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MSc Social Policy and Planning/ MSc Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy)


Course Description

About the MSc programme

This programme (divided into two streams) is based in the Department of Social Policy and offers the following benefits:
A comparative, international and multi-disciplinary environment
Links to leading research groups in the Department specialising in social disadvantage, health and social care, education, criminology and development

1. The first stream, Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning) is a broad programme in many aspects of social policy that can be tailored to the interests of students from a wide range of backgrounds. It is the oldest master's level programme in social policy in the world but it has evolved to reflect new interests and challenges.

Applicants with a good first degree (in the UK at least Upper Second Class Honours) in any subject will be considered (equivalent to an American degree at a grade point average in excess of 3.5 out of 4). A social science background and/or work experience in the social policy field are advantageous, but they are not essential.

Students on this stream are drawn from many parts of the world and the courses draw on international experience and evidence. It is a flexible programme allowing students to tailor their degree to their own areas of interest.

Programme details

A key component of the MSc is a long essay (dissertation) of up to 10,000 words on a topic individually selected, to be prepared in conjunction with a personal supervisor. This offers the opportunity to pursue an area in depth, often related to past or future career interests.

The stream is available on a full-time basis over one year or a part-time basis over two years.

2. The second stream, Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) is an integrated programme designed for people looking towards careers as practitioners, planners and administrators of public services whose interest or work lies at the international and European level. It is equally aimed at those interested in careers in teaching and social research with an international or European perspective. The programme, launched in 1988, was the first graduate programme of its kind in the EU. It provides students with the opportunity of examining major current social problems and the range of policies being developed to address them from a cross-national European and international perspective. Through multi-disciplinary and cross-national study, students gain a thorough grounding in the comparative analysis of the institutional arrangements of European welfare states, as well as examining specific social problems shared by individual countries. Issues involved in further EU integration are also addressed. Equally, welfare state models outside the EU and the growing pressures of globalisation are also studied in order to widen understanding of social policy options available.

Students come from a wide range of backgrounds reflecting the variety of intellectual and professional skills involved in planning, managing and researching social policies cross-nationally and at EU level. You normally need an upper second class honours degree in a relevant academic subject. We welcome part-time students.

There are opportunities to learn major European languages (see LSE Language Centre).

Programme details

A key component of the MSc is a long essay (dissertation) of up to 10,000 words on a topic individually selected, to be prepared in conjunction with a personal supervisor. This offers the opportunity to pursue an area in depth, often related to past or future career interests.

The stream is available on a full-time basis over one year or a part-time basis over two years.

Stream one: MSc Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning)

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

Social Policy: Goals and Issues* examines the nature of social policy and policy-making in advanced welfare states.
Social Policy: Organisation and Innovation* explores the organisation of social policy, structures, processes and delivery, and recent developments in social policy in industrialised countries.
Dissertation.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two units from a range of options.

Stream two: MSc Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy)

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

The Governance of Welfare: The Nation State and the European Union* introduces the principle methods and analytic models of comparative social policy.
Social Policy: Goals and Issues* examines the nature of social policy and policymaking in advanced welfare states.
Dissertation.
Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two units from a range of options.

Please note that not every course is available each year and that some courses may only be available with the permission of the course convenor and/or may be subject to space.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from the Social Policy and Planning stream have gone on to a variety of careers in research, the policy arena in think tanks and the political sphere, social service administration, voluntary organisations and many other destinations.

Graduates from the European and Comparative Social Policy stream have found positions within a wide range of institutions, including the European Commission, European Parliament, EU lobbying organisations, consultancies, UNESCO, broadcasting, journalism, international departments of national civil services, as well as employment in teaching and research or further study for a PhD.

Visit the MSc Social Policy and Planning/ MSc Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) page on the London School of Economics and Political Science website for more details!

Videos
(Student Profile)

Katsuya Aihara

More than 60 years have passed since the second world war ended. Welfare states have been changing from their original shape, because plenty of factors have forced change, such as low fertility rates, increased longevity, and increasing numbers of female workers. It is interesting to me to try to understand such changes, as well as efforts to improve the original styles of welfare states. Social policy is very closely linked to our daily lives, so the public is interested in the individual policies provided and implemented by their governments, such as pensions, health and employment.

I came to LSE partly so that I could study and live in London, one of the largest and most attractive cities in the world, and also because I wanted to study European historical and cultural backgrounds as well as social policy itself. Besides, as Japan has been so much influenced by the UK (politics, social policy, etc), I wanted to know what the United Kingdom is like as a country.

LSE has many benefits to the people who come here – the diversity of students, a massive library, being in the centre of London and the kindness of staff and teachers. I enjoy the atmosphere here, which gives us freedom to do in our own way what we want to do. I have particularly benefited from the language centre programmes, which cover from how to pronounce English words to how to write a dissertation - especially helpful to us non-native English speakers. After I graduate, I am going back to my office, the House of Representatives of Japan, and will continue to support the members of the House.

(Student Profile)

Harriet Nakaggo

1846.jpg Firoz and Najma Lalji Foundation Scholar

The origin of my interest in studying in a developed country, particularly at LSE, happened during my undergraduate studies back at home in Uganda. The relatively backward education concepts and teaching methodologies have made it inevitable that Ugandan education as a whole remains out of pace with international educational development – we were taught to be job seekers but not creators. The reason why I applied for graduate study at LSE was that it is a university with a time-honoured history and academic reputation in the world.

It is as a result of the impact of my scholarship that I want to become a development activist in Uganda immediately after my programme, mostly geared to helping vulnerable children fulfil their dreams of life.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

2:1 or above degree or overseas equivalent in any discipline, with social science background and/or work experience in the social policy field is advantageous but not necessary; English higher level.

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Recipient: London School of Economics and Political Science
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