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Masters Degrees in Social Philosophy, United Kingdom

We have 17 Masters Degrees in Social Philosophy, United Kingdom

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The MSc International Social Policy masters programme considers social policy issues and debates in a broad international context. Students will receive training in international social policy analysis and evaluation using quantitative and/or qualitative research methods. This MSc offers choice and flexibility to specialise on the basis of three pathways. Read more

The MSc International Social Policy masters programme considers social policy issues and debates in a broad international context. Students will receive training in international social policy analysis and evaluation using quantitative and/or qualitative research methods. This MSc offers choice and flexibility to specialise on the basis of three pathways:

Ageing Societies, Development Studies and Research Methods.

Introducing your course

How can we create a better society? What does it take to improve the way a global community interacts and governs? Explore these questions and more with a masters in International Social Policy and forge a career that covers social policy, welfare, politics, social policy issues and debates in a broad international context. Study fascinating modules which include International Social Policy, Understanding Social Change, Research Design and International Social Welfare.

Overview

The aims of the international social policy masters programme are to provide you with:

  • an in-depth understanding of key theoretical and conceptual debates in international social policy, the capacity to evaluate competing explanatory frameworks and the role of cross-national and comparative perspectives
  • detailed knowledge of the various means by which social policy is delivered and the ability to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches in varying national contexts
  • a knowledge of key issues in the philosophy of social science and the ability to apply this knowledge in the design and practice of social research
  • a knowledge of the principal methods of qualitative or quantitative research utilised in the social sciences and an understanding of their application in different contexts, and (dependent on your choice of options in semester two) a knowledge of the techniques of data analysis utilised in the social sciences and their applications
  • a choice of specialising, dependent on pathway, on key issues associated with international social policy (ie ageing societies, development and social enterprise) or advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • the ability to design and conduct independent research in the field of sociology and/or social policy, utilising appropriate research methodologies, and grounded in an understanding of the process of research management and ethical and legal issues associated with the conduct of social research
  • the capacity to present ideas, arguments and research findings through different means of communication

View the programme specification document for this course

Pathways

Four pathways are offered for the MSc International Social Policy: Research Methods, Ageing Societies, Development, Social Enterprise

Research Methods

Compulsory

RESM6003 Qualitative methods 1

Optional

RESM6005 Survey design

DEMO6021 Understanding population change

DEMO6023 Population poverty and policy

DEMO6026 Population and reproductive health

GERO6017 Methods for researching ageing societies

GERO6018 Perspectives in gerontology

GERO6019 Demographic change ageing and globalisation

GERO6020 Ageing health and wellbeing

PAIR6005 The south and global politics

PAIR6010 Governance and policy

SOCI6035 Understanding modernity

SOCI6045 Development and migration

SOCI6048 Social enterprise design

 

Ageing Societies

DEMO6021 and DEMO6023 must be taken togehter

Compulsory

GERO6018 Perspectives in gerontology

Optional

DEMO6021 Understanding population change

DEMO6023 Population poverty and policy

GERO6017 Methods for researching ageing societies

GERO6019 Demographic change ageing and globalisation

GERO6020 Ageing health and wellbeing

Development

DEMO6021 (10 credits) and DEMO6023 ( 10 credits) must be taken together

Compulsory

SOCI6045 Development and migration

Optional

DEMO6021 Understanding population change

DEMO6023 Population poverty and policy

PAIR6005 The south and global politics

SOCI6035 Understanding modernity



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The MSc Sociology and Social Policy is designed to equip postgraduate students with advanced knowledge in the disciplines of sociology and social policy. Read more

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.

Introducing your course

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.

