Flexible careers

Flexible Careers - Photo (cc) http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcookfisher/5671298974/

Watch the video

Degrees to support flexibility

For some students, our degree programmes offer the skills and flexibility to be open to a wide range of jobs and career options beyond the social science domain.

We also have a relatively high proportion of students who:

  • return to study, mid-career, to change direction (our undergraduate and social work programmes),
  • look to develop more specialist knowledge (our postgraduate and research programmes), or
  • wish to progress to the next level in their public-sector or non-profit organisation (our online professional development postgraduate Certificate, Masters and stand-alone short courses).

Relevance of our degrees

Watch the video above to discover how our programmes develop skills relevant beyond the public sector.

Our programmes develop your critical and analytical skills which can be of use in any career where you need to process information, come to your own conclusions and present an argument.

In addition, because you will have studied an inter-disciplinary subject which looks at society and the people in it, you will have a wealth of background knowledge in any role involving or impacting upon people.

Profile: Clair

Clair, BA Applied Social Science

Clair reflects here on her time at York as a mature student on the BA Applied Social Science course, our most flexible programme.


Most worthwhile of experiences

My time at the University of York has been both challenging and rewarding. As a mature student with family commitments it sometimes felt like a long and arduous path but it has ultimately proved to the most worthwhile of experiences. The university life of a mature student probably differs significantly from that of those leaving home for the first time, but it can be good fun too. I made a great group of friends that I hope to keep in touch with and we enjoyed our fair share of gatherings in the student bar! Having only just graduated I am yet to discover what the future holds but I am feeling optimistic armed with the skills and confidence I have gained over the past three years. 

Open and flexible

As I did not have a definite career pathway in mind when I embarked upon higher education I decided to keep my degree as open and flexible as possible, opting for the BA in Applied Social Science.  This degree pathway allowed me to develop a good grounding in the social science disciplines before I made module choices that suited my growing interests. This allowed me to structure my degree around my emerging preferences and as such each of the modules I undertook felt relevant and absorbing.

Real experts, passionate about their subject

This was further aided by the fact that the quality of teaching was excellent with many of the lecturers being real experts in their field and obviously passionate about their subject.

Practical and transferable skills

Beyond the wealth of knowledge that I have gained over my time at university I have also acquired many personal skills that I will be able to take with me into whichever route I undertake next. I have learnt to:

  • think and write critically
  • I have gained the confidence to speak and present in public
  • to be a team player 
  • to organise myself and my workload to meet deadlines.

A degree in the social sciences teaches you to look at the world through different eyes and I know I will never view society in the same light again.

Depth of understanding and skills

Before I started my degree I knew I wanted to work in a profession that in some way made a difference to people’s lives. Back then I had only the desire, now I feel I also have a depth of understanding and skills and I am looking forward to putting them into practice. I would recommend the University of York to anyone young or 'more mature'; it is an excellent academic institution in a beautiful historic city where three years will fly by!‌

End quote