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Masters Degrees in Social Theory, United Kingdom

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Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

For students following the MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare) route, ‘Social Impacts on Population’ is a core module, and ‘Qualitative Methods in Social Research’ is an option module.

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

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Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Read more
Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Together with active researchers you will be led through the key contemporary debates in social policy as well as learning how to develop and carry out your own social policy-focused research projects.

Our Master’s has a strong focus on critical and radical approaches to the study of social policy both here in the UK and from a global perspective. In particular the course is concerned with how social policies can reinforce and reproduce marginalisation and oppression in society for groups such as women, deprived communities, ethnic minorities, migrants, disabled people and older people. Concurrently, nevertheless, the program will also analyse how various social policies have been the result of resistance to dominant economic structures and should therefore also be conceptualised as key institutions formalising the rights of the same groups which social policies often oppress. Social policy is also a deeply political subject and as consequence our program explores the theoretical links between the economy and transformations in welfare systems.

With our strong focus on research methods, however, our course also enables students to develop the central skills required to analyse, understand and critically evaluate any social policy issue. Not only do we encourage students to understand policies comparatively, we also provide a significant amount of research training which covers the key philosophical issues and traditions in social science complimented by significant instruction on the uses and strengths of the range of methods and methodological approaches (i.e. quantitative and qualitative data analysis, focus groups, ethnography and so on).

Drawing on our vibrant and developing research culture we offer contemporary and relevant degree programme, drawing expertise from our interest in current social policy trends in Britain, Europe and globally. Studying for a Master’s in Social Policy is guaranteed to be an intellectually engaging experience which will allow students to develop the skills required for many relevant career pathways.

Curriculum

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation (final research project) totalling 180 credits. Assessment methods will vary and may include academic essays, reports, presentations and examinations, research proposals and a research dissertation.

Advanced Social Theory (30 credits) – You will engage with, evaluate and critically analyse a range of social theory ranging in scope from classical social theory to post-modern approaches.

Advanced Studies in Social Research (30 credits)-You will understand the methodological principles and practices that underpin independent research at Master’s level. You will examine the research process, including design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation.

Transformations in the UK welfare state (30 credits) – This part of the course explores the key issues in social policy in the UK in a contemporary perspective. Notably we will explore the relationship between social policies and the wider political economy, unpicking and critically analysing recent changes in social policy such as privatisation, marketization and austerity. The course will analyse these changes in the welfare state in relation to poverty, class, ‘race’, gender, ageing, sexuality and disability.

Comparative Social Policy and Globalisation (30 credits) – This part of the course will concentrate on developing an international perspective on social policy. The module has two main aims. Firstly, to comparatively analyse different welfare states across the world and, secondly, to explore social policy in relation to globalisation and global capitalism.

Dissertation/Research Project (60 credits) – The focus of the research project will be on an issue of relevance to the study of social policy. The study can involve the collection of primary data or a literature-based dissertation.

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Our highly sought-after graduates benefit from a programme that integrates training in identifying, framing and effectively researching social problems with a leading computational approach to social science. Read more
Our highly sought-after graduates benefit from a programme that integrates training in identifying, framing and effectively researching social problems with a leading computational approach to social science.

Furthermore, we are home to the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS) and its world-leading expertise in agent-based modelling.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Interest in simulation has grown rapidly in the social sciences. New methods have been developed to tackle this complexity. This programme will integrate traditional and new methods, to model complexity, evolution and the adaptation of social systems.

These new methods are having an increasing influence on policy research through a growing recognition that many social problems are insufficiently served by traditional policy modelling approaches.

The Masters in Social Science and Complexity will equip you to develop expertise in the methods necessary to tackle complex, policy-relevant, real-world social problems through a combination of traditional and computational social science methods, and with a particular focus on policy relevance.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Data Analysis
-Field Methods
-Computational Modelling
-Theory Model Data
-Modelling the Complex World
-Policy Modelling
-Theory and Method
-Statistical Modelling
-Evaluation Research
-Dissertation

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The main aims of the programme are to:
-Provide an appropriate training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for 
 students going on to employment involving the use of social science and policy research
-Provide training that fully integrates social science, policy modelling and computational methodologies to a high standard
-Provide training resulting in students with high quality analytic, methodological, computational and communication skills

