What is social science?
Social science basically involves the study of society and the behaviour of people within a society. It can help to explain how societies around the world work. That can include the causes of economic growth or unemployment and the reasons for why people vote. Social science provides essential information for governments, local authorities, policymakers, non-governmental organisations and other organisations. Social science covers a lot of different areas and topics, so if you decide to study a social science course, there are many different career outcomes available.
Areas in Social Science
There’s a broad range of subjects covered by social science that you could study. Some of the most popular academic disciplines within social science include:
- Demography, which studies populations and their changes and trends through utilising resources like birth and death statistics.
- Social statistics, methods and computing, which involves collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative social science information.
- Human geography, which studies the world, its people and its cultures.
- Environmental planning, which explores the relationship between human and natural systems to manage and make decisions about those systems.
- Social anthropology, which studies the organisation of human and social structures.
- Linguistics, which involves studying language and how people communicate through words.
- Economic and social history, which studies past events to better understand contemporary society.
- Law, which concerns the rules made by governments and people.
- Sociology, which studies groups of people with the aim of understanding the way people relate to each other and how they function as a collective society or as sub-groups.
- Social work, which studies social change and the empowerment and liberation of people to achieve social justice.
Why study a social science course?
If you want to work in many career areas related to social science, you will need to have a relevant qualification. Many professions require you to have a degree in a relevant discipline. These include: psychologist, community development worker, and positions within the Civil Service. Degree subjects you could study at university include:
- BA (Honours) Social Sciences.
- BA (Honours) Social Sciences – Criminology.
- BA (Honours) Economics.
- BA (Honours) International Studies.
- BSc (Honours) Social Psychology.
Career Outcomes from a Social Science Course
Once you have a degree in a relevant discipline, there are many career opportunities to choose from. Career outcomes from a social science course include:
- Probation Officer: This profession involves managing offenders to help reduce reoffending. As well as needing a degree or an equivalent qualification, you’ll also need to successfully complete training through the Professional Qualification in Probation.
- Intelligence Analyst: This involves helping to prevent crime by analysing and assessing intelligence data. As an intelligence officer, you would work for United Kingdom intelligence agencies.
- Community Development Worker: In this role, you would work in communities and liaise with different agencies to create improvements and positive change within those communities.
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer: In this position, you would make sure people are not discriminated against due to characteristics like gender, race and disability.