September 2021

Applied Social Science Top-Up Degree BA (Hons)

Top-up Degree, September 2021

Key Details

  • L790 Course Code
  • 1 Years
Social Science


Societies are changing rapidly and are increasingly having to respond to the challenges of globalisation, new technologies, demographic shifts and the after effects of austerity and recession.

Drawing on insights from sociology, social policy, politics, psychology and criminology this course offers you the opportunity to acquire a solid grounding in and critical understanding of social science, and how policies and political decisions impact on the lives of people and communities, locally, nationally and internationally.

Why study this course?

  • This is a multi-disciplinary programme exploring aspects from a range of perspectives (sociological, criminological, psychological) rather than just from a single programme.
  • You will learn how to apply social scientific knowledge to investigate and address real-world social and community concerns.
  • You will be taught by an experienced and supportive course team with active research interests in the applied social sciences.
  • You will also develop highly transferable research and communication skills which are relevant to a wide range of work and volunteering contexts.

What does the course cover?

You will join the final year of the BA (Hons) Applied Social Science programme. During this year you will examine different areas of social policy and practice, including crime, social welfare and community development. Through various option modules you will have the opportunity to follow specific pathways: for example, public and political participation, identity and community studies.

How will I be assessed?

The programme uses a variety of assessment methods including elements real world tasks which will be useful for graduate level employment (e.g. action plans, blogs, creating digital artefacts).

What careers could I consider?

The skills and knowledge developed on an Applied Social Science degree provide an excellent preparation for a wide range of occupations, including jobs in social and community services, local authorities, human resources, education, criminal justice, charities and the voluntary sector. Possible roles would include community development worker, police officer, offender manager, researcher, fund-raiser, housing officer, advice worker. Graduates can also progress on to a wide range of postgraduate degree programmes.

Studying and living in Birmingham

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).


Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!


Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

Ask Us a Question

Join us in September

We have been voted 1st in Birmingham for Student Satisfaction (NSS 2020) and 3rd in the UK for Student Support (WhatUni Awards 2020).

A friendly, student centred community, that focuses on each and every students’ academic development and achievement.​

We welcome applications throughout the year up until September enrolment.

Start Your Newman Journey Today

Entry Requirements

Level 4 or 5 qualification; contact Admissions for the suitability of your qualification(s).

International Students
Newman University is not licenced by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

If you have any questions regarding entry onto this course please contact our friendly and helpful admissions team via our Admissions Enquiry Form


Course Fees

Total Course Fee for Top-Up Degree

UK students: £9,250 *

* Fees shown are for 2021/22 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes or Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

  1. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore an area of particular interest through undertaking a small project supported by a member of staff from the subject area (or elsewhere) with appropriate specialist knowledge.
  2. This module offers students the opportunity to build on their level 5 work placement through the more developed application of a negotiated work-based research project. Students will agree with their placement tutor and workplace mentor a brief for a project which addresses a need within the organisation. Learners should complete a minimum of 100 hours in the work place. It is in the spirit of this module that wherever possible, the focus will be on social or community / sustainable development.
  3. This module focuses specifically on the multicultural multi-ethnic nature of the world and the fundamental impacts this has on early education in both contemporary and historical contexts. We explore central issues of diversity and the ways in which this concept exists in tension with neoliberal influences that promote conformity and encourage capitalism and inequalities. We unpick this by considering key concepts including colonialism and post-colonialism, otherness, race and racism, patriarchy and gender inequalities, and the datafication of the human subject. The module offers an integrated exploration of global historical contexts to consider how these relate to current worldwide controversies and challenges in educational policy and practice. Active student participation is central to this module with teaching being based around close discussion of material and experience. Midway through the module students will undertake an ethnographic walk to critically explore a chosen area of the environment, the results of which are presented in the module to deepen understanding of sites of contest and the ways in which history and ideology are reflected in our everyday urban geography.
  4. The module builds upon the understanding of sociological approaches to educational analysis introduced and developed at Level 4 and Level 5. It is designed to build on a range of knowledge, understanding and skills, in order to facilitate further understanding of the inter-relationships between education and political ideologies - within macro, meso and micro contexts. The overall purpose of the module is to enable students to question and analyse ‘common sense’ assumptions of policy and practice by investigating current and historical political issues and policy themes that, in turn, relate to their own interests and identities.
  5. This module covers the key concepts related to psychological distress and mental wellbeing. The module will present different models of psychological distress including biological, psychological, social approaches as well as integrative bio-psychosocial models. The pervasiveness of medical views will also be discussed with typical use of terms such as mental illness, disorders, abnormality and clinical psychology as well as concepts of categorical (caseness) and dimensional views of psychological distress/illness.
  6. This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore historical and contemporary concerns that have served to shape policy and practice. Students will explore current legislation and its implications for practice for all those working with the young and vulnerable adults. A clearer understanding will be gained of the different roles and responsibilities of those working in the area of safeguarding. Consideration will be given to the impact that abuse can have on the lives of victims and their families.
  7. This module will engage students in a detailed conceptual analysis of crime, space and place. Crime needs to be understood in relation to the private and public spaces in which it is located, such as the home, urban environments, rural environments, the school, shopping malls, parks, the prison, the street, neighbourhoods, and council estates. The module will explore how (and by whom) spaces are controlled and how this leads to perceptions within communities as to how to behave. Spaces (such as neighbourhoods) can become privatised, gentrified, gendered and racialised, leading to disproportionate policing and criminalisation. Students will critically examine how systems designed to reduce crime and provide safety in certain spaces – e.g. surveillance, affect criminal behaviour and people living in, or travelling through those spaces. Students will be encouraged take an ethnographic approach to understand the interaction between crime, place and space by exploring a real life space and relating this to theoretical frames.
  8. In a historic period characterised by uncertainty and increasing social insecurity this module will look at the applied challenges involved in promoting social justice. The module will look at what is driving this uncertainty: the ideology of neo-liberalism; the implementation of post welfare state arrangements legitimised by ‘austerity; an increasingly authoritarian and punitive public policy for the management of the ‘other’ internally and the (attempted) construction of ‘Fortress Europe’ to exclude the external ‘other’. Within this challenging environment students will be given opportunities to move beyond a critique of the impact of these trends to explore applied ways that social justice can be promoted, structural disadvantage overcome and equality and inclusion promoted.
  9. This honours level module explores a range of critical theory and its potential applications to the field of Education Studies.  Each contribution is examined in relation to its philosophical and epistemological ‘moves’ and students are encouraged to develop critical responses to such theory in terms of its relevance to specific areas of psychology, sociology and learning theory. The module will cover a range of theoretical contributions in the order of their publication, and students will consider the relationship between each approach. A specific example of critical theory will be selected for application in dialogue with a particular area of Education Studies encountered in the degree.
  10. Health psychology is an exciting field within psychology that has important contributions to make to our understanding of the causes, progression, and treatment of illnesses. The module explores the theoretical models, which attempt to explain and predict health behaviour and examines the practical application of these models in health promotion campaigns. It focuses upon the relationship between stress, health and illness, and the factors that mediate this relationship (e.g., individual differences). It considers the impact of living with a disability and/or a chronic illness from the biopsychosocial perspective, and considers the impact of illness cognitions on behaviour.
  11. This module will focus on developing critical understandings of concepts of advocacy in different contexts. Central to the module is an exploration of how advocacy can have a role in challenging oppression, with particular emphasis on understanding issues of voice, human rights and representation for marginalised groups.  Applied advocacy, in its different forms, will be critically analysed drawing out issues related to power and with some emphasis on the potential for children, young people and communities becoming their own advocates.

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