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Masters Degrees (Social Policy)

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The MSc Social Policy is divided into two streams. The first stream, Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning) is a broad programme in many aspects of social policy that can be tailored to the interests of students from a wide range of backgrounds. Read more

About the MSc programme

The MSc Social Policy is divided into two streams. The first stream, Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning) is a broad programme in many aspects of social policy that can be tailored to the interests of students from a wide range of backgrounds. It is the oldest master's level programme in social policy in the world but it has evolved to reflect new interests and challenges.

The second stream, Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) is an integrated programme designed for people looking towards careers in international research or as practitioners, planners and administrators of public services and whose interest or work lies at the international and European level. It provides you with the opportunity of examining major current social problems and the range of policies being developed to address them from a cross-national European and international perspective. Through multi-disciplinary and cross-national study, you gain a thorough grounding in the comparative analysis of the institutional arrangements of European welfare states, as well as examining specific social problems shared by individual countries.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from the Social Policy and Planning stream have gone on to a variety of careers in research, the policy arena in think tanks and the political sphere, social service administration, voluntary organisations and many other destinations.

Graduates from the European and Comparative Social Policy stream have found positions within a wide range of institutions, including the European Commission, European Parliament, EU lobbying organisations, consultancies, UNESCO, broadcasting, journalism, international departments of national civil services, as well as employment in teaching and research or further study for a PhD.

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Engage in professional networks across a range of vibrant partnerships. Contribute to socially just and sustainable academic research with impact in practice. Read more
Engage in professional networks across a range of vibrant partnerships. Contribute to socially just and sustainable academic research with impact in practice.

The MA Social Policy is one of a number of new and exciting programmes developed by the Department of Social Sciences. This Social Policy programme will be of particular interest to you if you are:
-An experienced practitioner looking for advanced Continuous Professional Development opportunities
-An international student wanting to study and practice in the UK
-An undergraduate student looking to move directly onto postgraduate education incorporating work based experiences and strengthening your employability prospects.

If you are interested in making a difference with opportunities to theorise social policy in practice this challenging programme will engage you in a high quality, transformative educational experience. The programme will provide opportunities to actively engage in professional networks across a range of vibrant partnerships as well as contribute to socially just and sustainable academic research with impact in practice. A key feature of the programme is the emphasis on both breadth and depth of understanding of social policy analysis in its broader economic, social, environmental and political contexts.

The Programme aims to:
-Introduce students to the study of social policy both from British and international perspectives. It explores the subject in the context of personal perspectives and position within broader political, social, cultural, economic and environmental developments.
-Develop opportunities for global, employer and digital engagement through which to create a greater capacity for social policy practice and knowledge exchange.
-Develop confidence, capabilities and creativity to flourish in the worlds of study and employment.

If you are currently working in social policy or interested in building on your undergraduate degree in order to pursue a related occupation in health, housing, social services or social security, then the MA Social Policy could be for you. You’ll gain a wide range of knowledge and transferable skills throughout the programme, including sophisticated skills in research, communication and analysis that will be useful in a variety of jobs.

Modules

*denotes a compulsory module and you will study a total of six modules:
-Contemporary issues in social science research
-International social policy analysis
-Social policy analysis
-Research in social policy contexts
-Independent social policy learning project*
-Applied social policy*
-Dissertation*

These modules will be focused towards developing both breadth and depth of understanding of social policy analysis in its broader economic, social, environmental and political contexts. The independent social policy module enables students to undertake a small research project linked to their own research interests. The applied module provides opportunities for students to undertake work based experience in a social policy setting of their choice and gain first hand experience of impact of social policy in practice. Through the dissertation module students will have an opportunity to develop an extended piece of social policy research.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates will be able to pursue a diverse range of career routes including progress to further PG Study via a doctoral route leading to a career as a researcher; managing and leading across a range of welfare contexts nationally, regionally and locally. The University also has partnerships with a range of organisations that are welfare orientated and that seeks to influence social policy. "Social Policy graduates could expect to find work in a wide range of posts across the third-sector public services, government and business. These could include roles in central and local government departments, community bodies, charities, housing and health organisations, research consultancies and advocacy or campaigning body." Jo Lake, Head of Employability at the University.

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Understand social policy in a regional and global context with this unique masters degree. The study of global social policy is an area of increasing interest, both academically and as an applied subject. Read more
Understand social policy in a regional and global context with this unique masters degree.

Overview

The study of global social policy is an area of increasing interest, both academically and as an applied subject. It is especially relevant given the growing importance of supranational and international social policy discourse and policy interventions in tackling social problems.

This course will enable you to engage effectively and critically with theoretical and empirical dimensions of global social policy development. It offers a combination of taught coursework and a supervised dissertation. So you'll have the opportunity to develop detailed knowledge of social policy in a global context. Through your own guided research project you will explore aspects of social policy in which you have a particular interest.

