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Grantmaking, Philanthropy and Social Investment (PgCert/PgDip/MSc)

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  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Business & Management

  • Start Date

    April, October

  • Course Duration

    Part-time: 6 months (PgCert) 14 months (PgDip) 29 months (MSc)

  • Course Type

    PgDip, MSc, PgCert

  • Course Fees

    £9,810 - 2019/10 (for October 2019 and April 2020 entry) Tuition fees are subject to annual change

  • Last Updated

    07 January 2019

Who is it for?

You may already be working in a social funding environment, or wishing to learn more about the world of philanthropy and social investment. The course is suitable for both aims, as a boost to your existing career or to facilitate a change in career direction.

Most of the examples studied on the course are from the UK, but international examples give a broader perspective, meaning your learning is transferable to any culture or jurisdiction.


As a student on this course, you will develop a clear understanding of the principles and practice of philanthropy and grantmaking. And the importance of all aspects of risk assessment, probity of applications, ethical frameworks and relationships with external communities and agencies.

You’ll examine grant-giving and other investment categories such as loans, endowments, contracts, social bonds and impact investing.

The course provides a solid background in the history and theory of philanthropy and grantmaking (with examples both from the UK and abroad). Beyond the theory, you’ll study the application of social investment practice as a business process.


The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years (30 months for those who chose to start with the PgCert in April due to the structure of the timetable).

Students initially enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma with the specialist area of their choice, and confirm their intention to complete the MSc at the end of the first year.

The focus for those starting with the PgCert is on the Specialist modules which is balanced with the sector context provided by the core modules on the PgDip.

  • Deepen your understanding of the background to the grantmaking and philanthropy sector, from history to key facts.
  • Study the different models and practices of the sector. 3. Enhance your understanding of the strategic and tactical decisions that philanthropic activity demands.
  • Get to grips with the theoretical tools critical for social investment, including evaluation, impact measurement, risk and operations management.
  • Learn about a range of approaches to key issues presented by major practitioners.
  • Discover how to design and operate a programme for social investment that maximises societal impact.

Module outlines

Assessment methods

The Postgraduate Certificate is offered on a part time basis and is taught over a period of six months. The Certificate consists of five modules: Introduction to Learning Principles and Practices of Grantmaking, Management of Grantmaking and Shadowing/Fieldwork.

The Postgraduate Diploma is offered on a part time basis and is taught over a period of 12 months. The Diploma consists of four core modules, plus three specialist pathway modules. The core modules are shared by all five Centre for Charity Effectiveness postgraduate courses.

Upon successful completion of the diploma, you will be given the option to continue to the MSc. This requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module.

This can be followed by a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000-word dissertation.

Alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other Charities programmes.

Career pathways

Students are selected on their professional experience, and generally continue working in their full –time role whilst undertaking this course.

PG Loans

You may wish to look at the PG Loan option for funding.

Visit the Grantmaking, Philanthropy and Social Investment (PgCert/PgDip/MSc) page on the Cass Business School website for more details!





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Recipient: Cass Business School

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