Humanities and Social Science: Degrees with heart and relevance

“Our culture is more shaped by the arts and humanities than it often is by politics.” – Jim Leach

The popularity of subjects steeped in science and technology has surged in recent years. With the pervasive nature of technology and digitisation, it is easy to draw the link between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)-based subjects and the jobs that have emerged as a result of the digital age. But what the headlines don’t tell you is that employers are much more likely to hire a recent graduate readily instilled with the skills and awareness these subjects simply can’t provide.

In November this year, the British Academy launched a report that, for the first time ever, provided evidence of the expertise gained by humanities and social science (HSS) graduates that sets them apart from their peers. The report notes that while HSS students make up around 55 percent of the universal cohort, the advantage gained through their studies, as well as where they are most likely to work in life post-graduation, had previously remained unclear.

Photo: Muhammad Rizwan

Ultimately, the research uncovered that the most in-demand skillset among recruiting employers includes the very same attributes gained from a HSS education, including:

  • Communication and collaboration;
  • Research and analysis;
  • Independence and adaptability.

These interdisciplinary learners also make significant contributions to both their home and the global economies. As qualified specialists who thrive off knowledge gained from diverse fields, HSS students go on to apply their talent in a vast range of roles; from the media and entertainment sector to education, finance, the civil service, NGOs and non-profits, to the corporate sphere and beyond. In fact, the study also found 58 percent of Chief Executives in FTSE 100 Index Companies had forged their professional legacy off the back of a HSS degree carried out at either undergraduate- or postgraduate-level.

And with the global employment market expanding and evolving in line with rising digital trends, it is the depth of knowledge and adaptability displayed by HSS graduates that will remain most valued by graduate recruiters

“The question every… humanities and social sciences student has head at least once is: ‘what are you going to do with that?’” says Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Chair of the British Academy Project. “Today our research proves that these graduates have the potential to adapt to almost any career in an increasingly globalised and uncertain world,” he adds.

“Our research has defined for the first time the skills shared by… humanities and social sciences graduates, and looks at their careers in almost every sector of our economy, from the booming creative industries to financial services.

“The… humanities and social sciences are a strong choice for any prospective student – these subjects create well-rounded and adaptable graduates, equipped with the skills employers demand from the 21st-century workplace.”

Here are 5 prominent universities for humanities and social science studies…


Kennesaw State University is renowned for its entrepreneurial vision and strong community spirit. The university is located just north of Atlanta with campuses in Marietta and Kennesaw, blending a vibrant, suburban setting with access to one of the country’s most dynamic cities.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is Kennesaw’s largest and most academically-diverse school. Offering a firm US education with a comprehensive liberal arts core, this institution provides a breadth and depth of study that moulds students into contributing global citizens.

Recent additions to the CHSS course portfolio include: MS International Policy Management (MSIPM); Master of Public Administration (MPA); Master of Science in Conflict Management (MSCM); and the MA in Integrated Global Communication (MAIGC). The school’s commitment to frequent curriculum reviews highlights its dedication to producing employable graduates, ensuring their skills remain up-to-date and relevant in a fast-moving technological age.


Forged on a tradition of the extraordinary and inspired, Marshall University is a globally-known provider of qualified graduate talent. Emphasising skill, scholarship and personal development, this institution serves as the bedrock for student success, instilling every application with the tools needed to thrive in an advanced and connected society.

With a relatively intimate student population of 950 undergraduates, paired with a low student-teacher ratio of just 19:1, the College of Liberal Arts at Marshall upholds a warm and inclusive campus culture.

Marshall’s College of Liberal Arts offers 12 undergraduate options, each of which grants a full BA upon completion. In addition, seven postgraduate degree options are presented, with both MA and PhD options open for pursuit.

Alumni of the college make their mark nationwide in an extremely diverse range of positions – a testament to the transferable skills gained at Marshall, and their importance to influential employers.

Photo: Štefan Štefančík


Nestled at the heart of two of central Montreal’s liveliest districts – the Quartier Latin [Latin Quarter] and the Quartier des spectacles – UQAM is a progressive, open and creative university with global power and reach.

The Faculty of Human Sciences at UQAM offers high-quality training programs at all levels of study. Characterized by global relevance, dynamism and, of course, prestige, this is a recognized melting-pot of unique ideas and intellectual talent.

In terms of opportunity, UQAM trailblazes the field with impactful research, external partnerships, transfer knowledge and international influence.

“The Faculty is an important group of work and study environments where teaching, research and community services are the raison d’être,” says Josée S. Lafond, Dean of the Faculty. “Teaching takes place in nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate programs in disciplinary, often interdisciplinary, open and critical environments.”


This private research university might be set in New York State but it boasts a global footprint, powered by 150 years of education excellence.

The College of Arts and Sciences is known as the ‘intellectual heart and soul’ of Syracuse University. This institution, dedicated to the study of the diverse liberal arts, is the beating pulse of a major research university offering a highly personalized and rigorous experience.

From African American Studies to Political Science, Economics to Sociology, English and Textual Studies to Global Security Studies, and more; this is a college that will support your aspirations regardless and provide you with aims and direction.

It’s an institution intent on producing responsible global citizens; the college elevates and inspires through its own unique values. As an education defined by interdisciplinarity, preparedness and opportunity, students here leave as sought-after contributors who make change in a fast-paced world.

Tamarcus Brown


Texas State University attracts students from all corners of the globe, hosting a diverse community 60,000 strong.

The College of Liberal Arts has high expectations for students to be able to think, read, write and speak independently and effectively. Here, you will gain fundamental knowledge in the social sciences and humanities, developing expertise that puts you at the leading edge of your chosen study field.

“Texas State University has always recognized the central importance of liberal arts education. Currently, the university requires that more than 50 percent of the general studies curriculum be taken in the College of Liberal Arts,” says Mary C. Brennan, Dean of the College.

“Keeping pace with the ongoing explosion of knowledge, the liberal arts teach those skills most valued by today’s employers and graduate schools, including problem-solving, communication, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness,” she adds. “The liberal arts foster students’ self-understanding, helping them to develop values as they consider moral issues or raise important ethical questions.”

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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