This MA is especially suitable for:
-Prospective social policy analysts and researchers with an interest in global and/or international social and public policy
-Professionals working on social policy in international organisations and development agencies, global advocacy agencies and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs)
-Graduates from social policy, politics, sociology or international studies degrees who want to hone their undergraduate studies in a more focused area of study
-Potential PhD students who want to develop their theoretical and empirical skills in this area

Course content

The MA in Global Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training modules. In the autumn term you'll get a broad introduction to relevant social policy theories, analysis and methods. In the spring and summer terms you'll undertake specialised analysis of global social policy themes and issues.

After this you'll have an opportunity to undertake a relevant research placement that will help inform your own research project. In the placement you will have the opportunity to put the research skills that you have learnt on the course into practice in a real world situation. You'll then produce a dissertation under the guidance of your individual supervisor

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Comparative and International Social Policy - Research Methods

In the spring term you'll take two more compulsory modules that focus on international social policy:
-Global Social Problems and Global Social Policy
-Globalisation and Social Policy

After you've completed these modules, you will produce a dissertation research project, under the guidance of an individual supervisor. Subject to availability of fieldwork opportunities in internationally-focused NGOs, some students undertake a relevant research placement that helps inform their dissertation research project

Careers

The MA in Global Social Policy develops skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different career areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. Read more
Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. In a globalised and interdependent world, these issues can only be understood from an international perspective which accounts for these common pressures and processes, but which also recognises and engages with the diversity of national traditions and institutions for delivering welfare.

The International Social Policy programme takes a policy analytic approach to provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy. You learn about the common features of social policy arrangements internationally and the variety and differences that characterise welfare across the countries and regions of the world. Drawing on the research-based expertise available at SSPSSR which relates to countries ranging from China, South Korea and Singapore in South East Asia to the UK, Germany and Sweden in Western Europe, you are equipped to understand how national and global forces interact to shape trajectories of welfare system development.

The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring enduring cross cutting themes in social policy, including the prioritisation of equality and capabilities, as well as to drill down to how and why policy unfolds in key welfare fields. You develop policy analytic skills in relation to such areas as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, and children & family related policy. You acquire expertise in the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to all these aspects of social policy, and are thus equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age across the full range of national contexts and policy situations.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/118/international-social-policy

About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe.

Academic staff specialise in research of international, comparative and theoretical significance, and we have collective strengths in the following areas: civil society, NGOs and the third sector; cross-national and European social policy; health, social care and health studies; work, employment and economic life; risk, ‘risk society’ and risk management; race, ethnicity and religion; social and public policy; sociology and the body; crime, culture and control; sociological theory and the culture of modernity.

Course structure

We place considerable emphasis on structured, interactive seminars with a high degree of student participation. You also join the staff/graduate seminars which allow MA and research students to become involved in a professional research culture.

The programme gives you a clear and confident grasp of social policy in developed and developing countries. You gain an advanced understanding of the relevant debates, theories and concepts of international issues alongside skills in research design and data collection.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. Current compulsory modules for this programme are: Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power; Design of Social Research; Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy.

You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

SO832 - Using Research-Advanced Critical Skills (20 credits)
SO833 - Design of Social research (20 credits)
SO877 - Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)
SO872 - Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)
SO876 - Organised Civil Society and the Third Sector (20 credits)
SO884 - Race, Difference and Belonging (20 credits)
SO894 - The Family, Parenting Culture and Parenting Policy (20 credits)
SO938 - Governing Science, Technology and Society in the 21st Century (20 credits)
SO838 - The Idea of Civil Society (20 credits)
SO839 - Fundraising and Philanthropy (20 credits)
SO867 - Foundations of Sociology (20 credits)
SA803 - Politics and Sociology of the Environment (20 credits)
SO813 - Sociology of health, illness and medicine (20 credits)
SO817 - Qualitative Research (20 credits)
SO819 - Quantitative Data Analysis (20 credits)
SO825 - Terrorism and Modern Society (20 credits)
SO998 - Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Modules combine various forms of coursework; a research dissertation also acts as a modular component of the course in its own right.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy

- impart country-specific as well as cross-national empirical and theoretical knowledge of current challenges and processes of transformation of welfare systems

- enable you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development, and family policy

- develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas pertaining to social policy

- familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of international social policy.

Careers

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills.

We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills.

You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

SSPSSR consistently ranks highly for student satisfaction and teaching quality, ranking 6th in the UK for our Social Policy students' employment prospects (2015 Complete University Guide).

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs in roles which utilise their wide range of skills and are often found in managerial positions.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Rigorous training in the comparative analysis of institutions, from local to international. The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy will train you in comparative and international policy analysis, research and design. Read more
Rigorous training in the comparative analysis of institutions, from local to international.

