This component of the curriculum complements and builds upon the skills required to conduct applied sociology, but addresses specific issues around working as an applied sociologist.  It considers how to situate a personal and professional identity as an applied sociologist within broader social contexts. 

The three sub-themes are:


  • Different forms of employment as an applied sociologist (contracts; working styles) and how these may vary across different sectors (industry, public sector, voluntary sector).
  • Examples of different roles within applied sociology (for instance, independent consulting sociologist; applied researcher; staff member in company or organisation), looking at skills used and common transferable skills.
  • Development of a professional identity as an applied sociologist.
  • How ethical and personal perspectives affect actions as an applied sociologist.


  • Traditional conceptions of a career, changes in the world of work, and different ways of developing a career.
  • The practicalities of different career models.
  • Methodologies for professional development, including mentoring and membership of relevant academic and professional bodies.
  • Career development as an applied sociologist within a changing landscape; current trends within employment (self-employment, gig economy etc.).


  • Professional codes of ethics and key points (informed consent, confidentiality, privacy, data protection, risk management and safeguarding).
  • Application of ethical and legal responsibilities to applied sociology contexts.
  • Need for pragmatic, practical solutions to situations in applied sociology

Together these three sub-themes will provide students with an ability to reflect upon and critique the work of an applied sociologist, and to identify and articulate how the specific skills and knowledge of an applied sociologist in diverse professional settings can contribute to a fulfilling career. By considering the three inter-connected sub-themes, it encourages practical, theoretical and reflexive learning that will support students to successfully develop and sustain a long-term, flexible and adaptable career as an applied sociologist, incorporating multiple identities and settings. 

The following learning objectives are designed to encourage students to take an applied sociological approach to the enactment of their own ‘career’ across the life course, as well as equipping them with practical knowledge and understanding about the nature of ‘working’ and current employment opportunities that amplify the skills developed via applied sociology.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:


E1 Identify a number of different roles within applied sociology..
E2 Evaluate the contemporary landscape of employment, including challenges specific to their role as applied sociologists.
E3 Give examples of the distinct and unique value of applied sociology for addressing specific challenges in different professional settings.


E4 Critically assess current conceptualisation of careers and employment landscapes and how these may influence their own employment trajectory and choices.
E5 Evaluate their own career development, and how this may comprise a range of different forms of ‘work’ (e.g. paid, unpaid, emotional, campaigning).
E6 Offer examples to how their own skills, experience and knowledge contribute to their future careers and how these may be developed over time.
E7 Develop a plan to access continuing professional development to support a career as an applied sociologist.


E8 Identify the core issues of ethical professional practice relevant to applied sociology.
E9 Reflect on their personal values and beliefs, and how these may be compromised or reinforced through work as an applied sociologist in commercial, public, and voluntary sectors.
E10 Assess the impact of giving professional advice to a client that will directly impact upon people working/participating in an organisation.