Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law

From this pathway you can progress to a large range of degrees offered by the College of Arts and Law and the College of Social Sciences. Both colleges are at the forefront of research and innovation, generating new knowledge about society and transforming this in ways that improve wellbeing. Our programmes in the social sciences, arts and humanities explore every facet of human society and culture, from literary criticism to economics and religion to social policy

Birmingham Business School is a dynamic and internationally focused school offering programmes across the full range of business school disciplines. The School’s academic staff conducts world-class research, in addition to achieving excellence in teaching and enriching students’ understanding. We pride ourselves on students graduating with a range of knowledge and skills that give them a competitive edge. It has developed and continues to maintain strong links with professional accountancy firms and organisations such as Deloitte and KPMG. It is accredited by EQUIS and many of the degree programmes have individual professional accreditation (for example AMBA, CIPD, ICSA and CIPS).

Using the latest geophysical imaging techniques, the staff within the department of History and Cultures have discovered evidence of two previously unknown pits positioned on celestial alignment at Stonehenge. The project highlights the advances in technology that our students have access to. The Department of Modern Languages has a strong tradition of research and interdisciplinary study and offers a breadth of language tuition from French to Mandarin. You can pursue your studies across a range of cultural, literary, historical and socio-political perspectives.

Social science is the field of study concerned with the social world. As such, it brings together a diverse range of disciplines including economics, business management, government, politics, international relations, sociology, education, social work and social policy.

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and international centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.

In September 2012 the multi-million pound Bramall Music Hall opened its doors. The state-of-the-art music facility houses five electroacoustic studios, a large rehearsal room, the 450-seat Elgar Concert Hall, practice rooms and recording resources. So whether or not you study Music you will benefit from the opportunities offered by this facility.

The Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law Pathway will lead you towards a programme in one of the following:

  • African Studies
  • American and Canadian Studies
  • Archaeology and Antiquity
  • Business 
  • Drama and Theatre Arts
  • Economics 
  • Education
  • English
  • History of Art
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy, Theology and Religion
  • Politics and Sociology
  • Social Policy
  • Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science

See the Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law Pathway progression table 2014 for more information about the undergraduate degrees available for a Foundation Academy student choosing this pathway and the compulsory and optional modules to undertake.

Course fact file

Duration: 1 year / 4 years

Start date: September 2014


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Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292


Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law pathway modules

You will take six modules from the list below including Academic English and Study Skills in Term 1 and 2. Some modules are compulsory for progression to certain degree programmes; please check the requirements for your chosen programme before you make your module choice. Please note that modules are subject to availability and timetabling

Compulsory modules  Credits
Academic English and Study Skills (Term 1)   20
Academic English and Study Skills (Term 2)   20
Politics, Policy and Protest   20
Social Policy, Welfare and Society   20
Business and the Market   20
Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics   20
The European Heritage   20
The Country and the City   20
Colonial Encouters   20

Module descriptions

Academic English and Study Skills modules are detailed here.

Politics, Policy and Protest

This module will introduce you to the main issues and debates in contemporary international and global affairs. The module will compromise four sections. The first section will focus on conceptual debates surrounding the nature of international and global politics. The second section will consider the development of the nation-state and its changing role and position in an increasingly globalised world. This will be followed in the third and fourth sections by consideration of patterns of regional intergration as a response to globalisation and questions surrounding global security governance and co-operation.

Social Policy, Welfare and Society

This module explores the potential to create the societies in which we would want to live through the development and implementation of policies, which include health, social care, housing and criminal justice. Focusing on the British setting, this highly contemporary and dynamic module analyses current social issues and asks questions about the role and contribution of the individual, the family and State in constructing societies for the future.

Business and the Market

This module focuses on the relationship between firms and markets. It looks at how markets work, how they differ and why these differences matter to the firm. It begins by introducing you to some underlying ideas that will help you think about the subject, before moving on to describe the operations of the market itself. After learning about the laws of supply and demand, you will also study the different types of market and how firms set about maximising their profits under different competitive conditions.

Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics

While this module has a mathematical foundation, it is not simply about developing your mathematical skills. Rather, the purpose of the module is to show you how you can use these skills to improve your understanding of business problems and to help you make business decisions more effectively.

The European Heritage 

In this module you will learn about the history of the classical and Christian traditions that underlie European civilisation, as well as some of the most significant artisitic and literary works that these traditions have inspired. You will examine the development of European society, culture and its philosophical and religious underpinnings in the Classical, Renaissance and Modern eras, focusing on key deas and artefacts as examples.

The Country and the City  

In this module you will learning about the variety of ways in which the rural and the urban have been conceptualised and imagined throughout history. This will involve the study of cities ranging from ancient Athens to modern New York, and will allow you to engage with such topics as industrialisation, nostalgia for the countryside, and environmental concerns. Working with the Barber Institute of Fine Arts you will attend guided tours of exhibitions and be encouraged to think about the cities and the countryside you inhabit.

Colonial Encounters 

Here you will be looking at the overseas expansion of European powers and the legacies of imperialism, with particular emphasis on the British Empire. Initial sessions will establish a chronological and thematic outline, exploring the roles of slavery and anti-slavery in the establishment of empire, governance and violence in the maintenance of empire; and the role of anti-colonial nationalism in ending imperial rule. Later, you will encounter key concepts in the study of colonial encounter and its cultural legacies such as orientalism, post-colonialism and hybridity, and the place of English as a global language.

Fees and funding

The Birmingham Foundation Academy Package

The cost of the Birmingham Foundation Academy Package for 2014–2015 is £13,300 (International Fee) and £9,000 (EU Fee)

This includes:

  • One year’s tuition fees
  • Books and all classroom equipment

Please note: Accommodation will incur additional charges to the above fee.

Entry requirements

Birmingham Foundation Academy entry requirements apply

International students:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292

Learning and teaching


As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, capable of formulating your own ideas and engaging critically with your subject. A key benefit of this approach is that you gain the skills that employers are looking for, such as initiative, teamworking, problem solving and time management.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that you will be guided and supported to make the transition to become an independent and self-motivated learner. You will have access to a comprehensive academic support system that will assist and encourage you, inlcuding a tuor in your college who will provide help and advice with any study-related issues, and will help you to monitor and reflect on your progress.

Your learning will take place in a range of settings, from scheduled teaching in seminars, lectures and small group tutorials, to peer group learning in which you may, for example, be asked to prepare and deliver a presentation with your classmates.

Please click on Learning at Birmingham for further information


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292


Graduates from our Arts degrees have gone into professions such as human resources, international development, marketing, media, publishing, politics and retail management. Others have chosen to pursue further study, either continuing to Masters or PhD programmes at Birmingham and other leading universities, or training for careers in law or teaching.

Graduates from Social Science degrees have pursued a variety of careers including working for national or local governments, international and non-governmental organisations or the media. Others have chosen to pursue further study, either continuing to Masters or PhD programmes at Birmingham or other leading universities, or training for careers in law and teaching.

Our Business School degrees have long been recognised by major employers across all sectors of the economy, with many of our graduates finding employment in financial services, accountancy and a range of management careers.

Law graduates have great career potential, both within and outside the legal profession. Many of our students go on to the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course to become solicitors or barristers, or pursue careers in public administration, industry and other professional areas.


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292