Overview

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy will train you in comparative and international policy analysis, research and design. It is ideal for those working in, or wishing to work in international policy analysis and policy development in governments, charities and NGOs around the world.

It is based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which was ranked equal first in the UK for the impact of its research, with 87% of its research activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent.

This MA is especially suitable for:
-Graduates from degrees in social policy, politics, sociology, international studies or other social sciences
-Graduates from other backgrounds who wish to develop a high quality of graduate level research training in social research methods and policy analysis
-Graduates who wish to develop an understanding of comparative and international welfare institutional arrangements
-Those looking to develop a career in social research and/or policy analysis

Course content

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a solid introduction to comparative social research methods and social policy analysis. You'll then explore how social policy is affected by globalisation. You'll finish with a comparative exploration of how emerging governance structures and actors affect the management and delivery of social policy in national and international settings.

This masters degree has a broad international approach, rooted in the analysis of higher income countries in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and adapting this to a study of a broader sample of countries across the globe.

This particular masters degree attracts an international student body so you'll benefit from a truly comparative experience.

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Comparative and International Social Policy - Research Methods

In the spring term you'll take two more compulsory modules that focus on international and comparative social policy:
-Comparative Social Policy - Governance, Management and Delivery
-Globalisation and Social Policy

You'll examine how social policy is affected by globalisation in four regions: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
More details on the MA in Comparative and International Social Policy modules.

In the summer term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Dissertation Workshop. This will give you the chance to develop and present your research interests. You will participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Careers

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy develops skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Read more
Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Together with active researchers you will be led through the key contemporary debates in social policy as well as learning how to develop and carry out your own social policy-focused research projects.

Our Master’s has a strong focus on critical and radical approaches to the study of social policy both here in the UK and from a global perspective. In particular the course is concerned with how social policies can reinforce and reproduce marginalisation and oppression in society for groups such as women, deprived communities, ethnic minorities, migrants, disabled people and older people. Concurrently, nevertheless, the program will also analyse how various social policies have been the result of resistance to dominant economic structures and should therefore also be conceptualised as key institutions formalising the rights of the same groups which social policies often oppress. Social policy is also a deeply political subject and as consequence our program explores the theoretical links between the economy and transformations in welfare systems.

With our strong focus on research methods, however, our course also enables students to develop the central skills required to analyse, understand and critically evaluate any social policy issue. Not only do we encourage students to understand policies comparatively, we also provide a significant amount of research training which covers the key philosophical issues and traditions in social science complimented by significant instruction on the uses and strengths of the range of methods and methodological approaches (i.e. quantitative and qualitative data analysis, focus groups, ethnography and so on).

Drawing on our vibrant and developing research culture we offer contemporary and relevant degree programme, drawing expertise from our interest in current social policy trends in Britain, Europe and globally. Studying for a Master’s in Social Policy is guaranteed to be an intellectually engaging experience which will allow students to develop the skills required for many relevant career pathways.

Curriculum

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation (final research project) totalling 180 credits. Assessment methods will vary and may include academic essays, reports, presentations and examinations, research proposals and a research dissertation.

Advanced Social Theory (30 credits) – You will engage with, evaluate and critically analyse a range of social theory ranging in scope from classical social theory to post-modern approaches.

Advanced Studies in Social Research (30 credits)-You will understand the methodological principles and practices that underpin independent research at Master’s level. You will examine the research process, including design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation.

Transformations in the UK welfare state (30 credits) – This part of the course explores the key issues in social policy in the UK in a contemporary perspective. Notably we will explore the relationship between social policies and the wider political economy, unpicking and critically analysing recent changes in social policy such as privatisation, marketization and austerity. The course will analyse these changes in the welfare state in relation to poverty, class, ‘race’, gender, ageing, sexuality and disability.

Comparative Social Policy and Globalisation (30 credits) – This part of the course will concentrate on developing an international perspective on social policy. The module has two main aims. Firstly, to comparatively analyse different welfare states across the world and, secondly, to explore social policy in relation to globalisation and global capitalism.

Dissertation/Research Project (60 credits) – The focus of the research project will be on an issue of relevance to the study of social policy. The study can involve the collection of primary data or a literature-based dissertation.

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The MSc Social Policy and Development programme is aimed at those who have work experience in developing countries and wish to acquire professional skills in the expanding field of social policy and development. Read more

About the MSc programme

The MSc Social Policy and Development programme is aimed at those who have work experience in developing countries and wish to acquire professional skills in the expanding field of social policy and development. The degree aims to develop an understanding of the theory and methodology of social policy and development, to allow deeper study in specialist development areas of particular interest to individual students and to strengthen analytical and organisational skills.