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
-Develop skills in tackling real world policy problems with creativity and sound methodological judgment
-Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research 
questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs and models
-Introduce students to the methodological and epistemological issues surrounding research in the social sciences in general and computational modelling in particular
-Develop skills in programming in NetLogo for the implementation of agent-based models for the modelling of social phenomena
-Develop skills in the acquisition and analysis of social science data
-Make students aware of the range of secondary data available and equip them to evaluate its utility for their research
-Develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and Internet resources
-Develop skills in the use of SPSS, and in the main statistical techniques of data analysis, including multivariate analysis
-Develop skills in the use of CAQDAS software for the analysis of qualitative data
-Develop skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation ofresearch results and in verbal communication
-Help students to prepare their research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of audiences, including academics, stakeholders, policy makers, professionals, service users and the general public

Knowledge and understanding
-Show advanced knowledge of qualitative, quantitative and computational methodologies in the social science
-Show advanced knowledge of modelling methodologies, model construction and analysis
-Show critical understanding of methodological and epistemological challenges of social science and computer modelling
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the methodological implications of a range of sociological theories and approaches
-Show understanding the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra
-Show advanced knowledge in data collection, analysis and data driven modelling
-Show advanced knowledge of policy relevant social science research and modelling
-Show advanced understanding of the policy process and the role of social science and modelling therein
-Show advanced knowledge of statistical modelling

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Systematically formulate researchable problems; analyse and conceptualise issues; critically appreciate alternative approaches to research; report to a range of audiences
-Conceptual development of Social Science and Complexity models to creatively enhance the understanding of social phenomena
-Integration of qualitative, quantitative and computational data
-Judgement of problem-methodology match
-Analyse qualitative and quantitative data drawn both from ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments, using basic and more advanced techniques, and draw warranted conclusions
-Develop original insights, questions, analyses and interpretations in respect of research questions
-Critically evaluate the range of approaches to research

Professional practical skills
-Formulate, design, plan, carry out and report on a complete research project
-Use the range of traditional and computational techniques employed in sociological research
-Ability to produce well founded, data driven and validated computational models
-Generate both quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological bases
-Employ a quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data
-Plan, manage and execute research as part of a team and as a sole researcher
-Ability to communicate research findings models in social science and policy relevant ways
-Ability to manage independent research

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate complex ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means
-Apply computational modelling methodology to complex social issues in appropriate ways
-Creativity in approaching complex problems and a the ability of communicating and justifying problem solutions
-Apply computing skills for computational modelling, research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Work independently or as part of a team
-Demonstrate experience of a work environment

PLACEMENTS

On the MSc Social Science and Complexity, we offer the opportunity to take a research placement during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of real-life policy research in action.

Organisations in which placements might be possible are a number of consultancies (e.g. Sandtable), government departments (e.g. Defra) and academic research centres (e.g. Centre for Policy Modelling at Manchester).

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Computational methods and especially computer-based simulations, are becoming increasingly important in academic social science and policy making.

Graduates might find career opportunities in government departments, consultancies, government departments, consultancies, NGOs and academia.

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Read less
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials.
What you will study

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

Students enrolled on the Masters programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

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This is an ideal course if you want to develop your capacity to analyse social and public policies nationally and internationally. Read more
This is an ideal course if you want to develop your capacity to analyse social and public policies nationally and internationally. It will enable you to deepen your understanding of the major aspects of social and public policy, including competing conceptions of citizenship and how these inform social policy; contemporary forms of governance and public policy implementation, and the use of theories and research evidence to analyse and explain social and public policy change.

The course is suitable for those who have recently completed undergraduate courses of study, as well as those working in the community and voluntary sector, think-tanks, as researchers, or at different levels of government. It has been designed to be of value and relevance to students both from the UK and overseas, so interested individuals from all nations are encouraged to apply.

We aim to equip you with the theoretical, conceptual and analytical tools to examine contemporary social and public policies in both national and international contexts. It will enable you to draw on theories and concepts and interpret a range of forms of evidence in analysing policy developments and their social impacts.

Distinctive features

This MSc in Social and Public Policy is one of the few such courses in the UK to be offered by an interdisciplinary School of Social Sciences. As such, the approach to social and public policy offered here is shaped by a strong belief in the value of interdisciplinary social science theory and research and the importance of understanding the relationship between social and public policy and the other social sciences.

Structure

The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in two years by part-time study.

The MSc in Social and Public Policy is organised around a sequence of up to three 20-credit specialist modules, two 30-credit modules in social science theory and research methods, and one 60-credit supervised dissertation on a social or public policy topic of your choice.

