Careers and employability

Our degree programmes connect you with real-world experiences and knowledge, and generate opportunities for you to understand cutting-edge developments in society.

Sociological Studies students at graduation 2019

Your skills development

We are committed to developing the employability skills of our students and we embed these in our curriculum from level one onwards. These skills include team working, project planning, presentation skills and social and cultural awareness. Real-life case studies are also incorporated into our teaching. Throughout your course, you will develop:

  • Organisational skills (independent working, workload management, time management)
  • Communication skills (written communication: producing essays, reports, research summaries and research proposals. Verbal communication: oral presentations, contributing to group discussions, team working)
  • Numeracy and IT skills (computer literacy, information literacy, data analysis)
  • Research skills (qualitative research methods, quantitative research methods, research ethics)
  • Intellectual skills (critical thinking, developing a reasoned argument, problem-solving)
  • Awareness and attitude to work (cultural and political awareness, awareness of work, employment and business, personal reflection and evaluation)
  • Sociological Studies specific skills (thinking sociologically, applying sociological knowledge to the ‘real world’, social responsibility).

Your support

Student experience manager speaking with student

Our Student Experience Manager provides a contact point for student engagement within the department and can offer advice on getting the most out of your student experience. You can also speak to the Student Experience Manager if you are experiencing personal difficulties or would like to discuss the sources of support that may be available to you.

Careers-focused modules

For Sociology degree programmes

Sociology students have the chance to study a module called Sociology in Practice, which is based on carrying out research in an organisation so you can apply your academic research skills in a professional environment.


I would recommend the Sociology in Practice module to anyone. I'd previously spent a lot of time doing essays, but doing research as part of this module helped me to realise my potential and how the skills taught in the classroom can be used in the real world.

Samanta Kleine

Sociological Studies graduate


You also study a module exploring the value of sociology, so you can reflect on the knowledge and skills you have gained during your degree.

SCS3000 The Value of Sociology

This level 3 module builds on the knowledge and skills you have learned at levels one and two, giving you the opportunity to reflect on both the value of sociology as a discipline and the value of your degree programme overall. You will develop enterprise skills within the context of sociology and will enhance your understanding of the interconnection between sociology, the skills you have developed and their application in the wider world.

For the BA Digital Media and Society

The BA Digital Media and Society offers an optional work placement in the final year of your degree, where you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your skills and employability through hands-on experience of the workplace.

Members of our staff team and the University’s Careers Service have strong links with organisations across Sheffield and in the broader region. You could find yourself working in a digital media industry or in a digital communications department of a museum, local authority, charitable organisation or local enterprise. If you choose to take on a work placement you will be fully supported by us in setting up the right work placement for you.

Our students have opportunities to gain personalised support with their career plans and to receive tailored advice about placements and other employability opportunities. We support our students through both taught classes and one to one sessions, and encourage them to take advantage of these opportunities. The Department’s ‘Enhancing Your Student Experience’ handbook is provided to all new students and it details the support options which we offer.


Enhance your student experience

We believe that a university degree is more than just studying your chosen subject. We also want you to be able to develop your transferable skills, and we offer you the opportunity to enhance your CV by participating in a range of extra-curricular activities that will be both personally fulfilling and attractive to potential employers.

Take a look at some of the opportunities available to you as a Sheffield student.

Study Abroad and Erasmus

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad programme gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons globally. You have the chance to study at a university in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore or the USA as part of your undergraduate degree studies without extending the length of your course.

You will receive full academic recognition for the time you spend studying abroad and in addition, you won’t be asked to pay any tuition fees to your host institution – you will simply pay applicable tuition fees to Sheffield.

Applying

If you think you will be interested in the Study Abroad scheme, you should speak to the Department’s Study Abroad Advisor, Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, as soon as possible in semester one of your first year.

If you are on a three-year degree, you will apply in your first year and spend your second year abroad.

Find out more about Study Abroad

Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is a great opportunity to spend between three and 12 months in another European country, and have it count towards your degree.

  • If you’re a University of Sheffield undergraduate or postgraduate, you could choose to spend part of your course studying, working or teaching in Europe.
  • If you’re a student from a European country outside of the UK, you may be able to spend part of your degree at the University of Sheffield.

Students are not expected to know the native language of their European host country to join the Erasmus+ scheme, as all our link universities offer several courses in English.

The Department of Sociological Studies currently has links with the following institutions for student exchanges for 2019-2020:

Applying

All students in the department who are interested in Erasmus+ should contact the Department’s Study Abroad Adviser, Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, as early as possible in their first year. There is no central application process for Erasmus+. As the exchange period constitutes a part of your degree, your departmental Study Abroad Adviser will inform you of the choices on offer and will invite applications.

Find out more about Erasmus+

Global Opportunities in the Social Sciences (GLOSS)

GLOSS provides undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Social Sciences with a pioneering range of international opportunities. You can engage with international policy, pursue international research and take action in the field of international development.

GLOSS Ziyu Huang speaks to camera about her experience.

By participating in the GLOSS scheme, you will also be equipped with more skills and real global experience which will be very useful for your future career. Not every university has such a scheme, so we definitely have to seize the opportunity.

Ziyu Huang

Sociological Studies graduate

Find out more about GLOSS

Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

We offer our undergraduate students who are not in their first or final year of study an opportunity to participate in the SURE scheme. SURE offers The University of Sheffield's undergraduate students a chance to become directly involved in the research activity of the university, take part in 'real-life' research projects in subject areas that are of special interest and experience what it's like to work in partnership with academic staff or collaboratively in a research group.

SURE student Asatu Getaweh presents her research

Apart from enhancing my research skills, I gained some valuable skills about networking. Another invaluable experience was working with an academic. I had never worked with an academic on any projects prior to SURE, so for me it was a great preparation for my dissertation. My advice would be don’t contemplate, just give it a go!

Asatu Getaweh

Sociological Studies graduate

Find out more about SURE


Your future

Our recent graduates work in journalism, digital and social media, marketing, human resources, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local government and health services. Others have forged careers as teachers, police officers, social workers and postgraduate researchers. We are committed to supporting our students to achieve their ambitions through our teaching, careers support and access to internships, work and placement opportunities beyond the lecture theatre.

When you graduate, you will:

  • Have a 'sociological studies imagination': be able to think imaginatively as a social scientist, with an in-depth understanding of the social world;
  • Have a wide range of transferable skills and be able to apply them to your chosen path;
  • Understand the social world, and engage with it purposefully and constructively;
  • Have had the opportunity to get involved in a huge variety of volunteering activities.

The skills you learn in Sociological Studies enable you to understand the world around you. You will learn about qualitative and quantitative research methods and as a result, you will develop your research skills, which are sought after in any career environment. Other valuable skills you will develop include communication, interpersonal, analytical and leadership skills, along with a knowledge of statistics and a cross-cultural understanding.

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying in the Department of Sociological Studies? Come and see us at one of our forthcoming open days.

Book your place