We are witnessing a period of considerable policy reform in the wake of the financial crisis, and the need for public policy research has never been greater. This MA programme equips students with the tools and knowledge to understand how and why public policy problems occur, and how these are affected by the social, cultural and political context, both in the UK and internationally. It offers students a sound training in research methods and equips them with the cutting-edge in theoretical and methodological approaches. The MA is suitable both for those wishing to hone their skills and knowledge to pursue further academic research opportunities, and for those seeking a relevant and rigorous course which will prepare them for employment in the private, public or not-for-profit sectors.
Subject guide & modules
Sample module options: The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change.
Core Modules: -Public Policy, Public Management and Governance (LBM001) -Research Methods (LPM003) -Social Theory and Social Change (LYM005) -Dissertation (LYM007)
Choose from the following elective modules to the value of 40 credits: -Health Care Organisation and Policies (LBM007) -Social Policy: Contemporary Themes and Challenges (LBM005) -Work Placement (LYM010) -Being Human: Disability and the Social World (LYM011) -Globalization and Social Change (LYM002) -Social Divisions (LYM001)
Learning, teaching & assessment
You will take part in interactive small seminars, presentations and group work. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. You will be allocated a personal tutor to whom you can turn for help and advice. Assessment occurs through essays and reports (for example, on the practical application of research methods), and a dissertation.
This new MA programme opens the way vocationally to both research at doctoral level and to work in the private, voluntary and public sectors.
One reason why I chose to do my MA with the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston is because Birmingham is my home town, which meant I could stay at home to study and save money. Also the fees are low in comparison to other Masters courses that I looked at, and the University has a great reputation.
The quality of teaching here has been brilliant. All of my tutors are passionate about their area of knowledge and highly supportive of their students, particularly in the Sociology department. Although my Masters course involved much more individual reading than taught classes, I really looked forward to meeting up each week to discuss the material. Bouncing ideas between fellow students and the tutor really helped me to explore new ways of looking at problems/concepts. I have learned so much in a very short space of time. I feel that I can now write and talk confidently about the ideas which have always interested me, and will continue to interest me throughout my life.
The course has given me an excellent grounding in the major sociological theories, as well as in basic public policy issues. I also had the opportunity to take part in a 3-week work placement, which I chose to do at the West Midlands Labour Party. This means that after graduating there will be more than one route I could take in terms of my career. At the moment I am considering either applying for a graduate position in a social care organisation or an internship with a homeless charity.
I applied for a scholarship from Aston University which I was fortunate enough to get. The University pays half of my tuition fees and in return I was asked to organise and run weekly Speaking Classes with Chinese, Japanese and Korean students who were on a year abroad as part of their studies. Getting to know the students through the Speaking Classes has been one of the best experiences I have ever had in an academic environment. I'm hoping to keep in touch with a couple of my students even though they have all gone back home now.
The School of Languages and Social Sciences offers 3 x £5,000 scholarships towards tuition fees in the 2015/16 academic year.If you wish to be considered for the scholarship you must submit an essay of approximately 1000 words on the following: "How will the LSS MA/MSc Scholarship enhance your career prospects and help you achieve your academic and professional goals? How would you benefit from a scholarship and what difference would it make to you?"
Value of Scholarship(s)
The scholarships are available to all students (full-time, part-time, on campus and distance learning) enrolling on LSS MA/ MSc programmes in 2015/16.
Email your completed essay to [email protected] NOTE: Applicants must hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an MA/MSc programme at LSS commencing at Aston University in October 2015.
CELCA Scholarship: For MA students with native speaker competence in English
The exact nature of this work will be decided at the beginning of the programme but may include providing support to international Postgraduate and International Year Abroad students, the IELTS team, deliver speaking classes for our IYA (International Year Abroad) and KYA (Kansai Year Abroad) students, help conference and workshop organisers, academic visitors or students with special needs. The work will often take place at different times every week - depending on the projects you support.
Value of Scholarship(s)
The School of Languages and Social Sciences offers 3 x £3000 bursaries towards the cost of the MA tuition fees for students with native speaker competence in English. In return, the students will complete up to six hours a week pastoral work for the School.
If you wish to be considered for the bursary, you must submit an essay of approximately 1000 words on the following:What do you consider to be your major strengths and weaknesses? How would you be able to support international students on programmes in the School of Languages and Social Sciences?Email your completed essay to [email protected] NOTE: Applicants must hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an MA programme (taught on-campus) at LSS commencing at Aston University October 2015.
2.1 Degree in any discipline (or equivalent). Mathematics - C or above at GCSE (or equivalent). Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.
Recipient: Aston University
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