Overview

The aims of this programme are to provide you with:

  • an in-depth understanding of classical and contemporary themes and debates in sociology and (dependent on your choice of options in semester two) their application in the analysis of selected social issues
  • an in-depth understanding of key conceptual debates in social policy, the capacity to evaluate competing explanatory frameworks and (dependent on your choice of options in semester two) the role of cross-national and comparative perspectives
  • a knowledge of key issues in the philosophy of social science and the ability to apply this knowledge in the design and practice of social research
  • a knowledge of the principal methods of qualitative or quantitative research utilised in the social sciences and an understanding of their application in different contexts, and (dependent on your choice of options in semester two) a knowledge of the techniques of data analysis utilised in the social sciences and their applications
  • the ability to design and conduct independent research in the field of sociology and/or social policy, utilising appropriate research metholodogies, and grounded in an understanding of the process of research management and ethical and legal issues associated with the conduct of social research
  • the capacity to present ideas, arguments and research findings through different means of communication

View the programme specification document for this course



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About the MSc programme. Anthropology, economics, geography, political science, sociology – you already know what the social sciences are. Read more

About the MSc programme

Anthropology, economics, geography, political science, sociology – you already know what the social sciences are. But how do they work? What makes them special?

There are clear senses in which they differ from some of the natural sciences, such as their extremely diverse set of methods and analytic techniques, but does this make the social sciences any less scientific or objective?

With LSE widely recognised as the world’s leading specialist social science university, the MSc Philosophy of the Social Sciences is the ideal degree with which to pursue questions about human societies, and to apply philosophical reasoning to understanding the nature of the social sciences themselves.

This programme offers a critical examination of the conceptual and methodological issues underlying social scientific research. The Department's strength in philosophy of economics and rational choice theory makes it the ideal environment in which to study, examine and critique the use of these methods within the social sciences. 

Graduate destinations

Past programme graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers, ranging from law, forming their own start-up, working in the City and working at Google. We have a very good record of students entering excellent PhD programmes.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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About the MSc programme. With a deep and rigorous programme of coursework and research in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, the MSc Philosophy of Science explores both general questions about the nature of science and specific foundational issues related to the individual sciences. Read more

About the MSc programme

With a deep and rigorous programme of coursework and research in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, the MSc Philosophy of Science explores both general questions about the nature of science and specific foundational issues related to the individual sciences.

This programme is primarily designed to be accessible and stimulating for two main audiences: those who have studied science as undergraduates and would now like to study the philosophical foundations and methodology of science in depth, and those who have studied philosophy and would now like to delve deeper into the philosophy of science.

Founded in 1946 by the eminent philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper, LSE’s Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method is the ideal place to explore conceptual, methodological and foundational issues in the sciences. Along with the closely related Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, it enjoys an international reputation for its cutting-edge research, bustling seminar series and distinguished faculty and visitors.

Graduate destinations

This master's programme prepares you for many different possible destinations, including PhD work in philosophy or related disciplines, and employment in many non-academic fields such as science journalism, science administration and science management.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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Philosophy is about critically thinking through the assumptions of the age. Our programmes are delivered by staff with strong research profiles in modern European philosophy and an interest in interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Read more
Philosophy is about critically thinking through the assumptions of the age. Our programmes are delivered by staff with strong research profiles in modern European philosophy and an interest in interdisciplinary research and collaboration. We have a thriving research culture, with postgraduates working in philosophy or with colleagues in other disciplines.

Our lecturers have broad philosophical interests and specialise in modern European thought.

You can choose between standard academic dissertations or the more flexible context-based learning approach. Your personal interest will drive your context based learning. You will engage philosophically with an object or aspect of reality.

Research and supervision areas

MPhil and PhD supervision is available in the following areas:
-Continental philosophy and the history of European ideas
-Aesthetics
-Ethics
-Social and political philosophy
-Philosophy and religion

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COURSE OVERVIEW. Explore both historical and contemporary educational issues through a multidisciplinary approach. Develop analytical skills in educational theory, philosophy and practice. Read more

COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Explore both historical and contemporary educational issues through a multidisciplinary approach
  • Develop analytical skills in educational theory, philosophy and practice
  • Discuss and debate subjects such as inclusivity, ethics, and the arts

Philosophy of Education at Winchester enables you to develop your knowledge of educational philosophy. You explore theory, policy, and practice as they relate to your intellectual curiosity and/or your current and future professional roles. You are introduced to a diverse range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, and encouraged to enhance your analytical and research skills.

