BA Global Social Challenges

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

Degree awarded
Bachelor of Arts
Duration
3 or 4 years
Typical A-level offer
Grades ABB.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

34 points overall.  6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021.

We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches and Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation from September 2019.

For this programme of study we will accept: Higher Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretation .

Applicants studying the International Baccalaureate Career Related Programme (IBCP) should contact the academic School prior to applying so that their academic profile can be considered.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Applications for this course will be through UCAS.

UCAS course code
LM70
UCAS institution code
M20

Course overview

  • Join one of the UK’s top ten universities for social science courses (Times Higher Education Rankings 2022) to study a uniquely contemporary and transdisciplinary degree.
  • Gain the intellectual and practical skills to face head-on some of the most pressing social challenges and harms of our times, such as social injustice, climate change, conflict, violence and migration.
  • Understand and respond to global challenges from a wealth of perspectives, including politics, economics, law, criminology, philosophy, sociology, social anthropology and social statistics.
  • Gain key knowledge, skills, analytic and professional expertise to work across national and international organisations, governmental bodies and the voluntary sector.
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BA Global Social Challenges at The University of Manchester

Open days

We are pleased to announce that we are returning to hosting on-campus open days in the summer and autumn.

Please visit our open days page for dates, registration and further details.

If you're a prospective student you can also find out more about student life and ask any questions you may have about life at Manchester by chatting with our student ambassadors at a time that suits you.

Please check our Coronavirus FAQs for the most up to date information regarding events. 

You can also explore our virtual open day content to help you learn more about the University.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Three scholarships of £2,000 per year are available to international students.

During Year 2 of the programme, students will have the option to go on a part-university funded international fieldtrip to Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The School of Social Sciences will contribute to the costs of this optional fieldtrip. After this contribution, the maximum projected cost to students would be £350.

You can get information and advice on student finance to help you manage your money.

Scholarships and bursaries are available to eligible Home/EU students, including the Manchester Bursary . This bursary is in addition to the government package of maintenance grants.

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
School of Social Sciences Admissions Office
Telephone
+44 (0) 161 543 4029
Email
School/Faculty overview

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

A-level

  • ABB
  • We do not accept two A/S Levels grades in place of one A Level.
  • We accept the Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) as equivalent to an A-level if taken alongside two full A-levels that are in different subject areas of the Diploma.

AS-level

AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language. We would normally expect to see a good GCSE profile with minimum grades across all subjects of A*/8 to C/4.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall.  6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021.

We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches and Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation from September 2019.

For this programme of study we will accept: Higher Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretation .

Applicants studying the International Baccalaureate Career Related Programme (IBCP) should contact the academic School prior to applying so that their academic profile can be considered.

Scottish requirements

We typically ask for grades of ABBBB in Scottish Highers. In addition, we accept Scottish Advanced Highers and Highers in one of the following combinations:

Three Advanced Highers at grades BBB.

or

Two Advanced Highers at grades BB, plus two additional Highers at grades BB.

Applicants taking a different combination of Highers and Advanced Highers should contact socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk for further advice. Applicants not taking English language or Mathematics at Higher level must achieve grade C in English language and Grade B in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this. We consider the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate as equivalent to an A-level on a grade-for-grade basis.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We typically require 77% overall in European Baccalaureate with a minimum of 80% in English Language.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

The School accepts Pearson BTEC Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels. The A-level you are taking must be included in the list of subjects found in the A-level entry requirements above.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma - accepted with grades MMM in combination with an A-level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma - accepted with grades DM in combination with an A-level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma - accepted with grade M in combination with two A-levels at grade BB in different subject areas to the diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate - accepted with grade D in combination with two A-levels at grade BB in different subject areas to the diploma.

We do not accept the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate.

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy BTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma. The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new BTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

The School accepts OCR Cambridge Technical (CTEC) Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels. The A-level you are taking must be included in the list of subjects found in the A-level entry requirements above.

Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - accepted with grades MMM in combination with an  A-level at grade A  in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Diploma - accepted with grades DM in combination with an A-level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma - accepted with grades MM in combination with two A-levels at grade BB in different subject areas to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate - accepted with grade D in combination with two A-levels at grade BB in different subject areas to the diploma.

