BA (Hons) Public Services

If you want to make a difference to day-to-day life in your local community, or make an impact at a national or even global level, our Public Services degree will help you make your mark. On this BA (Hons) Public Services degree, you’ll explore how these services operate and the challenges they face in the 21st century, preparing you for a career in this important and diverse sector.

A key feature of your Public Services degree is the link between theory and practice. Learning is often based on real-life data, as well as examples and case studies from public, voluntary and community organisations. This ensures that what you learn is relevant to the workplace and situations you may encounter when you graduate. You’ll also be encouraged to undertake a short-term placement during your studies. You could get the chance to work with public sector organisations such as the NHS. This valuable opportunity will ensure you’re equipped with skills needed by employers when you graduate. Follow us on Twitter.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
L430 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
L430 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A

Year One

  • Public Affairs
  • Organisation and Behaviour in the Public Sector
  • Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion
  • Doing Social Science Research

You will also study the double module Planning and Operations or two modules from the following options:

  • Understanding Criminal Justice
  • Conflict, Crisis and Change
  • Understanding Society

Year Two

  • Public Services Placement
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Public Service Law
  • The Workplace Environment
  • Critical Reflection on Work Based Learning
  • Society: Problems and Solutions

You will also study two modules from the following options:

  • Emergencies and Disasters
  • Policing
  • Violence and Conflict

Year Three

  • Dissertation
  • Strategy, Leadership and Innovation
  • Governing the Locality

You will also study two modules from the following options:

  • Performance and Development
  • Critical Issues in Criminal Investigations
  • Work Experience and Career Planning in Social Policy
  • Conflict, War and Peace
  • Family Youth and Community
  • Social Policy and Young People
  • Sociology of Sport

Foundation Year

The BA (Hons) Public Services is also available as a four year course including an integrated foundation year, and is designed for students who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry onto the degree.

You will start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge before continuing onto the three year degree programme.

Find out more: Foundation Year (Social Sciences)


You will learn through lectures, seminars and workshops, which are interactive and involve group work and presentations. Learning is often based around real-life data, examples and case studies from public, voluntary and community organisations, to ensure that your study remains relevant to the workplace.

Our staff are actively involved in research and consultancy work – their research feeds directly into what you will learn, keeping the course fresh and up-to-date. You will also benefit from guest speakers who work in the sector, as well as visits to public organisations.

You’ll be able to develop your leadership and team working skills, and put them to the test in the Brecon Beacons National Park. You can undertake work experience and career planning modules, and gain the Certificate of Knowledge of Policing.


Assessment methods include case studies, essays, projects and examinations.


Dr Jennifer Law, course leader

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £11900 

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £20 - £40
We go on an outdoor expedition in one of the options and if you choose this, you will need suitable clothes and walking boots.
DBS £57.2
In some cases your placement will require a DBS check.
Placement expenses: WORK PLACEMENT * £0 - £200
Students are required to undertake a period of work placement in year 2 and may choose to do one in year 3. Students undertaking placement may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire will vary according to the placement.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Public organisations are the largest employers in many parts of the UK, and this course will prepare you for a career in this exciting and diverse sector. Recent graduates have entered careers that include prison officer, trainee paramedic, retained fire fighter, police call handler, housing officer, youth worker, and teacher.

By the time you graduate, you will have skills relevant to the public service environment, including leadership skills, the ability to solve problems, evaluate and interpret evidence, make reasoned arguments, present information, and work as part of a team.

During your course you will be introduced to voluntary and work placement opportunities. A work placement is a great boost to your CV as it helps you to stand out from the crowd. In your final year you will receive help in preparing CVs and applications for postgraduate study or employment.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.