The Social Sciences Department aims to create critically aware students who are able to understand their role as a social being and who are mindful of their responsibilities as global citizens. Our curriculum celebrates the factors that make us distinctively human, separate from other creatures, while also identifying and engaging students in an understanding and acceptance of our differences. Through our curriculum we investigate areas and cases of social inequality. We consider issues of gender; ethnicity; sexuality; disability and class. We analyse the effectiveness of measures to date to resolve these disparities and we identify and challenge forms of bias within our scientific disciplines.
Students study the social sciences by considering a range of theories, scientific research and case studies. For those studying psychology, the focus is on our behaviour as an individual. Sociology students consider actions on a larger group scale, by exploring the organisation of individuals into society. In criminology we consider explanations for both the individual and society, and how we respond to crime as individuals and as a society. Through each subject students focus on the skills of understanding and explaining theories; being able to apply the theories to novel contexts and being able to analyse and evaluate theories before coming to their own conclusion about the topic. The social sciences also teach students how to concisely explain their arguments and how to use evidence to support their ideas.
Through studying social sciences, we aim for all our students to be able to identify social injustice in the real world and in their own lives and to act to change this. Through the study of the motivations and experiences of others we hope that students will treat those around them with more empathy and understanding; that they will consider different explanations and viewpoints before making judgements and acting; that they will be skilled in evaluating sources of information and persuasion rather than blindly accepting. Through these skills, we believe that our social science students will be able to take an active part in creating a fairer world.