We do not accept the Cambridge Technical Certificate.

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma, and CTEC Subsidiary Diploma.  The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new CTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

Typical applicant - A mature student returning to education after a number of years.

Typical offer - Pass Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits (36 Distinctions / 9 Merits).

'Pass' in Level 2 English and Mathematics.

Cambridge Pre-U

Applicants are expected to achieve D3, M1,M1 - M1, M1, M1 in the Cambridge Pre-U. Applicants can either take three Pre-U qualifications or study them in conjunction with A Level subjects.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS reference guidelines for more information.

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade C/4;
  • IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6 in each subset;
  • an acceptable equivalent qualification.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found on our English language requirements page.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Applications for this course will be through UCAS.

Advice to applicants

Any exceptional circumstances (eg illness surrounding your exams) should be included in your personal statement and backed up in your academic reference or the School should be informed in writing prior to your examination results.

How your application is considered

Your UCAS application is always considered as a whole; taking into account your qualifications, personal statement and reference.

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration.

Potential applicants are welcome to contact the School of Law Admissions Office to discuss their eligibility.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are normally considered. The admissions tutor will be looking for valid reasons for deferral (eg financial, relevant work experience, charity work).

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

If you have re-sat individual modules to improve your grades, we will consider your application according to the standard selection process. If you are planning to re-sit the final Year 13 examinations, or have already done so, the University will consider your application, but we may require further information in order to make an informed judgment on your application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

Hannah Watts, BA Criminology

The range of expert teaching available is so unique at Manchester.

The lecturers are leading academics which not only means they are enthusiastic about their work, but you know you are really learning from the best. They provide you with support and for me, they really pushed me to achieve higher. When I talk to people from other universities they are shocked when I say that we have learnt how to code in a programme called R and that for my dissertation I am analysing tweets. This just shows that Manchester really offers a wide range of topics and really puts you ahead of others

Hannah Watts / BA Criminology

BA Global Social Challenges is a first-of-its-kind transdisciplinary programme in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Manchester.

The central aim of this programme is to equip students with skills to understand and tackle challenges that result in globally significant harms. Contemporary global challenges include complex issues such as:

  • Social injustice;
  • conflicts and violence;
  • climate change;
  • the migration and displacement of people.
Students on this programme will learn to analyse and approach these challenges using perspectives from across the social sciences, including law, economics, politics, philosophy, sociology and social statistics.

As students progress through the degree, they will learn about and critically analyse the local, national, international and global responses to the pressing challenges societies across the globe face, as well as how these responses create new problems of their own.

By graduation students will have built their own areas of expertise and will have gained the key knowledge, skills and expertise to work across national and international organisations, governmental bodies and the third sector.

Special features

Unparalleled connections

Our School of Social Sciences brings together experts from across eight disciplines which influence the topic of Global Social Challenges. Our academics are leaders in their fields and boast strong connections to international institutions, such as the UN, the WTO and the EU, affording our students outstanding insight and connection to the real-world implications of their studies.

Hands-on learning

This course emphasises practical and transferable skills that graduates can apply to their careers. Many of the core units are skills-focused and you will practice the real-life application of your knowledge. There will also be opportunities to learn from sources from beyond academia, such as guest speakers and field trips.

Professional Experience Year

You can apply to boost your employability through a paid Professional Experience Year. If you meet the criteria, the Professional Experience Team will work with you to find a suitable placement. You will then complete your Professional Experience Year in 3rd year before returning to university to finish your studies in a 4th year of your degree. Your degree title will be extended to include 'with Professional Experience', giving you an added advantage when entering the jobs market.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through traditional and participatory methods including:

  • interactive workshops with your peer group on a series of core units each year;
  • lectures and seminars;
  • small group learning;
  • individual tutorials;
  • self-study materials;
  • group collaboration and teamwork. 

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed through methods including:

  • presentations;
  • blog posts / vlogs;
  • podcasts;
  • team projects;
  • essays;
  • coursework;
  • dissertation.

Course content for year 1

In your first year, you will learn about a range of contemporary global challenges and begin to identify social harms created by them. You will consider if, how and why social injustice is a pressing global concern, and you will learn to critically appreciate the obstacles and impediments to social justice.

