Welcome to Sociology and Social Policy

We are delighted you are joining us. Here you can find all the information you'll need for your School induction. To help you feel settled and ready to start a new and exciting chapter of your life you can find more information about arriving at Leeds in the Arrival section of the For Students website. There is also a page designed for new students in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Welcome from the Head of School

As Head of School, please let me be the first to welcome you to the School of Sociology & Social Policy. We hope that you enjoy your time here, both at the University and within the city of Leeds, and that you gain the most you can from your degree.

We provide an enormous range of opportunities within the School of Sociology & Social Policy, the University of Leeds and the wider community that you can find out about from this website.

As a School, we will be supporting you at every step of your studies at the University of Leeds. You will be assigned an ‘Academic Personal Tutor’ and will have the opportunity to meet with them for the first time during Induction Week. Thereafter, you can keep in touch with them on a regular basis as they offer ‘open door’ hours for you to meet with them one-to-one. The Education Student Service Team are also a vital source of information and their details are provided on this website. Please do ask if you need help or advice. We hope that you find the School a friendly place to study.

Congratulations on gaining a place to study at the University of Leeds and good luck!

Photograph of Bobby Sayyid

Professor Bobby Sayyid, Head of School

Understanding your Programme

Your programme of study is made up of both compulsory and optional modules. You can see how your programme is set up by looking at the Undergraduate Programme Catalogue. There is also a chance for you to study something completely different to your main subject by selecting a discovery module. Find out more about the Discovery Themes on the Broadening pages of the Leeds for Life website.

Independent Learning

Studying at university is very different from studying at school or college, in that you will be expected to expand your skills in critical thinking and working independently. Although your programme of study will provide a solid framework within which to work, and you will be given lots of help and advice, you will not spend quite as much time in the classroom just reiterating the information given to you by your teacher. We will be giving you lots of reading to do, and will be showing you lots of things; however, increasingly you will be expected to work in the library, on your own, or in small groups. This is important if we are going to enable you gain the skills important for your life both inside and outside of university; such skills include, research, writing, thinking and arguing your points convincingly.

Some of the first people that you will meet will be your Semester 1 module lecturers. They have designed teaching and learning activities to support your transition to independent learning. You will be set activities to do in preparation for, and as a follow up to seminars, and these will involve accessing information independently using resources such as Minerva and the the Library. You will also be given exercises to assist you with preparation for assignments, and there will be regular opportunities for you to obtain feedback on your work.

Making the grade

Within the programmes offered by the School of Sociology and Social Policy there are two basic forms of assessment; written and practical depending on which modules you are taking. However, it is important to note that written assessment can come in a variety of forms; mainly essay and exam, but also portfolios and project work (individual and group).

Writing essays at university might seem quite daunting at first, but don’t worry, as a lot of guidance is given, especially in the kinds of assessment which you might not be familiar with.

You can check how your modules are assessed by looking on the module page on the Undergraduate Programme Catalogue.


Research is central to the mission of the School of Sociology and Social Policy. All of your lecturers are active researchers, and their expertise and understanding will inform and enlighten your study. This means that the teaching we do is informed by the research they undertake.

We also publish this work in national and international publications and at conferences world-wide which means that our research, as well as our teaching, is well respected and regarded. This means that we are able to offer our students the opportunity to undergo research themselves in a wide range of topics and subject areas.

Although you will do a certain amount of research in years 1 and 2, when you’re writing essays or preparing for tutorials, your main opportunity to do a substantial amount of research will be in your final year. The process of researching and writing-up is very important if you need to show future employers that you are capable of independent work; constructing arguments and deploying ideas, working to your own deadlines and finding out where you can get information and then know what to do with it.

How to Contact Us

Throughout your pre-arrival, induction and your studies with us, should you need any help or advice don’t hesitate to ask the Student Education Service Team located within the School. You can email us at SLSP-General-Enquiries@leeds.ac.uk. You will also get chance to meet us and ask questions during Induction Week.

You can find more information about being a student in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, including key people in your School and your student handbook on the School's Organisation page on Minerva.

Meet the Team

Photograph of Nicola Dowson
Nicola Dowson
Photograph of Amanda Gannon
Amanda Gannon
Careers/Employability/Industrial Placement
Photograph of Kate Hall
Kate Hall
Programme and Module Support
Photograph of Rachel Walton
Rachel Walton
Student Support
Photograph of Georgina Horner
Georgina Horner
Photograph of Carine Harper
Carine Harper
Photograph of Louise Goddard
Louise Goddard
Assessment and Student Support
Photograph of Louise Thompson
Louise Thompson
Attendance Monitoring
Photograph of Robin Stacey
Robin Stacey
Study Abroad Administrator
Photograph of Sam Hunter
Sam Hunter

Things to Look Forward To