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Posted May 9, 2023

What can you do with a sociology degree?

What can you do with a sociology degree?Sociology is one of the social sciences and it focuses on social relationships, social behaviour and social interactions. It is a fascinating area of study which explores human relationships as well as human interaction with different aspects of society including institutions such as hospitals, schools and council facilities.

By studying sociology at degree level, students will develop a range of transferable skills such as critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills and research skills.

A masters in sociology will develop these skills even further, giving students a big advantage when looking for a career after their studies – popular careers for sociology graduates include social workers, prison officers, police officers and charity workers.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what you can do with a sociology degree as well as what you can do with a masters in sociology, exploring the intellectual, academic and transferable skills that can be gained from studying sociology, as well as the different career options it can lead to.

Skills you’ll develop on a sociology degree

Studying sociology at undergraduate and postgraduate level is a great way to learn and develop:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Observational skills


Students will learn to appreciate and understand potential issues in society and social situations, such as diversity, poverty, institutional racism and the social class system.

By exploring and analysing societal situations, such as healthcare systems or state education, students learn to build reasoned arguments for the benefit of the greater good.

When conducting their research and writing up reports about their findings, sociology students will also gain the skills to evaluate data and present other complex information.

Sociology graduate career paths

Graduates can go onto a wide variety of careers – some of which are directly related to their subject choice and others that are more indirectly related.

According to a recent graduate outcomes survey 2023 , these are the most common career paths of sociology graduates:

Type of Work

Percentage of Graduates

Retail / catering / waiting / bar staff


Clerical / secretarial / numerical clerks


Legal / social / welfare professionals


Childcare / health / welfare occupation


Business / HR / finance professionals


Education professionals


Marketing / PR / sales professionals




Skilled trades / crafts / vocational occupations


Art / design / media professionals


IT professionals


Engineering / building professionals


Health professionals


Science professionals


Other professionals


Other occupations



As you can see, sociology graduates can enter a wide variety of related careers, such as welfare and legal professions, as well as careers in retail, hospitality and business.

Jobs directly related to a sociology degree

Some of the jobs that are directly related to sociology degrees include:

Police officer – the role of a police officer is to uphold the law and deal with crimes and the perpetrators of crimes. Police officers serve their community and should be approachable people that are interested in helping others and making society a better place.

Probation services – the probation service is part of the criminal justice system. It is responsible for protecting the general public and supervising criminals once they have served their prison sentences and are living back in society. Working in the probation service is a fulfilling career that requires a good understanding of people as well as the compassion to understand how aspects of life don’t always work out the way they should.

Social work – the role of social workers is to help vulnerable people cope with their problems and their lives. Vulnerable people could be victims of domestic abuse, people with mental health issues, children in challenging family situations, isolated elderly people, or any other at-risk groups. Social workers should have excellent communication and observation skills, and they should be able to listen to people and help them in times of difficulty – enabling them to get their lives back on track and to feel safe and secure.

Charitable work – there are many charities in the UK and worldwide. Charities have the purpose of helping a shared cause – for example people living in war zones, endangered species, neglected animals, and other good causes – by raising awareness and money. Working in a role for a charity that is concerned with your particular passion, is an extremely fulfilling career choice, and as a sociology graduate, your work will benefit from the evaluation skills, problem-solving skills and communication skills developed during the degree.

Jobs indirectly related to a sociology degree

As well as leading to some obvious careers such as social work, a sociology degree can also lead to a wide selection of diverse and fascinating unrelated careers that still benefit from the skills and knowledge learnt whilst studying this course.

Here are some of the jobs that graduates could enter.

Marketing & PR – when working in marketing you will be presenting and promoting a new service or product to make it wider known and more appealing to others. Undertaking market research is an important aspect of this job, with research skills and communication skills playing a big part in being successful in marketing. People working in PR (public relations) require a similar skill-set, as they will be tasked with the promotion of a person or a company/organisation – ensuring they are presented to the public in the best possible way.

Teaching – because teachers are responsible for educating the next generation, it is a highly regarded and very rewarding career. The empathy, communication skills and any research-driven modules undertaken whilst studying sociology – like a dissertation or thesis – will stand you in good stead for a teaching career in a social science subject.

Journalism – research and critical thinking skills play a big part in being a journalist. An inquisitive mind and the ability to complete research and write up findings – or an interview – in an engaging way will help you succeed. These are all skills that will be gained on a your degree.

What can you do with a sociology degree?

What do sociology students go on to do?

According to Prospect’s graduate outcomes survey, sociology graduates can go on to experience a wide range of fulfilling professional careers, including policework, HR, marketing and community work.

These are the top 10 professional jobs for sociology graduates:

  • Welfare and housing associate
  • Police officers
  • Human resources and industrial relations
  • Marketing professionals
  • Secondary education/teaching
  • Primary education/teaching
  • Youth and community workers
  • Prison service officers
  • Protective service associates
  • Business and related research professionals

Further study in sociology

According to the graduate outcomes survey, around 10% of sociology graduates go onto postgraduate study after completing their bachelors degree. Study a masters in sociology can be a great way to enhance career prospects, further develop practical skills, gain further insight into an area of interest and network with like-minded people.

Value of postgraduate study

Students will gain a range of excellent transferable skills that will benefit their future career when studying a postgraduate course in sociology. Plus, undertaking a large thesis will hone research skills further, enabling students to go into academic research or study a PhD.

Being competent at public speaking and being able to present research and findings in a comprehensible and confident way is an invaluable skill, and one that is essential to postgraduate study, where you will need to present you findings to academic staff and fellow students. These communication skills can lead postgraduate sociology students on to careers in large organisations, business and finance, teaching and the charity sector.

Postgraduate sociology students will network and meet people on their masters degree who share their interests. These connections with academic staff, fellow students and university alumni could be very useful in the future when it comes to choosing that perfect graduate job.

Types of postgraduate study

The vast majority of sociology graduates that go on to postgraduate study choose to study a masters degree – over 60% according to the Prospects survey. This will take one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

Other popular postgraduate options include postgraduate diploma and a PhD. A postgraduate diploma is the same academic level as a masters but is a shorter qualification to obtain. Meanwhile, PhDs will take a minimum of three years to study on a full-time basis.

Part-time and online study

Masters degrees can also be studied part time and online, both great options if you have other commitments, such as family or work, to fit your postgraduate studies around.

A part-time masters degree will take two years to complete whereas online study could take anything from one year upwards and is a very flexible option.

Funding and scholarships

If you need some help funding your masters in sociology, there are some resources available. The best place to start is with your chosen university – check their online funding pages to see if there are any suitable scholarships or bursaries for history students or relevant to your specific circumstances. Plus, once you have been accepted onto a postgraduate program you will be automatically eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each.

Find out more about funding your sociology masters.

Search postgraduate courses

There are numerous options when it comes to studying sociology at postgraduate level. Use our course search to narrow down your choices and find your ideal course. You’ll find a range of courses including part-time and online options.

Search sociology courses

Related articles

Social Sciences – The Complete Subject Guide

What Can You Do With A Social Sciences Degree?

Masters Degree in Sociology

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries


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