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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Social Research

Social research involves qualitative and quantitative research on a number of themes, in social, political and cultural contexts. A variety of methods, such as interviews, questionnaires and focus groups, are used to investigate the views of population samples.


Social research can encompass a broad set of themes but is commonly associated with areas such as:

Actual tasks may vary slightly depending on the sector and employer, but typically include:

Source Prospects

Social research

Skills required

Things to consider

The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) offers training bursaries of up to £1,000. UK-based social researchers who are undertaking research, teaching research methods or supervising research are all eligible to apply, as well as contract researchers working in higher education institutes.

There are no deadlines for applications – applications can be at any time. For more information visit the NCRM’s website .

ONS Entry Requirements

You can apply for any post in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and UK Statistics Authority as long as you are a UK national or have dual nationality with one part being British. Also posts are open to Commonwealth citizens and nationals of any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) unless otherwise stated. When applying, applicants will be asked about their nationality at birth, whether they are subject to immigration control, and whether there are any restrictions on their continued residence or employment in the UK. Please refer to the Civil Service Nationality Requirements and Rules links for more detailed information on eligibility to apply to the ONS and UK Statistics Authority.

Useful Links

The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites

Office for National Statistics (ONS) jobs, and what ONS can offer

ONS current vacancies

Social Research Association, (SRA) Careers Jobs in social research

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, news story

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8 March 2019

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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 & Applied Social Sciences 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.

Find out more
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