The first stream, Social Policy and Development, approaches social policy and development primarily from the perspective of government. The second stream, Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations approaches the subject from the perspective of NGOs and wider civil society. Both streams share a common engagement with the core concepts and debates within social policy and development including the policy process, wellbeing, poverty and exclusion, global institutions and the aid system, sustainability and livelihoods, and rights and citizenship.

You will study in a comparative, international and multi-disciplinary environment, with staff who have expertise in Asia, Africa, Latin America and post-communist societies, and maintain research and advisory links with governments and key international development organisations.

Graduate destinations

Students who have graduated from this programme have gone one to work for:
Different UN agencies including UNDP, UNICEF and UNHCR
A variety of small and large NGOs including Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières, International Red Cross, One World Action
International or intergovernmental organisations such as the World Economic Forum, European Commission, World Bank
Consulting companies
Government ministries

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The MA in Social Policy equips you with the skills to analyse social policy in a way that will allow you to understand how policies are developed and the role they play in people's lives. Read more
The MA in Social Policy equips you with the skills to analyse social policy in a way that will allow you to understand how policies are developed and the role they play in people's lives. The course offers a combination of taught coursework and supervised independent study. You'll develop the skills required to carry out your own research in an area of social policy that interests you.

This MA is especially suited to you if you are considering a career in social policy analysis, advocacy or research in the public sector or socially-focused NGOs. You'll cover topics such as the welfare state in the UK and other countries, the impact of globalisation on social programmes and why patterns of social inequality persist.

Course content

The MA in Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a broad introduction to social research methods and social policy analysis. You'll then narrow down your focus, choosing between advanced research training, more detailed analysis of social policy or a mix of the two.

Most people study full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Introduction to Social Research Methods

In the spring term you will chose two of these optional modules:
-Advanced Qualitative Methods
-Advanced Quantitative Methods
-Comparative Social Policy - Governance, Management and Delivery
-Globalisation and Social Policy
-Global Crime and Justice
-Global Social Problems and Global Social Policy

In the summer term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Dissertation Workshop. This will give you the chance to develop your research interests and participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Careers

The MA in Social Policy develops the skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different career areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. Read more
Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. UCLan's MA Social Policy postgraduate degree will be of benefit to professionals working in the world of social welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline, and to the interested citizen. There are core modules in poverty and social inequality; comparative social policy and social change; social theory and social policy; the making of social policy; introduction to social research. Newly-introduced modules include a work placement module: social policy in practice, with an alternative choice of a reflecting on policy and practice module for those students already in work who may wish to focus analysis on their current professional role.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Students will be taught in a combination of lecture, seminar and workshop settings. The research module makes extensive use of eLearn. Full-time students will normally have six hours per week class contact time (3 taught modules per semester), whilst part-time students will normally have between two to four hours per week class contact time (One-two modules per semester, depending on the student's chosen programme of study). Students also receive additional tutorial support in negotiation with their personal tutor.

The course employs a variety of assessment methods including essays, seminar presentations, data analysis and a 15000 word dissertation that is the biggest single component (worth three modules) of the MA target award. There are no examinations. All forms of assessment have been designed to test the extent to which learning outcomes have been achieved.

There is also a dissertation (triple module) on a topic of the student’s choice. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and supervised self-directed study. It is assessed through coursework and a dissertation. There are no examinations.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to that range of life enhancing and life sustaining experiences, whose distribution lies at the heart of welfare states. These include education, health care, housing, and income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings and the care associated with the experience of contingencies which lead to a loss of independence and autonomy. There can be little doubt that social policy issues are now at the centre of political debate in Britain and much of the rest of the industrialised world.

The New Labour government of 1997-2010 made the ‘modernisation’ of these services and the improvement in the quality of users' experiences the test by which it wishes to be judged: in what directions has the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition taken social policy since the defeat of New Labour?

The MA Social Policy is a modular course that offers the opportunity to engage in a discussion of some of the most important issues of a world characterised by profound cultural, demographic, economic, political and technological change. It will be of relevance and benefit to professionals who work in one or other sector of the mixed economy of welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline such as Economics, Health Studies, History, Philosophy, Politics and Sociology, and to the interested citizen.

The course aims to:
-Provide an intellectually challenging range of modules that focus on a number of the most important theoretical perspectives at the "cutting edge" of the subject
-Apply an advanced critical perspective to social policy issues relevant to your professional and/or academic situation
-Encourage you to develop a framework of knowledge, critical understanding and analytical skills that can be used as a basis for both professional and personal development

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75% of our research into Social Work and Social Policy was awarded 3* for our environment - 'conducive to producing research of internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability' - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Read more
75% of our research into Social Work and Social Policy was awarded 3* for our environment - 'conducive to producing research of internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability' - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

This Masters in Social Policy and Social Research Methods is particularly significant if you are currently working in local authorities or the voluntary sector. The skills you learn will progress your career in social welfare policy development, delivery or research. Or it is also relevant if you are thinking of starting a career related to social policy in the public, voluntary or private sectors.

