BA (Hons)
Social Policy

Key Information


3-4 Years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Subject to Revalidation



Academic Year

Course Overview

Creating effective social policies is key to tackling the big issues we face in society today such as poverty, health inequality, and unemployment.

This course enables you to explore how social problems arise, how governments react, and the impact this has on citizens and communities.

The BA (Hons) Social Policy degree draws on a range of social science disciplines in addition to its core focus. These include sociology, politics, philosophy, economics, and law. You can use these approaches to examine welfare, poverty, and inequality, tackling difficult and often controversial topics, including current issues in the news.

Why Choose Lincoln

Options to study abroad for a year at partner institutions

Buddy scheme to help you settle in

Conduct research projects alongside our expert academic team

Student studying in the library.

How You Study

The first year introduces core concepts that provide a platform from which to scrutinise social policy issues in detail. You can examine social problems and policies in the UK and internationally, and how to conduct and apply social science research.

In the second and third years, you'll be able to build on these foundations by choosing from a range of optional modules. These modules, which often reflect staff research expertise, provide an insight into topics such as education, law, ethics, work, crime, human rights, race and racism, and the making and implementation of policies.

Modules can include Social Issues and Social Justice; Key Social Science Concepts; Debating Welfare States; Comparative Politics and Policy; Ideology into Practice; and Analysing the Policy Process.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

