BASS Philosophy and Quantitative Methods / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

The BA in Philosophy and Quantitative Methods course is one of 15 pathways within the BA Social Sciences (BASS) degree.

BASS offers you the chance to sample a broad range of social sciences subjects before you decide what to specialise in. It is therefore ideal if you want to keep your options open or study specific topics, such as race, class, crime or religion, from a variety of different perspectives.

By giving you a broad foundation in the first year, during which you will study at least three subjects, it also gives you flexibility in choosing what subjects to concentrate on further.

Studying one or two main disciplines in the second and third years ensures that you gain a high level of knowledge in these by the end of your degree.

The six main subject areas are:

  • Criminology - The study of the causes and consequences of crime.
  • Philosophy - The study of fundamental questions such as the nature of knowledge, truth and values. Philosophy also encourages greater consideration of our reasoning, judgement and ethics.
  • Politics - The study of human organization, government and power. Politics examines and evaluates political systems and institutions.
  • Quantitative Methods - The study of data and analysis to understand the social world.
  • Social Anthropology - The study of societies and cultures across the globe in comparative perspective.
  • Sociology - The study of society and examines such issues as social inequalities and forms of everyday life.

Due to the flexibility of BASS, you are not tied to the course code you apply to through UCAS, and have the option to change after your first year.

Special features

Philosophy at Manchester has a long and distinguished history. Past professors of the University have included Samuel Alexander, Dorothy Emmet, Michael Polanyi and Arthur Prior.

Professional experience opportunity

Subject to you meeting course requirements, as a BA Social Sciences student at Manchester, you have the option of extending your studies and boosting your employability through a paid professional placement year.

If you are interested in the 'with Professional Experience' option, you may apply in your first or second year and, if successful, your course will be extended to four years. You will complete your placement in your third year, before returning to University to finish your final year.

Upon graduation, your degree title will be extended to include 'with Professional Experience', giving you the added advantage of relevant work experience when entering the competitive graduate jobs market.

Teaching and learning

Your course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars, in which you will be able to explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are also key elements in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing, and presentations.

Students are assigned an Academic Advisor, a member of staff who takes a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

The way that you study and are assessed can vary significantly depending on which course units you choose.

The range of methods is carefully designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding, including:

  • essays, coursework and other mid-term evaluations;
  • dissertations;
  • presentations and group projects; and
  • Exams.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 gives you a broad introduction to the social sciences, enabling you to make an informed choice of areas to specialise in for your second and third years.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Study Skills (BA Econ/BASS) - semester 2 SOCS10902 10 Optional
Study Skills (BA Econ/BASS) - semester one SOCS10911 10 Optional

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, you begin to specialise.

If you decide to specialise in one subject, you will take between 60-80 credits in it.

If you decide to specialise in two subjects, such as Philosophy and Quantitative Methods, you will take at least 40 credits in each.

Course content for year 3

In Year 3, you pick your final areas of specialisation.

If you decide to specialise in one subject, you will take between 60-80 credits in it.

If you decide to specialise in two subjects, such as Philosophy and Quantitative Methods, you will take at least 40 credits in each.

Course content for year 4

If completing a year professional placement, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: