Insight into opportunities using social policy

Key facts

Social Policy graduates develop knowledge and skills that are attractive to wide number of graduate employers. How you choose to apply what you have learnt will dictate the paths that you take, for example you may choose to focus on a specific interest e.g. social exclusion or maybe using the research and analytical skills developed through your course. The information below will help you start thinking about options and show you ways to research further. To support this you may want to book an advice desk appointment to talk about your ideas in more detail.

What do Social Policy Graduates do?

Below you will find some examples of the types of opportunities graduates from your course have gone on to. This might give you some ideas about future careers. Social Policy graduates from the University of Birmingham (DLHE 2017) entered a variety of roles including: Sales Executive, Legal PA, Administration Officer, Prison Officer, Marketing Executive, Research Assistant/Property Manager and Risk Management Support Officer. Take time to think about your course, the topics you have covered, the skills you have developed, and the particular issues that have interested you. This will help you to think about how you might want to apply what you have learnt.

The common starting point for looking at options is to think what you can do with your subject. However approximately 70% of graduate recruiters don’t specify a degree subject, which makes it really important for you to understand your skills, strengths and interests (Prospects Planner is good for this).

Work experience and internships

Relevant work experience is very important and can really enhance your chances of getting into roles and training and it is also really important in testing your ideas and commitment to these careers. We can support you in finding opportunities and discussing ideas on how to get started, book an appointment with our internship officer, look for opportunities on our Internships webpages and apply for funding to support your plans through the Careers Network Bursary Scheme.

Working with people

Perhaps most obvious are roles linked to the issues and pathways identified in your course. Many graduates from Social Policy have pursued careers following their interests and passions. Examples of this include social work (and remember the varied opportunities to work with different groups), youth work, community work and development, drug and alcohol recovery support, work within the criminal justice system as PrisonPolice or Probation Officer and with organisations such as NACRO.

Working with Policy, Projects and Charities

While the jobs above will bring you into direct contact with people, you might be keener to look at other roles working in these areas that focus more on policy, research or supporting the activities in other ways. Graduates have found roles in local and central government, research and campaigning organisations as well as charities in jobs ranging from Local Government Officer, Policy Officer, Project Coordinator and Partnership Coordinator. These roles allow you follow your areas of interest and knowledge as well as using your skills in research and critical thinking. Graduates have also worked in fundraising, events management and charity work within charities such as the Children’s Society. Again this could provide a good blend of interest and skills if you are passionate about a particular issue.

Working in the classroom

Teaching is another popular career option for Social Policy graduates. As well as lecturing within universities (for which you will need a higher degree), teaching opportunities exist in primary, secondary and post 16 settings. You need to think about what and who you want to teach and it is very important that you gain the necessary work experience); there are Taster Programmes available via Teach First as well as more information available on the Government "get school experience" portal.

Further study

You will find that some of your options, for example Social Work or Teaching, require further study or you may wish to continue in learning because of your passion for a subject area and the desire for a new challenge. Social Policy graduates in 2017 chose further study options including: MA Public Relations, MSc Public Leadership, PGCE Computer Science and MA International Relations. Talk your ideas through with a careers adviser and look at for events such as Café Masters and Postgraduate Study Fairs held on campus. You can also find lots of information on finding a course, making applications, funding on our Considering Further Study Canvas course.

Graduate profiles

You can read about some of the career paths University of Birmingham Alumni have taken on the UoB website under ‘Alumni Profiles’ or use LinkedIn to search for graduates working in this sector.

Naila Begum - After completing my undergraduate degree, I successfully completed the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (GDLs) at the College of Law at the University, and found that the knowledge gained from studying Social Policy is very relevant to different areas of Law. As a member of the Pro-Bono group at the University of Birmingham, I have taken part in various activities which focus on social policy issues, for example, providing information to people about parental rights at the Birmingham Probation Office. 



Professional Services