Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Applied Social Policy - BSc (Hons) Degree

Applied Social Policy - BSc (Hons) Degree

This BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Social Policy enables you to critically engage with the world and make a difference. The degree will equip you with the skills to question, understand, and address key issues in society such as food poverty, homelessness, injustice, and access to healthcare. You will focus on both theoretical frameworks and the values that underpin our contemporary society, as well as mechanisms to shape and change it. 

This degree is 'applied' meaning that it combines academic investigation with practical application of social policy issues. This means you will explore ideas such as equality, social justice and fairness - the core values underpinning social policy. You will also learn about how we can scrutinise change, and campaign for change. 

You will train in media skills, as well as undertaking a placement within a social policy environment. With these skills, you will develop a critical approach to social policy and the world around you, as well as an understanding of how campaign can create change. 

Please note: The BSc (Hons) Applied Social Policy is not running for September 2021 entry and will therefore not be accepting applications. The next intake for this course will be September 2022 entry. 

Other related courses (open for September 2021 entry):

Course information on this page relates to 2021 entry.

Course Content

Year One/Level 4  

  • What is the welfare state?: This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the role and evolution of the welfare state. It will look at issues of equality, fairness, and social justice and explore the link between individual and community wellbeing and the impact of policy. 
  • What is politics?: This module will introduce students to key political thinkers, approaches, and institutions in a UK and devolved context. Students will look at how political decisions are made, how policy is made, and how these decisions impact on day to day life. 
  • Working with Service Users and Communities: In this module, students will gain an understanding of approaches that can be used when working with diverse groups. This will focus on how to involve and empower individuals and communities through the provision of support services. 
  • Constructing Social Issues: The aim of this module is for students to understand how 'social problems' are defined and by whom. Students will look at the relationship between different social inequalities and how they are experienced by communities, families, and individuals over time.
  • Professional Practice Skills: This module underpins the other modules in this year. It focusses on developing study skills and planning professional development as well as considering the concept of 'belonging' as a student, citizen, and member of a range of communities. 
  • Global Context: This module will introduce students to a range of theories and debates on globalization. Students will examine the roles of international charities and Non-Governmental Organisations in the development of social policy and welfare services. The assessment for this module will be a group project which develops a case study of a particular NGOs’ work.  


Year Two/Level 5 

  • Campaigning and Community Engagement: This module focusses on the role of campaigning and community engagement in creating and contesting policy responses to social issues. Students will look at issues around participation in campaigning, and the role of the media in the portrayal of social issues. The assessment for this module is a project in conjunction with external stakeholders such as policy professionals and communities.  
  • Understanding Inequalities: This module challenges students to understand issues of inequality. It looks at the concepts of poverty and multiple disadvantage and the impact of these on communities. Students will analyse the issue of structural inequality and how partnerships between organisations can be used to address the impact of this.  
  • Regeneration and Sustainability: This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the physical, social and economic dimensions of community regeneration. Students will look at the challenges of delivering sustainable communities in both an environmental and social sense. The impact of the built environment on individuals and communities will also be considered.  
  • Social Policy across the Lifecourse: This module aims focusses on how international human rights duties, legislation, and policy impact on the lives of individuals and communities. It will focus on the interrelationship between individuals' needs, the rights they hold, and the commitments from governments to meet these needs. For their assessment, students will use a case study to develop an argument around how distinct needs are or are not met in a national context.   
  • Building the Evidence Base: This module will enable students to start developing as social researchers. They will build skills around critically evaluating data, planning methodological approaches, and collecting data as well as understanding the role of evidence in policy-making. Students will be asked to develop their own research project as the assessment for this module. 
  • International Approaches to Welfare: Building on the level 4 module Global Social Policy, this module will enable students to analyse different models of welfare and how they are delivered in international contexts. The assessment for this module will be a presentation of an example of an international approach to welfare.  

Year Three/Level 6 

  • Social Enterprise and Project Management: Students will create a business plan for their own social enterprise in this module. Drawing on the role of social businesses in addressing social issues, students will develop skills around project management, teamwork, and market research.  
  • Homelessness: In this module students will consider homelessness as a form of social inequality which impacts on individual and social wellbeing. Interdisciplinary and normative approaches to homelessness theory will be presented, and students will critically engage with homelessness in a global setting. 
  • Global Justice and Human Rights: In this module students will explore what our duties and obligations are to individuals and communities in an international context. The module will look at key theoretical frameworks such as cosmopolitanism, liberalism, and approaches to human rights and will use these to discuss how justice and rights discourse can be used to address issues of poverty and social inequality on a global scale.  
  • Dissertation: This module provides the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and critical understanding in an area of policy of their choice. It asks students to draw on knowledge and understanding gained throughout the programme, and in particular to develop and apply research skills.  
  • Placement: This module provides a work-based learning opportunity, within a relevant and appropriate policy and practice environment. This enables students to apply knowledge in a professional setting, enhance employability skills, and develop the graduate attributes and competencies of the Cardiff Met EDGE. 

Learning & Teaching

Course delivery 
The Applied Social Policy team place great emphasis on the quality of teaching and the importance of a student-centred learning experience. This team are also involved in undertaking research which influences policy and legislation, and this is used to enhance teaching. Over the period of their course students are encouraged to develop the confidence and skills to be increasingly independent learners and discover their passion for particular policy areas or activities. 

The course is delivered by a course team, which consists of academics who all come from policy and practice backgrounds who ensure that the teaching is relevant to current and future sector needs. Those working in politics and policy contribute as guest lecturers to many of the modules and ensure that the teaching reflects contemporary political issues.

All full time undergraduate Applied Social Policy students have an opportunity to undertake a placement module enabling them to gain policy, political, or campaign experience. Opportunities are also given to students to attend study visits and access international mobilities, as well as professional conferences and seminars. 

The course has been created in partnership with a range of individuals and organisations working in social policy across the UK. This enables the course to keep up to date and reflect the needs of future employers. 

We use a range of teaching approaches, best suited to meeting your needs and those of employers. Delivery includes workshops, seminars, research seminars, lectures, virtual learning environments, away days, field trips and visits. 

Contact hours
Each 20 credit module has an average of 24 hours of taught hours. Every module also contains directed study tasks that will need to be completed outside of the taught hours. There are a range of support structures available to students both within the teaching teams and within the university as a whole. These include personal tutors who are available to help students with any aspect of university life that they need assistance with, module tutors who can advise on assessment requirements and disability services who provide bespoke packages to enable access to learning for students with additional needs. 

Students will be supported in their students through the Cardiff Metropolitan Personal Tutor system as well as through the Applied Social Policy team’s ‘open door’ policy. Student Services support is available, and well signposted by the course team. Links with the policy sector in Wales is a key element of this degree, therefore students will be able to make contacts within the sector to support them in their professional development.

Technology and Facilities
Our Virtual Learning Environment – Moodle – is used to facilitate independent learning and provide support materials for lectures. This is also used to engage with other students outside the classroom setting through the use of blogs and forums. Twitter is a key tool within the policy sector, and the team run an active Applied Social Policy account which engages with both students and professionals in the sector. 

Staff Expertise 
Staff on this module have a broad range of experience from working in politics, frontline housing services, social work, and for policy organisations. They have contacts with bodies including local government, the National Assembly for Wales, healthcare services, campaign organisations, and environmental networks. These relationships enable a broad range of guest lecturers to assist the delivery of the course, as well as providing a variety of placement opportunities for students dependent on their area of interest.


Assessment for this course is interesting and varied. It will focus on skills that will be useful for students’ careers in the policy sector. This will include writing policy briefs, delivering presentations, and writing reports. Students also undertake professional skills development which enhances their employability and enables them to evidence their competence as policy professionals. 

A wide range of innovative, exciting and authentic assessment methods are used. These include coursework, seminar presentations, community engagement events, blogs, patchwork texts amongst others. These assessments are designed to ensure that our students are reaching their potential and can demonstrate their capabilities in a range of ways. Students will be equipped with specific skills that will help them develop as a social policy professional and assessments will reflect this. 

Employability & Careers

Graduates have the opportunity to work across a range of sectors and organisations to apply their knowledge and skills and make a difference to the lives of people, places and communities.

We pride ourselves on our record with employment and further opportunities for our students. A placement is a compulsory part of this degree, meaning that when you graduate you will already have had experience of working in a social policy environment. The length of this and the skills needed to complete these have been developed in partnership with employers in the sector. Our Campaigning and Community Engagement module will help you prepare for your placement and this will involve holding a community event which will act as the assessment for this module.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

 Applicants should have 104 points from at least two A levels (or equivalent).

Typical offers may include:

  • 104 points from at least 2 A levels to include an A level grade C; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as the third subject
  • RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma/Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma MMM

  • 104 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4

  • 104 points from at least two Scottish Advanced Highers to include grades D. Scottish Highers are also considered, either on their own or in combination with Advanced Highers

  • 102 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma     


If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search for entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here.

Candidates who do not possess normal minimum entry qualification are interviewed and considered individually on the basis of their prior learning or working background. For applicants who are only undertaking 2 A levels or equivalent, this will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff. 

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website. 

Selection Procedure:
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and where relevant an interview. 

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL. 

Mature students
A mature applicant is anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found here.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme director Helen Taylor:
Tel: 02920 205806

Key Course Information

UCAS Code: L400

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Course Length:
Three years full-time.

More About the Course
Student experience: Trip to the Senedd

Our students have the opportunity to visit The Senedd in Cardiff - the heart of decision making in Wales. See what our Year One students got up to on a recent trip.

Meet the Team: Helen Taylor

Programme Director Helen Taylor, explains why she is so passionate about social policy and the networking opportunities available to students on the BSc (Hons) Applied Social Policy degree.


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