BA Social Studies: Communities, Families and Individuals
96% of UWTSD students at the School of Social Justice & Inclusion in Carmarthen were satisfied with their course – NSS 2017.
This unique programme embodies the continuing importance of Social Studies in policy-making. As well as engaging students in debates about social theory and policy, this programme provides students with placement opportunities, allowing them to reflect on professional practice, and enhance their ability to work with individuals from potentially disadvantaged backgrounds.
BA Social Studies responds to the crucial need for professionals working with groups and individuals in social, educational and administrative settings to have a broad knowledge and understanding of social inclusion and the issues this presents to contemporary society. Drawing its body of theory from social policy, sociology and psychology, it examines the impact of cultural, political and social factors on ideas about welfare, social justice and citizenship. Students will engage in debate on contemporary issues, such as:
- Why do women dominate the caring professions?
- Why is assumed that men can not be a primary carer?
- How can we tackle child poverty?
- With diminishing resources and strained budgets, how can we continue to provide services that will strengthen our communities and ensure they are sustainable?
Communities, Families and Individuals: Politicians make frequent references to ‘hard-working families’ but what do they mean? This pathway examines the relationship between individuals, families and communities, and the roles these play in shaping social policy, and vice versa.
Sustainable Communities - Lammas Project
|Academic Study Skills||Compulsory|
|The Caring Society||Compulsory|
|The Landscape of Social Inclusion||Compulsory|
|Key Concepts in Social Policy||Compulsory|
|Understanding Additional Needs||Compulsory|
|Hard to Reach Groups||Optional|
|Mental Health and Well-being||Optional|
|The Changing World||Optional|
|Lifelong Learning: Individual and Community||Optional|
|Hot Topics: Contemporary Issues in Social Inclusion||Optional|
|The Reflective Practitioner||Compulsory|
|Contemporary Issues in Social Studies||Optional|
|Equality and Disability in Education||Compulsory|
|Individuals and Groups in Society||Optional|
|Advocacy in Partnership: Multiagency Working, Theory and Practice||Optional|
|Advocacy and Person-Centred Planning||Optional|
|Individuals and Families: Living in the Contemporary World||Optional|
|Contemporary Issues: Old Age||Compulsory|
|Professional Development for Research and Practice||Compulsory|
|Sustainability and Equality||Compulsory|
|Current Political Landscape in Social Studies||Compulsory|
A Unique Programme:
The BA Social Studies programme is unique. By linking social theory and social policy with professional practice it gives the graduate a firm foundation to become an effective and inclusive practitioner. Developing expertise in practices such as multi-agency working and person-centred thinking, this programme delivers graduates with important skills to work with people from disadvantaged backgrounds and challenge social exclusion and disadvantage.
The Social Studies pathways allow students to specialise in an area that reflects their own personal interests and career aspirations. Students can choose from: Additional Needs; Communities Families and Individuals, or Health and Social Care.
A Contemporary Focus:
In fact equality and inclusion are a ‘hot topic’ for local, regional and national politicians; tackling the problems of persistent disadvantage and social exclusion is high on the UK Government, Welsh Government and European Union agendas. In addition, the issue of sustainability, thinking about what needs to be done to strengthen our communities and enhance their resilience to challenges of the contemporary world, ensures a degree programme that is forward thinking and current.
A Strong Lecturing Team:
The programme benefits from lecturers who are not only actively engaged in social research, but they have direct experience working in the field of equality and inclusion. This work experience, gained in educational and voluntary settings, allows lecturers to reflect on working with people from potentially disadvantaged backgrounds, from a practical as well as theoretical perspective.
Practical Experience and Reflecting on Professional Practice:
The course requires students to participate in observational placements and gain valuable experience in the workplace. This allows students to reflect on the social and cultural theories and policies they studied in lectures and in their directed learning time, and strengthen their understanding of what needs to be done to enhance equality of opportunity and social justice and inclusion for all.
