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Pre-University: Social Sciences

Get ready for university study with this tailored course for young learners

This course will introduce you to the Social Sciences and how they are studied at university level.

Covering subjects including Politics, Sociology, Social Policy, and Economics, the course will use the theme of Equality to explore how this topic appears in different disciplines across the area of Social Sciences.

You will have the chance to explore and stimulate your own interests in a range of topics, and to deepen your understanding of contemporary social issues. By reading the thinking across different disciplines, you will develop study skills that are both interdisciplinary and inter-textual.

The course will explore a variety of topics connected to equality: from questions of freedom, inequalities and the re-distribution of wealth to examining how social scientists investigate and answer questions about society. You will consider the approaches of key academic thinkers including J.S. Mill, Adam Smith, Isiah Berlin, and Hannah Arendt.

Using a blend of text, audio, video, and other resources, you will develop a range of skills to support your independent learning in the Social Sciences. Throughout the course, you will also take part in skills sessions which will help improve your approach to academic writing, research, and discussion – all key skills for your time at university.

This course is suitable if you are in your penultimate or final year of high school (aged 16-18) and planning to attend university to study a subject in the Social Sciences. This course is also suitable for students who have not yet decided on their university study but would like a taster experience of studying at university level.

Course Format

Each class will combine lectures and tutorial discussion led by the course tutor and students. The course will also incorporate academic skills sessions, with skills which are directly relevant to the text(s) and sources under consideration.

Sessions will contribute towards each student’s self-set individual project question, which they will present at the end of the course. Ongoing tasks throughout the two-week course will help students prepare their project and presentation.

Essential and recommended readings will be set in advance of each class.


Students will be assessed on their project (including preparation tasks) and presentation that they will work on throughout the duration of the course.

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Display a keen interest in the Social Sciences.
  • Display an ability to think in an interdisciplinary way using a common theme.
  • Demonstrate skills that are integral to studying the Social Sciences including research skills and critical analysis.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role and importance of social sciences in contemporary societies.
  • Show an awareness of the social values and institutions that shape our world, with a focus on equality.

The fee for this course is £3,765. 

This fee includes:

  • Tuition fees for the two-week course
  • Catered accommodation (breakfast and dinner included)
  • Course materials and equipment
  • Academic trips and excursions
  • Social programme including evening and cultural events
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off at Edinburgh International Airport

Additional fees may apply for visa applications. These are not included in your course fee.

As part of your application process, you will be required to pay a £250 deposit. The deposit payment will be redeemable against your course fee. After a 14 day cooling off period, the deposit is non-refundable. You will receive information on how to pay your deposit during your application process.