Careers in Social Sciences

Social Sciences careers: skill development

As well as the specific subject knowledge gained from studying an OU degree, you'll develop many transferable and work-related skills that are highly valued by employers and which will increase your employability.

Social Sciences students develop a range of employability skills including the ability to:

  • put together reasoned arguments and question assumptions
  • understand the processes of change in society and its institutions
  • draw together, analyse and critically evaluate information
  • communicate concisely, clearly and accurately with others
  • use ICT to research, identify and present information
  • manage time and take on responsibility for your own development
  • respond positively to critical feedback
  • interpret, use and evaluate data.

Career opportunities

Social sciences qualifications provide an excellent background for a wide range of careers. Careers in Social Sciences can be found across all sectors and in a number of occupations. Education, central and local government, finance, health and social care, law, the media, public services, campaigning and research are frequent career choices.

Within the public sector, openings can be found in areas of the criminal justice system, and in the  administration and management of social services. Positions within civil and diplomatic services and local government are also popular choices. Other areas where a social science qualification may prove useful include:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Politics
  • Journalism and Broadcasting
  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Accountancy
  • Business management
  • Advertising and Marketing

Your employers

High academic standards ensure that OU qualifications are recognised and valued by many professional organisations and employers. However, we advise you to research your career choices thoroughly and as early as possible, particularly in relation to experience requirements, differences that relate to where you live, or where choice of courses may affect future opportunities. More information about international recognition of OU qualifications.

Interactive career planning resources are publically available on the OU careers web site to help you consider your options before, during and after your studies. Although much of our online occupational information is UK focused, a range of international online resources is also available to assist you with careers research and planning.

As a registered OU student you will be eligible for our full careers service including personal careers advice and guidance and access to our online vacancy service, Job Zone. We also have an Employer Showcase, where you can find out about some of the UK employers who are keen to recruit OU graduates. (Please note you will only be able to access these pages once you are registered.) These include:

  • Enterprise
  • Heinz
  • Royal Mail Group (UK)