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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Careers & Employability

At the University of Southampton, we believe in providing our students with skills, experience and opportunities to help in acquiring a future career.

Through our Careers and Employability service , you are given guidance and support throughout your studies and including post-studies for up to three years after graduation.

Each faculty provides ample opportunities to get involved in a wide range of programs that can help towards gainful employment. Find out more below.

Social scientists are in demand and studying for one of our undergraduate or postgraduate degrees will prepare you for employment in a wide variety of roles. Our Economic, Social and Political Sciences programmes will give you an attractive set of transferable skills that employers value. You can visit our division sites (see links on the right) to learn more about career options for your chosen field.

Tailormade Economic, Social and Political Sciences employability workshops and talks

In partnership with the Careers and Employability Service we provide tailormade Economic, Social and Political Sciences employability workshops and talks that are intended to support you in your preparation for your future career. We invite alumni (former students) and other external speakers to talk about their career paths. These events facilitate networking opportunities.

With an Economic, Social and Political Sciences degree there are a wide range of career opportunities open to you and as part of our dedicated programme-based workshops, we provide information on the career paths of graduates of the same or similar degree to you. In addition, we offer extra-curricular workshops to help you prepare for opportunities after graduation. These are examples of workshops and other activities offered specifically to Social Sciences students:

Work placements

We recognise the value of placements and other kinds of work experience both to enhance your skills and to give you an idea of what it is like to work in a particular sector or specific organisation. We offer specific employability modules which incorporate a placement. In addition, the University offers undergraduates and postgraduates paid placement opportunities with a range of national and international employers through its Excel Southampton Placement programme and we also have some Economic, Social and Political Sciences funded placements and other kinds of work experience. You may choose to arrange your own placement but you may find that this is unpaid and so you may be eligible to apply for funding from the Social Sciences Employability Award scheme.

Social Sciences Employability Award scheme

In 2012 we set up a new and exciting award scheme. We know that students often arrange their own placements over the summer to gain relevant experience and to get an idea of what it is like to work in a particular sector or specific organisation. Often, these placements can be unpaid so we have set up the Social Sciences Employability Award intended to provide financial support to students who have organised their own unpaid summer placement of four weeks or more. This is a competitive scheme and applicants have to fulfil certain criteria such as show how the placement is relevant to career aspirations and linked to disciplinary degree specialism.

Employability modules

In Year 3 of your degree, you will have the opportunity to take SSAS 3001, ‘An Introduction to Teaching: The Ambassador Scheme in the Social Sciences’. This involves a placement in a local school or college. While it is particularly beneficial if you are thinking about a career in teaching, it can also be a very useful way to enhance your skills and work experience. The placement will give you plenty of evidence of how you have used your initiative, and developed your teamwork, interpersonal and time management skills.

As part of the Curriculum Innovation Project, you can also take a module on ‘Work and Employability in Theory and Practice’ which draws on disciplinary expertise and perspectives from across the University to explore a broad range of concepts and practices related to the world of work, working lives and work organisations. A key component of the module is the employability of students themselves and the module includes the opportunity to benefit from a work placement and integrate this in to the module’s assessment.

Enterprise opportunities

We provide Economic, Social and Political Sciences sponsorship for other employability related activities including the sponsorship of three Economic, Social and Political Sciences students to attend the SIFE World Cup in Washington in September 2012. SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), now renamed Enactus , is a student society which challenges students to create enterprises that are ethical, sustainable and improve people’s quality of life. You can also develop entrepreneurial skills through Fish on Toast , the student-led entrepreneurial society.

Studying abroad

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester which provides an opportunity to enhance your CV and demonstrate to future employers and postgraduate admissions officers that you are flexible, independent, have strong networking skills and can adapt to working in different cultural environments.

In Economic, Social and Political Sciences, we offer you much more than an education by encouraging you to think about the range of potential employment and postgraduate opportunities that exist and to gain experience that will be beneficial for your career intentions. We firmly believe that it is important for you to take control of your plans and decisions as you progress through your degree towards a successful future that extends beyond graduation.

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.
Kenny McCarthy , BSc Applied Social Sciences (Anthropology)

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