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 study criminal behaviour, victimisation, the socio-legal context and societal reaction to crime, the criminal justice system, media and popular culture, punishment and the future of social control.

You will be given the skills to analyse and research the complexities of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system and take a fascinating journey through psychological investigations into human behaviour in our BSc Criminology and Psychology. The programme is recognised by the British Psychological Society, providing Graduate Basis for Registration.

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.


Economics at Southampton has close links with the actuarial profession and the insurance industry. You will have access to Bloomberg terminals, used in the City, and our behavioural economics laboratory.

The BSc Economics programme studies economics in great depth, through a core of microeconomics (principles and applied), macroeconomics (principles and policy) and econometrics.

Our MEcon Economics develops the conceptual, analytical and research skills needed by a professional economist, enabling you to apply economic analysis to policy problems and build in-depth knowledge of the workings of the economy.

Combining economics with a detailed study of accountancy, the BSc Accounting and Economics is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in accountancy. 

If you like mathematics, enjoy problem-solving and are curious about financial issues, the BSc Economics and Actuarial Science is for you. The degree provides exemptions from up to eight of the core technical (CT) professional exams, the maximum available.

Our BSc Economics and Finance combines a firm grounding in economics with the theoretical and empirical analysis of financial markets and institutions. It will suit you if you are interested in a career in a financial institution or simply to gain a better understanding of the world in which we live.

Politics and International Relations

We have over 50 years’ experience of teaching politics and international relations at Southampton. Study abroad opportunities include Europe, the Far East and North America.

Our BSc Politics and International Relations programme provides a comprehensive grounding in global politics, political theory and comparative politics. Following core modules in year one, you will be offered more advanced modules in year two, including options from across the University, including languages. In the final year, you will choose from modules reflecting our staff’s interests and complete a dissertation.

The core of our BSc International Relations is global politics and the global political economy. Following introductory modules in year one, in year two, you will take International Political Economy and specialist modules from Social Sciences. You may also choose modules from across the University. In your third year, you will write a dissertation.

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. There is increased flexibility to choose specialist modules from across the University and a dissertation topic.

Our BSc Politics and Economics provides a thorough grounding in politics and economics while offering flexibility to develop your interests in both fields. In the first year, you will take core modules and Foundations of Microeconomics. Advanced modules are offered in the second year, together with a range of optional modules. In the third year, you will complete a dissertation.

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

The Times Good University Guide 2015 ranked Sociology at Southampton third in the UK, and we're second in the Russell Group for overall satisfaction (National Student Survey 2015).

You'll be taught by leading researchers in the field and given outstanding training in research methods.

Our BSc Sociology offers an outstanding opportunity to build practical, analytical and evaluative skills that will equip you for a broad range of careers across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Governments spend a much higher proportion of national wealth on the provision of welfare services than a century ago. Social policy seeks to understand how social problems have emerged and what can be done to solve them. Our BSc Sociology and Social Policy addresses these issues.

Our BSc Sociology with Anthropology offers a chance to understand the role of culture and society in an ever-changing Britain interconnected with the wider world. You may compete for a semester of tuition overseas at one of our partner universities.

Our BSc Sociology and Criminology degree equips you with an in-depth understanding of sociological and criminological approaches to crime and develops your wider sociological knowledge and skills.

Study BSc Social Policy and Criminology and you'll explore how societies make and recognise social problems; how and when individuals are seen as deviant; and how social justice principles influence our view of problems and appropriate solutions.

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.

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.

In addition to the standard mode of teaching over a semester, we offer stand-alone short courses which are taken over a period of 12 weeks.

Sociology and Social Policy - taught courses

Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology and Anthropology programmes have been central to Social Sciences at Southampton for over 40 years.

By undertaking one of our postgraduate programmes, you will find yourself working in a vibrant research community, surrounded by fellow postgraduate students and staff committed to advancing academic study and research in exciting areas related to topical social issues.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Criminology - taught courses

2014 saw the launch of our exciting and innovative postgraduate programme in criminology.

Most of our academics have international research reputation, as demonstrated in our excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. This means that you will enjoy high-quality teaching and graduate with a highly regarded degree informed by cutting-edge research.

Core training in applied criminology, criminal justice studies; policing, penology and victimology is complemented by optional study in a range of disciplines allied to criminology at the University of Southampton.

Economics - taught courses

The high quality of our postgraduate degrees is widely recognised, and many of our past students have proceeded to successful careers as academics and as economists in the public and private sector.

We offer a variety of postgraduate taught programmes. Some are designed for those who want to become specialist economists. Others are intended for those who want to pursue a career in which the input of economics is essential.

Our students have access to Bloomberg terminals, which are housed in a realistic trading room environment within the Social Sciences building.

We have a thriving postgraduate community, attracting a wide range of students from very diverse backgrounds.Our staff are leading international researchers in their fields. They publish in the top academic journals and have advisory roles with governments, international public institutions and the private sector.

Economics - research

We are proud of our reputation for cutting-edge research. Our research strength ranges across the core areas of the discipline.

We have approximately 30 full-time academic staff. Our PhD programme is small enough (between five and 10 new students admitted each year) to provide detailed PhD supervision but large enough to offer expertise in many fields. Supervision is offered in all the main areas of economics and econometrics.

Our programme provides a clearly structured taught and research based training. In the first year we offer three core modules, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. In addition, we offer specialised seminars and workshops run by internationally recognised experts.

Politics - taught courses

The University of Southampton has been accredited by the ESRC as a Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). Southampton is one of only 21 Social Science DTCs in England, Scotland and Wales.

The taught part of all our programmes 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

At the postgraduate instructional level, the Division is responsible for the MSc Demography, MSc Social Statistics (Research Methods pathway), MSc Social Statistics (Statistics pathway), MSc Official Statistics and MSc Global Health.

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 to communicate their findings to the user community. These skills are also developed within our postgraduate programmes.

Since the Division of Social Statistics was founded in 1975, 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 - research

We have an international reputation and research expertise in social statistics and sample survey methods, statistical modelling applied to social policy, and demography.

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 to communicate their findings to the user community. These skills are also developed within our postgraduate programmes.

Since the Division of Social Statistics was founded in 1975, 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.

Politics and International Relations - research

Politics at Southampton has an international reputation for research in the areas of political science, political theory and international relations.

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.

Our research interests in these areas cover a wide range of topics, including: Citizenship and democracy, Economy, (in)security and power, Faces of inequality and expressions of justice, Post-carbon futures, Governance and its discontents

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
  • ​Economics
  • Politics & International Relations
  • Social Statistics & Demography
  • Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology & Anthropology