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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Local authority and Public sector research

A career in Local Authority and Public Sector research involves demographic research with UK Local Authorities. Local government research is varied and provides opportunities to work on a wide range of projects using a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Public sector research


Local government is a large area when it comes to available roles. Research jobs in local government can be in a range of sectors which reflects this variety in careers. However some sectors where a career in Local Government may include are provided below:

Researchers might work in a specialist field or across a range of topics, but in either case will find that their work will have a direct impact on policy and practice. There are also opportunities to work with central government, research institutions and other agencies, private sector consultancies and voluntary organisations

Typical activities could include:

Outside local government, in the private sector, a number of large research organisations have local government teams (who specialise in conducting work for local government) within their social research unit.

Source: Local Government Association

Skills Required:

Due to the statistical nature of this role a degree in Statistics, or at least with a substantial Statistics component, is sometimes a minimum requirement and MSc in Statistics.

Other skills required include:

Relevant work experience gained in any area that requires analysing statistics will be valuable.

Useful Links:

The university is not responsible for external content

To find out more visit the Local Government Association (LGA) website:

LGA careers page

IpsosMori- Local Government

Another relevant website is that of the Local Authority Research and Intelligence Association (LARIA)

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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