Social Sciences, Business and Law - January

This pathway encompasses those degrees subject areas within our College of Arts and Law and the College of Social Sciences, which includes the highly ranked Birmingham Business School. 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

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


See the Social Sciences, Business and Law Pathway SSBL (Jan Start) Progression Table 2018-19 for more information about the undergraduate degrees available for a Foundation Pathways student choosing this pathway and the modules to undertake. Also see Course details 'Why study this Course' for a list of degrees you can study on this pathway.

Social Sciences, Business and Law pathway modules

You will take four subject-specific modules from the list below plus one of the Academic English & Study Skills modules (or Advanced Academic Skills).

The modules listed may be shared by the different pathways, so you will be studying alongside students from other disciplines.

Modules  Credits
Politics in a Changing World   20
A Critical Introduction to Law and Legal Skills   20
Business and the Market   20
Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics   20

Module descriptions 

There are a range of Academic English and Study Skills modules, including advance options.

Politics in a Changing World

This module will introduce you to the main issues and debates in contemporary international and global affairs and the changing role and position of nation-states in an increasingly globalised world.

A Critical Introduction to Law and Legal Skills

This module will enable students to develop a sound foundational understanding of the structure and practice of key domestic and international law fields. As part of this overall aim, the students will be introduced to core legal skills such as the analysis of statutes, treaties and case-law, critical thinking and problem solving.

These learning outcomes will be achieved via an exploration of specific legal mechanisms and the debates/controversies about their application, contained within a range of legal areas likely to include, but not limited to, the domestic law fields of criminal, public and common law (esp contract and tort law), and international law fields of human rights law, international humanitarian law and refugee law.

The course is suitable both for students intending to pursue an LLB in Law, or those intending to pursue alternative degree courses but who have a general interest in legal systems.

Business and the Market

This module focuses on the relationship between markets and companies under different competitive conditions. How do markets work and differ, and why do these differences matter?

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. 

Why study this course

Our Foundation Pathways combines the highest standards of one of Britain’s leading global universities with a fully integrated student experience. Designed for international students who require a preparatory year prior to UK undergraduate study, the foundation programme is equivalent in learning to year 13 of the UK education system.

Successful completion of the foundation year will also guarantee you progression onto your chosen degree.  We will ensure you're fully prepared for your undergraduate programme, immersing you in the university environment and giving you dedicated support in your first year in the UK.

Fees and funding

The Foundation Pathways Package

The cost of the Foundation Pathways package for January 2017 is £15,210 (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

Foundation Pathway entry requirements apply

International students:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through the Foundation Pathways application process


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

Social Science graduates have pursued a variety of careers including working for national or local governments, international and non-governmental organisations or the media.

Our Business School degrees have long been recognised by major employers across all sectors of the economy, with many of our graduates findhing 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.

Some of our graduates decide to pursue postgraduate study at Birmingham or other leading universities, to specialise in an academic area or train for careers such as law and teaching.