Social Studies, more commonly known by the blank term of Sociology, is the study of society and the people, policies, and systems that make it.
If you’re interested in society, human relationships, and how communities form then a degree in Social Studies could be the right option for you.
This degree will give you a better insight into how and why people interact with each other the way they do. During the course you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with others as most universities encourage students to discuss and share their ideas.
Exploring and debating different issues and theories is a key part of studying a Social Studies degree. This means that you’ll develop strong communication skills, both written and oral, and these skills are highly sought after by employers.
So, here’s more about studying for a degree in Social Studies.
Degree options include taking a straight Sociology or Social Studies course or taking a combination of two courses that come under the Sociology/Social Studies/Social Sciences umbrella.
Courses that often fall into one or all of these categories include:
Depending on the exact course or combination of courses that you take you could have the option of choosing modules such as social theory, criminology, sociology of racism, violence and social harm, and media.
During your course you’ll be dealing with issues such as race, gender, and politics, asking how they affect society as a whole. You’ll also be asking some big questions about topics including class structure, the legal system, and human rights.
In your first year you’ll look at society as a whole including social structures and rules, the beliefs and behaviour of particular societies, how a society or societies have changed over time, and the differences between certain social groups.
Courses that fall into the Social Studies or Sociology bracket tend to have exam based assessments and you’ll be expected to carry out plenty of independent research outside of lectures.
This research may be empirical, meaning that it’s based on observation, and you’ll also use statistical analysis to back up your findings and theories.
The combination of scientific enquiry and a more humanities based approach gives you many transferrable skills that a variety of employers will be looking for after graduation.
There are a number of universities across the UK that offer degrees in Social Studies, Sociology, and other related subjects.
Take a good look at each university’s website and prospectus before applying. If you’re able to, it’s also worth attending an open day before making your final choices.
University open days are a great way to get a real feel for a university and look passed the shiny brochure and top spec website.
The exact entry requirements for Social Studies courses vary between universities, so it’s important to check with each university you’re interested in before applying.
For these kind of degree courses universities won’t usually ask for a specific combination of A Levels as part of their entry requirements. However, A Level subjects that come under the Humanities category will be preferred.
These subjects include:
Grade requirements vary between universities. For example the University of Southampton asks for ABB for their Sociology course but Abertay University ask for CDD.
Due to the broad nature of a Social Studies degree you’ll have any number of career options available to you.
One of the most obvious career paths is to work in the social sector – for example, as a social worker or in a non-profit organisation.
You may also choose to pursue further study and take a Masters degree and then study for your PhD.
Other postgraduate study options include the Diploma in Law which allows graduates to pursue a career in family law. You might also consider taking your PGCE and becoming a teacher.