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Course content

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.

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

You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:

  • Design of social research
  • Key issues in comparative social policy
  • Comparative social policy
  • Organised civil society and the third sector
  • The family, parenting culture and parenting policy
  • Governing science, technology and society in the 21st Century
  • Foundations of sociology
  • Politics and sociology of the environment
  • Sociology of health, illness and medicine
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Terrorism and modern society

https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/118/international-social-policy#structure

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.

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/

Why study at the University of Kent

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.

  • Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017
  • Kent is ranked 25th in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • Kent is ranked 22nd in the Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 42% of our academics are from overseas and we have students representing 158 nationalities
  • In the most recent research rankings, 97% of research at Kent was found to be of international quality (REF 2014)
  • Kent is ranked 17th in the UK* for research intensity and research output (REF 2014)
  • Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why-kent/

* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions


Visit the International Social Policy page on the University of Kent website for more details!

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