Applied Social Sciences

BA (Hons)
BA (Hons) Applied Social Sciences

The Applied Social Sciences degree from Robert Gordon University is built around the core disciplines of psychology and sociology, providing the best possible launching pad for a career in these fascinating areas. You will learn about the society we live in and the relationships people have within that society.

Our teaching is underpinned by research and real-world experience, so that you are prepared for a career in your chosen field. Approachable, friendly staff, and relatively small group sizes create a more informal learning environment, which is valued highly by our students. Innovative elective modules in the final years allow you to tailor your degree around your own areas of interest; preparing you for a rewarding career in your field of interest. 

After Year 2 you will have the option to specialise in Psychology or Sociology, or you can continue studying a mixture of both through the Applied Social Sciences route.

We’re ranked 2nd in Scotland and in the top 3 in the UK* for overall student satisfaction in Social Sciences (National Student Survey 2022, *excluding colleges, small, specialist and private institutions).

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

4 years

Year 1

The first year of this course is an opportunity to explore introductory social science theories and applications including elements of psychology, sociology, research methods and politics. Additionally you will develop generic academic skills such as writing reports, presenting and study skills.

Year 2

You will build upon the skills developed in year one, by exploring the topics in greater depth and introducing specialist modules. Academic skills will also be developed further.

Year 3

This year allows you to tailor your degree by choosing to study specialist modules of interest. There will be one core module that must be taken, and the other seven modules can be chosen from a range of psychology, sociology or politics modules.

Year 4

You will develop the knowledge and experiences built in previous years by again choosing modules that support your interests and future career. This year offers modules that investigate more complex personal and societal issues, along with how and why these can affect our lives and the world we live in. You will also complete a dissertation module (core).

Graduate Stories


We have on campus and virtual events to help you find out more about study, student experience and future career paths.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

You will be taught through a wide-variety of teaching methods including formal lectures, seminar activities, group work, project work and directed reading.

In Years 1 and 2 everyone studies the same modules, however in Years 3 and 4 you are given the opportunity to specialise in psychology, sociology or politics by electing to study specific modules. You can choose to specialise, or continue with all three disciplines.

Activity Summary

The activity depends on the module and includes:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • e-Learning activities
  • Directed and private study.
  • Student led seminars.
  • Practical work
  • Class discussions

How long is a BA (Hons) Applied Social Sciences course?

The duration of an Applied Social Sciences degree is 4 years.

Independent Study

We encourage you to be an independent learner from the start of your course. Each module involves two to three hours of timetabled teaching each week, but you will have considerably more follow-up work beyond this.

Staff Delivering on This Course

Our class sizes are small and this, along with a high level of contact time with staff, enables us to provide a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Our team of academic staff are actively engaged in applied research which underpins the teaching in areas such as drug abuse, homelessness, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, forensic psychology, the body and political violence. Such research activity ensures that our course is kept current and relevant.


Assessment is through a combination of exams and coursework which may be a mix of essays, reports and presentations including:

  • Written coursework
  • Portfolios
  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Case Studies
  • Dissertation


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.


Job Prospects

Undertaking a course in the social sciences keeps your career options open and offers a wide variety of routes into employment.

Is Applied Social Sciences a good career choice?

Previous  BA Applied Social Sciences graduates of Robert Gordon University have gone on to pursue the following careers:

  • Health and social care management 
  • Human resources
  • The Police
  • Education
  • Careers Guidance
  • Marketing and PR 

Many of our graduates also undertake postgraduate study, enabling them to specialise in a variety of areas including social work, teaching, management and postgraduate research. 95% of our students are in work or study six months after finishing the course (Unistats, 2018).


What are the entry requirements for a BA (Hons) Applied Social Sciences degree?

Standard Entry Requirements

  • SQA Higher: BBBB to include a written subject requiring the use of English.
  • GCE A Level Year 1 entry: BCC to include a written subject requiring the use of English.
  • GCE A Level Year 2 entry: BBC to include a written subject requiring the use of English.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H2H2H3H3 to include a written subject requiring the use of English.
  • IB Diploma Year 1 entry: 28 to include a Higher Level written subject requiring the use of English.
  • IB Diploma Year 2 entry: 29 to include a Higher Level written subject requiring the use of English.

Minimum Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for widening access applicants are:

  • SQA Higher: BBC/BCCC to include a written subject requiring the use of English

Alternative Qualifications

We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants from Partner Colleges

A relevant HNC or HND from one of our partner colleges will be considered for entry into Year 2 or 3.

Applicants from Foundation Pathway Providers

Entry to year 1 or year 2 may be possible for students who have completed a Foundation Certificate or Foundation Undergraduate Pathway programme, from an approved UK provider, at 60% or above. For courses which require a specific subjects match, such as English or Maths, these would need to provided in addition to the Pathway Programme Certificate or result.

Advanced Entry

All other applicants who are interested in applying for advanced entry will be considered on an individual basis.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Academic Year 2022-2023

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £1,820
Year 2 £1,820
Year 3 £1,820
Year 4 £1,820

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £5,150
Year 2 £5,150
Year 3 £5,150
Year 4 £5,150

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £5,150
Year 2 £5,150
Year 3 £5,150
Year 4 £5,150

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £14,420
Year 2 £14,420
Year 3 £14,420
Year 4 £14,420

Academic Year 2021-2022

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £1,820
Year 2 £1,820
Year 3 £1,820
Year 4 £1,820

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £5,000
Year 2 £5,000
Year 3 £5,000
Year 4 £5,000

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £5,000
Year 2 £5,000
Year 3 £5,000
Year 4 £5,000

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £14,000
Year 2 £14,000
Year 3 £14,000
Year 4 £14,000

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Widening Access Accommodation and Welcome Pack Offer

If you are applying to RGU for September 2022 and meet widening access criteria, you may qualify for free accommodation in your first year of study, along with our welcome pack to support your transition to university. Find out if you are eligible:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 


We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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