Opportunities to study some modules through the medium of Welsh:
Graduates who can study and engage with issues of Social Studies through the medium of Welsh are highly sought after by Welsh employers. This opportunity will allow you to develop your language skills and enhance your employability.
Opportunities to study abroad:
Students will have the opportunity to study in Europe and USA for a semester in year 2. There are also opportunities for educational visits to Canada and Finland.
There are no examinations in BA Social Studies! For some modules you will be asked to write the traditional essay. However we also assess students through a variety of methods that not only reflect the different learning styles, but are designed to be engaging and to enhance skills for employability. Assessments may require you to engage in group work, reflect on observational placements and use technology. The assessments also develop employability skills for the workplace. Here are some of the assessments you may be asked to complete on this programme:
- Making a documentary about an aspect of social inclusion
- Seminar presentations
- Poster presentations
- Portfolios and projects based on an observational placement
- Reflective diaries
- Analyses of newspaper articles
BA Social Studies requires 80 UCAS points however all prospective students will be interviewed and offers made based on experience and evidence of commitment to the area of study.
This programme has been designed for students who wish to work with groups and individuals in a variety of settings, to challenge social exclusion and to enhance equality of opportunity.
Therefore we are looking for students with a strong motivation to make a difference to the lives of potentially disadvantaged people, or to meet the range of needs of people as they experience difficulties through the course of their lives. This motivation may be reflected in subject choice, or it may be reflected in interests outside of school or college, such as volunteering or an activity they have completed through the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
We particularly welcome applications from mature students, and students who come from potentially disadvantaged backgrounds themselves. We have found that non-traditional students can offer life experience as carers and users of services, and frequently flourish on this programme. Mature students (over 21 years old) are not required to fulfil the UCAS requirements.
The programme has been designed to enhance employability. The BA Social Studies supports students into the world of work by fostering their career aspirations and enhancing their employability through the introduction of study pathways allow them to develop a specialism within the field of Social Studies. Assessment tasks are designed to enhance skills for the workplace, such as communication skills and team working. For example, students have to complete group and individual seminar presentations, and to reflect on that experience to draw out lessons for the future.
The BA Social Studies programme contains a significant observational placement component. These observational placement modules in Year 2 and 3 allow students to experience working with people in a variety of voluntary and public service settings, while reflecting on the theories and policies that they have studied in the classroom. Through evaluations, students report that these placement experiences increase their confidence in the workplace and help them decide the future direction of their career.
The observational placements help develop insight into the needs and activities of local employers. Careful monitoring of the placements allows students to have a positive experience in the workplace, reflecting on best practice, and developing transferable skills to enhance their CVs. Feedback from the organisations helps us identify the knowledge and skills employers require so that graduates can ‘hit the ground running‘ when they take up employment.
The programme engages routinely with local organisations and potential employers. Guest speakers have been invited to talk about the functions of local organisations and how they support client groups. These speakers have allowed students to gain a clearer insight into the working environment.
Guest speakers from Hafan Cymru, the Carmarthenshire Youth Service and the Police Service, have also come to speak to students specifically about careers and employability. Because of the close ties with service providers the programme is able to reflect the needs of potential employers by constantly reviewing the course content to reflect employment needs.
Students also benefit from visits to organisations and projects, looking at the activities they undertake to support people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and relating this to what we have learned in the classroom about sustainability and social inclusion.
Students who have graduated from BA Social Studies have moved into a variety of professions, including
- Pupil Support Worker for Pupils with Additional Learning Needs
- Youth Worker
- Family Liaison Officer
- Supervised Contact Worker – Social Services
- Administration in voluntary organisations
- Support Worker – Children with learning difficulties
- Support Worker – Residential Care for Adults
- Basic Skills Officer
- Community Engagement Officer
- Pupil Support Worker
- Business Support Officer
- Learning Support Assistant
- Nursery Assistant
Graduates may also choose to go on to complete postgraduate study by moving on to the MSocStud which allows students to draw down student loans for a fourth year. Beyond this there is also the MA Equality and Diversity in Society and MA Youth and Community Work
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:
- Printing and copying
- DBS Check