Social Sciences careers and opportunities

The social sciences are a broad discipline and studying one of our courses means you'll have a wide range of career opportunities to explore when you graduate. Find out more about placements, voluntary opportunities and even more you can get involved in when studying for a social sciences degree.

A student showing somebody their display at a Social Sciences event

Career ready

Our career-focused Social Science courses and research-active teaching staff will ensure you're equipped with the transferable skills, critical awareness and broad knowledge base required to go into your first job after graduating. Many of our courses allow you to graduate with professional accreditation and some even provide the option of different degree pathways, so that you can tailor your studying to your area of interest.

One thing that makes our provision of courses unique is that we offer combined teaching across the school. Criminology and Health and Social Care are integrated as sister courses, meaning that students can choose from a more diverse range of options and focus on a preferred area of study during the final year.

As Social Science is such a broad discipline, you'll have a number of career opportunities you can explore. Our graduates have gone into roles in the fields of education, health, social work or community work, the criminal justice system, the government, charities, social research, and many more. Continuing studying at master's level is also a popular choice amongst our graduates. Read more about what you can do with a social science degree.

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Placements and work experience

Within Social Sciences, we're proud to maintain strong links with a wide range of employers from both local and national organisations, enabling you to seek out your perfect placement. Placement is a brilliant opportunity to gain valuable work experience during your studying, as well establish professional contacts which may come in useful for your future career. Several of our students continue to work for their placement employer once their placement ends.

Some of our courses offer two placements, further broadening your experience. There may also be summer internships, additional training, or development sessions available so that you can top up your CV.

Opportunities available will depend on your course. For example, if you're studying Criminology, we offer the Local Appropriate Adult Scheme, where you can volunteer as an appropriate adult throughout a person's time in police custody. Childhood Studies allows you to opt for the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies pathway, which assures employers that you have completed relevant practice experience. To find out more, head to our individual course pages.

Students with children on a volunteering experience in Kenya

Extracurricular activities

If you're joining us as a Social Sciences student at Sunderland, there may be even more exciting opportunities available to you in the way of extracurricular activities, so that you can enhance your subject knowledge and cultural awareness, and increase your employability.

For example, students have taken up volunteering on several national and international trips, including development work on gender and education in Kenya, and working with non-governmental organisations on projects associated with girls rescued from bonded labour in Nepal.

You may also be able to take advantage of our Sunderland Abroad programme, which allows students to continue their studying at a university overseas during the period of their degree, either short or long-term.


A crowd protesting climate change with placards

Centre for Applied Social Sciences

The University of Sunderland's Centre for Applied Social Sciences combines academic research with practice-based collaborations and activities, aiming to improve living conditions, address inequalities and promote social justice.

CASS takes an active interest in the social issues that affect the region and beyond, with research focusing on children, young people, and families; communities, health, and social exclusion; and crime, victims, and social justice.

As a Social Sciences student, you will be invited to regular CASS events and talks hosted by guest speakers, where you can learn from experts within their field who have real-life experience of social research.

Student and graduate destinations

Get career inspiration from our Social Sciences students and graduates below, or see the full list of our student stories:

More about studying Social Sciences at Sunderland

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