School of Social, Historical and Political Studies

Social Policy and Social Change

BA (Hons) Full-time 3 years, Part-time 6 years

New course for September 2022.

New course for September 2022.

Why choose this course?

New course for September 2022. The Social Policy and Social Change programme is built on a foundation of the University teaching social policy for a number of years. However, this exciting NEW programme focuses on the role of social policy in bringing about social change. In society we face critical problems that pose challenges for the health and wellbeing of our society, such as persistent poverty, food insecurity and climate change. How can we create solutions that tackle these problems – and why have we not done so already? 

How citizens engage – and are enabled to engage - with policy makers is critical to a healthy society. However, some citizens - namely white, wealthy and male citizens - have a disproportionate influence on the design and implementation of the policies that shape our lives. Events such as COVID 19 and climate change, and social movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter, show how citizen involvement can be crucial in highlighting social problems. However, sometimes interactions between the state and its citizens leads to social change – and shifts in policy direction - and sometimes they do not.  

Social Policy and Social Change will examine how social problems are identified, talked about and responded to, by politicians, by the media and by us, as citizens. It will critically review how social policy has failed to address deep-rooted inequalities experienced by certain individuals and communities, relating to age, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, locality, religion and sexuality.  

Supported by a teaching team who are actively engaged in community-based research, you will join a dynamic and inclusive learning environment which will look at a range of services aimed at meeting welfare needs in our society. Through a diverse range of case studies, shaped by student and teacher expertise and interest, we will reflect on the health and wealth of our society. Through policy areas such as health and social care, education, and income benefits, we will ask why inequalities persist and what the future holds for the welfare state.

What happens on the course?

The Social Policy and Social Change programme aims to examine the relationship between government, society and citizens in UK, and how those relationships impact on social policy in important policy areas such as housing, health and the environment. We will trace the birth of the Welfare State and explore how decisions about welfare are made in contemporary UK, and how these decisions may not reflect the diversity in our society. We will explore how the UK welfare state is changing, including the increased role of the voluntary and the private sectors. 

There is growing evidence that welfare services are failing to meet the needs of our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable in society. This is underpinning increasing levels of social inequality and exclusion in our society, and persistent disparities in the life chances of people from ethnic minorities, lower socio-economic classes or those with disabilities or mental health problems. Therefore, this programme will look at the different areas of welfare provision, asking questions about how – and why – some individuals and communities are becoming increasingly marginalised. It will ask why UK policy makers have been slow to adopt the sorts of policies needed to maintain the health and wellbeing of local, national and, indeed, global populations. It will also think forward, exploring what policy changes could be designed to enhance social justice and inclusion. The local-global connections are particularly poignant in relation to the issue of sustainability, as the uneven impact that globalisation and climate change are having on the poorest in the UK – and across the globe – is not only an environmental issue but one of social justice. Therefore the programme will focus on how we are connected locally, regionally, nationally and globally and whether theories such as sustainable development and “levelling up” could lead to better outcomes for all groups and individuals within our communities 

We will start with our own lived experiences of the social world and reflect on how social policies impact on our lives. We will engage with contemporary case studies, such as racial discrimination, the mental health crisis and violence against women, and ask how we, as citizens and members of the University community, can bring about the change needed to address these critical issues. 

The Social Policy and Social Change course will also encourage you, as learners, to engage with community-based learning, whether that is a school, a voluntary sector organisation, or the local council. These opportunities to gain experience in the ‘real’ world will not only embed your learning, through engaging with the lived experiences of people living with disadvantage and discrimination, but it will also support you to develop skills for the workplace. These community-based experiences are embedded in the course as an accredited part of your learning experience.  


Learning about the impact of social policies on individuals and communities, through lectures, workshops and seminars, is an important part of your Social Policy and Social Change studies. However having the opportunity to experience the impact of social policies in the ‘real’ world is something we are committed to in Social Policy and Social Change.

Pedagogic research shows that student learning is greatly enhanced by such ‘hands on’ experience, through placements, volunteering or visits. Therefore the Social Policy and Social Change course offers a range of community-based learning opportunities, through modules such as Advocacy in Action and Volunteering in Action, and through the option to do applied research for a not for profit organisation as part of your independent project (dissertation).

These are some of the applied research projects our students have done in the past:

  • A report on the impact of Universal Credit (Citizen’s Advice, Wolverhampton)
  • Evaluation of period poverty services provided by Project Give
  • Research into decolonising the curriculum for the University
  • A music project to support vulnerable women for Goddess Living
  • Marketing material for Black Sister’s Network

Community-based learning, whether that is through going to a school, a voluntary sector organisation, or the local council, is an important – and exciting – part of the offer here at University of Wolverhampton. These opportunities will help you gain experience in the ‘real’ world. This will not only embed your learning, through engaging with the lived experiences of people living with disadvantage and discrimination, but it will also support you to develop skills for the workplace. They also contribute to the wellbeing of the local community.

 Local employers have told us these community-based learning experiences are valuable for graduates, helping them develop empathy, communication skills and problem-solving skills.


Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

Graduate employability is embedded throughout the degree programme at The University of Wolverhampton, developing students’ expertise in a range of key employer-identified skills that prepare our students for the workforce of the future. Through placements, visits and guest speakers, you will have opportunities to engage with voluntary and public sector organisations, and the wider community, to embed your learning. 

Through learning activities such as planning a campaign, analysing policy briefs, analysing data and participating in group activities, you will develop important skills to support your ability to become an inclusive and reflective practitioner in the workplace.  

In addition, an array of assignment types, such as poster presentations, writing reports and planning a campaign, will support the development of essential skills for the workplace, such as communication skills, presentation skills, teamworking, IT skills, research skills and critical thinking. 

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2021-22
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2022-23
Home Part-time £3100 per year# 2021-22
Home Part-time £3120 per year# 2022-23
International Full-time £12950 per year 2021-22
International Full-time £13450 per year 2022-23
International Part-time £6475 per year# 2021-22
International Part-time £6725 per year# 2022-23

The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed

# Undergraduate part-time fees for 50% rate of study

Typical entry requirement: 96 UCAS points

  • A Levels - grades CCC / BCD
  • BTEC L3 Extended Diploma or OCR Cambridge L3 Technical Extended Diploma - grades MMM
  • BTEC L3 Diploma - grades DD
  • Access to HE Diploma: 45 L3 credits at Merit

Use the UCAS Tariff calculator to check your qualifications and points

Other Requirements

Students must usually have studied for a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, we will consider applications from mature students who do not have two years of post-16 study, where they have relevant work experience. Please see for further information.

Contextual Offers

The university recognises that many students have additional barriers in progression to university, whether this be through disability, as a care leaver, from an area of deprivation or another factor. The university wishes to provide additional support for these students through the contextual offer scheme. If you are eligible, the University will apply a contextual Admissions decision, in the form of a reduced offer letter by up to two grades or 16 UCAS tariff points. Find out more.

A former Social Policy student, Amy Redsull, said: 

Since being at University of Wolverhampton, and completing my undergraduate degree, receiving a 2.1 overall, I have embarked on a Research Masters degree. My time at Wolverhampton has stuck with me, I have used my experience and knowledge to my advantage. My current research is a continuation of a project I had completed whilst studying in Social Policy, an overview of how Universal Credit has affected families within a localised region of the UK. In terms of career prospects, I currently work for a local authority, a youth mental health charity and work in various voluntary roles such as being an equalities and youth officer for a local political party and as a mentor in two different capacities. 

University of Wolverhampton created a foundation for me to become the person that I am today, for that I will always be grateful and I will always look back in fondness of my time in the University. 


If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees or if you aren’t eligible to receive a loan, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: see How to pay.


Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

If your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

Bursaries and Scholarships:

In addition the University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships packages

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


01902 32 22 22



Order a prospectus

How We Compare

Find out how our course is rated on Discover Uni, the official website for comparing UK higher education courses

Full-time Course

Part-time Course