The focus of this course is on contemporary substantive issues in social policy development and delivery, and social policy research methods. You'll develop your theoretical, policy and technical understanding of key issues related to policy-making, social welfare delivery, equality and social justice, and research methods.

You'll gain an advanced understanding of national and international factors influencing policy development and implementation. The changing relationship between the State, voluntary sector and private sector in terms of social welfare delivery. You'll also explore how ideas of equality, diversity, justice and human rights shape institutions and the programmes they offer.

You'll engage with recent research linked to changing family forms and how family policy impacts on children and families. You'll be equipped to design and implement social scientific research using a broad range of methodologies, consider research ethics then analyse and present the material such research generates.

The course fosters a critical awareness of the relationship between theory, policy and practice and enables you to utilise your research knowledge and research skills and translate these into research practice in the field of social policy and broader social science research professions.

Flexible modes of study:
You can choose between three modes lasting one, two or three years allowing you to study whilst maintaining other life commitments.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/social-policy-and-social-research-methods

Modules

- Social policy analysis
This module will help you understand the policy making process and the factors that influence the formation and implementation of social policy, for example, demographic changes or policy transfer. You'll discuss current debates about policy making and delivery, including user involvement, localism and sustainability.

- The voluntary sector and the state: protagonist or partner
You'll explore the contemporary role of the voluntary sector in the delivery of social welfare, and the challenges they face in terms of management, capacity building and funding. You'll examine the role of the voluntary sector as partner or protagonist to the state, as well as its relationships with the private sector.

- Methods for social research and evaluation: philosophy, design and data collection
This module is an introduction to core concepts in social research and how they can be used to address social scientific questions and practical issues in policy evaluation. You'll engage with central topics in the philosophy of social sciences and the effect they have on research choices and explore the different ways research can be designed, and the way design affects permissible inferences. You'll also be introduced to the theory of measurement and sampling. The final third of the module focuses on acquiring data ranging from survey methods through qualitative data collection methods to secondary data.

- Approaches to social change: equality, social justice and human rights
In this module you'll explore a number of different goals, and the theoretical underpinnings which aim to achieve social change. These goals include: equality, diversity, social justice, social inclusion, multiculturalism, social cohesion and human rights. You'll examine a range of different initiatives to promote these goals in both employment and social welfare delivery. Finally, the module will explore strategies: to identify inequality, injustice and forms of discrimination; to monitor policy development and implementation; and to evaluate outcomes and 'success'.

- Family policy
This module is taught by internationally recognised researchers from the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research. You'll be introduced to demographic changes in families and changes in State-family relationships and developments in 'family policy'. You'll explore early intervention into families, child welfare including adoption, fostering and child maintenance, child poverty, and childcare. Finally, cross cultural perspectives in family formation will be discussed.

- Data analytic techniques for social scientists
In this module you are introduced to a range of analytic techniques commonly used by social scientists. It begins by introducing you to statistical analysis, it then moves to techniques used to analyse qualitative data. It concludes by looking at relational methods and data reduction techniques. You'll also be introduced to computer software (SPSS, NVivo and Ucinet) that implements the techniques. You'll gain both a conceptual understanding of the techniques and the means to apply them to your own research projects. An emphasis will be placed on how these techniques can be used in social evaluation.

- Dissertation
The aim of the dissertation is to enable you to expand and deepen your knowledge on a substantive area in social policy, whilst simultaneously developing your methodological skills. You'll choose an area of investigation and apply the research skills of design and process, modes of data generation and data analysis techniques to undertake a 15,000 word dissertation.

Employability

This MSc will enable you to pursue a range of professional careers in areas linked to social policy and social welfare. You'll be able to access work in the statutory, commercial or voluntary sectors and operating at central, and local government levels, for example, local government; MORI, NSPCC and DEMOS. The acquisition of specific social policy and research methods knowledge will also enhance your career opportunities if you are currently working in the field in social policy development and delivery or in undertaking social policy related research. The specialist focus on research methods also offers an excellent foundation for those interested in undertaking subsequent doctoral research in the field.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

Placements

If you are not already working in an environment which is linked to social welfare you'll be encouraged to undertake voluntary work which will give you useful experience alongside the degree. In addition it may become used as a location where you can undertake primary research for your master's dissertation. The Employability team at LSBU can help students find voluntary placements.

