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Do you want a career that gets to the heart of society’s problems and changes people’s lives? Gain the skills to identify key social challenges, and analyse and identify policies used to address them on this interdisciplinary Masters course.

  • Choose to take a work placement as part of your Major Project, with support from the course staff and the Employability team
  • Study in Cambridge, a hub for exchanges on social welfare and policy reflected in the many networks and events, including the Festival of Ideas and Festival of Being Human
  • Learn from a Course Leader who is a specialist in research and teaching in an international context
  • Study on a course with a truly global outlook, from its multicultural students to its focus on international issues
  • Attend guest lecturers by key figures in policy-making and field trips to national and international organisations like Chatham House, Oxfam and UNICEF

Why study social welfare and social policy?

Studying social welfare and social policy will allow you to focus on the areas of most importance to people’s lives, including education, housing, health, and criminal justice, giving you the skills and understanding to make a difference to people’s lives at local, national and international levels.

It will prepare you for many careers in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including community organisations, charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations, as well as governmental or academic institutions.

What will you do on the course?

How can issues such as child labour and trafficking be overcome through global initiatives? Can changes to local policy do anything to stop domestic violence or knife crime?

On our Masters course, you will explore these and many other issues, comparing different strategies and policies across different countries, and from the perspective of many different disciplines, including politics, criminology and psychology.

Why study social welfare and social policy at ARU?

Our Master’s course attracts multicultural students with a variety of backgrounds from sociology to business studies, and health to the Arts.

Whatever their background, our students are all enthusiastic about making a difference to their communities by improving human rights and living conditions. This might include changing how their society handles issues such as gender equality, prisoners’ rights, children’s education, or environmental protection, among others.

The international dimension of our Masters course will also make you an attractive candidate for potential employers – you will be used to working alongside people from different backgrounds, as well as exploring social issues from the perspective of different cultures.

Your studies will be supported by an interdisciplinary team with international expertise in research and teaching, including:

  • Course Leader Dr Claudia Schneider’s expertise relates to different aspects of forced and voluntary migration including the integration of migrant pupils and their families into schools, transnationalisation and education, and migration theory. She has been appointed as an international consultant on the integration of migrant pupils and adults in Norway, Germany and Sweden
  • Dr Mirna Guha specialises in research on gender-based violence, social justice, and social relations in marginalised communities. She has published in particular on anti-trafficking interventions and child-marriage victims
  • Dr David Skinner has researched and published widely in the field of social studies of science and technology. He is co-editor of Identity Politics After DNA: Re/Creating Categories of Difference and Belonging (Berghahn, 2012) and co-author of the key textbook Introductory Sociology (Palgrave, 2002)

You will have opportunities to attend talks by key figures in social welfare and social policy, and go on a field trip to London to visit a national or international organisation such as Chatham House, Oxfam, Refugee Council, UNHCR or UNICEF.

We also have connections with many local and national NGOs including Red Cross, and organisations working with ethnic minority groups and deprived communities in Cambridge, through which you can choose to find a short work placement, with help from your Course Leader and our Employability team. You can use this placement to support your literature review or primary research.

Our Masters course is flexible. You will be supported to tailor your own, individual career path with the help of our optional modules from a range of interdisciplinary subjects, including policing and international relations.

Core modules

  • Comparative Social Policy & Social Welfare
  • Postgraduate Research Methods
  • Globalisation, Social Welfare & Social Policy
  • Postgraduate Project

Optional modules

You must complete 30 credits from the following:

  • International Relations Theory in Context
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • Policing Transnational Crime
  • A History of Race, Racism and Resistance in Modern Britain
  • Twentieth and Twenty First Century Fiction and Social Change
  • Nationalisms, Diasporas and Identities


Modules are subject to change and availability.

You will be assessed using methods that best allow us to assess your development throughout the course, and that relate to the kind of work you can expect to produce in your future career. These include essays, reports, case studies and debates - there are no exams in this course.

You will also receive plenty of group workshops and individual supervised support for your Major Project.


The skills and knowledge you pick up on this Masters course will prepare you for a career in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (including community organisations, charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations), employment in governmental organisations and academic organisations. Our past graduates have gone on to work in education, poverty reduction, charities and NGOs, consultancies, and government bodies both in Britain and overseas.

You might also choose to continue onto a research degree, such as our PhD/MPhil International Relations or PhD/MPhil Sociology.

Visit the International Social Welfare and Social Policy - MSc page on the Anglia Ruskin University website for more details!






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