Highfield / Highfield - Social Sciences


Our criminology programmes will develop key skills in analysing and researching criminal behaviour, crime control strategies, victimology, media, society and popular culture.

Our BSc Criminology will enable you to analyse the changing nature of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system.

You will be given the skills to analyse the complexities of crime and the criminal justice system, and take a fascinating journey through psychological investigations into human behaviour in our BSc Criminology and Psychology (Accredited by the British Psychological Society).

Our innovative BSc Social Policy and Criminology allows you to combine an interest in social welfare and policy with a more specialised focus on crime and criminal justice. Whilst the BSc Sociology and Criminology will discover sociological approaches to social problems.


Now, more than ever, we must understand how money markets work at a global and local level. Economists at Southampton examine aspects of the complex financial transactions that control our lives.

The BSc Economics programme gives you an in-depth understanding of economic theory and specialist knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

BSc Accounting and Economics will give you an in-depth knowledge of key topics in economics and the main concepts of accounting.

Our BSc Economics and Actuarial Science is the only degree in the UK to combine these two topics. The degree is accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and offers up to six exemptions from core principles exams.

OurBSc Economics and Finance combines the study of economics with analysing financial markets and institutions. You could gain skills and knowledge to pursue a finance or economics career.

Our BSc Economics and Management Sciences will help you to understand and analyse the workings of global economies. It combines economic analysis with a range of management modules from Southampton Business School.

Our integrated masters MEcon Economics is our four year degree that will help you develop an in-depth understanding of economic theory and give you the conceptual, analytical and research skills to become a professional economist.

Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations at Southampton explores the theories, systems and policies behind key world issues including migration, human rights and democracy.

Our BSc Politics and International Relations programme provides a comprehensive grounding in global politics, political theory and comparative politics.

The core of our BSc International Relations is global politics and the global political economy.

While similar in structure to the BSc Politics and International Relations, our BSc Politics also offers modules on Democracy and the Modern State, and Quantitative Methods.

Our BSc Politics and Economics provides a thorough grounding in politics and economics while offering flexibility to develop your interests in both fields.

We also offer the Politics and International relations programme with a variety of humanities disciplines including: BA Modern History and Politics; BA Philosophy and Politics; BA Politics & French; BA Politics & German; BA Politics & Spanish (or Portuguese) and Latin American Studies.

Sociology and Social Policy

Our sociologists, criminologists and academics in social policy explore topical areas such as crime, education, work and social inequality. You will learn directly from specialists about these fascinating subjects.

Are you fascinated by social change and how it might be brought about? Do you want to play a part in this process by developing an expertise on how social institutions (governments, NGOs) seek to advance human welfare at national and global level? Our degrees in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton provide you with a big step towards this goal.

The course focuses on social institutions, social inequalities and social transformations. It allows students to explore how inequalities of power within society shape social outcomes and what steps might be taken to transform this situation. With a range of highly accessible modules, our degrees prepare graduates for a career in a range of sectors, from NGOs to government to teaching. You will leave Southampton as a highly skilled social scientist with an acute awareness of national and global social issues and how they might be addressed.

Population and Geography

Our BSc Population and Geography is an innovative interdisciplinary programme based in a leading centre of demography. Our friendly, open atmosphere is highly praised by past students.

Our BSc Population and Geography is a unique specialisation which will expand your career prospects, and study abroad opportunities are available in Finland, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

The programme will give you an excellent grounding in the key concepts of population and human geography, enabling you to understand why the world is as it is today and the forces that are reshaping populations and societies in the 21st century. It will develop your knowledge of population policies and enable you to study specific global issues and regions in depth. You will apply what you have learned on an international field trip, where you will observe some of the issues first hand.

Social Sciences at Southampton

The Murray Building is predominantly where the Social Sciences are taught.

Social Sciences
Social Sciences bring together a unique range of disciplines with a commitment to tackling the world’s biggest challenges through interdisciplinary research. Subject divisions include: 

  • Ageing/Gerontology
  • ‚ÄčEconomics
  • Politics & International Relations
  • Social Statistics & Demography
  • Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology & Anthropology

Ageing and Gerontology - taught courses

Our postgraduate degree programmes in gerontology are aimed at young graduates, mid-career professionals and mature returners to education.

They will equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a wide range of careers in, for example, policy development, evaluation of services, social and healthcare provision, nursing and medicine, housing and transport design, engineering, leisure and the voluntary sector. They can also lead to exciting research opportunities in higher education and think-tanks.

Criminology - taught courses

Criminology is one of the most exciting postgraduate masters courses available.

It will expose you to important international criminological research findings and help you develop the skills to analyse the complex social issues confronting a globalised world.

Crime, deviance and criminal justice are endlessly fascinating. By studying Criminology at the University of Southampton, you will be engaging in a discipline that is one of the oldest in the Social Sciences, and with the topic of crime, a central feature of human behaviour.

This fascinating course will help you establish a successful academic or professional career with the police, the prison service, the NHS or security companies.

