What career paths might you follow?

What career paths might you follow?

The knowledge, skills and abilities that you will acquire through successfully completing an MA (Social Sciences) degree opens the door to a wide-range of exciting and fulfilling careers.

The careers open to you might directly take advantage of the "knowledge content" of your degree programme or they might, just as successfully, indirectly take advantage of it through the flexible and transferable skills that the University of Glasgow's MA (Social Sciences) degree programmes are particular good at developing.

There are abundant career paths in both the private and the public sectors open to Social Sciences students on graduating. In addition, many students continue into further study after graduating. The information below is designed to give you a taster of what opportunities are available.


Private sector

Private sector

Small businesses to multinational companies

The private sector of employment is simply massive and, as a consequence, so are the career opportunities it provides. Here are just a small number of the examples of the paths down which Social Science graduates regularly go when they leave us.

  • Media - A wide range of career opportunities are found in television, radio and newspapers. At the forefront of current affairs, the "media" recruits heavily from social scientists.
  • Advertising & marketing - Social scientists regularly take up careers in these areas after they graduate.
  • Financial services - Customer Service and IT Management are just two of the growing career opportunities in this sector.
  • Business management trainees - Most large companies have graduate management schemes and many Social Sciences graduates join these schemes with a view to "working their way up the company ladder".

Public sector

Public sector

Not-for-profit sector: charities, education, government and international organisations

The public sector of employment provides a huge range of opportunities. Listed below are a just a few of the types of organisations for whom social scientists work.

  • The Civil Service is responsible for delivering a wide range of services to the public and also for advising the Government on matters of public policy. The Scottish Executive also recruits social scientists.
  • Local Government - Local Authorities carry the responsibility for performing local services and functions and these need to be planned and managed.
  • International Organisations in the public sector include the European Union and the United Nations and offer the chance of being located abroad.
  • Charities, political and religious organizations, of which there are a huge range within this sector, covering every conceivable area or interest.
  • Education - many graduates of Social Sciences become Primary and Secondary teachers. Further and Higher Education also have a range of posts including lecturers, administrators or researchers in Further and Higher Education.

Further study

Further study

Professional qualifications, teaching, lecturing and research

Having graduated with your first degree, some career paths require further study for a higher degree. Some examples are listed below.

  • Teaching - to become a teacher in Primary or Secondary Education, you are normally required to complete a one-year Postgraduate course in Education after you graduate with your first degree.
  • Lecturing or researching in further or higher education institutions - if you are interested in lecturing or carrying out research you would normally engage with this, first of all, at the undergraduate level and then at the postgraduate level. The usual target is to acquire a PhD in the three years after graduation.
  • Professional and industry qualifications - Some career paths require you undertake specific courses before you enter them e.g. clinical, educational, occupational or forensic psychology and marketing. In these example areas, the industry-recognised professional body requires you to complete an accredited course and reach an accredited standard before you start.

Additional career information

Additional career information

Many of our Schools and Subjects have sections on their Web sites relating to career opportunities.

The University of Glasgow has an excellent Careers Service for its students.

If you are a student from outside the EU, why not consider working in Scotland after you graduate.  The UK and Scottish governments are keen to retain the most able international graduates who have studied here. For further infromation please see the UK Borders Agency Web site at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/poststudy/.

Still not sure what to do? Check out the College's Student Employability web pages with further advice on academic life, work life and personal life as a student and afterwards.