Why study Humanities and Social Sciences?

Humanities and Social Science degrees can be vastly different, but all have one thing in common: they're centered on human life. While Humanities subjects are mostly analytical or philosophical, Social Science subjects are more scientific and experimental.

3 reasons to study Humanities or Social Sciences

  1. Adaptable graduate – you’ll develop a huge variety of transferrable skills for many career paths, including research, evaluation, analytical and communication skills.
  2. Flexible degree options – there is greater module flexibility in both single and combined honors degrees, so you can customize your studies to your passions.
  3. Important for future societies – these subjects keep us connected to the human world in a digital age, bringing human judgement, creativity and an inquisitive mind.
What is Humanities and Social Sciences?

Encompassing a broad spectrum of fields, Humanities and Social Science subjects explore what it means to be human.

Humanities subjects question human life – how do we communicate effectively? How do we express ourselves? What makes each of us unique? This huge category of subjects can be split down into anything from Film Studies, Education and Languages, to Politics and Law.

Social Sciences focus on a more scientific approach to studying human relationships and society. This vast subject area can focus on our past, present or future, analyzing the world outside the limits of our individual experience. From Communication and Media Studies, Criminology and International Development, to Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, there are so many different avenues to explore within this field.

What can I expect from a Humanities or Social Science degree?

A degree in Humanities or the Social Sciences can open your world to a wide variety of learning and networking opportunities. Did you know that one third of all Fortune 500 CEOs have a Liberal Arts degree? (Forbes 2014)

While some degree subjects primarily consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials or workshops, other subjects also have more hands-on experiences:

  • Education students gain practical experience in teaching placements at schools
  • Law students take part in simulated court experiences, arguing cases in a moot court
  • Media students could get the chance to work in studios to meet industry briefs
  • Psychology students experience practical learning in specialist cognitive labs
  • Sociology students collect and analyze data in practical exercises at the university
What skills will I develop?

The great thing about a degree in this broad subject area is that you’ll develop a huge variety of skills. These skills will differ from subject-to-subject, but could include:

  • research
  • analytical thinking
  • creative design
  • teamwork
  • critical evaluation
  • communication
  • self-motivation
  • presentation
  • debating
  • problem-solving
What next after graduation?

The skills that you’ll develop are applicable to a broad range of sectors. If you follow the path of your degree program directly, you could become a:

  • Criminologist
  • Teacher or Lecturer
  • Lawyer
  • Government Official
  • Psychologist
  • Film Maker

A Humanities or Social Sciences degree can also open the door to careers that you hadn’t considered! Your new skills could enable you to apply to the business sector or become a:

  • Human Relations Manager
  • Journalist
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Therapist
  • Solicitor
  • Researcher
  • Marketing Executive
  • English as a Foreign Language Teacher
  • NGO/Charity/International Aid Worker
  • Policy Manager
  • Investment Consultant
  • Social Worker
  • Government Relations Advisor
  • Translator or Interpreter

Which subject area is right for you?

You can study a variety of disciplines within the field of Humanities and Social Sciences. Find out which field is right for you.

Anthropology delves into theoretical debates on current issues, while looking at human evolution and biological diversity. Explore the behaviors of humankind from the past and in the present, acknowledging the diversity of societies and beliefs across the world.

Did you know? Many global companies hire Anthropology graduates for roles that you wouldn't necessarily associate with the subject. An example of this is Google. This multi-billion dollar international company employs Anthropologists to interpret its users' internet search patterns.

Anthropology

The media is at the center of human life – from the way we communicate to the governing of countries. Communication and Media Studies helps us to understand human communication and behavior by examining the cultural impact and importance of media.

Did you know? Media is a top subject for 'graduate schemes' – training programmes run by employers that enable you to earn money as you gain experience and build important skills. Top global companies that offer such schemes for Media graduates in the UK include Virgin Media, Sky and the BBC.

How university societies helped me find my passion

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Find out how Elvira, from Indonesia, found her passion and career by joining societies at Newcastle University and the tips she wants to share with you.

Read more >

Crime is a global issue – but in understanding how it relates to different parts of society, there are ways to prevent and control the problem. Criminologists examine crime in a scientific manner, studying the causes, control, consequences and prevention of criminal conduct.

Did you know? University of Gloucestershire Criminology undergraduates have the opportunity to work – and investigate – with the local police. The subject area could even take you to Belfast to explore restorative justice, or to Canada to learn about a different criminal justice system entirely!

Criminology

Discover how different types of people learn and develop in modern society, examining a range of learning approaches and new perspectives. TESOL is a popular degree program in the field of education for international students – why not help shape the next generation’s future?

Did you know? Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degrees are incredibly popular with international students. The University of Stirling's programme is of particular high demand, offering a unique TESOL Placement Programme in either Brazil, Germany or Hungary.

Student Testimonial

"A high standard of teaching was most the important thing for me when I first decided to study at INTO, and the teachers definitely deliver that. They're really friendly and easy to approach whenever you have a question."

