Social Sciences Personal Statement

Sample Social Science Personal Statement

Understanding individual and collective behaviour is in my view the social sciences’ key contribution to human knowledge. With a burgeoning passion for the social sciences that stems from my own curiosity regarding fundamental questions relating to how society shapes the individual and what factors in turn motivate the individual to live their chosen lifestyle, I view the possibility of progressing to university as an unrivalled opportunity for me to be able to delve into these questions through studying a joint-honours degree in the social sciences.

I find sociology a particularly fascinating branch of the social sciences due to the bold attempts of sociologists to take what may seem to be unexplainable phenomena and provide an understanding of them that is based around sound methods and conceptual frameworks that provide real insight into society and the way it shapes individuals. I have always been fascinated by the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate, and while some turn to the sciences for guidance, I believe that sociology provides much more satisfactory answers.

The area of criminology is perhaps the most important field within sociology in this regard. Reducing crime is a perennial objective of governments; yet without understanding what causes people to commit crime such efforts are likely to fail. It is only through examining questions such as the relationship between inequality or social deprivation and crime, or the pressures placed on certain sectors of society such as poor inner-city youths to become involved in delinquent or gang culture, that we can truly come to understand criminality.

Criminological matters also tie in very closely to psychology, another branch of the social sciences that I am strongly drawn to. Psychology has much to tell us about the nature of human motivation and the range of cognitive responses that individuals have to different circumstances. In this regard psychological research is as useful for explaining areas of crime, such as the ways in which individuals respond to provocation with violence, as it is to sport–an area that strongly interests me as a result of my passion for rugby and golf–and the matter of how individuals respond psychologically to adversity on the field.

I have enjoyed the strong thread of social sciences that has run through the BTEC I am currently completing in Business. For example, the course has laid strong emphasis on the psychological dimensions of themes such as leadership, management and team cohesion, all of which are central to the success of a business. Moreover, it is increasingly important for businesses to reflect on their social responsibilities, something which requires a consideration of sociological theory. The excellent marks I have received in the BTEC so far reflect my great enthusiasm for my studies; I am all the more proud of my results so far because I am studying this two-year course in the space of one year, a challenge that has helped mould me into a diligent and well-organised student.

I also balance this intense study workload with a part-time job as a customer assistant at Marks and Spencer. The role is an outlet for my natural desire for social interaction with people. I enjoy being able to offer advice to customers and build a rapport with people from a wide range of backgrounds. The teamwork element of the job is also very enjoyable, and it has been a pleasure to both learn how to carry out tasks such as cash management from colleagues and in turn teach these skills to others.

Playing and watching rugby is a great passion of mine. Between the ages of eight and seventeen I was continuously involved with playing for local and school sides. Doing so has given me a real ability to set myself goals and targets and then working towards them. It has also given me a love of working alongside others towards a common goal. That said, I also enjoy the solitary contemplation that comes with going to the gym five times a week and playing golf.

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