'Tank Town:' A Case study Introduction to Research Methods 2024-25SOP1005Level 42024-25The first ever tanks were designed and built in Lincoln before going to the warfront in WW1 (with Lincoln known as 'tank town' for a while) in the twentieth century. It is a city that has seen enormous social change over the past 100 years shifting from agriculture, industrialisation, de-industrialisation and now to more modern developments such as studentification. This module explores how change has taken place, reflecting on different social issues have been framed in the context of Lincoln (and Lincolnshire), before exploring contemporary social problems and harms. Issues such as homelessness, studentification, food bank use, social isolation, health, young people, poverty, families, new arrivals and transport are explored using contemporary social research methods. By tracing the thread from the past to modern debates on contemporary social problems, we look to show how research can affect social change and enhance our understandings.CoreInequality and Society 2024-25SOP1004Level 42024-25This module articulate to students what inequality means. It examines how they are experienced and understood by both citizens and policy makers. Its aims are focused on how inequality is framed in contemporary societies, and the policy responses designed to tackle it. It will explore how inequalities impact different groups of social divisions (including gender, class and race), reflecting on how policy agenda’s attempts to respond. Its overall aims will be to give students understanding and knowledge, the skills and capacity to critically analyse how social advantage and disadvantage is produced.CoreIntroduction to Social Policy 2024-25SOP1003Level 42024-25This modules asks what social policy is, exploring the distribution and organization of welfare and wellbeing within societies. We explore big questions related to how societies empower citizens through structures of redistribution and provision. How do we support those impacted by ‘cost of living’ crisis? How do we create better education or healthcare systems that can support everyone? How are global issues, such as climate change, also become issues of localised inequality, demanding sufficient policy responses? Social policy is concerned with how we identify and support vulnerable groups and how society understands, frames and meets the needs of their populations.CoreKey Social Science Concepts 2024-25SOS1008Level 42024-25This module aims to give students the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of key social science thinkers and concepts pertinent to all of the disciplines taught within the School. Throughout, students will be encouraged to think critically about the ideas presented and to examine social problems in the light of a range of academic perspectives.CoreSkills for Social and Political Sciences 2024-25POL1108Level 42024-25This module will prepare you for a successful degree journey, by supporting and scaffolding you to learn the skills that you need to excel in your social and political science degree. Each week you'll cover a crucial academic skill, which will be tied to the assignment expectations of your specific degree topic, so that the progress you make in this module will also be progress towards your overall degree success.CoreSociology in Action 2024-25SOL1001Level 42024-25This module introduces students to important questions - and related, illustrative case studies - that lie at the heart of applied sociology and social policy. Those questions are the following: 1) What is "the social"? What defines sociological approaches to this distinctive domain of our lived realities? 2) How can sociology and social policy take an active role in (re)shaping social relations, structures and institutions? This involves an exploration of a diversity of competing positions on how applied sociology and social policy can or arguably should inform political decisions and direct social changes. 3) How can the above questions and debates be illustrated by relevant examples and case studies of sociology in action? What are some of the areas of wider application of sociological- and social policy knowledge? How successful have such applications been? How might sociology and social policy need to adjust to the changing social realities of the twenty-first century?CoreDebating Welfare States 2025-26SOP2012MLevel 52025-26This module aims to enable students to analyse the priorities and developments of welfare states over time, and through analysis of these developments, equip students with the tools to interpret key contemporary social, political, and economic trends.CoreIdeology into Practice 2025-26SOP2001Level 52025-26This module aims to examine the impact (and sometimes the lack of impact) of ideology on practice in social policy. Whilst the focus of the module is on the experience of the United Kingdom, comparison with other states will be made where appropriate.CoreResearching in Social & Political Sciences 2025-26CRI2024Level 52025-26In Applying Research you will learn about, propose and practice using different research methodologies in the social sciences. The module is divided into three distinct learning blocks. The first block addresses key philosophical issues that shape social science research and the major methodologies and data analyses techniques used in qualitative research. The second block focuses on quantitative methodologies and the analyses and presentation of quantitative data to a variety of audiences such as potential employers, policymakers, and other academics. The third block concentrates on the application of qualitative and/or qualitative methodologies to create a plan for a small research project that will guide your 3rd year independent study.CoreSocial Engagement and Activism 2025-26SOP2011MLevel 52025-26This module encourages students to undertake one or more external activities relevant to their programme of study, and to engage in a critical reflection of the nature of this activity and how it relates to society as a whole and to their personal development as individuals. Relevant activities may involve significant interaction with an organisation outside the University providing an appropriate experience additional to the student’s programme of studies, such as voluntary work or mentoring within a service-providing organisation. Please note that students will be expected to play a significant role in initiating and arranging their programme