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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Politics & Government

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Please visit website for more details

  • Last Updated

    22 November 2017

Course content

Programme description

This programme provides intensive analytical training in the systematic comparison of social and public policies from an international perspective. It helps develop substantive knowledge in a wide range of policy fields around topical issues such as policy evaluation, policy learning and policy transfer.

Amid the ongoing debate on Scotland’s role within the UK, we offer the ideal environment in which to observe contemporary public policy developments.

You’ll focus on variation in national policy patterns within and beyond Europe, with a view to understanding how and why nations differ in their social and public policies and what they can learn from each other’s experience in key contemporary policy concerns, including labour market, work-life balance, health, social care, inequality and welfare issues, education policy and child-oriented policy and practice.

Programme structure

Teaching combines lectures, seminars and tutorials, plus a combination of essays and assessed coursework.

You will complete three compulsory courses and three option courses. In addition, you will undertake research training in a variety of methodologies and research techniques, and complete an independently researched dissertation.

Learning outcomes

This programme aims to give you:

  • a thorough training in methods of comparative analysis
  • ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)-recognised training in analysing datasets
  • knowledge of different forms and purposes of comparison
  • grounding in the politics and/or economics of policy-making
  • a detailed comparative knowledge of substantive areas of policy
  • knowledge of policy learning and transfers in a comparative context

Career opportunities

Highly relevant to anyone who works or intends to work in policy-relevant professions in the public, private or non-governmental sectors, this degree provides you with a recognised qualification that can lead to an enhanced range of employment opportunities and further study.

Past students have gone on to employment in the Scottish Government, social research, housing associations, local government, and in other public and private sector bodies, both locally and internationally.

You will develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.


Visit the Comparative Public Policy (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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