The course provides opportunities to think philosophically and critically about educational policy and practice in relation to a wider socioeconomic and political analysis. You learn to demonstrate advanced skills in critically engaging with educational literature and research, and to develop key transferable skills, including the capacity to manage projects, to communicate complex ideas to others with clarity, and to make effective decisions independently and with others, in preparation for equipping you for progression in graduate employment or for further advanced study.

You evaluate the contributions of theorists and educationalists, consider case studies drawn from empirical research, and delve into the rich tapestry of you own experiences to reflect critically upon educational issues, policy and practice. You study modules including Introducing the Politics of Educational Policy and Practice, Pedagogical Ethics, The Arts and Education, Disability and Inclusive Education. You are provided with full, one-to-one support in the production of a dissertation, which is a substantial piece of independent research of 15,000 to 20,000 words.

The course is excellent preparation for you to pursue or advance a career in teaching and school leadership, or in professions related to care and service. It also provides a firm foundation for undertaking a postgraduate research degree.

Careers

The programme is of benefit to anyone interested in pursuing or advancing careers in professions involving care and service. It provides a firm foundation for undertaking a postgraduate research degree.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Learning and teaching

In addition to lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, students are offered opportunities to engage in focused group work. Students evaluate the contributions of theorists and educationalists, consider case studies drawn from empirical research and delve into the rich tapestry of their own experiences to reflect critically upon educational issues, policy and practice.

Teaching takes place:

Evenings

Location

King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester

Assesment

Each module is assessed through written assignments, usually essays, along with other forms of assessment. Assignment titles emerge from the context of each module, although there are opportunities for titles to be individually negotiated between students and module leaders. Students are provided with full, one-to-one support in the production of a dissertation, which is a substantial piece of independent research of 15,000-20,000 words.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.



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This programme delivers high-quality research methods training, including practical experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis software packages and detailed analysis related to research epistemology and the philosophy of social science. Read more

This programme delivers high-quality research methods training, including practical experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis software packages and detailed analysis related to research epistemology and the philosophy of social science. It can provide opportunities to gain 'hands on' experience and contribute to current research projects, working, for example, with the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM).

The programme is suited to those hoping to later pursue a research degree (usually PhD) but who do not meet the research methods training entry requirements, as well as those who wish to apply for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship, as the programme is recognised by the ESRC for 1+3 funding.

The programme is a Faculty-wide course and modules are taught within the School of Education, the School of Applied Social Sciences (Sociology) and the Department of Psychology. This provides you with the opportunity to come into contact with other students studying research methods in different disciplines across the Social Sciences.

Core Modules

  • Research Design and Process (15 credits)
  • Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
  • Experiments in Education (15 credits)
  • Research Methods in Education (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (45 credits)

Either:

  • Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

Or:

  • Fieldwork and Interpretation (15 credits)

Either:

  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)

And:

  • Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

Or:

  • Applied Statistics (30 credits).

Optional Modules

15 credits from:

  • Philosophy of Social Research (15 credits)
  • Categorical Data Analysis with SPSS and R (15 credits).

Course Learning and Teaching

Teaching is offered through lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will take part in a range of learning activities, including reading, discussion, presentations, criticising existing research, analysing and interpreting data, designing experiments, search literature and synthesising the results of multiple studies. Each module is assessed with an assignment (3,000) words for a 15-credit module and a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.



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This degree captures the distinctive approach to philosophy at Exeter, taking an interdisciplinary perspective on the some of the biggest questions facing mankind. Read more
This degree captures the distinctive approach to philosophy at Exeter, taking an interdisciplinary perspective on the some of the biggest questions facing mankind.

Topics covered include:

* the philosophical, social and ethical dilemmas posed by science and technology;
* the nature of the human mind and its relationship to culture;
* how can we better understand the way that societies function.

You will also explore a range of different philosophical methods such as conceptual analysis, phenomenology, naturalism, and historical and sociological approaches, and learn to apply these methods in your own research.

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MRes Human Sciences course provides a comprehensive research training programme enabling you to gain high-level research skills, equipping you for further study at MPhil and PhD level, or for a range of professional careers in the knowledge economy. Read more

MRes Human Sciences course provides a comprehensive research training programme enabling you to gain high-level research skills, equipping you for further study at MPhil and PhD level, or for a range of professional careers in the knowledge economy.