of experience and to take responsibility for the frequency and form of experience. There may be additional costs in the form of transportation and accommodation depending on where students wish to pursue experience. The experience will be required to consist of a minimum of 30 hours.CoreSocial Policy and the Third Sector 2025-26SOP2014Level 52025-26This module will introduce students to how the third sector works, emphasizing the importance of local state actors, and how we make a difference in such spaces. The module examines the the contribution of the third sector to social, economic and political life. It explores of the theories which underpin the study of the third sector, an examination of theories and the current state of volunteering and charitable giving, examination of the historical and current public policy agenda in relation to the third sector in the UK, the EU and more generally and, an overview of current issues in the third sector and how social scientists go about studying them. Furthermore, the module will invite speakers from voluntary sector to share their experiences.Core(Re)Reading the Sociological Canon I 2025-26SOS2007MLevel 52025-26This module aims to analyse some of the seminal works which have been significant to the academic development of sociology. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of classical and contemporary texts, with the aim of providing them with an in-depth understanding of sociological themes and theories across time.Optional(Re)reading the Sociological Canon II 2025-26SOS2008MLevel 52025-26This module aims to analyse some of the seminal works which have been significant to the academic development of sociology. This module will seek to examine a series of articles and books which are of sociological significance and have emerged from the late 20th Century into the 21st Century.OptionalChallenges of European Politics 2025-26IST2011MLevel 52025-26This module seeks to introduce students to politics at the European level through an analysis of challenges in European politics and policy making. Beginning with the history of European integration and the first attempts to secure peace through economic interdependency, the module focuses on the development of the EU institutions and the ways in which policy-makers, bureaucrats, intellectuals and civil society actors have attempted to resolve problems of cooperation in an ever larger Union.OptionalConceptualising Sex Work 2025-26SOS2003MLevel 52025-26This module aims to explore the cultural, practical and theoretical developments relating to sex work, drawing upon national and international examples. Taking a comparative approach, this module seeks to understand how scholars conceptualise sex work within different competing feminist frameworks and how these ideas reflect, or are at odds with, popular public and political discourse.OptionalEducation: Inequalities, Immobility and Life Chances 2025-26SOP2015Level 52025-26Education is of vital importance to the world – opportunities, inequalities and the overall health of the global economy relies on it. This module will explore how educational opportunity is framed in the context of the UK (and globally). It will critically explore inequalities in education, drawing on practices and theories within the sociology of education. It will analyse how different social institutions frame education, as well as individual experiences that impact progress, attainment, outcomes and patterns of inequality over the life-course. It will use a lifecourse-based narrative approach comprising early education, primary education, secondary education, further education, higher education and transitions to the labour market, taking into account issues of inequality and immobility throughout.OptionalInequalities in Health 2025-26SOP2016Level 52025-26OptionalModel United Nations 2025-26IST2003MLevel 52025-26This module is designed to provide an introduction to the activities of the United Nations, as well as providing an understanding of the practices of international diplomacy and governance. The module will use a discussion of contemporary international issues to explore some of the protocol and procedures of diplomacy at the United Nations. It will also provide students with an introduction to issues of international organization and international law and treaty-making. All of this will assist students in preparing for their role as a “diplomat” at simulated United Nations General Assembly.OptionalMoney and Politics 2025-26POL2013Level 52025-26OptionalPolicing and Society 2025-26CRI2021Level 52025-26This module will look at contemporary issues in UK policing and their wider societal context. Each week, you will look at a key aspect of British policing, from police culture, the use of force, and policing a diverse society, to big data and predictive policing. You'll explore how crises have often led to fundamental police reforms; and you'll look at different ways of thinking about the purposes of policing: is it enforcing the law? Or making people feel safe? You'll also examine contemporary issues and debates. All of this will build to a single written assignment for which you'll be given a clear template and guidance.OptionalPolicing Crime and Deviance: UK and Beyond 2026-27CRI3083Level 62026-27In the "Policing Crime and Deviance: UK and Beyond" module, you will explore the diverse forms of policing and the crime control worldwide. This course will provide an in-depth understanding of key policing concepts and how they differ across various global contexts. You will examine a wide range of topics, including the significance of plural policing and the role of private security operations internationally. The module also offers a comparative analysis of race-related policing issues, with specific focus on the UK and the US, and explores vigilante actions in regions like the Global North and the Global South, particularly Latin America. Moreover, you will look into the use of technology in policing, including the study of algorithmic strategies in places such as China. This module provides a valuable opportunity for you to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills and to gain a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding policing and crime in contemporary societies.OptionalPolitical Parties 2025-26POL2005MLevel 52025-26This module aims to address a variety of issues relating to political parties in the United Kingdom. The political science literature covers a wide variety