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What can I do with a degree in Social Sciences?
Social Science careers
The jobs listed below are a selection of those which may interest Politics and International Relations students and graduates and offer the opportunity to use your degree directly.
Advice Workers provide information, advice and guidance on a range of topics depending on the role. These topics may include housing, employment, welfare, education, finance and law.
Job profile of an Advice Worker from the Prospects website
Job profile of an Advice Worker from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of an Adult Guidance Worker from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Debt/Finance Adviser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Welfare Rights Adviser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Careers Adviser from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Higher Education Careers Adviser from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Homeless Worker from the TARGET Jobs website
Civil Service Careers
The Fast Stream is a development programme designed to prepare graduates for careers at the highest levels of the Civil Service and Diplomatic Service.
Job profile of a Civil Service Fast Streamer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Civil Service Administrator from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Civil Service Administrator from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Civil Service Executive Officer from the National Careers Service website
There are a variety of different roles within charities including project management, volunteer co-ordination and fundraising.
Job profile of a Charity Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Charity Fundraiser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Charities Administrator from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Charities Fundraiser from the TARGET Jobs website
Community Development Worker
Working in communities and liaising with different agencies to bring about change and improvements. Some work may be targeted towards certain groups of people e.g. the unemployed or the homeless.
Community Education Officer
Promoting and co-ordinating a range of educational options to members of a local community.
Equality and Diversity Officer
Equality Officers promote diversity and work to ensure that people are treated fairly and not discriminated against for characteristics including race, gender, age or disability.
Family Support Worker
Working with families facing a variety of difficulties and helping them to solve problems and move forward.
Housing Officers work for local authorities or housing associations to manage rented accommodation including solving problems raised by tenants, organising maintenance, allocating properties and dealing with payment issues. Housing Policy Officers develop policies for local authorities or housing associations.
Job profile of a Housing Manager/Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Housing Adviser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Housing Policy Officer from the National Careers Service website
Human Resources Officer
Human Resources Officers aim to ensure that organisations have a skilled and efficient workforce. They are involved in recruitment and selection, training and development, grievance and discipline and provide advice on employment law.
Job profile of a Human Resources Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Training and Development Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Training and Development Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Immigration, Customers and Border Roles
There are a variety of roles involving monitoring people, banned substances and other goods leaving and entering the country to ensure safety and security and to maintain the law.
Job profile of a Customs Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of an Immigration Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Border Force Officer from the National Careers Service website
Analysing and assessing intelligence data largely for the purposes of security and crime prevention.
International Aid/Development Worker
Working to improve the lives of people in developing countries.
Providing legal services to clients.
Job profile of a Solicitor from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Solicitor from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Barrister from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Barrister from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Barrister’s Clerk from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Government Lawyer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Chartered Legal Executive from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Paralegal from the National Careers Service website
Local Government Careers
Developing policies and delivering local services. There are a huge variety of roles within local government including roles in social care, housing and education to name just a few.
Working with people to help them solve conflicts and disagreements.
Police Officers work to make communities safer by maintaining the law and preventing crime.
Prison Officers are responsible for maintaining security in prisons and supporting the rehabilitation of prisoners.
Probation Officers work with offenders and aim to reduce rates of re-offending and protect the public.
There are a range of different psychologist roles but broadly they help clients to improve their psychological wellbeing.
Job profile of a Clinical Psychologist from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Counselling Psychologist from the Prospects website
Job profile of an Educational Psychologist from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Forensic Psychologist from the Prospects website
Job profile of an Occupational Psychologist from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Clinical Psychologist from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of an Educational Psychologist from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Psychologist from the National Careers Service website
Psychotherapy, Counselling and Mental Health Roles
Supporting people to overcome a range of psychological or emotional difficulties.
Job profile of a Psychotherapist from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Psychotherapist from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Child Psychotherapist from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Child Psychotherapist from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Counsellor from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Counsellor from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker from the National Careers Service website
Social Researchers could work for universities or research/market research organisations. Social research covers a wide range of topics including crime, transport and education. Social Researchers manage research projects including collecting and analysing data and presenting the results.
Job profile of a Social Researcher from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Social Researcher from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Government Social Research Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Government Research Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Market Researcher from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Market Research Executive from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Trade Union Research Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Trade Union Research Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Social Workers work with people in the community who need support, for example, the elderly, children who are at risk, people with disabilities or mental health difficulties.
Substance Misuse Worker
Supporting clients to overcome their problems with drug, alcohol or solvent misuse.
There are a variety of opportunities within education from primary schools to universities.
Victim Care Officer
Providing help to people who have been victims of crime, including supporting them during court proceedings.
Managing the recruitment, training, placement and retention of volunteers.
Youth Offending Team Officer
Working with young offenders with the aim of reducing rates of re-offending and supporting young people to achieve positive outcomes.
Working with young people to provide support, raise aspirations and break down barriers to achieving. This is done in a variety of ways including through recreational activities, organising projects, mentoring and liaising with other agencies.
Please note that some of these careers may require further study.
You may be interested in graduate roles outside of Social Sciences. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but that don’t have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:
- Path to Employment
- I Want To Work In
- Information on types of jobs from Prospects
- Information on career sectors from TargetJobs
People in some Social Sciences roles may be self-employed
Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.
