MSc Social Research Methods
Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a sociology degree and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.
We encourage you to:
  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

Your studies will provide a broad range of skills of value to employers, including:
  • increased awareness of developments within society’s organisations and structures through multi-discipline events/modules, work-based learning and interactions with academics and professionals
  • consideration and sensitivity to complex social situations
  • development of critical thinking and an understanding of cross-cultural issues
  • problem-solving and flexibility
  • emotional intelligence
  • written and verbal communication through report writing and presenting
  • teamwork and leadership skills through group projects
  • planning and project management through independent research tasks
  • researching, analysing and evaluating data through seminar work and independent assignments
  • demonstration of different research methods and corresponding theory
  • time management through juggling different module assessment requirements and work-based learning alongside studies.

Career options

Sociology is very much concerned with the workings of society and the effects of political, social and economic aspects on the world. The pathways you could take as a sociologist therefore, stretch across the public and private sector, including education, welfare, marketing and PR, social research, local and central government, the voluntary sector and law.
The course itself examines numerous contemporary issues that impact on wider society, such as health and well being, media, sustainability, tourism, gender and sexuality, global development, work and employment, culture and deviance. With these topics in mind, it is important to remember that the skills you will develop will equip you with many desirable qualities that employers are looking for; one key feature a sociologist can boast is a multi-disciplinary approach that can lend itself to many settings. This flexibility, coupled with a diverse understanding of people, could lead you to a fulfilling career where you contribute to making a difference.
Researching your career options
Given the diversity of career options open to sociology graduates, it is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future.
Take a look at some of these useful websites for inspiration:
Employment opportunities
Below is a snapshot of what some University of Plymouth sociology graduates told us they were doing six months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as stepping-stones to professional posts by providing relevant workplace experience.
  • Case Worker
  • Childrens Safeguarding Support Officer
  • Community Mental Health Advocate
  • Family Support Worker
  • Lead Delivery Consultant
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Postgraduate Course Coordinator
  • Prevention and Engagement Officer
  • Research Consultant
  • Restorative Justice and Family Practitioner
  • Trainee Youth Support Worker
  • Advocacy West Wales
  • Bournemouth Churches Housing Association
  • Bromley Council Children's Safeguarding and Housing
  • Cornwall Housing
  • Devon County Council
  • DYS Space
  • HM Prison Service
  • Shekinah, Make Amends
*Data is from the Graduate Outcomes Surveys covering the three years of 2018/19 – 2020/21. Graduates were surveyed 15 months after graduating. Data displayed is for UK-domiciled, first degree, full-time graduates who are working, studying or looking for work.

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by sociology graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options that could be of interest to sociology graduates:
You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a careers consultant about your particular situation.
Some useful websites to help you find a suitable postgraduate programme.
It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni – find out your funding options.

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access 24/7 online resources.
There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.
Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:
  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more.
Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn alumni’s tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest. 
  • search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • select ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location
For more information about the alumni tool select the LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, select the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops

Other advice and guidance

Gaining work experience
Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out particular career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career. 
You have plenty of options open to you. You could work part-time around your studies, undertake volunteering or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.
The University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.
Clubs and societies
Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion. 
You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to law or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests. 
Tutor and academic support
Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.
Student Hub

Where could your degree subject take you?

Architecture and built environment
Biological sciences
Business, economics, management, marketing, accounting and finance, and maritime and logistics
Creative arts: art, illustration and photography
Design: interior/product and furniture design, graphic design and game arts/digital design
Earth, geography and environment
Education and teaching
Hospitality, tourism and events management
Humanities: anthropology, art history, English and history
Law, criminology and policing
Mathematical sciences
Media and filmmaking
Medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences
Nursing, midwifery and allied health professions
Performing arts: acting, drama and musical theatre
Sociology, international relations and politics