Teaching and learning

Modules are assessed by coursework. There are different kinds of writing required which include: a critical reading log, a self-reflective essay, a methodological critique of a research article, a research proposal, extended essays, an evaluation of social change and a dissertation.

Modules are supported by Moodle, the LSBU virtual learning environment where most course reading will be made available. The classroom is envisaged as a core learning environment where you can discuss new ideas but also to think how they can be applied to previous or current work or voluntary experiences. Attendance is crucial for building your knowledge and skills. You'll be making use of computer laboratories in order to develop your use of a range of programmes that can be used to analyse quantitative and qualitative methods.

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Definitive Programme Document - http://apss.polyu.edu.hk/files/maspsd_dpd_1617_final.pdf. Read more
Definitive Programme Document - http://apss.polyu.edu.hk/files/maspsd_dpd_1617_final.pdf

Programme Aims

The MA in social Policy and Social Development Programme aims to prepare students to develop the necessary core professional and personal competence required to work in the field of social policy and to engage in professional practices in social development. This involves gaining critical knowledge and skills in analysing and appreciating local and global policy issues and the ability to formulate and assess policy options that ensure effective, appropriate and sustainable outcomes, uphold social justice and improve social well-being. To these ends, the programme is designed to bring together theory and practice that enables participants in the programme to meet challenges in social development ethically and imaginatively.

Special Features

Unlike most other postgraduate programmes in social policy, this MASPSD is designed for those who are either to embark on a career in Social Policy and Social Development or those who are already mid-career practitioners seeking to improve their knowledge about public and non-government sectors specialising in social policy and planning for social development. It is structured to offer rigorous, interdisciplinary and hands-on training across a number of academic, managerial and professional disciplines that prepare participants to transfer knowledge into action to bring about social development, especially through responsible policy analysis, formulation, impact assessment and evaluation.

The programme will provide students with a solid foundation in social policy analysis that can be adapted and applied in many fields of human service provision and practice in social development. Graduates are expected to gain the competence necessary to participate effectively in social policy processes, conduct needs assessments, evaluate policy impacts and develop appropriate and relevant policy options that respond responsibly to new challenges in social development.

Programme Structure

‌•MA : to be eligible for the award, students are required to take 30 credits (6 Required Subjects including the Integrative Project and 4 Elective Subjects).
‌•PgD : Students who have successfully completed 21 credits (5 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit that programme with a Postgraduate Diploma.
‌•PgC : Students who have successfully completed 12 credits (2 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate.

Professional Recognition

Graduates of this programme may apply for membership of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).

Core Areas of Study

Required Subjects

‌•Policy Research Method
‌•Social Context and ethics
‌•Social Policy Analysis and Social Accountability
‌•Social Planning and the Policy Process
‌•Theory and Practice of Social Development
‌•Integrative Project


Elective Subjects

‌•Assessing Globalization and Social Development
‌•Managing Information in Social Service Organizations
‌•Organization Theories and Analysis
‌•Comparative Social Policy and Social Development
‌•Contemporary Issues in Social Policy
‌•Digital Technologies and Social Development
‌•Social Impact Assessment
‌•Social Policy and Social Development in China
‌•Social Policy Evaluation

Application Period and Submission of Application

Application period and submission of application
‌•Applicants can obtain the application material and submit online application via [email protected] during Application Period.

Application Period

‌•http://www.polyu.edu.hk/study > Postgraduate Programmes > Select a Programme
‌•Late applications will be considered subject to availability of places.

Submit an Application

‌•http://www.polyu.edu.hk/study

Enquiries

Please contact Mr. Ken WAN at 2766 5784 or e-mail to Ms Angel SHING at for enquiry

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The MA Social Policy explores issues and developments in social welfare from both a British and international perspective. The programme examines social policy within the context of broader political, social, economic and demographic developments. Read more
The MA Social Policy explores issues and developments in social welfare from both a British and international perspective. The programme examines social policy within the context of broader political, social, economic and demographic developments. The programme will appeal to those who have studied another social science subject at undergraduate level, or who are seeking to study social policy for the first time at postgraduate level. It is also suitable for those who are looking to refresh their understanding of the subject, as well as those who are currently employed in the voluntary or public sectors in areas such as health or housing. The MA Social Policy welcomes applications from international students.

The Department of Social Policy and Social Work in the School of Social Policy is an internationally renowned centre for teaching and research in social policy and social work. The Department aims to ensure that all MA students develop their analytical and research skills.

About the School of Social Policy

The mission of the School of Social Policy is to ‘understand the world – but also to change it’. This means doing high quality and relevant research, but using this as a starting point for making a practical difference in the real world (through our teaching, through professional training and CPD for managers and practitioners, through policy advice and work in front-line services, through raising public and media awareness and through working directly alongside local people and communities).