KeyongDuck from South Korea

Completed Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences at INTO University of Stirling

Film is a global media consumed by millions of people each year, often with underlying social, cultural and political messages. Film Studies investigates the art of film-making, assessing how different genres in cinema can captivate, comfort, teach and influence the world.

Did you know? Film Studies and Film Production courses often have guest lectures. The University of Gloucestershire's variety of guest speakers include art and visual effects directors, colorists and actors who have worked on cinematic hits such as Harry Potter, The Walking Dead and Band of Brothers. At Hofstra University, guest lecturers from hit Broadway and TV productions in New York City visit Film Studies and Production classes!

Student Testimonial

"My lecturers at university were always very supportive and would very willingly offer help whenever I needed to speak to them, regardless of how complicated or simple the question was. I remain very appreciative of that."

Yi Lin from Malaysia

Completed International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Sciences at INTO Queen's University Belfast

International Development looks at the challenges of global development and how people are countering these issues. You'll delve into the economic, social and political aspects of the developing world, exploring conflict, humanitarian aid, globalization and poverty.

Did you know? International Development is a very interdisciplinary subject. The University of East Anglia has more than 20 undergraduate degree combinations, pairing International Development with subjects such as Politics and Economics, or offering a valuable overseas placement or a year abroad.

Alumni stories: winning awards and landing my dream job

Blog image
Alexa shares her alumni experience since graduating from university and moving back home to work for non-governmental organisations in Hong Kong.

Read more >

Prepare for a career as a legal professional, learning about the fundamental elements of law and how to argue – and win – a case in court. As there are so many different aspects of law to specialize in, a Law degree allows you to explore a number of areas until you find the right one for you.

Did you know? Law was once a male-dominated industry. In fact, the first woman to practice as a barrister in England was as recent as 1922! In 2017, however, the number of women who accepted a place to study Law at a UK university was more than double the number of men, according to UCAS.

Finding a work–life balance while studying law

Blog image
It can be difficult to get a work-life balance at university but Umayma, a University of East Anglia Law graduate, has some tips to help you get it right!

Read more >

Politicians have the power to change society for the better. Throughout a degree in Politics, you’ll assess current issues in the governance of countries while examining public policy, international relations and political thought, eventually specializing in an area of political importance.

Did you know? You can study Politics just three miles from The Pentagon and 20 miles from the White House in Washington, DC, at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Mason students have even participated in the White House Internship Program before!

Student Testimonial

"I think critical thinking is an important skill for anyone to learn but particularly students at university. The classes give you the freedom to develop independent thoughts, explore your own ideas and tailor them to your assignments."

Juan from Venezuela

Completed International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences at INTO University of Stirling

Psychology is important for understanding the human brain, teaching us why people behave in certain ways and experience certain emotions. Discover the science of behavior and mind, exploring the key biological, cognitive, clinical, developmental and social areas of the field.

Did you know? There are many, many different branches of Psychology to specialize in – varying from Clinical, Educational and Cognitive, to Social, Developmental and Experimental. The great thing about a Psychology degree is that it will cover many different areas to help you choose your specialism!

Student Testimonial

"My Applied Psychology degree is a mix of practical and theory, and provides lots of opportunity to apply my knowledge. Thanks to my International Foundation, I felt fully prepared and I’d already made friends with other students before starting my degree."

Edith from Hong Kong

Completed International Foundation in Humanities, Law and Social Science at INTO University of Exeter

Sociology helps us to understand global change through theory, research and knowledge. A Sociology degree enables you to study the function and development of contemporary human society, looking at human behavior, social relationships and societal inequalities.

Did you know? Famous Sociology graduates include:

  • 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martin Lurther King, Jr.
  • Lawyer, Writer and US First Lady, Michelle Obama
  • Former United States President, Ronald Reagan
  • 1946 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Emily Greene Balch
Sociology

Anthropology delves into theoretical debates on current issues, while looking at human evolution and biological diversity. Explore the behaviors of humankind from the past and in the present, acknowledging the diversity of societies and beliefs across the world.

Did you know? Many global companies hire Anthropology graduates for roles that you wouldn't necessarily associate with the subject. An example of this is Google. This multi-billion dollar international company employs Anthropologists to interpret its users' internet search patterns.

Anthropology

The media is at the center of human life – from the way we communicate to the governing of countries. Communication and Media Studies helps us to understand human communication and behavior by examining the cultural impact and importance of media.

Did you know? Media is a top subject for 'graduate schemes' – training programmes run by employers that enable you to earn money as you gain experience and build important skills. Top global companies that offer such schemes for Media graduates in the UK include Virgin Media, Sky and the BBC.

How university societies helped me find my passion

Blog image
Find out how Elvira, from Indonesia, found her passion and career by joining societies at Newcastle University and the tips she wants to share with you.

Read more >

Crime is a global issue – but in understanding how it relates to different parts of society, there are ways to prevent and control the problem. Criminologists examine crime in a scientific manner, studying the causes, control, consequences and prevention of criminal conduct.