The emphasis of the course is the development of critical thinking skills and their application to concrete research problems and issues. The modules are wide ranging covering a broad base of academic subjects in law, humanities and social sciences.

What happens on the course?

The course consists of both taught and research elements, with modules covering the philosophy and ethics of research, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and the application of computerised and virtual research techniques.

The course culminates with an option to produce a piece of independent, original research, guided by a supervisor with expertise in your chosen area of study or to complete a grant funding proposal for potential development as a research project at MPhil or PhD level.

The emphasis of the course is the development of critical thinking skills and their application to concrete research problems and issues. The modules are wide ranging covering a broad base of academic subjects in law, humanities and social sciences.

Why Wolverhampton?

Why study the MRes in Human Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton:

  • Taught by experts in their fields, with extensive experience of research.
  • The course engages with the current critical discourse on methods and emerging trends.
  • Designed with a view to ensure applicability of methods to a variety of research contexts.
  • Provides grounding for further developing independent projects both in interdisciplinary as well as subject specific areas
  • The degree can count towards admission to MPhil/PhD at the University of Wolverhampton in addition to giving a competitive edge to students applying for research funding for PhD programmes in most universities.

Career path

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to pursue a wide range of opportunities and careers involving advanced level research.

These include MPhil and PhD study across a range of disciplines within law, humanities and the social sciences, many professional careers within, for example, government and the public sector, the uniformed services, the legal and criminal justice industries, market research and think-tank organisations.

What skills will you gain?

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a sophisticated grasp of research paradigms and research methodologies, guiding appropriate employment of research concepts and tools.
  • Demonstrate an advanced level understanding of the principles of research design and planning, the difference between knowledge and information and of a sophisticated understanding of issues in research ethics including the potential use, abuse and impact of research findings.
  • Produce an original research funding bid or pilot study which communicates its findings effectively.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of the social and political context in which research takes place and show understanding of the ‘social construction’ of data.
  • Identify potential stakeholders in specific areas of research and be acquainted with the application process for research funding from a wide range of public and private organisations
  • Work reflectively and collaboratively with a research supervisor and with peers.


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The MA Political Thought gives you the opportunity to study the thinkers who have shaped the modern world – Locke, Hegel, Marx and others – as well as more recent debates in social and political theory. Read more
The MA Political Thought gives you the opportunity to study the thinkers who have shaped the modern world – Locke, Hegel, Marx and others – as well as more recent debates in social and political theory. It draws upon the diverse interests of our lecturers; refers to both Anglo-American and ‘Continental’ literatures; and employs analytic and institutional approaches.

As a graduate of this programme you will have a broad knowledge of classic debates in the history of political ideas and of changing perceptions of money, work and commerce. You will also have the opportunity to take a wide range of options in subjects including philosophy of social science, science and technology studies, and theories of revolution.

The Centre of Political Thought ( http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/politics/research/centres/cpt/) is an active research community distinguished by its diversity, collegiality and engagement between different approaches. Exeter has one of the largest and most diverse groups of political theorists of any Politics department in the UK.

Careers

You will develop a number of skills that are valued in professional and managerial careers: the ability to research and analyse information from a variety of sources along with written and verbal skills needed to present and discuss your opinions. The understanding you will gain of complex political and cultural issues, often in continually changing environments, can also be relevant to both business and public sector appointments.

For further information on this programme please visit our website: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/politics/polthoughtma

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The MA in Human Rights focuses on the pressing questions of human rights. Read more

The MA in Human Rights focuses on the pressing questions of human rights. Can there be space for human rights in world affairs? Who is responsible for the protection of human rights in world politics? These theoretical and practical concerns form the central focus of the degree and are addressed through the compulsory course units. This research route course is designed for students for whom a taught MA will be a prelude to a PhD. It will appeal particularly to those with an interest in the political, legal and ethical issues that arise from widespread human rights violations globally. The course provides students with an advanced, critical, interdisciplinary and systematic understanding of human rights issues within a global context. It is an interdisciplinary degree which allows student's exposure to developments in international politics, political theory, and law in order to better understand the complex global environment in which human rights claims are made.

