Explore Social Sciences

Counselling students in a lecture

Social Sciences Degrees

Social Sciences subjects include Sociology, Criminology, Social Work, Professional Policing and Counselling & Psychotherapy. These subjects provide students with an academic understanding of society, the social world, crime and criminal justice. If you are naturally inquisitive, fascinated by society and have a strong desire to help people, either on a personal or a wider scale, a degree in a social sciences subject could be the perfect choice for you.

These degrees are taught via lectures, tutorials and seminars and are assessed largely by essays, exams, presentations and reports. Social sciences courses tend to be more academic and research-focused rather than practical, however, all our courses do offer the opportunity to undertake a placement. You will also benefit from opportunities to engage with professionals working in the field of your choice, whether that's through your placement or site visits, field trips, guest speaker slots and workshops. 

What can I do with a social sciences related degree?

A degree in a social sciences subject can broaden your career opportunities. The beauty of a social sciences degree is it can take you in so many directions and you can use your time on the course to decide which aspect of it you are most passionate about. 

Example career pathways of Social Sciences graduates include Youth Worker, Charity Officer, HR Professional, Housing Manager, Government Advisor Worker, Social Researcher, Probation Officer, Community Development Worker, Pastoral Care Worker, Policy Officer. Many people also use a degree in a Social Sciences subject to start their journey into professions such as Social Work, Teaching, Policing and Counselling.

Start your study journey

Want to find out more? Book your place at our next Open Day here: 

Explore our social sciences courses

BSc (Hons) Sociology

As a Sociology student, you will explore the impact of such events, both past and present, and how they can be the catalysts for major societal change. You will also study human connections and relationships, and how these connections, as well as social structures, such as social class, race and gender, impact upon behaviour.

You can study single honours Sociology, or study a joint honours degree with Criminology. 

Explore our Sociology course options: 

BSc (Hons) Sociology

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

We also offer foundation year options for these courses. Explore them here: 

BSc (Hons) Sociology with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Criminology

Criminology is concerned with what behaviour is defined as crime and who has the power to define what constitutes crime. Criminologists are also interested in the causes and prevention of deviant behaviour and how the criminal justice system can better respond when it occurs. The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has drawn attention (on a global scale) to the relationship between inequalities and criminal justice – relationships Criminology is ideally placed to answer. You can study single-honours Criminology here with us at Salford or you can study Criminology alongside: Psychology, Sociology, or Counselling.

Explore our Criminology course options: 

BSc (Hons) Criminology

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Counselling 

BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology

We also offer foundation year options for the following courses:

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Counselling with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

This course is a comprehensive preparation for a career in policing. The programme will help you develop an in-depth understanding of the role of a police officer. Alongside the development of operational and practical skills, you will critically examine the Criminal Justice System (CJS).

Throughout, you will have the chance to apply theory to practice with case studies and research projects. There will be simulation exercises based on policing scenarios which allow students to develop key interpersonal skills are a key part of the programme. In year 3 students will undertake a community placement.

There are a range of assessments that will allow students to demonstrate their use of key skills such as researching information, presentation and academic writing skills. Assessments such as policy briefings are linked to the sort of real-world task that an officer would undertake. 

Although studying this course does not guarantee entry to the police service, it is a recognised entry route to police constable and provides graduates with the skills to progress a career in policing or other areas linked to the criminal justice system.

Explore BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy

This course offers you the opportunity to graduate as a highly skilled professional counsellor, with many exciting and rewarding career paths open to you.  The course meets the training requirements for professional registration with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), and opens the progression route to individual BACP accreditation.

You will develop your competence in working with the person-centred counselling approach, and you will develop a wide range of professional skills, including communication, reflective practice and self-awareness, research skills, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). 

Explore BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy 

This course offers a foundation year, you can find out more here

BSc (Hons) Social Work

Our BSc (Hons) in Social Work provides cutting-edge approaches to teaching and learning. By engaging you in a critical and meaningful approach to practice, the course will provide you with the knowledge, values and skills needed to begin to recognise and address some of the most difficult social problems facing individuals, communities and societies today.

Our approach to social work education reflects the important connections that exist between individuals, families and communities. We are one of the largest providers of social work education in the UK and we are proud of our ability to offer students a broad and solid foundation for professional social work practice and value opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experience with academics, professionals and experts by experience.

Explore BSc (Hons) Social Work

We also offer an integrated practice course combing social work with learning disabilities nursing. Find out more: 

BSc (Hons) Learning Disabilities Nursing and Social Work (Integrated Practice) 

What Can We Offer You?


You will be taught by research-active staff who ensure course content reflects real world events and issues


You will have opportunities to tailor your learning to your own interests through a work placement, optional modules and independent research projects


You will benefit from our strong industry links with local government, social care providers, prisons, courts, charities, community development organisations and youth organisations.


The opportunity to study a module called ‘Inside-Out', which involves contact hours that are delivered inside HMP Forest Bank prison with ‘inside’ students


Some courses are accredited by their professional body which means you would be industry ready upon graduation


You'll have the opportunity to work in a real professional situation applying the skills you have learnt in your counselling course

Jessica - Recent Graduate

Inside of a prison

Jessica Green-Howard, a third-year student, who recently finished the first run of this module gave us an insight into the Inside-Out module.


I am on the Criminology and Sociology course. Salford seemed like a great university when I attended the Open Days and the programmes seemed well run. The experience has been really good. Lectures have been great and I have developed as a person.


I thought it would be interesting to go inside a prison and speak to people who are serving sentences. I wanted to form my own opinions about prisons from experiencing it myself and hearing the experiences of others.


We would head to Forest Bank Prison early so we had time to go through all the security, we made our way through the gates, across the yard and into the main corridor of the prison, and through to the education wing. In a classroom we sorted the chairs into a circle and waited for the ‘inside students’ to come in. Once everyone was there we began tasks and discussions.


I didn’t know what to expect, there’s not much you can compare it to, so I tried to not expect anything. I was very nervous at first, but many ‘inside students’ made effort to make me and others comfortable. They were a nice, normal bunch of guys.


We had different discussions and tasks each week, people had such a variety of opinions but no one ever got heated over disagreements and everybody would always let people speak up but they also weren’t afraid to disagree. Something interesting was always being discussed. The best moments were getting to know the inside guys: a really friendly group, with so many experiences and funny stories.


The assessments were challenging as I have not had to write reflectively before, but they were not completely overwhelming and we all received plenty of support. The presentation that was done in groups was especially enjoyable and done in a more fun way to present; like a game-show. Everyone had their own unique strengths so some students would be more comfortable with presenting. At the end of our tasks we were all proud of what we had managed to do individually. The best was when people got their results back, many inside students were so proud of their results, one said he couldn’t wait to ring his mum and tell her which made my day.


The lecturers were fantastic. Antony and Kelly are very approachable, down to earth people who connected really well to both sets of students inside and outside, and they were patient, supportive and explained everything really well. They kept everyone on track really well without it feeling rushed, even though everyone agreed we all wished we could have had more time together. I would highly recommend this amazing experience.

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Next Steps

If you have any further questions, our friendly team will be happy to answer them for you. You can contact us through email enquiries@salford.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)161 295 4545.