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Learn social science

Social science helps people and communities make sense of the world around them. Those with an interest in the human mind, cultural literacy, and the promotion of social good can explore the many social science online courses available through edX.

What is social science?

Social science is a broad category of academic disciplines encompassing the study of human society and social relationships. Social science topics include psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, gender studies, cognitive science, and linguistics, among others. Applied social science is the driving force behind fields such as mental health, behavioral analysis, education, economics, political science, and program management. Whether learners decide to devote their careers to conducting research or developing non-profit initiatives to help solve complex societal problems, studying social science can equip them with the knowledge and tools to effect positive social change. 

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Browse online Social Science courses

Stand out in your field

Use the knowledge and skills you have gained to drive impact at work and grow your career.

Learn at your own pace

On your computer, tablet or phone, online courses make learning flexible to fit your busy life.

Earn a valuable credential

Showcase your key skills and valuable knowledge.

Social science course curriculum

Learners who excel in branches of social science typically display an aptitude for conducting social science research, interpreting data, and understanding relationships — all skills that are built into social science course curricula and prized in the business world. 

Identifying a niche can help individuals determine which learning pathway is best for them. For those with an interest in social work, earning a bachelor's in social work or an online master's of social work degree might be an option. 

Introductory and advanced online courses are available in an array of social science subjects. A social science curriculum may provide students with an overview of:

  • Demography

  • Human geography

  • Sociology

  • Developmental psychology

  • Organizational psychology

  • Leadership development

  • Social welfare

Each course will vary in length, intensity, learning objectives, and outcomes. Some prioritize experiential learning, some last several weeks, and others offer a certificate upon completion.

Jobs in social science

Because social science disciplines utilize several key skills, professionals with a background in social science can apply to jobs in a variety of sectors — from urban planning to economics to public relations. For example, candidates with computational social science skills might pursue a career in business or data analytics. Some learners may end up working for the government or polling organizations in the capacity of a political scientist or survey researcher. Alternatively, others forge ahead with pursuits of their own as consultants or set up grassroots organizations committed to societal development. Common work settings for social scientists include schools, offices of health practitioners, and more.

Learn the skills you need for a fulfilling social science career with edX.