You will conduct your own analysis and present these in written work and oral presentations. In addition to specialist modules which deepen your understandings of social and public policy analysis, you will undertake modules in social science and research methods. The skills developed on these modules will enable you to complete your own dissertation on a social or public policy topic of your choice.

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/group/social-and-public-policy

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-and-public-policy-msc-part-time

Teaching

You will be expected to attend lectures, seminars and tutorials as set out in the timetable for MSc students. These sometimes sit outside the regular pattern of university attendance and may include day, evening and weekend study and on occasion may fall outside the standard semester dates. You will also be expected to undertake independent study in preparation for lectures, seminars and assessments. A 20 credit module comprises 200 hours of study, including about 30 hours of contact time, and the MSc as a whole, 1800 hours of study.

Modules employ a diverse range of teaching including lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials, and independent guided study.

The programme benefits from being located in an inter-disciplinary environment so that in parts of the course, you will come into contact with staff and students from other subject areas and, in other parts of the course, with staff and students in the same substantive area.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of essays, reports, reviews and presentations.

Career Prospects

The programme is designed to be of particular interest to individuals who have experience of working with, or an interest of working for, social or academic research organisations, departments at different levels of government (e.g. local, Welsh, UK-wide, European), international organisations (e.g. UNICEF), or at community and voluntary sector organisations. It is also relevant for students who seek to pursue other avenues but who wish to deepen their understanding of social and public policy in Wales, the UK and internationally.

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Social and political theory is an exciting interdisciplinary combination of classical and contemporary theoretical developments in the social sciences and philosophy which raise important questions about the way we analyse society and about the scope of critical thought. Read more
Social and political theory is an exciting interdisciplinary combination of classical and contemporary theoretical developments in the social sciences and philosophy which raise important questions about the way we analyse society and about the scope of critical thought.

This is a distinctive MA programme taught by specialists from the Social and Political Theory Research Group in the School of Government and Society. This research group is in the unique position of being able to offer a social and political theory MA programme from a genuinely interdisciplinary team drawn from the Sociology Group and the wider politics staff in POLSIS. It offers an exciting range of modules dealing with topics of perennial interest together with topics of contemporary relevance.

Topics studied can include debates about religious and cultural diversity and conflict, third wave feminism and post-feminism, critical theory and criticism after Marx, the relationship of philosophy to social and political enquiry and criticism, and the study of democracy.

With this programme you are able to explore critically the development of social and political theory and the key current debates. The sociological component of this degree is run by the Social Theory research cluster, which has strengths in:

Critical theory
Postmodernism
Critical realism
The philosophy of the social sciences
Theories of modernity, social movements, and reflexivity

One of the real strengths of our masters programmes is the wide range of available modules, giving students the ability to tailor their course of study to their own academic interests.

About the School of Government and Society

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and International centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.
Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

POLSIS: The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), one of the largest and most academically vibrant departments of Political Science and International Studies in the UK. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) Politics and International Studies at Birmingham was ranked the 6th best in the power rankings highlighting the large number of staff in POLSIS producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

IDD: Be part of global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribute to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Help build capacity of nations and communities to adapt to climate change. Study with us to gain the skills and knowledge essential for working in international development in the 21st Century.

INLOGOV: The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. We enrich the world of local public service with research evidence and innovative ideas, making a positive difference.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Using theories and concepts of social pedagogy this module aims to introduce relationship based approaches to participatory practice; as a way of working with people. Read more
Using theories and concepts of social pedagogy this module aims to introduce relationship based approaches to participatory practice; as a way of working with people.

A range of modules are available to enhance your knowledge, develop skills and further your CPD. Credits can be gained on a standalone modular basis or used to achieve one of the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s CPD target awards.

COURSE OUTLINE

The module adopts an experiential learning approach which gives students the opportunity to participate in shared reflective activities through a variety of methods such as group problem-solving tasks.

Using theories and concepts of social pedagogy this module aims to introduce relationship based approaches to participatory practice; as a way of working with people. Students will be supported to consider how a focus on the social relations between and among staff and service users; and how the use of dialogue and critical reflection can help us understand events and interactions in practice. The module will also enable students to explore the value of practical and creative approaches to engage with service users.

