Food banks, zero hours contracts, unaffordable housing. We see these terms in the news, but what do they actually mean? A Social Policy degree is ideal for students who want to challenge the status quo and ‘make important things happen’.

Studying Social Policy at Newcastle equips you with the theoretical knowledge and research skills to understand and address a range of contemporary social issues such as homelessness, overcrowding in prisons, problem debt, and caring for our ageing population. 

Our BA Social Policy degree will enable you to understand the nature of social issues in the UK and beyond. It will encourage you to not only develop an understanding of contemporary social issues, but investigate potential solutions and how to promote change to tackle social problems. Unique to Newcastle, our Social Policy degree provides the opportunity to experience Social Policy in practice, with a work-based placement module in the second year, as well as a further opportunity to undertake a final year work placement via the ‘Professional Development’ module.

Institutional Accreditation 

Regional accreditation is an institution-level accreditation status granted by one of six U.S. regional accrediting bodies. Accreditation by more than one regional accrediting body is not permitted by the U.S. Department of Education.

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Social Policy BA

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 Years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

First year

In your first year you will be introduced to key concepts and debates in Social Policy, as well as the basic principles and practices of social science research. Modules in the first year offer an introduction to  many of the overarching themes that shape our Social Policy degree.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Crime and Society
  • Social problems and Social Policy: social science in action Part I
  • Social problems and Social Policy: social science in action Part 2
  • Social Research Part 1
  • Social Research Part 2
  • Philosophies of Welfare
  • Introduction to Social Divisions

Second year

Flexibility and choice are at the heart of your second year. With just two core modules, and a wide variety of optional modules, there are many opportunities to tailor your degree to your developing interests. Your second year will also consolidate and build upon the knowledge base and skills gained in your first year. You will develop your research and analytical skills to assist you in conducting your own small-scale investigation in your final year of study, as well as the ability to effectively appraise and utilise existing  research throughout  your degree programme.

Core module

  • Social Research II
  • Policy Analysis

You will choose from the optional modules below:

  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • ‘Sociology of Race’ and Ethnicity – A Global Perspective
  • Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy
  • Managing Health and Social Care
  • Terror, Threat and Security
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Self and Society
  • Media and Society
  • Global Societies

Third year

By your final year you will be prepared to conduct your own research project providing you with the opportunity to conduct in-depth, independent, study (supported by your supervisor) on a topic of your choice. 

Core module

  • Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology Dissertation

You will also from the optional modules below

  • Prospects for Social Policy in the UK
  • From Beveridge to May: The Political History of the Welfare State From the Second World War to the Present Day
  • Quantitative Data Analysis I 
  • Quantitative Data Analysis II
  • New migration and Super-Diversity
  • Your Money and Your Life: From Welfare State to Personal Finance
  • Harmful Societies: Crime, Social Harm and Social Justice
  • Sociology of Personal Life
  • Divided Publics?
  • Crime and the City
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Political Sociology
  • Technology and Society
  • ‘Freedom’, Control and Critique
  • Drugs: Society, Politics and Policy

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a US university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements,. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. 


USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Your Social Policy degree from University of Newcastle is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Newcastle students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of opportunities available, you can start to develop your career from the moment you arrive. 


Career opportunities

There are a number of career paths for you to take after graduating this Social Policy degree. There are graduate schemes in managing welfare services in health care, the third sector and local government which can be popular choices with our graduates. Since our Social Policy degree is based upon how policy is made it is a great degree for working in the civil service, local government or for think tanks. Our graduates also gain many transferable skills such as critical thinking, written and verbal communication and teamwork which give them the flexibility to go into a wide range of employment opportunities:

  • NHS management trainee scheme
  • Planning Officer
  • Charity co-ordinator
  • Marketing project manager
  • Social enterprise co-ordinator
  • Campaign manager for an MP
  • Youth worker
  • Researcher
  • Communications officer
  • Graduate land buyer
  • Benefits Officer