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BA (Honours) Social Sciences - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

The learning outcomes are described in four areas. Within these areas we emphasise achievable outcomes for students from diverse backgrounds, who have chosen the broad-based BA (Hons) Social Sciences and who are learning at a distance.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills, and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have:

  • an extensive knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts and theoretical approaches in the social sciences
  • a systematic understanding of a range of disciplinary approaches within the social sciences and an awareness of the different sources that contribute to the social sciences
  • an extensive and critical understanding of key social processes and their impact on individual and collective life
  • a critical appreciation of how the social sciences understand, explain and evaluate matters of social concern,

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • interpret, critically analyse and evaluate a diversity of social scientific ideas, concepts and arguments, and identify, gather, interpret, critically analyse and evaluate evidence from a wide range of sources
  • demonstrate knowledge of and familiarity with established techniques of social science analysis and enquiry
  • deploy a conceptual understanding of the social sciences in order to devise and substantiate arguments that address social problems
  • review, consolidate and extend your own knowledge and understanding, and initiate and carry out an independent social scientific project. 

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • regularly review current and future personal development and career options, including developing strategies to address factors that limit choices
  • engage critically with skills and ethical issues relevant to social scientific enquiry
  • learn from feedback and reflect on the process of learning to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and improve performance
  • recognise and critically evaluate personal viewpoints and engage constructively with others’ views.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Communication - accurately and effectively communicate information about the social sciences in a variety of ways suitable for a range of academic and non-academic audiences, both formal and informal
  • Digital information literacy - select, access and exploit a wide range of digital sources and to find, use, create and share information, data and knowledge in ways relevant to the social sciences
  • Plan and organise - make and carry out effective plans involving the identification of relevant information and resources and frame questions and make judgements to achieve a solution to a problem
  • Connect and work with others - work collectively with other learners, playing an active and appropriate role to achieve joint outcomes.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will learn independently using a mixture of printed teaching materials provided by us and online materials (including textual, multimedia assets, and interactive resources).

We will support your learning with some or all of the following, depending on the precise modules you choose:

  • self-assessment questions and exercises, included in the teaching texts and online materials
  • feedback and guidance from a tutor 
  • tutorials and revision sessions 
  • email and online discussion forums
  • online study guides
  • tailored support for each form of assessment, via a combination of the above methods.

We will assess your learning with some or all of the following, depending on the precise modules you choose:

  • tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
  • interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
  • formal examinations
  • end-of-module assessments (EMAs).