With a degree in public administration and social policy you can end up influencing the major decisions that affect society

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Sandwich course placements, internships, vacation visits and work experience are offered by some government departments. These can be a useful way to gain relevant skills and try out working within the Civil Service.

Try to look for opportunities linked to your field of interest. If you would like to work in health service management, for example, approach local NHS authorities and trusts for work experience.

Any experience that involves supporting or helping members of the public is also useful. Many public sector, volunteering and charitable organisations offer opportunities to gain relevant experience and develop your skills. Consider helping with voluntary projects or getting involved in local charity or community work.

Some degree courses offer an optional work placement year to further develop your skills.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Public administration and social policy graduates are employed in management positions in the public sector or for private organisations.

Some go on to graduate management training schemes in health, housing, the police, think tanks or specialist agencies. Opportunities also occur in social work or other personal social services work, as well as in social and political research.

Typical employers include:

  • local or central government;
  • the Civil Service;
  • NHS authorities and trusts;
  • criminal justice system;
  • police authorities;
  • the voluntary sector;
  • further and higher education institutions;
  • market and social research organisations;
  • private sector business and management in areas such as HR, marketing, retail and banking.

Find information on employers in public services and administration, charity and voluntary work, social care and other job sectors.

Search for jobs in public services and administration.

Skills for your CV

Public administration and social policy courses teach a range of skills that are essential for a career in public service, policy or government. You will be able to research, interpret and evaluate data from social surveys and research publications, and also make the connection between social policy and the real world.

You also develop other skills that can be used in many careers including:

  • problem solving using a methodical and organised approach;
  • analytical skills;
  • sensitivity to the values and interests of others;
  • communication, both written and verbal;
  • teamwork;
  • the ability to handle numerical data;
  • proficiency in the use of information technology.

Further study

Public administration and social policy graduates go on to further professional and vocational training in areas such as teaching, law, housing management, health and social care services, advocacy and voluntary work. Further study is also possible in areas such as marketing, finance, IT and business.

Some graduates choose to specialise in an area that they were interested in during their undergraduate degree, such as housing or urban regeneration. Other areas of study include social diversity, criminal justice, youth and community work and politics.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in public administration.

What do public administration and social policy graduates do?

More than two thirds of public administration and social policy graduates are in employment within six months of graduation.

Just under a fifth go on to further study or combine study and work, either to specialise in a particular subject or to undertake further professional training in areas such as law, housing, teaching and finance.

Further study12.6
Working and studying5.1
Graduate destinations for public administration and social policy
Type of workPercentage
Childcare, healh and education work16.7
Legal, social and welfare14.4
Retail, catering and bar work13.8
Technicians and other professionals9.5
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.