A degree in social policy gives you the knowledge and understanding to influence major decisions that affect the community around you

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

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.

Some government departments offer sandwich course placements, internships, vacation visits and work experience. These can be a useful way to gain relevant skills and try out working within the Civil Service. Some degrees offer an optional work placement year to further develop your skills and you'll be able to choose a role that suits your interests and career ambitions.

Any experience that involves supporting or helping members of the public or in local communities 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.

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

Typical employers

Many social policy graduates find employment in management positions. Within public sector organisations this can include:

  • NHS authorities and trusts
  • the criminal justice system (including the police)
  • local or central government
  • the Civil Service.

In the private sector you could find work within areas such as:

  • HR
  • marketing
  • retail
  • banking.

Opportunities also occur in charities and voluntary organisations, social work and other personal social services work, social and political research organisations and further and higher education institutions.

You could apply for a place on a graduate management training scheme in health, housing, the police, think tanks or specialist agencies.

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

Skills for your CV

Social policy courses teach a range of skills that are essential for a career in public service, policy or government. You'll look at the problems that societies face and policies and processes that can help citizens. As a result, you'll be able to research, interpret and evaluate data from social surveys and research publications, and make connections between social policy and the real world.

You also develop other skills that can be used in many careers. These include:

  • 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

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.

You could also delve deeper into social policy by specialising in an area that you were interested in during your 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, see social policy courses and search for postgraduate courses in social policy.

What do social policy graduates do?

The top three jobs held by social policy graduates include welfare and housing associate professionals (12%), protective service occupations (12%) and caring personal services (6%).

Further study7.4
Working and studying9.2
Graduate destinations for social policy
Type of workPercentage
Legal, social and welfare19.3
Business, HR and finance19.1
Clerical, secretarial and administrative13.2
Childcare, health and education11.4
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate Outcomes survey data from HESA.

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