Economics - taught courses

Postgraduate Economics courses at Southampton combine rigorous academic standards with real-world practical insights, enhancing both your knowledge and your career prospects.

Economics at Southampton specialises in microeconomics and econometric theory. Our postgraduate taught programmes aim to provide students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the concepts, tools and methods of modern economics, together with the application of these methods to the analysis of economic problems.

All of our students have access to Bloomberg terminals, which are housed in a realistic trading room environment within the Social Sciences building. Our taught programmes include: MSc Economics, MSc Finance and Econometrics, MSc Finance and Economics.

Politics - taught courses

Politics and International Relations at Southampton, home to the Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance (C2G2) and are ranked top five in the UK for our research output (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Our range of of taught programmes across politics and internationals combine core and optional modules, combining empirical and theoretical material, and ranging in coverage from intensive studies of individual states to broad introductions to issues such as globalisation, political economy, democracy, governance, citizenship and beyond.

Social Statistics and Demography - taught courses

For 50 years we have been at the forefront of international research on methodology for the design and analysis of sample surveys. Today, we are a leading international centre for research in social statistics.

Professional statisticians need a high degree of technical sophistication, which can only be gained through postgraduate study. In addition, they need to be able to listen to the needs of clients and communicate their findings to the user community. These skills are also developed within our postgraduate programmes.

Our programmes include:
MSc Applied Statistics
MSc Data Analytics for Government (1 year)
MSc Demography
MSc Global Health
MSc/PGCert/PG Dip Official Statistics
MSc Social Research Methods with Applied Statistics

Sociology and Social Policy - taught courses

We offer MSc programmes that are designed to provide a deeper insight into sociology, social policy, criminology and anthropology.

Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology and Anthropology programmes have been central to Social Sciences at Southampton for over 40 years. As part of our Division, you will be joining the multidisciplinary Social Sciences community, which offers research and teaching programmes not only in Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology and Anthropology but also in ageing, demography, economics, international relations, politics, social work and social statistics.

Our programmes include:
MSc Criminology
MSc International Social Policy
MSc International Social Policy (Research Methods)
MSc International Social Policy (Ageing Societies)
MSc International Social Policy (Development)
MSc Sociology and Social Policy
MSc Sociology and Social Research 

Centre for Research on Ageing - research

CRA is an exciting interdisciplinary research and teaching centre, bringing together national and international experts devoted to cutting-edge research in the fields of ageing, the life course and social policy.

Research students are registered initially for an MPhil and are upgraded to a PhD after a period of satisfactory progress. A minimum of one year of full-time registration is required for an MPhil and two years full-time registration for a PhD. For part-time registration, the periods are two and three years respectively.

Economics - research

Economics at Southampton postgraduate research programmes are designed to provide extensive support and training. All our PhD students take advanced units designed specifically for doctoral level.

Our PGR programme structure is motivated by the need to produce well rounded experts who have both a broad understanding of fundamental economic theory as well as a more narrowly focused expertise in their particular area of interest.

Politics and International Relations - research

We offer MPhil/PhD programmes in many areas of politics and international relations. Our Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance (C2G2) is active across our five research themes.

Politics and International Relations at Southampton has specialist research groups in Political Analysis, Political Theory, Public Policy and International Relations. In these areas, we pursue and supervise research across political science, political philosophy, comparative politics, public policy, global politics, international political economy and international relations.

Social Statistics and Demography - research

For 50 years we have been at the forefront of international research on methodology for the design and analysis of sample surveys. Today, we are a leading international centre for research in social statistics.

Social Statistics and Demography is a world-leading location for research on a wide range of topics, including methodology, social statistics and aspects of demography. We are heavily involved in a wide range of research projects and have large research contracts with the UK and EU government statistical agencies.

Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology - research

The University of Southampton welcomes applications from students who are interested in pursuing postgraduate research in sociology and/or social policy and related areas such as criminology, anthropology and social psychology.

With an international reputation for research, we offer a wide range of MPhil/PhD opportunities in areas such as sociological theory, contemporary society, historical aspects of British social policy, contemporary British social policy, and comparative and international social policy.

We are particularly interested in applications from students who wish to undertake research in areas of quantitative sociology or social policy, or who wish to pursue interdisciplinary research in the areas of health and wellbeing, energy, environment and resilience, or the social/computational interface. However, we also welcome applications from students who wish to undertake research in areas that are directly associated with other staff research interests.

Quantitative Social Science

The government has acknowledged the lack of quantitative social scientists and the contribution that these skills make in a range of careers.

The BSc in Quantitative Social Science is to provide students with a broad understanding of the social world alongside a rigorous training in quantitative techniques and data analysis skills. Students will be given advanced quantitative methods training alongside data management and interpretation competences that will be attractive to a wide range of employers in the public, private, charitable and academic sectors. These skills will be set in the context of a wide range of social science topics, focused around politics, international relations, sociology, social policy, criminology and demography