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Study social science abroad

An in-depth guide to studying social science as an international student.

Social science degrees abroad

Social science is a far-reaching academic field that encompasses several subjects, including sociology, psychology, criminology, law, international relations, and politics. At its core, social science is concerned with the behaviors of individuals and groups, and their interactions with society.

As a social science student, you can either specialize in a particular discipline or maintain a more general course of study throughout your program. Either way, your studies will help you to make sense of today’s world. You’ll use key research and theories to understand and explain a range of real-life scenarios and problems and explore topics such as inequality, social policy, power, and political thought.

Your understanding of social science will be enriched by studying abroad. You’ll see human society through both a narrow cultural lens and a broader global perspective. You’ll observe how people and societies interact differently around the world depending on their historical and cultural contexts. This exposure will help you become a more critical and creative social scientist.

Social science program structure

There are plenty of undergraduate and graduate social science programs for you to choose from. Most undergraduate students opt to study a BA or BSc. These programs share similar course content and expectations, but BSc courses involve more scientific analysis and research.

You’ll probably be encouraged to undertake a placement or sandwich year during your studies so that you can apply your theoretical knowledge to practical situations and gather real-world experience.

Once you’ve finished your bachelor’s, you can go on to earn a postgraduate qualification. You’ll be expected to delve deeper into a more specific area of interest, conduct independent research, and develop original interpretations. A master’s can be studied over one or two years, followed by a PhD which takes between four and seven years to complete.

Teaching and assessment will vary from module to module, but you can expect to attend lectures, seminars, workshops, laboratories, and tutorials. You’ll be graded through a combination of exams, essays, reports, case studies, and presentations.

Social science is a highly flexible program and you’ll have plenty of elective modules to choose from so that you can tailor your degree to your interests and strengths. However, most courses around the world will include some of the following core topics:

  • Introduction to studying the social sciences
  • Introduction to research methods
  • Classic social theory
  • Contemporary social theory
  • Social policy
  • Social inequalities in contemporary society
  • Understanding social welfare and the state

How to study social science abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

    Be guided through your application process

  3. Visa & embassy guidance

    Maximise your chances of being granted a visa

  4. Enrollment & travel advice

    Get support all the way to your first day at university

Speak to a personal advisor (free service)

Social science study abroad programs

Social science undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in social science

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    Integrative Social Science - BSc Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,834 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
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    Secondary Education (Social Science) - BSc University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,000 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
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    Secondary Education – Social Science Ed – Lifelong Learning Track - BSc University of Central Florida, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,478 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
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    Social Science Psychology - BSocSc RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,880 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
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    General Social Science Education/History - BSc Auburn University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    32,220 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in social science

Associate in social science

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    Liberal Arts - Humanities and Social Science Specialization - AA Mount Aloysius College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    21,870 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Liberal Arts & Sciences: Humanities & Social Science - ASc Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    6,892 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
See all associate degrees in social science

Social science graduate programs

Master's in social science

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    Integrative Social Science - MSc Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    15 months
    Tuition fees per year
    24,318 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Computational Social Science - MSc Linköping University, Sweden

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,000 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Social Science (Global, Urban & Social Studies) - by research - MSocSc RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,880 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
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    Social Science Research Methods - MRes Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,750 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Coastal and Marine System Science - MSc/PhD Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, USA

    Program type
    Master's/Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,536 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in social science

Doctorate in social science

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    Coastal and Marine System Science - MSc/PhD Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, USA

    Program type
    Master's/Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,536 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates in social science

Future social science careers

Thanks to the far-reaching nature of a social science degree, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue several careers in the public and private sectors. Your skills in critical thinking, research, and analysis will help in any of the following roles:

  • Civil servant
  • Community development officer
  • Human resources manager
  • International aid worker
  • Police, prison or probation officer
  • Social worker
  • Youth worker
  • Teacher

If you’re unsure of what your dream job is, or how to secure it, arrange an appointment with your university’s career service. They’re there to give you free, professional, and confidential advice and guidance.