The module covers topics including:
-Relationships
-Social learning
-Social justice
-Practical and creative approaches
-Developing risk competence
-Reflection
-The history of social pedagogy

LEARNING OUTCOME & AIMS

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
-Critically appraise concepts of social pedagogy and how they are relevant to social care and social work
-Consider critically the benefits of adopting a social pedagogical approach to working with people
-Demonstrate an ability to apply social pedagogy’s core values and skills in their work
-Critically explain how the theoretical approaches taught can be applied to the understanding of individuals
-Critically consider how ideas about, and understanding of social pedagogy can be used to inform practice with different service user groups.

INDUSTRY LINKS & PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

We have great links with employers including household names such as Sony, BAE Systems and Apple. We also have links with the smaller companies in the region and offer help and assistance to more than 1,000 of these – with many of our graduates staying in the region it is important we develop these relationships.

WORK EXPERIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

At UCLan we work with a range of businesses and organisations, many of which provide work experience opportunities and project briefs to enable to you gain real work experience whilst you undertake your postgraduate programme. Your course tutor will advise on opportunities available within your course and the UCLan Careers Team can provide help, advice and guidance on how to apply for them and how to make the most of these opportunities.

GRADUATE CAREERS

The UCLan Careers Team offer ongoing supportive careers advice and guidance throughout your course and after graduation, along with a range of modules, work experience opportunities and events to help you acquire the skills to make you stand out to potential employers in today’s competitive market.

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Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. Read more
Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. UCLan's MA Social Policy postgraduate degree will be of benefit to professionals working in the world of social welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline, and to the interested citizen. There are core modules in poverty and social inequality; comparative social policy and social change; social theory and social policy; the making of social policy; introduction to social research. Newly-introduced modules include a work placement module: social policy in practice, with an alternative choice of a reflecting on policy and practice module for those students already in work who may wish to focus analysis on their current professional role.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Students will be taught in a combination of lecture, seminar and workshop settings. The research module makes extensive use of eLearn. Full-time students will normally have six hours per week class contact time (3 taught modules per semester), whilst part-time students will normally have between two to four hours per week class contact time (One-two modules per semester, depending on the student's chosen programme of study). Students also receive additional tutorial support in negotiation with their personal tutor.

The course employs a variety of assessment methods including essays, seminar presentations, data analysis and a 15000 word dissertation that is the biggest single component (worth three modules) of the MA target award. There are no examinations. All forms of assessment have been designed to test the extent to which learning outcomes have been achieved.

There is also a dissertation (triple module) on a topic of the student’s choice. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and supervised self-directed study. It is assessed through coursework and a dissertation. There are no examinations.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to that range of life enhancing and life sustaining experiences, whose distribution lies at the heart of welfare states. These include education, health care, housing, and income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings and the care associated with the experience of contingencies which lead to a loss of independence and autonomy. There can be little doubt that social policy issues are now at the centre of political debate in Britain and much of the rest of the industrialised world.

The New Labour government of 1997-2010 made the ‘modernisation’ of these services and the improvement in the quality of users' experiences the test by which it wishes to be judged: in what directions has the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition taken social policy since the defeat of New Labour?

The MA Social Policy is a modular course that offers the opportunity to engage in a discussion of some of the most important issues of a world characterised by profound cultural, demographic, economic, political and technological change. It will be of relevance and benefit to professionals who work in one or other sector of the mixed economy of welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline such as Economics, Health Studies, History, Philosophy, Politics and Sociology, and to the interested citizen.

The course aims to:
-Provide an intellectually challenging range of modules that focus on a number of the most important theoretical perspectives at the "cutting edge" of the subject
-Apply an advanced critical perspective to social policy issues relevant to your professional and/or academic situation
-Encourage you to develop a framework of knowledge, critical understanding and analytical skills that can be used as a basis for both professional and personal development

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This wide-ranging programme explores key concepts, methods, debates and applications in social and political theory. Core modules will introduce you to social and political thought and its relation to economic, social, political and cultural problems in a fast-changing, globalised world. Read more

This wide-ranging programme explores key concepts, methods, debates and applications in social and political theory.

Core modules will introduce you to social and political thought and its relation to economic, social, political and cultural problems in a fast-changing, globalised world. From the seminal works of Karl Marx to contemporary thinkers such as Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek, you’ll think about how these approaches can help us understand social change on the global stage.

Beyond this, you’ll choose modules that suit your own interests – you could specialise in gender, racism and ethnicity studies, social policy, globalisation, care, health or disability among others. You can also pursue research training to prepare for further study.