Did you know? University of Gloucestershire Criminology undergraduates have the opportunity to work – and investigate – with the local police. The subject area could even take you to Belfast to explore restorative justice, or to Canada to learn about a different criminal justice system entirely!

Criminology

Discover how different types of people learn and develop in modern society, examining a range of learning approaches and new perspectives. TESOL is a popular degree program in the field of education for international students – why not help shape the next generation’s future?

Did you know? Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degrees are incredibly popular with international students. The University of Stirling's programme is of particular high demand, offering a unique TESOL Placement Programme in either Brazil, Germany or Hungary.

Student Testimonial

"A high standard of teaching was most the important thing for me when I first decided to study at INTO, and the teachers definitely deliver that. They're really friendly and easy to approach whenever you have a question."

KeyongDuck from South Korea

Completed Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences at INTO University of Stirling

Film is a global media consumed by millions of people each year, often with underlying social, cultural and political messages. Film Studies investigates the art of film-making, assessing how different genres in cinema can captivate, comfort, teach and influence the world.

Did you know? Film Studies and Film Production courses often have guest lectures. The University of Gloucestershire's variety of guest speakers include art and visual effects directors, colorists and actors who have worked on cinematic hits such as Harry Potter, The Walking Dead and Band of Brothers. At Hofstra University, guest lecturers from hit Broadway and TV productions in New York City visit Film Studies and Production classes!

Student Testimonial

"My lecturers at university were always very supportive and would very willingly offer help whenever I needed to speak to them, regardless of how complicated or simple the question was. I remain very appreciative of that."

Yi Lin from Malaysia

Completed International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Sciences at INTO Queen's University Belfast

International Development looks at the challenges of global development and how people are countering these issues. You'll delve into the economic, social and political aspects of the developing world, exploring conflict, humanitarian aid, globalization and poverty.

Did you know? International Development is a very interdisciplinary subject. The University of East Anglia has more than 20 undergraduate degree combinations, pairing International Development with subjects such as Politics and Economics, or offering a valuable overseas placement or a year abroad.

Alumni stories: winning awards and landing my dream job

Blog image
Alexa shares her alumni experience since graduating from university and moving back home to work for non-governmental organisations in Hong Kong.

Read more >

Prepare for a career as a legal professional, learning about the fundamental elements of law and how to argue – and win – a case in court. As there are so many different aspects of law to specialize in, a Law degree allows you to explore a number of areas until you find the right one for you.

Did you know? Law was once a male-dominated industry. In fact, the first woman to practice as a barrister in England was as recent as 1922! In 2017, however, the number of women who accepted a place to study Law at a UK university was more than double the number of men, according to UCAS.

Finding a work–life balance while studying law

Blog image
It can be difficult to get a work-life balance at university but Umayma, a University of East Anglia Law graduate, has some tips to help you get it right!

Read more >

Politicians have the power to change society for the better. Throughout a degree in Politics, you’ll assess current issues in the governance of countries while examining public policy, international relations and political thought, eventually specializing in an area of political importance.

Did you know? You can study Politics just three miles from The Pentagon and 20 miles from the White House in Washington, DC, at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Mason students have even participated in the White House Internship Program before!

Student Testimonial

"I think critical thinking is an important skill for anyone to learn but particularly students at university. The classes give you the freedom to develop independent thoughts, explore your own ideas and tailor them to your assignments."

Juan from Venezuela

Completed International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences at INTO University of Stirling

Psychology is important for understanding the human brain, teaching us why people behave in certain ways and experience certain emotions. Discover the science of behavior and mind, exploring the key biological, cognitive, clinical, developmental and social areas of the field.

Did you know? There are many, many different branches of Psychology to specialize in – varying from Clinical, Educational and Cognitive, to Social, Developmental and Experimental. The great thing about a Psychology degree is that it will cover many different areas to help you choose your specialism!

Student Testimonial

"My Applied Psychology degree is a mix of practical and theory, and provides lots of opportunity to apply my knowledge. Thanks to my International Foundation, I felt fully prepared and I’d already made friends with other students before starting my degree."

Edith from Hong Kong

Completed International Foundation in Humanities, Law and Social Science at INTO University of Exeter

Sociology helps us to understand global change through theory, research and knowledge. A Sociology degree enables you to study the function and development of contemporary human society, looking at human behavior, social relationships and societal inequalities.

Did you know? Famous Sociology graduates include:

  • 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martin Lurther King, Jr.
  • Lawyer, Writer and US First Lady, Michelle Obama
  • Former United States President, Ronald Reagan
  • 1946 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Emily Greene Balch
Sociology

The following INTO university partners all offer programs which offer progression to a degree in this subject area:

Helping you to decide

Whatever type of career you're interested in, INTO can help you find the right course. Just get in touch with our enrolment counsellors who will give you the advice and support you need to start your studies. Or, if you've already submitted an enquiry or applied, simply reply to the latest email from your adviser.