As well as subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in social sciences will typically have gained:
- Have research skills
- Be able to analyse and evaluate problems and issues
- Be able to collect and interpret statistical data
- Have an awareness and sensitivity of the needs and values of others
- Communicate, debate and develop logical arguments
- Have planning and time management skills
- Have group-work skills
This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. Find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them.
Find a job
The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job and when looking for further information on this sector.
Central Government Departments and Agencies
- Civil Service Fast Stream- the Civil Service's accelerated development programme for graduates.
- General Civil Service recruitment website
- Ministry of Justice
- HM Courts Tribunals Service
- Crown Prosecution Service
- HM Revenue Customs
- The Home Office
- UK Visas and Immigration
- Disclosure and Barring Service
- National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government
- Kent County Council recruitment website Includes information on their Graduate Programme.
- Medway Council recruitment website
- Local Government Association
- Local Government Jobs
- Jobsgopublic contains vacancies in the public and not-for-profit sectors.
- Opportunities is a public sector jobs website.
- The Guardian advertises Civil Service and local government jobs.
- I want to work in the public sector
- GCHQ Government Communications Headquarters.
- National Crime Agency
- The Security Service ("MI5") the UK's security intelligence agency.
- The Secret Intelligence Service ("MI6") operates worldwide to collect foreign intelligence.
Police, Prison, Probation and Youth Offending Services
- Police information on police recruitment in England and Wales.
- Kent Police
- Metropolitan Police
- Metropolitan Police graduate programmes
- I want to work in the emergency services
- G4S Policing Solutions provides specialist staff to UK police forces, local authorities, regulatory bodies and government departments.
- HM Prison and Probation Service
- HM Prison and Probation Service recruitment webpage
- Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company
- Youth Offending Services
- Skills for Justice The sector skills council for the justice sector.
Private Investigation and Security
- G4S is a security company specialising in the provision of security products, services and solutions.
- International Professional Security Association
- Nationwide Investigations Group
- World Association of Professional Investigators
- Skills for Care is the workforce development body for adult social care in England.
- The British Association of Social Workers
- Community Care Jobs
Voluntary Organisations/Charities/Non-Profit Organisations
- Charityworks delivers a graduate programme for the non-profit sector.
- Catch 22 is a national charity working with young people in difficult situations.
- CXK supports people to develop skills and enter employment.
- The Howard League for Penal Reform
- NACRO is a crime reduction charity.
- SOVA works to strengthen communities by involving local volunteers in promoting social inclusion and reducing crime.
- Victim Support
- Medway Youth Trust provides support and guidance for young people.
- Samaritans provides a listening service for people who are distressed or facing difficulties in their lives.
- Shelter Housing and homelessness charity.
- Porchlight Homelessness charity in Kent and Croydon.
- Medway Mediation
- HTV Circles work to reduce the harm caused by sexual abuse.
- The Young Lives Foundation works to help disadvantaged children and young people achieve positive outcomes.
- The Challenging Behaviour Foundation works to improve the lives of those with severe learning disabilities.
- The Independent Custody Visiting Association works to maintain well-being in police custody.
- Pact supports people affected by imprisonment.
- CLINKS supports voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families.
- Forward supports people with addictions or who have been involved with crime to move forward in a positive direction.
- The Kenwood Trust help address substance misuse, homelessness and resettlement issues.
- Restorative Justice Council
- ‘I want to work for a charity’
Mental Health and Psychology
- Live It Well promotes better wellbeing and mental health in Kent and Medway.
- Mind Advice for people with a mental health problem.
- Rethink Mental Illness Support for people with mental illnesses.
- KCA Drug, alcohol and mental health services in Kent.
- Kent and Medway NHS Social Care Partnership provides information on mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services across the region.
- NHS This page on the NHS Careers website allows you to explore careers involving psychological therapies.
- Turning Point provides specialist and integrated services which focus on improving lives and communities across mental health, learning disability, substance misuse, primary care, the criminal justice system and employment.
- Young Minds works to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
- Mental Health Foundation is a charity that works to improve mental health.
- Sane is a UK mental health charity aiming to improve the quality of live for those affected by mental illness.
- Pyschminded is a vacancy website for those working in psychology, psychiatry and mental health.
- Psychologist Appointments advertises psychologist vacancies, although it also advertises some vacancies for new graduates.
- Community Care Jobs
- Association of Educational Psychologists
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
- British Psychological Society (BPS)
- United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
- I want to work in psychology
Other Academic and Professional Bodies
- British Society of Criminology
- European Society of Criminology
- The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
- American Society of Criminology
- Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London includes details of job vacancies and training opportunities and a comprehensive links section.
- International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts
- The Centre for Social Justice
- National Institute of Economic and Social Research
- NatCen is an independent social research agency.
- The Social Research Association includes useful links to public and private sector research organisations.
- Justice Law reform and human rights organisation.
- British Journal of Sociology
- British Sociological Association
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Social Care Institute for Excellence
- European Policy Centre
Just over 20% of Social Sciences graduates go on to further study (2014 University of Kent graduates). Some do professional qualifications to train for a particular career area e.g. teacher training, social work or psychology. Others go on to postgraduate courses to specialise in a particular area of their undergraduate study or so that they can move into research or academia. There are also a range of postgraduate courses open to graduates of any degree subject.
Below is a selection of courses graduates from Social Sciences have gone on to study: