Placements provide students with the opportunity to spend a longer block of time with an agency or organisation, and there are a range of interesting opportunities available. In addition to a dedicated Careers Advisor, we also have a specialist Internship Officer located in the School of Social Policy, who works with and facilitates students in securing placement and internship opportunities. In addition to structured inputs into the programme our Careers and Internship officers have an active relationship with our student Social Policy Society, arranging events, workshops and talks in collaboration with our students. Both placements and internships can provide you with a real life insight into the world of employment and how this connects to your academic studies.
Graduate Internship Case Study: Amy Davenport, Health Exchange (2014)
Volunteering is a fantastic way to demonstrate your commitment to civic engagement, develop your employability skills, gain crucial work experience, and meet new people. We actively encourage our students to gain volunteering experiences, both through our modules as well as our links to the Student Volunteering Service, who provide our students with access to a range of experiences both in the UK and abroad.
With an emphasis on examining contemporary social issues and questions your Social Policy degree makes strong connections with the work of a very wide range of employers and key 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
- Legal Profession
- Working in Developing Countries
- Social Research
- Postgraduate Study
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 Careers 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.
We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline, all of which can be transferred into your studies.
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.
Graduate Internship case study: Amy Davenport, Health Exchange
Amy Davenport, BA Social Policy (2013) "Overall, I feel that my internship has served me well and has given me a lot of confidence and a better skill set for my career. My view on social enterprises has changed enormously, as I now have a new understanding of its fast-paced nature and the importance it has in delivering to communities that may find it difficult to get help and support from other, more traditional access points. Looking beyond my internship, I now find myself looking for what social enterprises there are and what opportunities they have."
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.
University wide Careers Network
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 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.
Our Social Policy degree programmes are broad ranging and this is reflected in the range of professional career pathways open to Social Policy students upon graduation. 95% of our graduates go on to work, or undertake further study after graduation (KIS 2013).
Richard took the single honours social policy degree. He decided to study social policy as it allowed him to study a wide range of subjects and issues. Over the course of his studies, Richard enjoyed the criminal justice and diversity modules. Read more....
I found the Social Policy Department to be very supportive; personal tutors prioritise the welfare of students and ensure that they are on task with their academic work. I particularly enjoyed the Crime and Justice Modules as they provided me with really good insights into the way that public issues can influence the way that the law develops. Read more....
I chose to study at the University of Birmingham because of its international prestige and excellent reputation in both academic research and teaching. The successful completion of an Access to Higher Education diploma enabled me to join this dynamic and vibrant university as a mature student.
Throughout my degree programme, my expectations were fulfilled in every single respect: my subjects were intellectually interesting and challenging; my lecturers provided inspiration and support and comprehensive welfare and social life programs were available from Student Services. A degree in Political Science and Social Policy has enabled me to gain a variety of valuable skills. These include verbal and written communication skills, research and analytical skills, project management, team working, IT skills in research software including NVIVO and SPSS, and the creation of wikis and the use of other social media such as facebook and twitter.
Whilst studying at the University, I have researched intensively into the Third Sector and my voluntary work at Birmingham Children's Hospital has complemented and informed my research in this area. I have worked closely with consultants and nurses at the Dermatology Department and have chaired an eczema support group since 2009. I successfully completed my degree in July 2012 and obtained a high 2:1 and a 1st with my thesis. Overall, my degree has provided me with a really solid foundation for a career in the public or third sector.