Course Director: Dr Jamie M. Johnson

Tel: 0161 306 6929

Email: 

Teaching and learning

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PART-TIME STUDY

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Facilities

The School of Social Sciences is now based in a brand new purpose-built building which allows 24/7 access.

Dedicated area in the atrium with computer terminals

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Successful graduates go into careers in Academia, the Civil Service, Journalism, the NGO sector, and wide range of related positions in both the public and private sectors among others.



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Designed to enhance research skills in politics and/or international relations. Preparation for a PhD, or for a research career in think tanks, government departments or elsewhere. Read more
  • Designed to enhance research skills in politics and/or international relations
  • Preparation for a PhD, or for a research career in think tanks, government departments or elsewhere
  • Freedom to tailor the programme to suit your particular research interests
  • Specialist research dissertation
  • Suitable for graduates from any discipline

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Philosophical issues in the social sciences
  • Introduction to both qualitative and quantitative research methods in politics and international relations
  • War and peace
  • Politics of public policy
  • Dissertation

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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This MA programme is unique in the UK. It is based in a major centre for philosophy of education and aims to give students a comprehensive grounding in the subject. Read more

This MA programme is unique in the UK. It is based in a major centre for philosophy of education and aims to give students a comprehensive grounding in the subject.

About this degree

This programme enables students to explore further the relevance of ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind and epistemology to contemporary educational issues and to bring philosophical thinking to bear on their own educational concerns including professional practice. Students will gain a grounding in philosophical approaches, becoming part of a lively community of Master's and doctoral students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and the dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Philosophy of Education: Values, Aims and Society
  • What is Education?

Optional modules

The following option is recommended:

  • Philosophy of Education: Knowledge, Mind and Understanding
  • Further optional modules include:
  • Theoretical Foundations of Educational Ideas
  • Understanding Education Research
  • Rights and Education

Dissertation/report

All students are required to submit either: a dissertation of 18,000-20,000 words in philosophy of education (60 credits) or a report of about 10,000 words plus a further 30-credit optional module approved by the Programme Leader.

Teaching and learning

The taught sessions consist primarily of presentation by the tutor or another speaker, often reviewing a range of positions and arguments on a topic (on occasion students may be invited in advance to make their own presentation to the group); and discussion, both as a whole class and in small groups, which is vital both to clarifying and being able to argue for your own position, and to understanding the positions and arguments of others. 

Assessment on the Philosophy MA modules is by means of a 5,000-word written essay.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy of Education MA

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers and senior school leaders, while others have jobs as university lecturers and researchers. Graduates can also be found working as staff in policy think tanks and as youth workers or in adult and informal education.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • College and Adult Teacher (Business, ICT and Finance), Tower Hamlets College
  • Lecturer, Universidade Catolica de Mozambique (Catholic University of Mozambique)
  • Primary School Class Teacher (Year 2), Gulf English School
  • Assistant Vice-Principal, Bridge Academy and studying MA Philosophy of Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is the well-established home of an interdisciplinary grouping bringing together high-quality teaching and research in the history, sociology and philosophy of education and international development.

The IOE has, through the decades, been in the vanguard of the development and dissemination of work in the field. Its Centre for Philosophy draws together research across the IOE as well as showcasing our extensive connections in the field.

The centre is committed to rigorous exploration of a variety of philosophical approaches, encompassing such topics as the aims of education, teaching, learning, and the curriculum, democracy, citizenship, philosophy with children, new technology, and the environment.



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This innovative programme offers students the opportunity to examine processes of governance and policy-making at a variety of levels, from global to local, utilise ideas about governance to better understand contemporary policy processes in a range of settings, while also gaining rigorous research methods training. Read more

This innovative programme offers students the opportunity to examine processes of governance and policy-making at a variety of levels, from global to local, utilise ideas about governance to better understand contemporary policy processes in a range of settings, while also gaining rigorous research methods training. Students can explore these issues of governance and policy in a cross-disciplinary way, making use of insights from politics, international relations, social policy, sociology, demography, gerontology and social statistics. This programme is specifically structured to enable students to shape their degree around their own particular interests in the fields of governance and policy more broadly, and will appeal to those not only from a social science background, but also to those with relevant work experience in the public, private and third sectors and beyond who wish to expand their skills and knowledge portfolio. In addition, it delivers extensive research training particularly suited to those who wish to pursue PhD study or a career where skills in research methodology may be of relevance. This programme is accredited by the ESRC.

