What is a social science?

The social sciences are popular to study at postgraduate level with the term encompassing a variety of subject areas where you will be able to learn a huge number of transferable skills.

Combined with the right work experience and some great extra-curricular activities while you study, you will find that you have excellent job prospects once you've completed some postgraduate study of a Social Science subject.

So let's take a closer look at the world of social sciences.

What is a social science?

Humanities and social sciences tend to be lumped together as they are both the study of human beings and how we live, have lived or will live. However, as the British Academy says the Humanities are about individual and unique cases whereas the social sciences are concerned with the population in general. Social scientists tend to use scientific methods to approach areas of study such as the law, economics, politics, sociology, geography, psychology and history. However, there is significant overlap with humanities especially in subject areas like history, so some courses can be either depending on the approach. For more information on postgraduate law courses visit LLMstudy.com.

Why study social sciences?

Social science students have excellent employment records because they learn a wide range of skills, from scientific research methods to report writing and other research skills. This means that there are a huge variety of career paths open to social science graduates. It is the transferable skills that often attract students to the social sciences, and interestingly in the UK 3.5 years after graduating more social science students are in employment than those who have studied STEM subjects.

Which career paths benefit from social sciences?

Studying one of the social sciences at postgraduate level is a great decision for a wide range of careers. Since the law is included as a social sciences, anyone wanting to work in the law will be studying under the social sciences umbrella. There are also a large number of organisations that want social science graduates from any of the subject areas, including governmental departments, aid agencies and NGOs. Students who have studied social sciences also become managers in corporations as they have developed the analytical and communications skills that are so useful to manage and work with people. With further training, social science students can go on to become teachers at any level and work in many business graduate training programs.

Where can you study social sciences at PG level?

Because so many subject areas are included in the social sciences almost all universities offer a good selection of courses in this area. Some of the best universities to study Social Sciences are also some of the best universities in the world. Harvard University is often ranked the top in the world for social sciences and the London School of Economics is also highly respected throughout the world. Other top universities renowned for their social science provisions include the University of Oxford in the UK and Stanford University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. Outside of the UK and the US the National University of Singapore, Bocconi University in Italy, the University of Toronto in Canada and the University of Melbourne in Australia are all well respected by the QS World Rankings as well.

UK social science students

Let’s take a look at how many postgraduate social science students studied in the UK in the academic year 2017-2018.


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Ruby Lao Jan. 2, 2021, 1:41 p.m.


Charlotte King Jan. 6, 2021, 12:31 p.m.

Glad to be of help!

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