The global challenges we face in the 21st century have led to a growing demand for the type of critical insight and analysis social scientists can provide.
Are you interested in what shapes us as human beings individually and collectively? Do you want to make a difference and understand how best we can improve people’s lives?
From poverty, hunger and access to clean water to migration, violence and terrorism, this course draws on social research to discuss issues facing society and explores potential policy and practice solutions.
Building on our social sciences expertise in psychology, sociology, criminology, community development and social policy, this exciting course offers the chance to participate in cutting-edge, evidence based discussions to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary pressures facing people in society. It is designed to prepare you for future careers shaping policy or informing social action in local or national government, education, working within non-government agencies (NGO) and research.
This is an undergraduate degree using interdisciplinary social sciences perspectives to explore contemporary UK and global issues affecting individuals, groups, communities and society, the methods of change and the impact of media influence.
We will encourage you to be original thinkers and problem solvers in the fields of welfare, public, private and third sector research and policy development, locally and internationally. There are opportunities to work together on case studies and on real tasks brought to the University by partner organisations, which could include the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Why choose this course?
Social scientists have a profound effect on our lives; they are called upon to solve some of the world’s biggest issues, such as violent crime, alternative energy and cyber security.
Focusing on the study of society and the relationship among people within it, social sciences is truly multidisciplinary. It draws from a broad spectrum of subjects including economics, political science, sociology, history, archaeology, anthropology and criminology.
In the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa, for example, psychologists helped the doctors learn more about people’s attitudes towards things like hand washing and other sanitary behaviours which might affect the spread of the disease.
Here in the UK, the Medical Research Council has teamed up with sociologists to identify the possible causes of poor sleep patterns, while a team of engineers, criminologists and auto manufacturers are working with the Home Office to develop cars that are more difficult to steal*.
Through a thematic curriculum covering topics such as the plight of refugees, the social consequences of water shortages and local crime reduction strategies, this course aims to provide a theoretical grounding in social sciences applied to a range of contemporary societal challenges on a local and global scale.
Support for employability is integrated across the curriculum from tutorials to taught sessions and assessments, preparing you for the world of work during and after University. We aim to enhance your capability as a thinker, communicator and analyst, developing the critical analysis, problem solving and leadership skills required to work with organisations to provide an evidence base for the development of social policies.
You’ll be taught by staff with backgrounds and continuing engagement with professional fields such as voluntary sector management, community development, youth work, teaching and social housing. This means that they aim to apply theory to practice and give examples to bring social sciences alive – from charities and social enterprise to tackling homelessness, for instance.
The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences has extensive professional links with the Police, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), Her Majesty’s Prison service, privately operated prisons, the National Crime Agency, the Local Education Authority (LEA), local schools and numerous health care providers, including Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, Entrust Care Partnership, and Grapevine.
International experience opportunities
The curriculum will be deliberately international in its scope and should prepare you to work in a wide range of organisational contexts. For example, we will explore contemporary global issues and community action based approaches to tackling them on other continents, as well as the role and function of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and the inter-relations between Governments and NGOs.
At the end of the second year, the University offers a sandwich year that can be used to study or gain work experience abroad. Coventry has links with over 20 institutions in Brazil, Cyprus, France, Malta, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. Courses are largely taught in English, but there are opportunities to learn and attend courses in a foreign language. If you apply to study a year abroad, you will not be charged and may receive a contribution to living expenses.
Careers guidance services have identified key skills employers are looking for from graduates as being: literacy; numeracy; time management; organisation; communication; team working; creative problem solving; initiative and enterprise; critical and analytical thinking; information gathering; evaluation and synthesis; and adaptability. These and more are addressed within our programme.
On successful completion, you will be ideally placed to pursue careers in social research, policy making, welfare, advice, community development, international development and management in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Additionally, the course should provide good preparation to apply to one of the many graduate training schemes, including the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, as well as related job roles, such as marketing, human resource management, public relations, corporate social responsibility and journalism.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.