Social Policy with Quantitative Research Methods, B.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #61 (ARWU) ,
This course is ideal for those interested in learning more about how to use numbers and data within the social sciences, and in acquiring practical and analytical skills that are attractive to employers.


Two thirds of your studies will follow the Single Honours Social Policy course, acquiring core knowledge in your subject. The remaining third provides applied interdisciplinary training in quantitative methods.

In year one, we discuss how numbers and data are used and consider what is meant by segregation, and how it can be mapped and measured.

Year two offers practical classes in social statistics and applied data analysis, developing your skills in numeracy and analysis to advance your study of social policy. This enables you to undertake your own individual research project in an area of quantitative social science in year three.

There is also a four-year undergraduate degree option, offering more advanced quantitative methods for those wishing to graduate with a Master's (MSci) qualification.

Why study Quantitative Research Methods at Bristol?

Members of the Bristol Q-Step team have considerable expertise in teaching quantitative social science from introductory to postgraduate level. The first-year unit 'Convincing Stories? Numbers as Evidence in the Social Sciences' introduces you to how numbers are used (and abused) in the media, public policy, and in social and scientific debate.

The University of Bristol has considerable expertise in quantitative methods. For example, the School of Geographical Sciences is a world leader in quantitative human geography, the School for Policy Studies hosts the internationally respected Townsend Centre from International Poverty Research, and the Centre for Multilevel Modelling develops software that is used throughout the world.

Quantitative research methods are not about learning maths; they are about learning how to apply analytical methods to questions of interest to the social sciences. If you are not sure whether to choose a BSc or MSci qualification, you can transfer from one to the other during the first two years.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

First year
  • Convincing Stories? Numbers as evidence in the social sciences
  • Segregation and inequality in the UK (measurement and debate)
  • Social policy and the welfare state: Theoretical perspectives
  • Social policy and the welfare state: Key concepts and contemporary issues
  • Social policy and the welfare state: Historical perspectives
  • Comparative and international social policy
Second year
  • Principles of Quantitative Social Science
  • Conducting a research project using secondary data
  • Understanding Public Policy
  • Markets, Governments and Public Policy
  • Two optional Social Policy units from a wide choice
Third year
  • Dissertation (with Quantitative Research Methods)
  • Four optional Social Policy units from a wide choice


We are looking for students who are willing to approach quantitative methods with a critical and enquiring mind, and a willingness to learn. Studying how to undertake quantitative data analysis is not the same as learning maths. Although familiarity with higher-level maths may be helpful, those without A or AS-level maths should not be put off from applying. The level of maths required and taught on these degrees should be accessible to a student with grade C in GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade B):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • A-levels (including international A-levels): ABB
  • A-levels (including international A-levels): BBB
  • IB Diploma: 32 overall to include 16 points at Higher level
  • IB Diploma: 31 overall to include 15 points at Higher level
  • Cambridge Pre-U: Requirements are as for A-levels, where Grade A* is D2, A is D3, B is M2, and C is M3
  • Access: Pass Access to HE Diploma with at least 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit
  • SQA: SH: AABBB and AH: AB
  • Welsh Bacc: Requirements are as for A-levels where the lowest grade required in a non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core
  • EB: 77% overall
  • International qualifications: Qualifications, scholarships and local information sources for your country
  • Subjects required at GCSE or equivalent: grade C in English and Mathematics.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    19400 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 19400 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    9250 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9250 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


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