Social Sciences

Think differently about the world you live in. Explore global and local issues. Gain experience in relevant organisations. Graduate equipped to help change society for the better with a Social Science degree.

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Welcome to the School of Social Sciences

Social Sciences help us understand and contribute to our complex society. Our Social Science courses develop skills in critical thinking, communication and teamwork that will help you make a difference in changing society for the better.

You can also boost your employability further by utilising the strong partnerships we have with employers, voluntary organisations, local authorities and hospitals, providing you with the opportunity to further your learning in an environment that allows you to make a real difference.

Several of our Social Science degrees have been designed with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in mind and some also have professional accreditation. They are particularly relevant if you work in the field of health and social care or work with children, young people, families and the elderly, and want to update your skills for the new multidisciplinary and interagency working practices.

Our location

The School of Social Sciences is based in Wearside View, a recently refurbished building with bright and modern classrooms and a brand new social space, complete with a balcony for warmer weather.

Wearside View is located at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, which benefits from a scenic riverside location and is just a stone's throw away from Sunderland city centre and the beach. You'll have access to a wide range of fantastic facilities at St Peter's, including library services, a host of IT resources, and plenty of places to eat and drink.

What are Social Sciences?

In its broadest sense, Social Science focuses on the scientific study of human society and social relationships amongst individuals. It explores the interaction between these individuals to understand the influence of human behaviour on the world around us and how we're constantly evolving.

Social Sciences aren't to be confused with the Natural Sciences, which focus on examining the aspects of the physical world. They comprise a wide range of academic disciplines, covering subjects such as sociology, economics, linguistics, psychology, and politics to name a few.

It's an important area of study, as examining human behaviour allows us to develop our social, cultural and political awareness.

Why us?

World-leading

Our Social Sciences subject area has been officially ranked 601–800 in the 2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject
100%

Our Community and Youth Work and Social Work courses have 100% Overall Satisfaction

National Student Survey 2022
20th

Our Criminology courses are ranked 20th in the UK

The Guardian University league tables 2022
27th

Our Social Work courses are ranked 27th in the UK

The Complete University Guide 2023

Our Social Sciences courses

Take a look below to find the right course for you.

Undergraduate courses

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
Full-time/Part-time

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care

Prepare yourself for the increasing number of jobs in the highly rewarding areas of health and social care. Develop your knowledge and skills in areas such as psychosocial perspectives of health, counselling, research, health improvement and behaviour change.

Find out more about Health and Social Care
 BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies
Full-time/Part-time

BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies

Make a real difference to the lives of young people aged between 13 and 19 and their communities. Become a professionally qualified youth worker with a course accredited and endorsed by the National Youth Agency.

Find out more about Community and Youth Work Studies
BA (Hons) Social Work
Full-time/Part-time

BA (Hons) Social Work

Develop your ability to work effectively with children, young people and vulnerable adults and shadow qualified social workers in practice. This course combines an honours degree with a professional qualification in social work approved by Social Work England and endorsed by the College of Social Work.

Find out more about Social Work
BSc (Hons) Criminology
Full-time/Part-time

BSc (Hons) Criminology

Learn about crime, criminal behaviour and punishment, visit criminal courts and prisons and take advantage of volunteering opportunities and an optional placement in a relevant organisation. Develop analytical and practical skills in both quantitative and qualitative research, often needed for further academic study and highly sought after by employers.

Find out more about Criminology
BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (0-11 years)
Full-time/Part-time

BA (Hons) Childhood Studies

Refine your professional approach, build up the graduate attributes of a reflective practitioner and cover a range of topics that include child development, early years, the primary curriculum and family studies. Combine practical skills with academic rigour and work more effectively with children in a variety of contexts.

Find out more about Childhood Studies
Students in a lecture
Full-time

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care with Integrated Foundation Year

This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Health and Social Care course, with an integrated foundation year. Prepare yourself for the increasing number of jobs in the highly rewarding areas of health and social care. Develop your knowledge and skills in areas such as psychosocial perspectives of health, counselling, research, health improvement and behaviour change.

Find out more about BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care with Integrated Foundation Year
Students in a lecture
Full-time

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Integrated Foundation Year

This is a four-year version of our popular BSc (Hons) Criminology course, with an integrated foundation year. Learn about crime, criminal behaviour and punishment, visit criminal courts and prisons, and take advantage of volunteering opportunities and an optional placement in a relevant organisation.

