Department profile

School of Social Sciences

Institution
Bangor University
Edition
2016/17 edition

About School of Social Sciences

About the School

Established in 1966, the School of Social Sciences is a thriving centre for teaching and research in the fields of, criminology and criminal justice, social policy, social work, public policy, sociology and health and social care.

The Masters degrees offer thorough training in the principles and practice of social research, whilst allowing students to follow their interests through a range of specialised modules. The School is known for the thoroughness of its teaching and care for students.

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The School also has a reputation for research of national and international excellence and the products of this research are continually fed into our courses. Many publications and articles by staff have international reputation in particular fields. The staff also supervise MA, MPhil and PhD students in their own specialist areas. This means that students will be taught by tutors who are actively researching and publishing in areas that they will study.

All of the degree schemes offer a thorough training in the basic principles of social science, a wide choice of specialised subjects, training in the practice of social research and preparation for a wide variety of career opportunities.

The School of Social Sciences offers bursaries for MA and PhD students.

Strengths and expertise

The most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) concluded that almost all the research submitted by the School of Social Sciences was worthy of international recognition, and some was world leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Research in the School of Social Sciences has four main themes: communities and social networks minority languages and cultures; policy evaluation research; crime and civic society. These have provided the platform for more focussed, collaborative activity based around the Schools research centres:

  • Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD)
  • Centre for Applied Research & Evaluation Sciences (CARES)
  • Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice (WCCSJ)
  • Methods and Research in the Social Sciences (MARSS)

The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) has an ambitious programme of work to help researchers make better use of data, develop large interdisciplinary projects, conduct research on a series of localities, and build partnerships with organisations and local communities. The centre brings together social scientists from across Wales who work together to develop a more detailed picture of the people of Wales through the collection, analysis and dissemination of data in areas from economic activity and growth to education, community participation, health and social care.

Academic areas

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A portfolio of Masters programmes is offered, reflecting the School's expertise and commitment to high level postgraduate teaching. These include a range of MA degrees, focussing in particular on comparative criminology and criminal justice; sociology; language policy and planning; social research and social policy; policy research and evaluation; criminology and law and social work.

The Masters by Research, MPhil and PhD are higher degrees awarded on successful completion of advanced training and research leading to a thesis. The aim of a research degree is to provide broadly based social science training as well as a specific training in specialised subject areas that are relevant to the research project. Overall, the training provides the context and the skills for the student to undertake an original investigation, culminating in the preparation of a thesis which represents an independent and original contribution to knowledge.

Career Prospects

A postgraduate qualification in Social Sciences prepares graduates for careers within sectors as varied as the criminal justice, law enforcement, policy making and development, youth services, drug treatment centres, social policy and government agencies. Those pursuing a Masters in Social Work or Advanced Social Work will find themselves equipped to work in a wide range of health or social care settings such as hospitals, community development projects, non-statutory organisations perhaps supporting refugees and asylum-seekers, or working with young parents in need of support. Experienced social workers will be able to quickly progress into management and training in the care professions. Masters graduates may also progress to research posts which may inform future policy, and to academic careers at universities.

Links with industry / work placements

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The School of Social Sciences is a member of WISERD (Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods), a collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea. WISERD's mission is to strengthen social science capacity across Wales through co-operation, join projects and associated links with centres across the UK and beyond. It brings together social scientists from across Wales who work together to develop a more detailed picture of the people of Wales through the collection, analysis and dissemination of data in areas from economic activity and growth to education, community participation, health and social care.

The School's industry links is a key element of the delivery of the MA Social Work programme, which is run in partnership with the Local Authorities of Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy. The partner local authorities contribute to teaching and assessment and also provide work placements as part of students' MA studies.

Further information

For further details contact Postgraduate Admissions Office

Contact details