Social Science Courses You Can Study in Malaysia

Social science courses are a great option if you are interested in studying society and culture. They are designed to help one understand social, economic, and political systems and human behaviour.

This article discusses the various social science courses one can study in Malaysia, the skills one will gain, and the work available for graduates.

Social science
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

What is social science?

Social science is the study or science of human behaviour, society, and culture, encompassing a range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, economics, political science, linguistics, law, geography, history, and anthropology.

It is concerned with understanding how individuals, groups, and institutions interact with each other and how they shape and are shaped by their environment. Social scientists use research methods such as surveys, experiments, and observations to study human behaviour and social phenomena.

Social science courses in Malaysia

A variety of social science courses are offered across institutions in Malaysia. Here are some of the popular ones.


Psychology studies human behaviour and mental processes and involves the study of cognition, emotion, perception, personality, and social behaviour. In Malaysia, one can pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology, which typically takes three to four years to complete and includes subjects such as abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and research methods.


Sociology examines society, its institutions, social relationships, groupings, structures, and change. Principally, this field of study focuses on human groups to understand the structure of a society and how it works.

One may earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology in Malaysia, which usually takes three to four years, depending on the school. During the course, one will study social theory, social research methodologies, gender studies, and race and ethnicity.


Economics is a discipline that studies how individuals, businesses, and governments allocate resources, the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services. This social science field balances society’s needs and available resources.

In Malaysia, one can pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics, where students will study microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and international economics.

Political science

Political science is a social science discipline dealing with organised systems of governance and power. Subjects such as comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public policy are taught in the various programs in the field.

This field helps us to understand the role of citizens in the running of nations and governments. Multiple universities in Malaysia offer a bachelor’s of political science.


Linguistics is the study of language and its structure. It involves the study of grammar, syntax, semantics, and phonology. During a bachelor’s of linguistics, one will study phonetics, morphology, semantics, and psycholinguistics.


Law is the study of legal systems and principles exploring the principles and regulations of jurisprudence. For Malaysians, obtaining a bachelor’s in law generally takes 3 to 4 years and will involve covering topics such as legal positivism, felonies, constitutional rights and organisational ordinances.

Check out the Bachelor of Laws 3+0 External with the University of London, UK, offered by UOW Malaysia.


Geography is fundamentally the study of the Earth’s physical features, natural resources, human populations, and their interactions and interconnections.

Geography shapes the life and history of any society by helping us to recognise the differences in cultures, political systems, economies, and landscapes.

Various universities in Malaysia offer diploma and undergraduate courses in geography, and students can expect to study subjects such as physical geography, human geography, environmental studies, and geospatial technologies.


History studies past events and their impact on society by studying human civilisation’s political, social, economic, and cultural aspects. Fundamentally, studying history helps affirm our roots, strengths and achievements. We cannot progress much if we don’t have proper knowledge and understanding of our past.

In Malaysia, one can pursue a bachelor’s degree in history, typically taking three to four years to complete. They will study subjects such as world history, Malaysian history, historiography, and historical methods.


Anthropology is the study of culture and civilisation among humans. It entails investigating social systems, cultural variety, and human evolution. A bachelor’s degree in anthropology normally takes three to four years, with subtopics like cultural, biological, linguistic, and applied anthropology covered during the course duration.

Arts and music

Arts and music courses encompass a range of disciplines, including fine arts, performing arts, and music. In Malaysia, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in art or music. During either of the courses, you will study subjects such as music theory, art history, theatre studies, and dance.

arts & music
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Skills you’ll gain from social science courses

Social science courses provide a wide range of skills that employers highly value across various industries. Here are some key skills that you can expect to gain:

  1. Critical thinking: Social science courses teach you to analyse complex issues and develop evidence-based arguments. Students learn to evaluate information from multiple sources, identify biases, and draw conclusions based on empirical evidence.
  2. Communication: Social science courses teach you how to communicate effectively in writing and speech. Students learn to articulate complex ideas clearly and concisely, tailor messages to different audiences, and use appropriate tone and style.
  3. Research: Conducting research and gathering data using various methods are a big part of social science courses.
  4. Teamwork and collaboration: Social science courses teach effective teamwork. You’ll learn to collaborate on group projects, resolve conflicts, and build positive relationships with colleagues and clients.
  5. Problem-solving: Being systematic and creative are a big part of social science courses. Students learn to identify and define problems, develop and evaluate solutions, and implement effective strategies.
  6. Leadership: Social science courses teach you how to lead and manage teams effectively. Students learn to inspire and motivate others, set goals and priorities, and make strategic decisions.

These skills are highly transferable and applicable in various industries, making social science courses a great choice for students who want to develop a broad set of skills that will be useful throughout their careers.

Social science jobs

Social science graduates have a wide range of job opportunities across various industries. Here are some popular social science jobs:

  1. Social Workers work with individuals, families, and communities to help them cope with and overcome social problems such as poverty, abuse, and addiction.
  2. Psychologists study human behaviour and mental processes and use this knowledge to help individuals and groups improve their lives. They work in various settings, including clinics, schools, and research facilities.
  3. Economists study the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services in various settings, including government agencies, non-profit organisations, and private corporations.
  4. Sociologists work in various industries and organisations, including universities, government agencies, and non-profit organisations.
  5. Political Scientists study the theory and practice of government and politics and work in government agencies, think tanks, universities, etc.
  6. Geographers study the Earth’s physical features and natural resources and how they interact with human populations and often get jobs in government agencies, research institutions, and environmental organisations.
  7. Historians study the past and use this knowledge to understand the present and predict the future. They work in various settings, including universities, museums, and government agencies.

Other social science jobs include anthropologist, linguist, public policy analyst, and urban planner. Social science graduates can also pursue further education, academia, and research in their respective fields.

How long are social science courses?

Social science courses in Malaysia typically take three to four years to complete for a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, master’s degree programs usually take one to two years, while doctoral programs may take three to five years.

Where to study social science in Malaysia

UOW Malaysia is a leading university offering many social science courses, including Bachelor of Law, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (Social Science). They have campuses in Glenmarie in Kuala Lumpur as well as Georgetown and Batu Kawan in Penang.


Whether you’re interested in understanding human behaviour, social systems, or culture, social science courses provide students with skills and knowledge to pursue your interests and build a rewarding career.

One can choose from a range of social science courses, including subjects such as psychology, sociology, economics, political science, linguistics, law, geography, history, anthropology, and arts and music.

These courses are highly valued for their ability to develop critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. They also provide students with the knowledge and skills to work in various industries, including healthcare, education, law, public policy, and business.


13 April 2023


Arts and Culture