of topics around parties. Amongst those which are examined in this module are the following; the historical development of parties; the role of parties in terms of mobilisation of support, electioneering and campaigning, recruitment of personnel; representation of the electorate and issue-based politics; the partisan divide; and the relationship with the media. These will be examined primarily within the context of a discussion of the three major parties within the British political system including their development, their ideological tenets and their contemporary positions. However, these will be set against the position of other parties within the UK including the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Northern Irish parties, to which will be added a comparative perspective, drawing upon the roles and experiences of parties in Western Europe.OptionalResponding to Poverty 2025-26SOP2017Level 52025-26OptionalStudy Abroad 2025-26CRI2009MLevel 52025-26OptionalThe Vigilant State: intelligence and national security 2025-26POL2007MLevel 52025-26This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the study of intelligence. It focuses on the basic concepts in intelligence by establishing first what is meant by intelligence, before examining the various elements of intelligence - collection, analysis, counterintelligence and associated activities such as covert political action.OptionalThinking Politics 2025-26POL2003Level 52025-26Building upon some of the major ideas and concepts introduced in the first year (level four), this module aims to examine in more depth key debates both in the history of political ideas and in contemporary political analysis. In particular, reference is made to key thinkers from the past who have left their intellectual imprint on political ideas, as well as important contemporary thinkers, in order to assess the contribution that they have made to political theory and the extent to which they have impacted on the practice and analysis of politics.OptionalUnderstanding Domestic Abuse 2025-26CRI2010MLevel 52025-26This module will examine the nature, extent and impact of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Taking a criminological approach, the module will explore a wide range of academic, policy and practitioner perspectives. You will study the recent development of domestic violence and abuse as a criminological problem within a changing political landscape. This will include understanding a survivor’s journey in the context of victimology and examining the legal, criminal justice and community responses. The module will also explore the emerging literature on primary and secondary prevention perpetrator programmes.OptionalUnderstanding the City 2025-26SOL2001Level 52025-26Over half the planet’s population now lives in an urban area and urbanisation across the globe looks set to continue spreading inexorably. The histories of this process are vast and characterised by wealth creation and uneven industrial development, technological transformation and environmental degradation, empire and colonial legacy, social advance and exclusion alike. Cities therefore are contradictory sites of human development patterned by opportunity, inequality, exploitation and conflict. These traits pose challenges for the meeting of human welfare needs and for our understandings of contemporary life within cities. This module aims to enable students to analyse the emergence of cities across time and space, and through analysis of the city, enable students the opportunity to develop the tools to interpret key contemporary sociological, political and policy trends.OptionalWork and Society 2025-26SOS2015MLevel 52025-26This module seeks to explore the relationship between work and society, drawing on different classical and contemporary sociological theories of work. It aims to examine key areas within the sociology of work such as concepts of work, work-place inequalities, resistance and the reality and challenges of engaging in paid work in the 21st Century.OptionalWorking in Criminology and the Criminal Justice System 2025-26CRI2002MLevel 52025-26This module focuses on the organisations that make up the criminal justice system, and the experience of working in them. You will hear what it's like to work in these jobs from practitioners themselves, and will gain a stronger understanding of how government policies and other pressures can affect the organisations' day to day work. You will also begin to prepare yourself to work in this sort of role, developing a career plan and hearing from organisations with paid and volunteering opportunities.OptionalYouth Justice 2025-26CRI2006MLevel 52025-26This module provides an exciting opportunity for you to learn about the youth justice system in depth, through our partnership with Lincolnshire Youth Offending Service. By engaging with practitioners in the classroom you will see how theories about young people's offending shape contemporary policy and service structures, and how professionals work in practice with young people in the criminal justice system.OptionalYouth, Deviance and Society 2025-26CRI2020Level 52025-26This module will prompt you to reflect upon contemporary examples of 'youth deviance' utilising theoretical ideas from the sociologies of youth and deviance. Through a reflection upon contemporary narratives of young people as 'deviant', 'dangerous' and 'out of control', the module encourages critical reflection upon the construction of these narratives. Through engagement with sociological approaches to understanding youth and deviance, you will be introduced to explanations for young people's engagement in activities regarded as 'deviant'. The module will focus upon contemporary examples, such as, youth violence, recreational substance use, and young people's engagement in differing forms of protest movements.OptionalAnalysing Policy Futures: Power and Progress 2026-27SOP3005MLevel 62026-27This module will support students in developing their knowledge of a range of perspectives on the policy process and how analyse relevant policy case studies. It places emphasis on important models and perspectives and explores a range of current ideas which have a significant impact upon the making and implementation of policy, such as the concept of partnership, notions of participation, and issues of accountability.CoreIndependent Study (Social Science) 2026-27SOP3009MLevel 62026-27This module is the capstone of the research skills training that