In turning this mission into practice, we are proud of our many achievements, including running the UK's oldest social work training programme (dating back to 1908, our multiple award-winning NHS Management Training Scheme, the relationships we have with local partners in the public and voluntary sectors, and our leading role in the largest senior leadership development programmes in the history of the health service.

More than three quarters of our research is rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in terms of its rigour, significance and originality, and we have extensive international links with like-minded partners at Harvard, Melbourne, Peking, Vancouver, Seoul and beyond.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Advanced research training combining in-depth methods training with schooling in social policy analysis theories. The MRes in Social Policy will equip you with advanced social-policy specific research skills that are needed to critically analyse and research contemporary social problems and policy issues. Read more
Advanced research training combining in-depth methods training with schooling in social policy analysis theories.

Overview

The MRes in Social Policy will equip you with advanced social-policy specific research skills that are needed to critically analyse and research contemporary social problems and policy issues.

The course offers a combination of taught coursework and supervised independent study. You will also complete an Independent study project that will provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate the research skills and knowledge you developed in the earlier stages of the course.

This MRes is especially suited for:
-Graduates from social policy, politics, sociology or other social sciences
-Graduates from other backgrounds who wish to develop an understanding of social research methods and policy analysis
-Those looking to develop a career in social research and/or policy analysis
-Those considering undertaking a 1+3 route to a PhD level qualification

Course content

The MRes in Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a broad introduction to social research methods and social policy analysis ​. You'll then go on to study effective data collection, analysis and interpretation at an advanced level as well as developing the presentation and communications skills you'll need to effectively disseminate your research.

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Introduction to Social Research Methods

In the spring term you'll take two more compulsory modules that build upon your earlier study:
-Advanced Qualitative Methods
-Advanced Quantitative Methods

In the summer term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Dissertation Workshop. This will give you the chance to develop your research interests and participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Careers

The MRes in Social Policy develops skills required by employers in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different career areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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Compulsory modules. The Research Process. This module introduces the main varieties of both quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Read more
Compulsory modules:

The Research Process: This module introduces the main varieties of both quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Principles of research design and issues of data collection and analysis are studied. Data collection and analysis will include:

How to construct, use and critique questionnaires and interviews
Interpret measurement error and missing data
Engage in various kinds of observational research
Analyse observational data
Record, transcribe and analyse conversational, textual and visual data
Conduct archival, documentary and historical research
Key Issues in Social Policy: This module extends and deepens knowledge and understanding of key issues in contemporary social policy. Links between theoretical analysis in welfare and empirical enquiry in social policy are made, and key issues, debates and concepts in social policy analysis and evaluation are explored. Contemporary forms of welfare delivery including issues of participation, user involvement and control in the provision of welfare are critically evaluated. Core debates relating to social change, equality and inequalities, discrimination, risk and dependency, citizenship and rights will be examined. The impact of devolution and local government change on social policy in Wales is reviewed together with national and international comparisons of welfare systems.

Health Policies: This module adopts a comparative approach to the study of health policies in Britain and internationally. Students will consider the politics of health and will develop an understanding of the dynamics of power between professionals, administrators and patients. The role of social policy analysis in evaluating the impact of change, factors associated with good and bad practice, and barriers to implementing new health policies are explored through examples and case studies. The case of the British NHS will be considered in detail examining evidence of attempts to improve the quality of care through funding and organisational change. The module will also examine the implications of devolution for the NHS.

Optional Modules:

Researching Community: This module examines the developments in the field of community research and related theoretical and policy debates surrounding the application of ideas of ‘community’ to current economic and social changes. The module focuses on four main themes:

Conceptual issues: the meaning of ‘community’ and its use as a concept in social scientific and popular discourse. This will be considered in relation to different theoretical approaches such as social constructionism, realism, and post-structuralism.
Empirical applications: an examination of classic and contemporary examples of community research and relevant case studies dealing with different forms of ‘community’.
Policy issues: relating to contemporary forms of intervention in relation to community development, regeneration, mobilisation, participation, leadership and power. This will be considered in the context of frameworks such as communitarianism, social capital, and the ‘third way’.
Community methodology: examines how ‘community’ has been researched and the tools and methods available for empirical investigation. These include ethnographic studies, large-scale surveys, ‘community profiling’ and auditing, and action research.
Nationalism and Minorities: This module will examine key issues and debates concerning the growing claims by ethnic and national minorities and indigenous peoples for distinct language, territorial and other minority rights and recognition within nation-states and beyond. The relationships between nationalism, citizenship and minority rights will be considered with reference to empirical examples. Debates and policies concerned with the management of cultural and ethnic diversity by the state will also be considered. The approach is interdisciplinary drawing on sociology, political theory, anthropology, law and education, with case study examples provided from Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. It aims to provide students with a global and comparative understanding of individual cases, of their historical antecedents, and of the key similarities and differences between them.

