highest quality
  • Regular guest lectures from frontline workers in the statutory, private and voluntary sector
  • Regular fieldtrips within the UK and overseas

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