you have developed in your programme. It aims to build your capacity for independent research: thinking and problem solving, design of an independent research project, selection of an appropriate topic and methodology, and writing up of results in a substantial dissertation. Guidance will be provided throughout by your designated supervisor. To support students with an applied and practical interest in the subject matter, the module coordinator and supervisor may decide to allow you to base their research project on a negotiated work placement, whether arranged independently by yourself t or through the University, where the learning outcomes will be demonstrated by a work-placed project along with a reflective report on their experience that engages with relevant academic literature.CoreUnderstanding Social Security 2026-27SOP3038Level 62026-27CoreBecoming a Data Analyst 2026-27CRI3080Level 62026-27Have you ever considered a career as a data analyst? Data analysts make sense of large sets of data and help organisations to make informed decisions. Together with Lincolnshire Police and Lincolnshire County Council, we will introduce you to the world of data analysis. You will learn to make sense of real datasets from the police and/or other public bodies. The course will teach you advanced data analysis methods and data visualisations. You will be taught in a way that does not require any maths skills, nor will you be required to learn maths as part of the course. Step-by-step guides will be used to introduce you to the relevant software (e.g., Jamovi and Orange). The course is not just about theoretical learning; it is an opportunity to learn skills that can help you make a real-world impact. Beyond the technical skills, you will refine your critical thinking and decision-making skills, equipping you with many transferable skills for a wide range of sectors. Dive into a module that is about more than just academia. It is about acquiring skills that can contribute to societal change. Join us to harness the transformative power of data and open doors to a future rich with possibilities.OptionalBody Politics 2026-27SOS3002MLevel 62026-27This module aims to introduce students to different paradigms of the 'body' and 'embodiment'. Recent research suggests that our understandings and our relationship with our own and other ‘bodies’ has been and is continuing to undergo radical changes. This module will seek to explore these ongoing developments in Western and non-Western cultures and societies.OptionalCare or control? Welfare institutions in Britain before the welfare state 2026-27SOP3035MLevel 62026-27This module focuses on welfare institutionalisation in Britain before the emergence of the welfare state. Through a series of case studies, the module explores why and how people entered welfare institutions and considers the extent to which they were caring and controlling. Students can benefit from an cross-disciplinary approach as this module addresses themes across Social Policy, Criminology, Sociology and Politics.OptionalChildren, Families and the State 2026-27SOS3004MLevel 62026-27This module aims to encourage critical thinking about the impacts of family policies on children and families through the application of sociological theories and concepts to develop critical explanations. Students who engage with this module will develop an understanding of the nature and complexity of family policies and their impacts; of family change and diversity over time; and how and why particular services and institutions might intervene in family life and shape social experiences and relationships. The module also provides the foundational and critical knowledge required for any professional role that involves engagement with families.OptionalCounselling and Guidance Skills 2026-27HEA3031MLevel 62026-27This module aims to introduce students to a range of contemporary models of counselling and guidance practice. The aim is to give students the opportunity to develop skills and attitudes that can be of value in a variety of human service settings. A key feature of the module will be to allow students the opportunity to make judgements as to the appropriateness of using such techniques in different scenarios.OptionalDecolonial Futures 2026-27IST3007MLevel 62026-27This module responds to calls for scholars of the social sciences - especially those working in areas such as international relations, development studies and transnational and globalization studies - to more fully understand and more critically engage with the complex dynamics that shape relations between the majority and minority worlds. At this outset, this involves identifying how these relationships are informed by the politics of representation and processes of knowledge production and dissemination. In doing so, the module draws upon contemporary debates surrounding postcolonialism and decoloniality. By analysing the complexities of representing diverse voices, experiences and cultures, the module investigates the ethical implications and challenges of speaking for others.OptionalDrugs and Society 2026-27CRI3082Level 62026-27This module considers the role and meanings of drugs in society. You will be asked to consider how we understand concepts such as 'drugs' versus 'medicines', what we mean by 'addiction' and 'harm', as well as the historical and political underpinnings to drugs policy. You will explore concepts such as drug 'normalisation', drug markets and norms of supply, different types of drug use, and the legalisation debate.OptionalEmotions in Everyday Social Life 2026-27SOS3005MLevel 62026-27This module seeks to emphasise the significance of emotions in everyday social life and to challenge some of the essentialist explanations of human emotion by exploring ‘emotions’ as social constructs. In doing so, the module aims to explore the role emotions play in social action, considering, for example, how we form personal relationships, make sense of death, dying and falling in love. Furthermore, this module will also consider how emotions are ‘gendered’, ‘racialised’ and explore the role they play in the workplace, and in laws and governance.OptionalEnvironmental Justice and Change 2026-27SOP3037Level 62026-27OptionalExperiencing Prison 2026-27CRI3077MLevel 62026-27This module explores the varied and diverse experiences of imprisonment. The aim of the module is to empower you to critically consider both the intended and unintended effects of prison and to enable you to