Policy Research and Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluation of policy initiatives has become increasingly important. This module aims to develop full complement of skills required to successfully undertake specialist research and robust evaluation that will inform future policy. Evidence-based policy and practice are imperatives of the public, independent and voluntary sector organisations nationally and internationally. Evaluation research is one of the cornerstones of evidence-based practice both locally and nationally and is important right across local government and public and independent sector organisations. The module will provide key skills to enable individuals to understand, conduct or commission evaluative work at a time when it is increasingly important for organisations to consider the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the services they provide.

Key Issues in International Social Work: The purpose of the International Social Work module is to widen students’ understanding of the differing models, traditions and welfare contexts of social work. On completing the module, students are expected to be able to:

Critically evaluate social work within the international context
Critically evaluate and contrast social work in the UK with European and other countries
Analyse the strengths and weaknesses in the different ways of doing social work within the countries studied
Discuss in depth the philosophical, historical and theoretical differences between the contexts of social work practice within the welfare frameworks of the different countries
Develop a sound and broad understanding of the contrasting differences with social work based in African and Asian countries
Applied Social Research: This module delivers specialist training in social policy research. It draws upon generic social science research skills and k knowledge and applies them to a joint group project. In the group project, students will select the social policy-related topic in which they will develop their skills as empirical researchers. It is a ‘hands on’ module and students will engage in hypothesis development, research design, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation of the results.

MA Dissertation:

The dissertation is normally around 20,000 words in length for MA degrees. Students will receive full support from lecturing staff throughout the process, from the planning stage through to the final stages of writing up the final version. Every student is allocated a supervisor who will oversee and provide advice and guidance on research design, methodology, results, drafting and final dissertation submission. Recent MA dissertation topics have included:

Mental health policy in Japan
Whose welfare benefits?
Violence against women in Pakistan

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Understand and link practice and theory across public and social policy. This course is ideal for professionals in organisations that develop or implement social policy and public policy. Read more
Understand and link practice and theory across public and social policy.

Overview

This course is ideal for professionals in organisations that develop or implement social policy and public policy. During your studies you'll develop the skills and knowledge required to influence policy and you'll link public policy theory to concrete examples of social policy.

You'll deepen your understanding of policy-making and explore the interaction between policy-making on local, national and global levels. You'll use evidence to improve social policy practice and develop a range of transferable skills such as critical thinking and designing and conducting research.

By choosing this part-time online course you will be able to combine your study with your career and family. You'll also be studying with one of the top universities in the world, with teaching and support from experienced academics and practitioners. Our Department is ranked 25th in the world, and 4th in the UK (QS World Rankings 2016). All our courses are run directly by us, so you can always count on coherent and strong support from your academic tutors, personal supervisor and our dedicated support team.

You'll study alongside your peers working in similar organisations around the world. You'll be able to actively engage with them and share your ideas, learning and experience as you progress through the course. You'll also be in a position to immediately apply your learning and insight to your work and your organisation.

Course content

This masters course will explore four themes:
-The social policy process: how are social policies made within nation states? What is the role of institutions, interests, ideas and evidence in this governance process?
-Social policy in a globalised world: how do global, international and transnational influences filter through the national policy-making process, and how do they impact on the design and the effectiveness of social policies?
-Social policy, politics and society: why is social policy making a conflicted process? How do social policies shape society and impact on specific social groups?
-Social policy and research: how can social policy be analysed? How can research improve the design and implementation of social policies?
-In your second year you'll start to prepare for your independent dissertation which will allow you to explore an area of particular interest. You'll have support from a dedicated dissertation supervisor.

You can also study for a shorter period of time and graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

Modules
To graduate with a masters degree you will need to take 120 credits of taught modules and complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.

You'll study these modules to a schedule. This will allow you to participate online with academics and fellow students from around the world.

Year one: foundation
In your first year you'll study 60 credits with these modules:
-Social Policy Analysis (20 credits)
-Globalisation and Social Policy (20 credits)
-Social Policy: Evidence, Ideas and Institutions (20 credits)

Year two: specialisation and dissertation
In your second year you'll study a combination of taught modules, which will help prepare you for your dissertation:
-Introduction to Research Methods (20 credits)
-Dissertation Workshop Part One (10 credits)
-Dissertation Workshop Part Two (10 credits)

You will also explore an area of particular interest by choosing to study one of these modules:
-Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)
-Housing and Social Justice (20 credits)
-Work, Welfare and Citizenship (20 credits)

Careers

This course is ideal for people working in the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as people working in for-profit organisations that deliver public services. It will allow you to develop the skills required for management in a large and complex organisation. You'll achieve an understanding of public policy so you can analyse and influence policy-making and implementation.

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