The MSc in Social Policy and Social Research encompasses both a theoretical understanding of the policy process with advanced research methods training, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in complex and challenging policy contexts. This degree has ESRC 1+3 training recognition, meaning it stands alone as an MSc but will also prepare students for doctoral research.
Students are equipped with the conceptual tools and empirical evidence necessary for investigating social policy and policy-making, including critical assessment of the role of research evidence in policy development and implementation. Graduates will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding and analytical and methodological skills to conduct social research in different policy contexts.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
Students select optional modules from the following list.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words. Workshops and online resources help prepare students for the dissertation.
Teaching and learning
A rich variety of teaching of methods are used, including lectures combined with seminars. In some modules, students are given the opportunity to develop presentational skills through group projects. The programme includes both face-to-face and online components. Assessment is through coursework assignments and a 12,000-word dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social Policy and Social Research MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme may find work in a broad range of areas, including as social policy researchers and advisers in government, NGO personnel, or as university and college lecturers and researchers.
Graduates from this MSc gain sought-after skills that allow them to pursue professional careers in academia and/or policy research, policy analysis, policy development and implementation, programme management, and policy advocacy within the public, private, or non-profit sectors.
The programme offers a unique opportunity to study social policy and the ways in which research, along with other forms of evidence and knowledge, connects with and impacts on policy-making and professional practice. Training is also provided in social research methods relevant to people working in a policy or academic context. It is structured to allow students to customise their degree according to their preferred area of study and future career plans.
The programme is located within the Department of Social Science, a research-intensive department with an outstanding international reputation. It is taught by an interdisciplinary team, all with specialist expertise across a wide range of policy areas.
Our central London location and network of partners and alumni gives us access to nationally and internationally prominent guest speakers who give insight into policy as it is formed.
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.
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.
You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:
This programme aims to:
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.
Our graduates obtain a range of transferable skills and report high levels of being in employment or further study within six months of graduation across all of our degree programmes.
Over 98% of Kent's postgraduate students who graduated in 2016 were in work or further study within six months. Recent graduates from our School have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.
How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/
We offer inspirational teaching and supervision alongside first-class library and IT facilities. You also benefit from our high-impact research in all subjects. Whatever you are looking to study, Kent provides a dynamic and challenging environment for your postgraduate studies.
* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions
This unique programme is aimed at international and UK students with an interest in international social work, community development, and comparative social policy. The programme examines advanced knowledge about the theory and practice of social work and community development in an international context. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of global social issues (such as social exclusion, poverty, environmental degradation, and disasters) and relate this knowledge to developments in their own country. You will be equipped with the skills to engage in research and to apply research findings effectively in practice. The programme includes a two-week field-based learning opportunity in a social work or community work agency. The dissertation provides space for you to carry out research on an aspect of social or community work in the UK.
Durham University is a world leader in international social work and community development research, theory, and practice. Our social work team has edited the prestigious International Social Work journal and works closely with social work’s key international organisations - , the International Association of Schools of Social Work, .the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), and the International Council of Social Welfare (ICSW). Its Programme Director also represents social work at the UNFCCC and other UN bodies.
You will study in a small group of international students, and also alongside UK students on postgraduate social work and research degree programmes. This will give you plenty of opportunities to share knowledge and experience in addition to your learning through lectures, presentations and seminars.
The MA consists of five core modules, designed to give you an understanding of social work as it is practiced in the UK, and a thorough grounding in research methods and their application. You will also choose two specialist modules according to your particular professional interests. Finally, you will undertake a research project and write a dissertation. To achieve the Master's degree, you must accumulate a total of 180 credits, as listed below.
International Social Work (30 credits)
Social Work: Context and Practice (30 credits)
Community Development and Organising (15 credits)
Practitioner Research and Dissertation (60 credits)
Field Based Learning (15 credits)
Note students are required to pay for travel costs to and from their fieldwork practice placement.
These are subject to staff availability. In previous years, typical modules offered were:
Youth Policy and Practice (15 credits)
Management in Community Settings (30 credits)
Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)
Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
Crime, Violence and Abuse (30 credits)
Our Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme is designed for graduates looking for an advanced professional qualification to provide a launch pad for careers in the public sector, nonprofit sector or international policy community.
The MPP is a theory-based empirically informed and practice-oriented. It aims to:
The programme benefits greatly from being located in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city and seat of government allowing ready access and collaboration with central and local government, parliament, as well as a range of public service and non-profit organisations.