develop an independent and reflexive understanding of policy and practice within the prison environment.OptionalExtremism, Terrorism and Counterterrorism 2026-27CRI3085Level 62026-27Stories of extremism and political violence are all around us. Media and social media stories on terrorism and counterterrorism are common, despite terrorism being quite rare in many Western countries. In this module, you will explore the complex issues of extremism and terrorism: what they entail, why they have captured the imagination of so many, and why individuals and groups become radicalised and are willing to commit acts of terrorism. You will learn about the threats we face and what governments can do to address these issues. You will examine counterterrorism through the lens of the four Ps: Prevention, Pursuit, Protective Security, and Emergency Preparedness. By understanding what extremism and terrorism are, the true threat we face, and how the government responds, you will gain insight into why extremism is escalating and why terrorism will continue to be a significant problem for years to come.OptionalGender and Violence 2026-27SOS3006MLevel 62026-27This module explores the issue of gender-based violence (GBV) in contemporary society. GBV is understood as behaviour or attitudes underpinned by inequitable power relations that hurt, threaten or undermine people because of their gender or (perceived) sexuality. The module starts by addressing the definitions and conceptual boundaries utilised in understanding GBV, and key theoretical perspectives on GBV, taking an in-depth look at debates in GBV scholarship, such as issues around intersectionality, patriarchy and patriarchal bargain, e.g., whether this is a useful concept and how far it can explain (global) gendered power relations. These issues will be developed through case studies of specific forms of GBV such as domestic violence and sexual coercion and rape. These case studies will explore specific forms of GBV in the context of the broader theoretical debates, as well as the current knowledge base on incidence, prevalence and responses to GBV. The module will also explore theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations when researching GBV.OptionalGlobal Cyber Governance 2026-27IST3012Level 62026-27OptionalGlobal Health Governance 2026-27IST3008MLevel 62026-27In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governance of global health has become a major issue in world politics. Increasingly, health and healthcare issues cross national borders. Intergovernmental organizations (e.g. the World Health Organization), non-governmental organizations (e.g. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and multinational corporations (‘big pharma’) play key roles in global health, as well as national governments and health systems. This module examines the key actors in global health and their contributions to the governance of a range of global health issues, such as infectious disease, reproductive health and medical tourism.OptionalGreen Criminology 2026-27CRI3079MLevel 62026-27OptionalHarm, Power and Justice 2026-27CRI3081Level 62026-27This module seeks to delve deeply into the effects that powerful entities have on the struggle for social justice. Rather than taking the customary approach of examining mainly the adversities that underprivileged individuals must confront, this module examines actions of government entities, corporate organisations, and other powerful groups from a critical perspective and human rights standpoint. The concepts of 'harm', 'power' and 'justice' will be thoroughly analysed in order to shed light on practices employed by influential entities, as well as identifying potential courses of action for mitigation, protection, and reparation.OptionalHousing Crisis, Continuity and Change 2026-27SOP3036Level 62026-27Housing is facing a crisis in the UK. For the past twenty years, social housing lists have far outstripped demand from vulnerable tenants that need more support. Housing is of the upmost importance to personal wellbeing, as well as providing societal and economic benefits. Yet, how has this crisis developed? Why are so many people struggling to find adequate and afford adequate, safe homes? Why is it homelessness continues to be so prevalent and what are policymakers doing to address these issues? These are just some of the questions this module asks through an historical, social and policy exploration of housing in the UK. It will include fieldtrips and analysis from local housing officers – working in the space of housing and homelessness.OptionalInternational Human Rights (Social Sciences) 2026-27CRI3086Level 62026-27This module introduces you to human rights at both the conceptual and practical level. You will explore the theoretical arguments around the source of human rights and identifies some of the problems and possibilities which emerge from such readings. You will produce a report on a real-world contemporary human rights challenge or injustice and link that challenge back to underlying theoretical concerns.OptionalInternational Protection Mechanisms and Policy Practices 2026-27IST3011Level 62026-27OptionalLife After Prison: Reintegration and Rehabilitation 2026-27CRI3078MLevel 62026-27In this third-year criminology module, you will explore the complex journey of societal reintegration after incarceration. This module offers an in-depth analysis of the challenges and strategies crucial for successful reintegration, with a strong emphasis on the roles of support systems and rehabilitation. You will engage with diverse theories and practices related to desistance from crime, focusing on the transformative impact of relationships, identity, and community involvement. The module covers a wide spectrum of post-incarceration challenges, including mental health issues, social stigma, and legal obstacles, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence successful reintegration.OptionalMasculinity, Gender and Power 2026-27POL3001MLevel 62026-27Gender and masculinity are contested in contemporary academic and public debates. Polarised popular narratives construct masculinity as either inherently “toxic”, powerful, and damaging to women (and men), or, in stark contrast, as fragile, under siege, and in urgent need of reclamation. Critical masculinity scholars have scrutinised these claims, examining the role of men and masculinity in creating equality and/or reinforcing inequality in a world profoundly shaped by continuing