Research insight - the Bauman Institute

You’ll become part of the Bauman Institute, launched in honour of Emeritus Professor Zygmunt Bauman to analyse social change around the world. It’s an exciting and stimulating research environment where you’ll learn from experts in their fields.

The Bauman Institute is inspired by Bauman’s sociological imagination, and has earned an international reputation for teaching and research. Bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines, it investigates the ways in which societies continue to evolve in areas such as power and resistance and the sociology of capitalism.

Course content

You’ll take core modules during the year that introduce you to different areas of social, sociological and political thought, from Marx and Weber to the Frankfurt School and recent feminist and psychoanalytic thinkers. You’ll consider the positioning and relevance of critical theory in relation to contemporary social phenomena.

These modules lay the foundations of the programme; you’ll build on them through your choice of optional modules which give you the chance to specialise. You could focus on areas such as research methods and design, healthcare, disability theory, globalisation, gender, racism and ethnicity studies or policy analysis and evaluation. If you’re planning to progress to PhD study, we’ll recommend you take modules focusing on research and data analysis.

At the end of the programme, you’ll submit your dissertation – an independent piece of research on a related topic of your choice, which allows you to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during the year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Contemporary Social Thought 30 credits
  • Dissertation (Social and Political Thought) 60 credits
  • Researching Culture and Society 30 credits
  • Understanding Society and Culture 30 credits

Optional modules

  • 'Race', Identity and Culture in the Black Atlantic 15 credits
  • Disability and Development 15 credits
  • Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People 30 credits
  • Contested Bodies 15 credits
  • Que(e)rying Sexualities 15 credits
  • Social Policy Analysis 15 credits
  • Social Policy Debates 15 credits
  • Quantitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Qualitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Policy and Programme Evaluation 15 credits
  • Power, Critique & Global Transformations 15 credits
  • Sociology of Media and Culture 30 credits
  • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Social and Political Thought MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Social and Political Thought MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our modules are taught using lectures, seminars and tutorials. Optional modules may also include workshops, online learning or other methods. However, independent study is still a crucial element of this programme, allowing you to develop your skills, pursue specific research interests and form your own ideas.

Assessment

Core modules are assessed using essays, as well as your final dissertation. Depending on the optional modules you choose, you may also be assessed using research reports, project work, presentations, literature and book reviews among other methods. If you select research methods modules, you’ll also be expected to engage with some data analysis in your essays.

Career opportunities

This programme will enable you to think critically with an ethical awareness and to understand how a consumer society has transformed social and political realities.

These qualities are crucially important for a wide range of potential careers from policy research to local authority and government roles, campaigning and political lobbying, work with development agencies and NGOs, and even entry to the academic profession and research-based employment.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline. Read more

The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline.

This MA programme at Kent exposes students to a wide range of thinking and approaches in social science research presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.

Through this programme you develop practical skills in data collection, in data analysis and interpretation, and in the presentation of research findings so that students gain insight into the research process from design to the production of new knowledge. You will also broaden your understanding of the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues that matter in research, and will become aware of debates about the relationship between theory and research and between research, policy and practice.

Course structure

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

  • Design of social research
  • Qualitative research
  • Critical social research: truth, ethics and power
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Comparative social policy
  • Contemporary social theory
  • Key issues in comparative social policy
  • Organised civil society and the third sector

https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/119/methods-of-social-research#structure

Programme aims:

Through this programme you will:

  • learn the principles of research design and strategy and how to translate these into practical research designs
  • understand the variety of approaches to social science research
  • develop skills in searching for and retrieving information
  • be introduced to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research
  • gain skills in using a range of statistical techniques and data analysis tools including SPSS.

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



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How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should… Read more
How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should we think about democracy – as the participation of citizens, the contest of representatives or the search for a common good through deliberation? What is justice – equality for all human beings, solidarity among some human beings or the free play of personal choice?

These questions have exercised minds since ancient Athens and, in recent years, they have received new interpretations in political theory, one of the most intellectually fertile sub-disciplines of politics.