Core courses in first semester give you a grounding in politics, economics and policy analysis; these inform a fourth, a case-based investigation of a specific policy domain. Optional courses (one in first semester and two in the second semester), chosen from across a wide range of graduate courses offered by the School of Social and Political Science, provide specialist understanding of different issues, topics and contexts. The programme culminates in a placement-based dissertation of 8-10 weeks in a policy organisation.
You will be taught using a variety of innovative teaching methods with a focus on providing a strong practice-oriented element to provide you with the skills necessary for a career in the public sector. Classes typically last up to three hours and include academic presentations, student-led discussion and practitioner contributions.
The types of assessment used will include:
This programme offers an opportunity to undertake a work placement (approximately 8-10 weeks) with a policy organisation. Students undertaking a placement are required to produce a professional analytical report, based on their placement, which explores an existing public policy problem faced by a real-life public or non-profit sector organisation and your recommendations for a strategy to address it.
Placements are not guaranteed and are dependent on overall academic performance as well as the availability of suitable placements. Students who do not undertake a placement will complete a research report in which they will engage with a policy problem, collecting data, and presenting policy recommendations.
By the end of the programme, you will have gained skills in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
The MPP is a recognised professional qualification. The combination of academic excellence and practical experience ensure that MPP graduates are well placed for careers in public policy, government, think tanks, consulting firms, NGOs, party politics, and advocacy/lobbying organisations, among others.
The transferable skills you will gain from the programme, and the experience and networking opportunities from the placement, will give you a competitive edge in the employment market whatever your eventual career.
The University’s Academy of Government also offers an Executive Programme in Public Policy, aimed at mid-career professionals from the public sector, international organisations, business and civil society organisations, on a flexible, credit-accumulation basis:
The MSc Sociology and Social Policy is designed to equip postgraduate students with advanced knowledge in the disciplines of sociology and social policy. It allows for greater flexibility than either the MSc Sociology and Social Research or the MSc Social Policy and Social Research by enabling you to specialise in quantitative or qualitative methods.
This programme explores contemporary issues in sociology and social policy, such as social inequality and diversity, migration and terrorism, and can be used as a stepping stone for those who wish to pursue careers in the public, private or voluntary sector.
Do you want to explore the structure of human society? Do you want to investigate why societies pool their resources to pay for social protection how social policy forms society? Enrol on the MSc Sociology and Social Policy degree and conduct social science research to understand the forces behind the construction of policies.
This masters course will open a path a range of fulfilling careers in social research and social policy. It also provides a stepping stone for those who wish to pursue a PhD in sociology and/or social policy.
The aims of this programme are to provide you with:
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.
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.
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.
Rethink public policy from the ground up, by exploring creative and innovative approaches for making, shaping and influencing policy design and delivery.
This specialist MSc in Public Policy offers you the opportunity to delve into how public policy is made, what shapes it, and how you can make a real difference as a policymaker.
You will explore the political, economic and social dynamics and forces that influence contemporary public policy issues. This will enable you to think creatively about public policy design and delivery, and your role within it.
Highly applied in nature, the course draws on diverse cases from policymaking globally, as well as from Europe and the UK. You’ll work with academics from the Institute for Policy Research, Department of Social & Policy Sciences and Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies with international expertise in this area, and have links to senior and experienced policymakers from around the world.
The course also examines how data, knowledge and evidence in the digital environment are re-shaping how public policy is analysed, made and practised.
You will leave the course with:
The course is delivered in an inspiring format, with highly structured and interactive online content; face-to-face learning and networking at short residentials in Bath and London; and intensive support from leading Bath academics throughout.
Ideal for those already working in policy, or aspiring to do so, the course offers plenty of opportunity to draw on examples from your own professional experience, and to apply the new ideas and skills to your own specific public policy interests.
The specialist teaching and tools you acquire will put you in a strong position for moving forward in any policy-facing or policy-shaping role, whether in analysis, strategy or delivery.
You will be equipped to work as a national civil servant in a policy role, government affairs official, think tank researcher, parliamentary advisor, policy advisor, policy advocate in a large INGO or advocacy organisation.
You could also work in regional or local government strategy, public service policy or strategy, or the private sector providing contracted public sector services.
You could also take your studies further to doctoral level.
This course lasts 2 years. Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.