Social Science

Social Sciences is about studying people and society through a range of academic disciplines such as research methods, sociology, psychology, history, geography, social anthropology and criminology.

Through our courses you can develop a comprehensive understanding of society, culture and human interaction and learn to look at the world in a different way. By engaging with academic theory you will develop your critical and analytical skills along with your ability to research society objectively.

Studying Social Science will involve working as part of a team whilst respecting and understanding the needs and values of others. On these academic courses you will be challenged to work and develop your skills both collaboratively and individually. You can also develop relevant skills for employment such as ICT, communication, debating and forming logical arguments. Many units include the opportunity to enhance literacy and numeracy skills.

Social Sciences leads to a broad range of employment opportunities including careers in the criminal justice system, social services, third sector organisations and education, amongst many others.

Alexis’s Story

Alexis Stark applied to Dundee and Angus College after the birth of her first son.

“I had left High School at 15 with two standard grades and although I was in a job that paid relatively well I realised I would not be able to secure another job without some qualifications.”

Alexis wasn’t sure what she wanted to do but when she browsed the college website she came across Social Science.

“Reading through the modules, I just knew it was for me but going to college after being out of the education system for nearly 10 years was really daunting. It was a huge decision being a mother with a mortgage but I am really proud I had the courage to just go for it.”

Alexis covered various modules during her course and discovered a particular passion for History and Politics.

“Before going to college I had never voted or watched any sort of political debate but after studying Politics in my first year I realised the huge impact this had on my daily life and became politically active."

Alexis then graduated from the University of Dundee with an MSc in Social Research which she completed after securing a degree in History and International Relations.

During Alexis’s academic studies she gave birth to two further children.

“At times it has been tough but the thing I enjoyed most about college life was my new found love of learning. Being in full-time employment before going back to college I was so surprised how much I loved learning new information.”

Alison’s Story

While working as a Support for Learning Assistant, Alison Duff decided she’d like to do something where she could make a difference in supporting children and young people and their families. She signed up for a Social Science course at Dundee and Angus College’s Arbroath campus.

“I was very naïve and had never heard of Sociology, however this opened up my eyes to how society functions. It highlighted the importance of Scottish history and how it has influenced so many fundamental changes in society and why. Psychology allowed me to stand back and become more observant of situations and understand complexities that may be involved within them.

“Researching Methods provided a huge insight into how and why research is essential. I thoroughly enjoyed conducting my own research project and this stood me in good stead for university and future job applications.”

Daniel’s Story

Applying to study at Dundee and Angus College was a last-minute decision for Daniel McAllister. He began his studies with an NC5 where he got the opportunity to carry out an enterprise project.

“As a class we decided to aim ours at mental health. For me personally, I went on my own journey carrying out this project and it motivated me for what I wanted to pursue in the future. It is like being switched on to the world and, once you switch this mind set on, you will never analyse the world and society in the same way again.”

Daniel also loved the feeling of being part of a family in the Social Science department.

“The encouragement and backing you are given is fantastic. You are never left to feel there is no one to turn to. There is always someone to listen and help. I arrived at college as a shy boy and left a confident young man who was ready to tackle the big bad world.”

Daniel went on to study for a Masters in Occupational Therapy at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

Megan's Story

Megan Osborne had a full-time job but decided it wasn’t what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

“I hadn’t gone to university after school but I wanted to go into teaching so I decided to study at college and go from there.”

Megan signed up for an HNC Social Sciences course at Dundee and Angus College.

“I discovered I thoroughly enjoyed being back in education and pushing myself, knowing I had a goal to achieve. I am very proud of the grade I left with. I had never been a top student at school but gaining one of the highest grades in my college class made me so happy.”

Megan is now in her third year at university and hopes to become a geography teacher.

Jodi's Story

When Jodi Riley left school she knew she didn’t feel ready to go to university.

“College seemed like a good stepping stone for me and I knew I wanted to study social sciences after taking Higher Psychology in 6th year at school. I was going to take a gap year and work, but my mum wouldn’t let me!”

Jodi studied HNC Social Sciences at D&A College’s Gardyne campus.

“The campus was lovely – not too big! It was definitely what I needed between school and university in terms of being close to home and not overwhelmingly large. I particularly enjoyed Sociology, which is what I chose to do my degree in. I remember feeling so proud when I finished my HNC with an A. When I found out, I phoned my mum crying and she thought I’d crashed the car!”

Jodi is now a primary school teacher and mum to an 11-month-old boy.

“Going to college was up there with one of the best life decisions I made.”

Colin's Story

When Colin Ogilvie’s daughter was born in 2015 he was working as a cleaner at the time.

“I suffered from bad mental health but, when this improved, I applied for Mental Health Nursing at Dundee and Angus College. Unfortunately, my application wasn’t successful so I applied for Level 5 Social Sciences instead and was accepted on the course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and progressed to Level 6, passing that year as well. I then applied for the HNC as I was considering Psychology at university.”

All went well for Colin and he is now a student at the University of St Andrews studying Psychology, Philosophy and Music.

“Not only did I learn subject specific modules at college which helped me progress to university, I learned a lot about myself too. I discovered that if I put my mind to something, I can achieve what I set out to do.”

Colin says he did struggle at certain points with his mental health but the support he received at college made sure he did not have to give up on his course.

“As Vice President of the Students’ Association, I was able to run events and clubs for students which I thoroughly enjoyed and the skills I learned have helped me through my journey. I was the ‘Daddy’ of the class with students coming to me if they required any help with studies and general life questions. The number of students I was able to help get through tough times whilst studying was amazing. I will never forget the experience I had at D&A College.”

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