gendered inequalities and power relations. The module draws on feminist, interdisciplinary masculinity studies to examine academic concepts of masculinity, notions of hegemonic (or ‘dominant’) masculinity, and intersections between masculinity and other factors (for example, race, culture, and sexuality, amongst others). It applies these concepts to understanding how constructions of masculinities function in different empirical contexts to reproduce power and inequalities and/or to provide opportunities for resistance. Students will be encouraged to develop their own critical, informed perspectives on how gender and masculinity shape social and political structures and everyday lives.OptionalMigration and Borders in the UK and Europe 2026-27POL3083MLevel 62026-27This module explores how European countries have responded to increased migration, its challenges, and its opportunities. Students examine how and why European states (including the UK) have at times criminalised migration and at other times encouraged it. They labour migration, family migration, and refugee migration flows to and within Europe since World War II. The module explores how borders have become central to European politics and society, how various actors in the political arena have both propelled this development and responded to it. It examines the influence in this area that interest groups, the EU, and political parties have had. The module particularly examines the UK within this comparative context, using Lincolnshire as a case study.OptionalParliamentary Studies 2026-27POL3005MLevel 62026-27This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of how the UK Parliament works, in theory and in practice. It will aim to examine Parliament’s twin relationships with the Executive and with the citizen, and situate these within broader theories and debates about democratic accountability and the nature of representation. The module also aims to bring students into closer contact with Parliament through handling Parliamentary materials and by facilitating contact with Parliamentarians through, for example an external speaker series, and when possible an optional visit to Parliament. Please note that where opportunities arise to take part in a trip to Parliament, students are expected to cover their own transportation and meal costs.OptionalPlace-Based Politics: Local to Global 2026-27POL3089Level 62026-27OptionalRace and Racism 2026-27SOS3155MLevel 62026-27This interdisciplinary module will explore the issues of race, racism, race relations, racial conflict, and practices of anti-racism in the contemporary UK and worldwide. Although the main focus of this module is on the UK, examples from different parts of the world and a comparative lens will enable us to examine these issues from a global perspective. Beginning with colonial discourses of the ‘racial other’ and the history of colonialism, slavery and indentured labour, this module will examine various theoretical and conceptual debates on race and racism, and critically assess how changing conceptualisations of race and racism arise in specific socio-political and historical contexts. The module will also provide students with the chance to assess the continued significance of race and racism in the contemporary world. Students can benefit from an cross-disciplinary approach that addresses themes across Sociology, Criminology, Politics, International Relations, and Social Policy.OptionalUnderstanding and Responding to Homicide 2026-27CRI3084Level 62026-27This module offers a criminological understanding of unlawful homicide (unlawful killing of humans) and the ways in which societies respond to this issue. The module begins by exploring what homicide is, identifying and examining the different forms of homicide that we find in human societies. You will be introduced to the ‘ecological framework’ for examining the differing causes of homicide and that are used to support the development of differing responses. You will then learn about the different parts of the ecological framework in more detail, which include ‘individual’, 'relational', ‘communal’, and ‘societal’ explanations. The module will also provide you with an understanding of how homicide is patterned geographically and how these patterns are linked to social inequalities. In the final part of the module, you will learn about some of the different responses to homicide that are utilised by governments and communities contemporarily, and you will explore critically their impact upon this form of offending.OptionalUnderstanding Multiculturalism and Policy Practices 2026-27POL3003MLevel 62026-27The module explores political challenges, processes and debates around the presence of culturally diverse populations in the countries such as the UK, Germany, France and examines the role this presence plays in understanding of national identities.OptionalWar Crimes and Genocide 2026-27IST3013Level 62026-27This module explores the origins of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It investigates a diverse range of reasons for mass atrocities and genocides through placing them historical, political, philosophical and social contexts to illuminate the origins of such harms and their impact on societies.OptionalWorking in Education and Children's Services 2026-27HEA3037MLevel 62026-27This module considers how to engage with children and families to assess and respond to needs and how to make professional judgements in decisions to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. A further key theme is working in partnership both with children and families and other agencies, considering how, in practice this can best be promoted at different levels and stages of decision-making. Emphasis will be on current research and developments. This module will be of particular value to students as a preparation for making career choices and to enhance their employability.OptionalWorking With People in Adult Social Care Settings 2026-27HEA3036MLevel 62026-27This module aims to offer students the opportunity to explore in depth the context and issues of adult health and social care and the work roles available within it. It focuses on both national policy developments and local provision, with the emphasis on the perspectives of service users and practitioners. The module will be of particular value to students as a preparation for making career choices and to enhance their employability.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

