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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

The Civil Service

The Civil Service helps the Government to develop and deliver its policies as effectively as possible. It is one of the largest employers in the UK and is a popular destination for many social sciences graduates. There are a wide range of sectors in the Civil Service offering a variety of roles in different professions.


The tasks performed by a senior Civil Servant will differ by department. However, typical activities may include:

Source: Prospects

Skills Required:

The skills required to become a successful Civil Servant include:

Source: Prospects

The Civil Service

Things to Consider:

Fast stream- The Fast Stream is a learning and development programme for graduates with the potential to become future leaders of the Civil Service. It is consistently ranked among the top ten of The Times "Top 100 Graduate Employers". This graduate training scheme gives employees a chance to work in different departments and learn about the Civil Service. The Graduate Fast Stream is open to graduates with a minimum 2:2 in any discipline. Fast Streamers usually work in more than one government department and in more than one part of the UK.

The gender ratio in the Civil Service is fairly equal and many women hold senior positions

Useful Links:

The University cannot be held responsible for external content

Civil Service Fast Stream

The Fast Stream is fiercely competitive so any work experience you can get before applying will help you greatly. It will be useful to browse the University's Placement help pages , including the Excel Placement content, available here .

Videos: YouTube video on the fast-stream GuardianJobs video on fast-stream

Our Graduates:

Corin- a Politics and Economics graduate from 2012

Rupert- a Politics and International Relations graduate from 2013

Victoria Woodcock

Course: BSc Sociology and Social Policy 2005-2008; MSc in Social Statistics 2009-2010

Current position: Private Secretary to Cabinet Minister, Central Government

A video of Victoria explaining what her role entails and how her experiences at Southampton helped her is available through this link .

Demography and statistics careers

Career choices for  Demography and Social Statistics graduates

Economics careers

Career choices for Economics graduates

Politics careers

Career choices and support for Politics and International Relations graduates

Sociology careers

Career choices for Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology and Anthropology graduates

Photo of Kenny McCarthy
From working in the third sector to playing regular football for the Social Sciences team, the skills I have developed at Southampton will prove invaluable in any future job.

Study abroad and exchanges

Current students: Take part in exchanges with partner institutions outside the UK. Overseas students: Study Social Sciences in the UK via our bespoke 'Studyabroad@Southampton' pathways.

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