In addition to the core units/modules available on your degree you will be able to take units from different areas, including from the School of Social Sciences, as well as courses from the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL) which includes language courses.

Course content for year 2

In the second year, you will begin to specialise and extend the depth of your knowledge, particularly in how global social challenges can be tackled. You will analyse how challenges are governed on national and international scales and will develop understanding into the international obligations people and nations have towards these problems. You will also explore these challenges in relation to case studies of violence and ‘The State’, where an optional field trip to Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau will help further illustrate the issues at hand.

During Year 2 of the programme, students will have the option to go on a part-university funded international fieldtrip to Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, to learn more about the infamous Nazi death camp and the Holocaust. Given that the subject theme of Year 2 is ‘violence’ which includes case studies of state violence and genocide, the fieldtrip will provide an opportunity for students to visualise key course content and to deepen their understanding of how and why genocide occurs. Students will also have some free time to explore the beautiful city of Krakow and learn more about its history and culture.

The School of Social Sciences will contribute to the costs of this optional fieldtrip. After this contribution, the maximum projected cost to students would be £350. This money would cover return travel from Manchester to Krakow, a coach transfer to the hotel in Krakow, 3x nights’ accommodation in Krakow, and a guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau. For students facing significant financial difficulties, there may be additional funding available for the fieldtrip – this would be decided on a case-by-case basis. 

Course content for year 3

In your final year, you will build on the interests and areas of expertise that you have developed in year two. You will assess governance problems with global challenges, including the role of civil society and the secondary harms associated with solutions to perceived problems. You will learn to evaluate to what extent harms can be addressed by interventions on levels from the local to the global, and you will apply independent research skills to a final year dissertation project.

Scholarships and bursaries

Three scholarships of £2,000 per year are available to international students.

During Year 2 of the programme, students will have the option to go on a part-university funded international fieldtrip to Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The School of Social Sciences will contribute to the costs of this optional fieldtrip. After this contribution, the maximum projected cost to students would be £350.

You can get information and advice on student finance to help you manage your money.

Scholarships and bursaries are available to eligible Home/EU students, including the Manchester Bursary . This bursary is in addition to the government package of maintenance grants.

Facilities

Students will have access to state-of-the-art facilities. This includes learning environments such as lecture halls and classrooms designed for workshops, software needed to engage with course material, computer clusters for data analysis skills, and library space for use of computers, subject material and relevant skills training. Facilities include the John Rylands Research Library and Institute, one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK, and the 24/7 Alan Gilbert Learning Commons where students can study, collaborate, eat and even sleep.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email dass@manchester.ac.uk for more information.

Careers

Career opportunities

This one-of-a-kind degree will give graduates a unique skillset which spans the academic and practical, and expert knowledge and abilities from across a range of social science subject areas. Career opportunities are embedded in the degree, offering tailored support sessions from the Careers Service , networking opportunities with external guest speakers, as well as yearly core units that have been specifically designed with employability, practical, and transferable skills in mind.

After their degree, graduates will be well-equipped to start work in governmental bodies, national and international organisations, and the third sector, following career paths in areas such as:

  • National and international civil service
  • Aid management, provision and coordination
  • Conflict resolution
  • Relationship-building

Another popular route may be postgraduate study, particularly in fields such as:

...and other social science subjects with broad scopes and international outlooks.

Learning in state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture theatres, computer labs and workshops, students will acquire vital transferrable skills which are highly valued in the world of work, such as researching, report writing, data analysis, problem solving and oral and written communication and persuasion.

This degree also emphasises practical skills and the real-life application of the expertise gained through studying; students will put their knowledge to the test and gain valuable hands-on experience through workshops, group projects and collaborative work, as well as through expert guest speakers and experiences like field trips and conferences.

Careers support

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .

Careers support for international students  

The Careers Service provide specialist resources, advice and events for international students to help with career planning and making the most of your time while studying in Manchester.

•     Working in the UK after study

•     Working during study

•     Professional and alumni networks for international students  

Global networks  

The University of Manchester is proud to have the largest global alumni community of any campus-based university in the UK. International alumni groups are a great way to keep in touch with fellow Manchester graduates in your country. It is an opportunity to build professional and social networks.