Social Change (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Social Change (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA L401


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer:

Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
  • T-levels: Pass with E in core

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 23 October 2023 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 0 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  IA118-3-FY-CO  Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government  Core  30  30 
02  IA145-3-FY-CO  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30  30 
03    IA121-3-FY or IA111-3-FY or IA101-3-FY  Core with Options  30  30 
04  IA108-3-FY-CO  The United Kingdom During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II (1952 – 2022)  Core  30  30 

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS101-4-FY-CO  Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture  Compulsory  30  30 
02  SC111-4-FY-CO  The Sociological Imagination  Compulsory  30  30 
03  HU100-4-FY-CO  Foundations of Human Rights  Compulsory  30  30 
04    Option(s) from list and/or outside option(s)  Optional  30  30 
05  CS711-4-FY-CO  Skills for University Studies  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS201-5-FY-CO  The World in Question: The Social, Cultural, Political & Environmental Legacies of the Enlightenment  Compulsory  30  30 
02  CS200-5-AU-CO  Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action  Compulsory  15  15 
03    Option(s) from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
04    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
05    Outside option  Optional  15  15 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    SC301-6-FY or CS831-6-FY or HU300-6-FY or GV591-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02  CS301-6-FY-CO  Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism Capstone  Compulsory  30  30 
03  CS300-6-SP-CO  Community Engagement: Group Projects  Compulsory  15  15 
04    Option(s) from list  Optional  45  45 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To provide students with a distinctive skill-set required to understand and analyse our increasingly globalised world, along with the practical tools needed for actively addressing pressing social problems.
  • To provide students with opportunities to broaden their cultural horizons by taking up the challenge of studying new disciplines such as Art History, Human Rights, Philosophy, Literature, History, Sociology, Languages, Film Studies.
  • To provide students with opportunities to experience and acquire a number of different critical approaches through a balanced mix of teaching, reading and research in a range of academic disciplines from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • To develop students’ analytical, critical, research and problem-solving skills.
  • To provide students with the necessary skills to undertake further study and/or pursue vocational training in employment.
  • To provide students with sound knowledge and skills relevant to work in dynamic public and third-sector organisations with a social change mission.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some of the social, political and economic processes that have shaped the world.

A2: Students will be able to demonstrate, through a variety of means, a knowledge and understanding of the different styles of enquiry in a range of Humanities and Social Science disciplines.

A3: Students will be able to demonstrate a) knowledge of the core principles of Human Rights discourse, social entrepreneurship, and community action and b) the know-how necessary to navigate the external environment within which social change organizations operate.

Learning methods

A1 and A2 are acquired through core module lectures and classes in years 0, 1, 2 and the final year. A3 is acquired in the compulsory modules in years 1-3, with the relevant know-how coming especially from the community engagement modules (CS200, CS300)

Assessment methods

These skills are assessed in continuous coursework plus oral and written exams in all years. A3 is assessed especially in CS200 and CS300.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Able to use discipline-based training to think critically and analytically in relation to a number of different academic disciplines.

B2: Able to identify, analyse and solve problems, using appropriate techniques of writing, methodologies and theories.

B3: Able to demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought.

Learning methods

These skills are acquired in classes and seminars, in group discussion and through the submission of coursework in all years. Students are expected to do independent research to consolidate classwork. B1 and B2 are also acquired through lectures and feedback on course work. Students are encouraged to compare the approaches of different disciplines and to think across disciplines. The independence identified in B3 will come into play especially in CS200, CS300, and the capstone project.

Assessment methods

All intellectual/cognitive skills are assessed in continuous course work in all years and through end of year examinations, with B3 being assessed especially in in CS200, CS300, and the capstone project.

C: Practical skills

C1: Communicate ideas clearly and coherently in a range of disciplines in both written and oral form.

C2: Present written materials using appropriate language and referencing.

C3: Ability to work independently, write and think under pressure, meet deadlines, manage their own time and workload and demonstrate initiative.

C4: Ability to work competently in a range of roles in social change organisations.

Learning methods

C1-C3 are acquired through classes, the submission of course work and preparation for examinations in all years of study. C4 is acquired in CS200 and CS300.

Assessment methods

Assessment of practical skills is through the submission of essays and assignments, written examinations, as well as the assessment of the community-engaging group action taken in the CS200 and CS300.

D: Key skills

D1: Ability to present knowledge or an argument in a clear, coherent and creative manner.

D2: Ability to use the relevant information technology to research and present written work.

D3: Students will be able to identify problems and apply relevant research methodologies and techniques of writing to resolve them.

D4: Students will develop skills in collaborative learning and research - and gain experience in group presentations of research results. They will also experience intensive group collaboration in CS200 and CS300.

D5: Students will be able to reflect on their own learning, to seek and make use of feedback on their own performance, to recognise when further knowledge is required and to undertake the necessary research.

Learning methods

Key skills are acquired through participatory classwork in all years of study, through the presentation of continuous coursework and preparation for examinations. Students are encouraged to engage in discussion, to listen effectively and to participate in group work to the benefit of the group as a whole. On many modules oral presentation skills are assessed. Again, CS200 and CS300 provide a crucial venue to develop interpersonal skills.

Assessment methods

Assessment is through the submission of coursework and through written examinations. Some modules assess D1 and D5 through assessed oral participation or presentations.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

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