Our MA Political Theory will help you secure a solid grasp of key debates in social and political thought, give you a strong foundation in theoretical principles. You explore topics including:
-Research methods in critical political theory and analysis
-Classical and contemporary texts of political theory
-Democratic theory and social justice
-Philosophy of social science
-Ethics and public policy

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

The key member of our academic staff for this course is Professor David Howarth, who works on faith, politics and public space in democracies.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
A programme of seminars and events run by the department
Your future
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

This course will instil a wide range of analytical, critical, and communication skills that will enable you to pursue the career of your choice, whether in the public, private, or third sector, whether with a domestic or international focus.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Political Theory
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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The Department of Education offers a one-year (12 month) taught full time MA Social Justice and Education. Social justice is a vitally important goal for every member of society. Read more
The Department of Education offers a one-year (12 month) taught full time MA Social Justice and Education.

Social justice is a vitally important goal for every member of society. Educational policy makers, researchers and teachers recognize that social justice is at the very heart of all their work in education. In this programme students will understand the fundamental, philosophical meanings of social justice in education and be able to discuss and debate relevant issues. Achievement and attainment are of course crucially important: we will explore issues about who gets what in schools and other educational contexts. We will investigate the pedagogical and professional issues about social justice – what sorts of practices are fair? All of these matters will be related to research – we will consider what we already know and we will identify what research still needs to be done.

This programme will be attractive to all those who have an interest in a fair and decent society and who wish to explore what that means in relation to education. We will explore national and international contexts. Those who are interested in diversity, inclusion, equality and other matters will be attracted to this programme. The programme will be of interest to those who see themselves as current or future teachers, researchers or policy makers.

Programme Aims

The MA programme aims to:
-Understand philosophical perspectives about the nature of education and social justice (exploring the purposes of education in relation to such theoretical perspectives as human capital theory, liberation theory etc.)
-Analyse overarching conceptual considerations to do with social justice in educational contexts (e.g. achieved by exploring educational issues through the lens of inclusion, equality, diversity)
-Evaluate the contributions made to debates about social justice in education by empirical researchers
-Understand issues about achievement and attainment in a variety of contexts (reflections of who gets what from education)
-Critique the issues associated with the pedagogical approaches proposed by advocates of social justice and education
-Develop academic study and research skills appropriate to the field
-Communicate effectively at masters level

Programme Content

Term 1
In term 1 there are 2 compulsory modules:
-Social Justice and Education (20 credits)
-Research Methods in Education (20 credits)

And one option module (20 credits) which may be chosen from the full list of modules available to all taught MA students. Modules that may be of particular interest to MA SJE students are likely to include:
-Citizenship Education
-Intercultural Communication in Education
-Motivation in Education
-Teaching World English

Term 2
-Teaching and Learning Citizenship & Global Education (20 credits), or Higher Education in the 21st Century (20 credits) or Gender, Sexuality and Education (20 credits)

One option module (20 credits) from the full list of modules available to all taught MA students. Modules that may be of particular interest to MA SJE students are likely to include:
-Contemporary Issues in Teaching
-Cross-cultural Perspectives on Language and Discourse
-Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis

Term 3
-Planning and Communicating Research (20 credits, classes spread over Terms 2 and 3)

The third term and the summer are devoted to writing a dissertation (60 credits)based on a small-scale research study to be submitted by early September. Previous studies have included an examination of global education; universities as sites of global citizenship; studying the media.

Careers

Our graduates find employment in a wide range of sectors within education and higher education, but also in journalism, information management, human resources and other careers.

Others find employment opportunities in the civil service, NGOs and other international organisations.

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Our MA brings together social theory, political theory and philosophy. You learn about the history of social and political thought, and study political and social movements. Read more
Our MA brings together social theory, political theory and philosophy. You learn about the history of social and political thought, and study political and social movements. Our course covers both historical traditions and contemporary developments.

Our research strengths include:
-Social theory (especially Marxism, Hegel, hermeneutics and critical theory)
-Recent democratic, socialist and environmentalist thought and practice
-The history of political, social and economic thought
-The philosophy of social science and the sociology of knowledge
-Contemporary political philosophy
-Cosmopolitanism

How will I study?

There are core modules taught in the autumn term, and in the spring term you choose from a list of options.

The largest assessed element in the MA is the 15,000-word dissertation. In addition, the core modules and options are assessed by 5,000-word term papers.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Careers

Many of our graduates have gone on to have successful careers in:
-Law
-The media
-Non-governmental organisations
-Government and administration
-Teaching

Others have gone on to research degrees. Over the last 30 years, a substantial number of leading academics in the UK and elsewhere have graduated from the course. Among our alumni we count professors of sociology, philosophy and politics, working at universities in the UK and beyond.

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Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life. The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. Read more
Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life.

