BA Global Social Challenges

Year of entry: 2024

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.

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.

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

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.

Compare this course

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.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For detailed information please refer to our country-specific requirements and requirements for foundation years .

For general requirements not listed above see  Accepted entry qualifications from your country .

Still need help? Email us at  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk .

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 usually 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.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve ABB in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve ABB in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

For all other foundation programmes please see our full list of approved UK foundation programmes .

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  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 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.

Core Maths

The University welcomes and recognises the value of Level 3 core mathematics qualifications (e.g. AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies). 

Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer made to the student.

A Core Maths qualification does not satisfy the requirement of achieving A-level Mathematics for the School of Social Sciences.

Home-schooled applicants

If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the academic School for your chosen course who will be able to help you. 

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.

The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.  Further information for mature students can be found here ( http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/mature-students/ )

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

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 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 Opportunity

You apply in year 1 to boost your employability through a paid Professional Experience Year.

If you meet the criteria, the Professional Experience Team and Careers Service will work with you to find a suitable placement in your 2nd year.

You will then complete your Professional Experience Year in 3rd year extending your degree to four years, before returning to University to finish your final year.

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.

Study abroad

You can apply to study overseas for a year at one of our partner universities.

You apply in Year 2 to spend a year abroad in Year 3. If successful, you will put together a programme of study at the host university in consultation with your Academic Exchange Advisor, to complement your studies at Manchester.

You will then come back to Manchester to study for a fourth year and graduate with a degree title including ‘with International Study'.

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 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
Understanding Social Injustice SOCS10200 20 Mandatory
Current Issues of Social Injustice SOCS10300 20 Mandatory
Research and Academic Skills SOCS10400 20 Mandatory
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Mandatory
Politics of the Global Economy POLI10502 20 Optional
Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective SOAN10312 10 Optional
Understanding Social Media SOST10012 20 Optional
Leadership in Action Online Unit UCIL20031 10 Optional
Leadership in Action Online Unit UCIL20032 10 Optional
Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History UCIL20092 10 Optional
Are We Alone? The Search for Extraterrestrial Life UCIL20211 10 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: 21st Century Challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL20311 10 Optional
From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics UCIL20331 10 Optional
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Your Role in Shaping a Fairer World UCIL22302 10 Optional
Digital Society: Your Place in a Networked World UCIL26002 10 Optional
LEAP BSL Part 1 (A1.1) ULBS50001 10 Optional
LEAP BSL Part 1 Semester 2 (A1.1) ULBS50002 10 Optional
LEAP BSL Part 2 (A1) ULBS51002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 1

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.

Course units for year 2

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
Making Sense of Criminological Data CRIM20441 20 Mandatory
Understanding Violence and Social Disorder SOCS22110 20 Mandatory
Current Issues of Violence and Social Disorder SOCS23110 20 Mandatory
Modelling Criminological Data CRIM20452 20 Optional
Applied Philosophy PHIL20032 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Political and Economic Anthropology SOAN20821 20 Optional
Decolonising Sociology SOCY20302 20 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today UCIL31712 20 Optional

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.

Course units for year 3

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
Understanding Global Governance SOCS31110 20 Mandatory
Current Issues of Global Governance SOCS32110 20 Mandatory
Drugs and Society CRIM30601 20 Optional
Serious and Organised Crime CRIM30811 20 Optional
Crime Mapping: an introduction to GIS and spatial analysis CRIM31152 20 Optional
Language & Oppression PHIL30811 20 Optional
GSC Short Dissertation SOCS33110 20 Optional
GSC Long Dissertation SOCS34110 40 Optional
Social Thought from the Global South SOCY30501 20 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional

Course content for year 4

If you are selected for the Professional Experience opportunity in Year 3, then you will take Year 3 course content in Year 4.

If completing a year abroad, you will take the Year 3 content in Year 4.

Scholarships and bursaries

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.