Find out more about BSc (Hons) Criminology with Integrated Foundation Year
Two children in a classroom
Full-time

BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (0-11 years) with Integrated Foundation Year

This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Childhood Studies, with an integrated foundation year. Refine your professional approach, build up the graduate attributes of a reflective practitioner, and cover a range of topics that include child development, early years, the primary curriculum and family studies. Combine practical skills with academic rigour, and work more effectively with children in a variety of contexts.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (0-11 years) with Integrated Foundation Year
Students interacting in the classroom
Full-time

BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies with Integrated Foundation Year

This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies course, with an integrated foundation year. Make a real difference to the lives of young people aged between 13 and 19 and their communities. Become a professionally qualified youth worker with a course accredited and endorsed by the National Youth Agency.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) Education and Curriculum Studies (Top-Up)
Full-time/Part-time

BA (Hons) Childhood and Society Studies (Top-Up)

Want to top-up a Foundation Degree to a full honours degree? Take advantage of a degree-level opportunity for professional development that is perfect if you are working with young people in the early years or primary education sectors. Take up an optional pathway in Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies.  

Find out more about Childhood and Society Studies (Top-Up)
Fd Health and Social Care
Full-time

(Foundation Degree) Health and Social Care

Have experience in the field of health and social care? This foundation degree, which has been developed in recognition of the multidisciplinary nature of current and future occupational destinations within the health and social care fields, will help you build on your knowledge and add to your skills. Understand organisational dynamics and specialise in particular pathways, areas and topics of interest.

Find out more about Health and Social Care
Students chatting
Full-time

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care via Study Centres

Prepare yourself for the increasing number of jobs in the highly rewarding areas of health and social care. Develop your knowledge and skills in areas such as psychosocial perspectives of health, counselling, research, health improvement and behaviour change.

Find out more about Health and Social Care via Study Centres
Customised Awards Scheme
Full-time/Part-time

Customised Awards Scheme

Pick and choose the modules you want to study to build a tailor-made course. Available at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, this course allows you to gain a qualification that closely matches your particular needs.

Find out more about Customised Awards Scheme

Postgraduate courses

University of Sunderland students in class
Full-time/Part-time

MSc Inequality and Society

Why are some groups more equal than others? Why does inequality happen and how can we tackle it? This exciting and unique course will offer you the chance to deepen your understanding of inequality in our social world, both locally and globally.

Find out more about Inequality and Society
MA Social Work
Full-time/Part-time

MA Social Work

Earn a qualification approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Combine theory and practice. Undertake high quality work placements with employers across public/voluntary and private sectors endorsed by the College of Social Work.

Find out more about Social Work
A teacher assisting 3 primary school aged girls with a maths task
Full-time/Part-time

MA Childhood and Youth Studies

Develop your understanding of children, childhood and youth. Choose from three different pathways, depending on your interests, previous experience and career goals. Graduate capable of working in a wide range of sectors.

Find out more about MA Childhood and Youth Studies
Student in the library
Full-time/Part-time

MPhil Master of Philosophy

Take your education to the next level. Choose the areas you want to study, and which questions you want to research. Take the initiative while we support you with advice, guidance and facilities.

Find out more about MPhil Master of Philosophy
Medicine
Full-time/Part-time

PhD Doctor of Philosophy

Refine your own agenda and do what you find interesting every day. Develop mastery of research methods that are appropriate to your chosen field. Discover things that no-one else has ever discovered.

Find out more about PhD Doctor of Philosophy
A book
Part-time

DProf Professional Doctorate

Study for a doctoral qualification based on your professional role. Reflect on contemporary issues in the workplace.

Find out more about DProf Professional Doctorate
A book
Part-time

PhD by Existing Published or Creative Work

Take the fastest route to a PhD. Convert your previous research outputs into a qualification which will increase your employability and open up new opportunities. Progress your academic career and add credibility in applications for research funding.

Find out more about PhD by Existing Published or Creative Work
A stack of books
Part-time

Higher Doctorate

Take your academic career to the highest level. Make a very significant and sustained contribution to your subject. Gain an elite qualification that will mark you out as an outstanding contributor to your field.

Find out more about Higher Doctorate

Partner Centres

Fd Health and Social Care
Full-time

(Foundation Degree) Health and Social Care

Have experience in the field of health and social care? This foundation degree, which has been developed in recognition of the multidisciplinary nature of current and future occupational destinations within the health and social care fields, will help you build on your knowledge and add to your skills. Understand organisational dynamics and specialise in particular pathways, areas and topics of interest.

Find out more about Health and Social Care
Students chatting
Full-time

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care via Study Centres

Prepare yourself for the increasing number of jobs in the highly rewarding areas of health and social care. Develop your knowledge and skills in areas such as psychosocial perspectives of health, counselling, research, health improvement and behaviour change.

Find out more about Health and Social Care via Study Centres

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