The assessment strategy adopted within the Social Policy programme is designed to test and enhance your knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare you for the demands of work.

Assessments aim to test your attainments of learning outcomes that demonstrate and encourage not only your knowledge base but also the development of transferable skills across the course.

The course aims to develop written communication skills through essays and examinations, oral communication skills through presentations, literature searching and review through essays, examinations and presentations, and computer literacy skills through the use of electronic resources.

The way you're assessed may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that may be used include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests.

The University of Lincoln's policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.


You'll have the option to undertake voluntary, competitive work placements, providing experience of a professional policy environment, and a chance to observe how policy is set by central government and executed by local authorities. You'll be responsible for covering travel, accommodation, and general living costs during these placements.

Study Abroad Year

We're proud of our wide-ranging international connections and the unique opportunities those offer to our students. The University’s partner institutions in the USA, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands offer you the chance to study abroad during the third year of study, before returning to Lincoln for the final year. The initiative enables you to experience your subject from a different perspective and to explore different societies and cultures. Spaces are limited and are allocated competitively, subject to academic criteria. During the year abroad, you won't need to pay a tuition fee to either the University of Lincoln or host university, but you'll be responsible for travel, accommodation, and general living costs. Where applicable, you'd also need to cover visa costs. 

Field Trips

The optional Social Engagement module allows you to undertake a field trip that encourages you to undertake one or more external activities relevant to the course to critically reflect on the experience, how it relates to wider institutional structures, and your personal development. This may involve undertaking voluntary work or mentoring within a service-providing organisation.

All travel, accommodation, and general living expenses associated with the experience will need to be covered by your and the experience is required to consist of a minimum of 30 hours.

Lincoln is a beautiful city, it instantly felt homely and safe. The staff are so helpful and friendly, I would definitely recommend it to other students!


During your studies, you can also make the most of the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which is home to more than 260,000 printed books and approximately 750,000 electronic books and journals, alongside databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

Research Areas and Topics

The various challenges surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic means that social policy has never been a more important academic discipline and area of study. Our academic team have a range of unique specialisms and are able to address contemporary issues such as the global pandemic. Individual specialisms seek to understand the dynamics of policy making and change in ways that are both conceptual and applied. You can find out more about staff research groups online:

What Can I Do with a Social Policy Degree?

A diverse range of careers are open to Social Policy graduates. They may include roles in local government and the public sector, in policy development within parliament, lobbying or research with think tanks, or in the charity and not-for-profit sectors. Some graduates continue on to postgraduate study or professional training.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

96 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels.

International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma from a minimum of 2 Higher Level subjects.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Merit or equivalent.

T Level: Pass (A*-C)

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

We also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.


Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. To help support students from outside of the UK, we are also delighted to offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Find out More by Visiting Us

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to visit us in person. We offer a range of opportunities across the year to help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.