Social Change (including Placement Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Social Change (including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA L402


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page. or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

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

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this 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

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


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

Staff photo
Prof Raphael Hallett

Higher Education Consultant - Senior Advisor


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 21 October 2024 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 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  SC111-4-FY-CO  The Sociological Imagination  Compulsory  30  30 
02  HU100-4-FY-CO  Foundations of Human Rights  Compulsory  30  30 
03  CS111-4-AU-CO  Interdisciplinary Research and Problem-Solving: An Introduction  Compulsory  15  15 
04  CS112-4-SP-CO  Ways of Knowing  Compulsory  15  15 
05    Option(s) from list and/or outside option(s)  Optional  30  30 
06  CS107-4-SP-CO  Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step  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    CS207-5-AU and/or option(s) from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
04    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
05    Outside option  Optional  15  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS703-6-FY-CO  Placement Year  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS301-6-FY-CO  Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism Capstone  Compulsory  30  30 
02  CS300-6-SP-CO  Community Engagement: Group Projects  Compulsory  15  15 
03    SC301-6-FY or CS831-6-FY or HU300-6-FY or (GV591-6-AU and GV592-6-SP)  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
04    CS307-6-AU and/or 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.

7. To develop students’ ability to understand work roles through a placement.

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.

A101: To provide the opportunity to apply academic learning outcomes in a work-related context

A102: To develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement.

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) and the placement year. A4 and A5 are acquired throughout the placement.

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.

D101: Ability to demonstrate an understanding of work roles through a placement

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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