Overview

The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. What is politics for - to bring real freedom and equality for all human beings, to realise justice, or to prevent human beings from killing one another in large numbers? What do we owe the global poor? Can we close our borders? Where does power lie in democracies?

Course Content

You’ll be encouraged to explore these topics, and others, in greater depth and from different perspectives across a variety of optional modules which draw on our internationally recognized teaching and research strengths in analytical political philosophy, intellectual history and critical theory.

The MA also features a regular research seminar, where the best current work in political theory is presented by staff and eminent guest speakers from all over the world.

Modules
You'll study one core module:
-Approaches to Political Theory

Plus, five optional modules from a range of subjects:
-Analytical Political Philosophy
-Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy
-Critical Theory
-Critical Theories of International Political Economy
-Ethics and World Politics
-New Security Challenges
-State, Space and Globalisation
-Topics in the History of Political Thought
-PhD Proposal in Political Theory module

Our range of modules allow you to study issues connected with toleration, continental political theory, legal theory and political integrity.

A 10-12,000 word dissertation allows you to apply the relevant method to a problem of your choosing.

Careers

From political research to journalism, marketing and HR, a masters degree in Political Theory leads to a broad range of career opportunities. You might find yourself working for:
-Central or local government
-Non-governmental organisations
-Community and voluntary organisations
-A Social enterprise
-A university
-Accountancy and banking orgs
-Law firms
-Media companies
-International and global development bodies / organisations

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This MA provides students with key analytical skills to study the ethical dimensions of public policy. The programme, drawing on three areas of excellence at UCL, is a unique mix of politics, law and philosophy, centred on the normative evaluation of public policy at both the domestic and international levels. Read more
This MA provides students with key analytical skills to study the ethical dimensions of public policy. The programme, drawing on three areas of excellence at UCL, is a unique mix of politics, law and philosophy, centred on the normative evaluation of public policy at both the domestic and international levels.

Degree information

The programme explores the moral quality of the decisions citizens and professionals take, and the justice of the legal and political structures within which they operate. Students develop the ability to analyse important modern political theories, and justify their position on issues concerning the relationship between politics, law and society.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Meanings of Liberty: Applied Methods in Political Theory (30)
-Seminars in Political Theory, Colloquium in Legal Philosophy and Peer Assisted Learning Sessions (30)

Optional modules - students choose modules worth a total of 45 credits from the list below (the others remain available as options).
-Contemporary Political Philosophy I: Authority, Obligation & Democracy (15)
-Contemporary Political Philosophy II: Social Justice and Equality (15)
-Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
-Global Ethics (15)
-Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition I and II (30)
-Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition I (15)
-Jurisprudence and Legal Theory I & II (30)
-Jurispudence and Legal Theory I (15)
-The Ethics of Poverty (15)
-Public Ethics (15)
-Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights (15)
-The Ethics of Counterterrorism (15)

Dissertation/report
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
Teaching for all modules takes the form of seminars where time is dedicated both to introducing knowledge and materials, and allowing students to test their understanding, knowledge and evaluative skills, through discussion, criticism and debate. Assessment is primarily through long essays, coursework and the dissertation.

Careers

This MA provides an excellent foundation for further research in political theory, or a wide variety of careers in this field.

First destinations of recent graduates include:
-UK Parliament: Researcher for MP
-Nacro: Resettlement Plus Helpline Information Officer
-Medway Council: Political Assistant
-English Speaking Union: Publicity Officer
-London Sustainable Business Forum: Research
-Vault Europe: Business Journalist
-Centre Forum: Research Intern
-Stephen Rimmer and Co Solicitors: Trainee Solicitor
-Legal & Constituency Ltd: Underwriter
-City University: Graduate Diploma in Law

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Journalist, BBC
-Political Analyst, DeHavilland
-Policy Adviser, HM Treasury
-Politician, The Labour Party
-DPhil Politics, University of Oxford

Employability
Students of the Legal and Political Theory MA acquire advanced analytical transferable skills and exposure to cutting-edge legal and philosophical work - problem-solving, logical skills - combined with deep understanding of challenges of the contemporary world. As a result our students have an excellent record of employability in leading professions - law, consultancy, politics, journalism and academic careers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of legal and political theory.

Weekly interactive seminars offer students an unrivalled opportunity to meet and engage with some of the leading figures in the field.

The Legal and Political Theory MA benefits from the interdisciplinary research culture of the School of Public Policy, as well as from the participation of UCL Philosophy and UCL Laws.

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