Introducing your course

Enhance your understanding of modern governance and the operation of policymaking processes while also developing highly valued skills across a range of research methods. The MSc Governance and Policy (Research) degree at the University of Southampton enables you to develop your interests in the complexities of governance and the challenges of policymaking and public policy delivery, as well as cultivating your abilities in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, research design, and independent thinking skills.

This rigorous programme of study, and the specific research skills it seeks to develop, means that graduates are well placed for careers not just across a broad range of local, national and international political and policy organizations, but also in areas where independent research skills are at a premium. It is also ideal for those aiming for PhD research in this field.

Overview

This programme is designed both to equip students to undertake independent research across the social sciences, with specific reference to the fields of governance and policy, and to develop in-depth research methods skills that are of relevance to a broad range of careers in the public and private sector. The cross-disciplinary nature of the programme enables students to build their own degree according to their own particular interests and preferences within the broad areas of governance and policy, drawing on the diverse range of relevant modules taught across the disciplines of politics and international relations, sociology, social policy, social statistics, demography and gerontology. The core module of the programme, Governance and Policy, also enables students to develop their policy skills by preparing a policy briefing as part of their assessment, a task designed to enable students to use the knowledge and conceptual insights gained to outline ways to solve ‘real world’ policy problems, thus delivering key skills prized by employers.

All of our MSc programmes endeavour to develop your subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and provide opportunities for you to shape your own degree trajectory through optional module selection. In addition, all our MSc programmes aim to help you gain:

  • Awareness of the changing nature of the contemporary political world, and the complex challenges presented by phenomena such as globalisation
  • Awareness of the basic theoretical concepts common to advanced study in politics and international relations
  • Key research skills, such as the ability to search for and reference sources, and to manage complex empirical or theoretical information
  • The capacity for critical thinking and independent study
  • The ability to work in groups
  • Presentation skills

In addition to the credit-bearing modules you will take as part of your chosen programme, all MSc students participate in our bespoke training workshops, led by the MSc Coordinator, and specifically designed to help you get the best grades you can on during your masters study with us:

MSc Coursework Workshop (Semester 1)

This workshop explains the expectations and demands of coursework in our masters programmes, delineates the critical thinking, research and writing skills required, outlines the processes associated with literature reviews and coursework planning, and the rules about academic integrity. The workshop is designed to give practical support to students as they approach their coursework tasks, help UK/EU students understand the specific expectations we have at masters level, and help overseas students unfamiliar with higher education in this country get a better sense of what is expected.

MSc Dissertation Workshop (Semester 2)

This workshop helps students begin the process of thinking about and planning for their MSc dissertation. It provides guidance on topic selection, generation of research questions, aims of the literature review, the role of primary research, dissertation structure, writing advice, and the role of the supervisor. The workshop also offers practical advice from academics about how to produce an original piece of work, the role of depth over breadth, and how to craft convincing arguments.

View the programme specification document for this course



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This new and distinctive MRes aims to develop a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of social science research. Read more
This new and distinctive MRes aims to develop a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of social science research. It will develop fully trained and competent social science researchers, who are able to understand and use research techniques appropriate to their subject area as well as being conversant with approaches used by other social scientists.

The programme has a substantial theoretical and quantitative core but also delivers complementary qualitative training. This will provide an essential foundation for any working researcher, whether they are going on to do a PhD or otherwise engaged in research. The training will enable students to think through how they can use their knowledge and skills of advanced quantitative methods in different contexts and apply them to a variety of problems; and, progressively, to identify their own needs for training.

It is a joint initiative between the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The course is delivered collaboratively; each semester one core unit is taught intensively, with time spent at each location. This collaborative delivery means that the expertise of academics at each institution can be made available to students from all three universities, enhancing the training capacity of each.

This programme has been accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the South West Doctoral Training Centre.

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