Students at a lecture

Career opportunities

With an emphasis on examining contemporary social issues and questions, as well as exploring the range of ways in which responses to those issues are and could be formed, the work that you undertake in your Social Policy degree makes strong connections with the work of a very wide range of employers and key professions. This means that social policy is a positive choice for students who are interested in enhancing their employment prospects through their choice of degree. Social Policy is also a flexible degree, enabling students either to specialise and so craft their degree to reflect their personal and developing interests, or to keep their degree broad-based, providing students with greater opportunities to change direction later in their careers if they wish.

In studying highly contemporary social issues and debates, the work of Social Policy degree students makes connections with and is firmly anchored in the current work of a range of agencies and professions. Our graduates have pursued careers in a wide range of areas, for example:

  • Voluntary Organisations and Social Enterprises
  • Advice Work and Law
  • Journalism and Think Tanks
  • Public Relations
  • Health Promotion
  • The Civil Service
  • Local Government
  • Leisure and Sports Management
  • Probation Work
  • Human Resource Management
  • Work with Children and Young People

The degree will also provide you with a good grounding for legal studies, teaching, work in developing countries, social research, and postgraduate study in a range of areas.

Read some of our graduate profiles

Careers guidance service

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Your essential careers guideCareers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Social Policy and employability

Experiences you can gain as a Social Policy student, through placements, internships, working experiences and volunteering, are an excellent way of enriching your CV so that it includes that all important 'experience' that employers so often look for. When interviewed for your first job, you will often find that employers have a keen interest in how far you have developed your appreciation of the connections between your academic subject and the work of their organisations - through experiences of placements, voluntary work, internships, work experience and beyond, Social Policy students are very well placed to respond with confidence and competence.

Opportunities to secure a career that is right for you, can be enhanced not only through experiences that are available to you on your Social Policy degree programme, but also through our specialist Careers Network.

Careers support and pathways

Careers advice, skills development and opportunities for work experience are available to Social Policy students through our University wide Careers Network and our specialist Careers Advisor.

Social Policy students are supported by our specialist Social Policy Careers Advisor in various ways, for example:

  • Careers advice and support built into each year of your programme
  • Careers surgeries are regularly held in our building
  • Specialist careers fairs
  • Talks from our Alumni and visiting professionals
  • Specialist online support services

Advice and support for social policy students is also available through our Careers Network service.

University wide Careers Network Services

Available to all social policy students, offering an extensive, well resourced service.

  • CV Clinics
  • Careers profiling
  • Work experience fairs
  • Skills workshops
  • Careers vacancy data base
  • Work experience data base
  • Online interactive careers Service

The University has a range of bursaries available which can enable you to take up low or unpaid work experiences. Visit our Careers Network Service for more information.

The Personal Skills Award

The University’s award winning employability programme, is supported by our Careers Network. This module is accredited on your official academic transcript and will provide you with the opportunity to broaden and develop your skills in preparation for your career. The Personal Skills Award will provide you with opportunities to undertake training in areas such as:

  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Project management
  • Introduction to journalism
  • Media and press writing skills
  • International communications

The Guild also offers a range of services to help students enhance their employability. Jobzone provides students with information about job fairs as well as a wide range of opportunities for students to gain part time work experience both within the University, for example as student ambassadors, as well as in many of wide range of agencies and organisations located in the City of Birmingham.

Professions and career pathways

  • Professions and career pathways which our student’s typically pursue include:
  • Graduate management training schemes in health, housing, police, think tanks or specialist agencies, the voluntary sector
  • Policy analyst, in voluntary organisations, local government, think tanks
  • Research work in political and agency settings
  • Legal work, for example through the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
  • Policing, probation, working with young offenders
  • Working with children and young people
  • Personnel and human resources
  • International development work

Some Social Policy graduates go on to undertake further professional training, for example in law, teaching, educational welfare, counselling, human resource management. Some of our graduates choose to go on to post-graduate studies, for example masters and doctoral degrees in a range of subject areas.