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Staff Room

Social & Policy Sciences University of Bath

Dr Tina Skinner Social Policy Admissions Tutor talks about Admissions to Social Policy.

What do you like most about your subject?

I enjoy researching issues that I am passionate about and/or make me angry and seeing positive changes as a result. For example, I have done research for the Home Office on criminal justice and support service responses to young survivors of rape. Since this research there has been an expansion of Sexual Assault Referral Centres in the UK and improvements in the service they provide.

I am currently putting together a research proposal on the experiences and ‘choices’ of dyslexic women who are returning to work after having children, and the impacts this has on the complex relationships between work identities, dyslexic identities and identities formulated around motherhood. One of the objectives of this research is to produce good practice guidelines for employers in order to improve women’s reintegration into the work environment.

What kinds of jobs do graduates from Social Policy Sciences at Bath go on to do?

• Social and policy research (national & international research centers, governmental & non-governmental organisations)

• University & academic-related
• Social care services
• Public Services
• Overseas Development
• Public Relations
• Teaching
• Journalism & media

• Human Resource Management

• Marketing

• Customer Services

• Finance & Accounting

What advice would you give to a student considering making an application to the department?

Make sure you find out more about the content of the course you’re applying for. At Bath, details of the content of each unit are available on the University website at simply right click on the ‘Baths Programme Catalogue Codes and you will get a full outline of each course. If you wish to look at the content of each module right click on the unit codes.

Also, it’s really worth attending a University open day. Come along to the Social and Policy Sciences Departmental talk and ask lots of questions!

I’d also say that you need to check your predicted grades with your tutor, and make sure you know what grades the particular course you are applying for requires. If the prediction doesn’t quite meet the grade give the admissions tutor a ring or an email to ask if it is still worth applying. You can contact me on

What kind of information are you interested in when looking at personal statements?

I always like to hear about course work you completed on your national diploma, which relates to the degree course you are applying to, and what you found really interesting about it and why.

On a vocational course you’ll probably have had the opportunity to complete some really interesting work placements which made you think about things you studied at college in a different way. Your personal reflections on how this work placement (or voluntary work) experience led you to decide to apply for the particular degree course would certainly be very relevant to your application.

Don’t forget to include details of any mitigating circumstances that may have affected your performance in course work or examinations

Is there anything in particular which applicants currently on national diploma courses should bear in mind when making an application?

The Department of Social and Policy Sciences really encourages you to apply!

Make sure you check the GCSE requirement for the course you are planning to apply for (in particular grade C or above or level 2 equivalent in Maths and English).

When deciding which course might be best for you, it’s worth checking the assessment methods used – some universities may assess their courses 100% on exams, whilst others may be assessed mainly on coursework. At Bath, our assessment method in the Social and Policy Sciences Department includes a balance of both exams and coursework.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of having done work placements as part of your level 3 course – they give you an opportunity to reflect on the link between your academic study and professional practice. Also, remember that as a student in a further education college, you’ll have had useful experience of an independent approach to studying which will put you in a good position when you start university.

It’s a good idea to include details of which units you are taking as part of your national diploma and grades gained so far – this enables us to see where you have done well in units which are particularly relevant for the degree course.

Which national diploma courses will you consider and why?

We don’t specify that applicants require specific A levels, and the same thing applies to applicants with a national diploma! The important thing is that you have gained the required grades so make sure you check the website carefully.