Social Science

Study a Social Science degree from Abertay analyse the key issues affecting society.

Course detail

Start Date



1, 2 or 3 years (depending on whether students join the programme in Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4)

Award Title

BA (Hons)



Why study Abertay's BA (Hons) in Social Science?

Dive deep into the social sciences to understand and analyse the key issues affecting society. Explore business management, criminology, psychology, sociology and sport, and learn how to apply the latest theories to a wide range of real world situations.

Please note: Entry to this course is available to years 2, 3 or 4 only.

Abertay’s fascinating Social Science degree provides you with the opportunity to study human behaviour and actions, offering you a broader scope than many conventional social science programmes.

This cross-disciplinary degree aims to develop your ability to think in different ways and acquire valuable intellectual skills, preparing you for working in an ever-changing, knowledge-based economy.

The Social Science BA (Hons) curriculum is built around a core module set, with a wide variety of options and modules available for you to build a programme that reflects your interests and preferences.

You can also organise your degree studies around a subject pathway preference from any of those on offer. This way, you can specialise in a particular subject stream, and will have this as a named component of your final degree award.

In the Guardian Good University Guide for 2021, Abertay ranked 3rd in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching, and 8th in the UK for overall student satisfaction.

Virtual Open Day October 31 2020

We aim to immerse you in student life here at Abertay and give you a true feel for our courses and our amazing academic community.

Open Days are busy, fun and full-on. And Virtual Open Days online are new to all of us, so we will make sure you know what to expect, and how you can prepare for the event.

It's a day full of talks and videos about student life. Find out all about Abertay at our virtual Open Day on 31 October 2020.



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Entry Requirements

Please note: September entry to this course is available to years 2, 3 or 4 only with the appropriate qualifications.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher ABB To include Sociology, Politics, Modern Studies, History or Psychology
A-Level ABB To include Sociology, Politics, History or Psychology
HNC/HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses
Qualification Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HND courses
Qualification Grade Requirement Essential Subjects
Ordinary Degree in Learning Disabilities/Difficulties from Fife College Learning Disabilities/Difficulties at Fife College

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Your Journey Starts Here

Social science allows you to study human behaviour and society from a variety of angles. This variety provides you with a broad perspective on the world and a diverse range of skills - ideal for today's constantly-evolving job market. Ready to jump in?

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Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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Entry Requirements by Country

Discover whether you're eligible for entry and learn more about the country-specific qualifications you need to study at Abertay.

Find out more

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2019/20)

Classical Social Theory (SOC201)

Introduction to the work of three key social theorists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Karl Marx, Max Weber and Émile Durkheim. Their work is used to critically illustrate the nature of capitalist modernity and the foundations of contemporary sociological theory and practice. Module content: Karl Marx; Max Weber; Émile Durkheim.

Crime Media and the State (SOC204)

Media discourses of criminal activity and the state. Module Content: Crimes of the Powerful; Media, Crime and Power; Investigative Journalism, Corruption and the Political Process; State Corporate Corruption; The Nation State and Violence; Terrorism and Counter Terrorism in the Global War on Terror; Crimes Against Humanity; Transnational Organised Crime; The Geopolitical War on Drugs; Discourses from Below – Urban Legends, Conspiracy theories and other Stigmatized Knowledge.

Contemporary Social Theory (SOC301)

The arguments of leading schools of social theory. Develop your analytical capacities by discussing and further elaborating some of the main developments in social thought over the past half century. Module content: Norbert Elias and the Civilizing Process; The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory; Relational Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu; Foucault; Postmodernism.

Researching Society (SOC305)

The importance of empirical research to the social sciences. Learn the skills and capabilities to identify and use appropriate data collection tools, apply analysis techniques to data generated and reflect upon their meaning, relevance and ethical implications. Module content: Principles of quantitative research; Qualitative data collection skills; Approaches to qualitative data analysis; Research ethics and ethical issues.

Sociology Honours Project (SOC400)

Conduct and present a simple research investigation into a sociological topic of your choice. Devise and conduct a piece of independent research, write a 10,000 word dissertation and publicly present your research findings. Module content: Research Design; Reviewing Literature; Analysing and Interpreting Data; Presenting Findings.

Community Links Project (SOC406)

Undertake a work placement with an external organisation for two terms. Learn to apply academic learning to real-world situations as they will undertake a work placement with an external organisation for the duration of two semesters.

How the Course Works


Learning and Assessment 

The diversity of our social science programme is its strength.   

Reflecting its range of subject areas, this degree also offers a wide variety of teaching and assessment styles. 

This includes formal lectures and tutorials, industry placements, sports science laboratories, essays, business portfolios, and psychological testing.

A wide variety of assessments will be used to assess you throughout your degree, including essays, reports, critical reviews, case studies, examinations, presentations and the opportunity to do a final year dissertation or a community work placement.

Around a third of the course is assessed through examination, although the precise proportion will be dependent on your module choices.

For more information on the course content, please download the 2019P programme document - BA (Honours) Social Science (2018 document available here).


We offer a range of scholarships to help support your studies with us.

As well as Abertay scholarships for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, there are a range of corporate and philanthropic scholarships available. Some are course specific, many are not. There are some listed below or you can visit the Undergraduate scholarship pages.

Abertay International Scholarship

This is an award of up to £12,000 for prospective international undergraduate students.

Abertay rUK Scholarship

This is a £9,200 award for prospective undergraduate students applying from England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year. Fees are normally funded through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for eligible students.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Career Opportunities

This degree prepares you for people-oriented jobs that require an understanding of how people think and act, and have high levels of interaction with others.

Our graduates have successfully gone into diverse fields such as social work, community education, teaching, care services, the police service and public relations work.

We’re proud of our social science graduates who leave us with the ability to ask more questions than when they arrive. Our aim is not simply to produce graduates who ‘know’ the world, but who can interrogate ideas and generate creative and novel ways of dealing with issues and problems.

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Industry Links

A significant feature of the BA Social Science programme is its emphasis on skills required for the workplace.

This culminates with the opportunity to complete a final year placement module that enables you to put your acquired knowledge and abilities to use in a workplace suited to your individual skills and interests.

You’ll be placed with a third sector, NGO employer in your final year, giving you experience of the world of work first hand, in preparation for your graduation and entry into employment.

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Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Get inspired

Meet some of our Social Sciences graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

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Evie Dalrymple

Evie works as a Prison Psychologist at the Scottish Prison Service.

Find out more

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Vikki Allan

Vikki is a Service Delivery Manager and FIFA Assistant Referee.

Find out more

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David Proctor

David realised journalism was the right pathway for him during his time at university.

Find out more

Programme Leader - Social Science

Mr Andrew Panay

Mr Andrew Panay

School of Business, Law and Social Sciences | Lecturer

View profile

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Our Campus

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Why Abertay

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