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PgCert/PgDip/MA Philanthropic Studies

Course Description

This course will be held at the Medway Campus

- https://www.kent.ac.uk/locations/medway/

This programme is the UK’s first Master's in Philanthropic Studies. It is an innovative online course that builds on our expertise and teaching in civil society, fundraising, philanthropy, the third sector and volunteering.

Our programme meets demands for better higher educational provision for the charity workforce, as well as demands from donors for greater understanding of the meaning and purpose of philanthropy. It is delivered by academics trained in a wide range of relevant disciplines including social policy, business, history, sociology, geography, moral philosophy, anthropology, law and economics.

The programme also draws significantly on expertise from beyond the University, including teaching contributions from leading philanthropy experts, advisers, consultants, grant-makers, fundraisers and strategic philanthropists.

The team at Kent is led by Dr Beth Breeze - author of the annual ‘Million Pound Donor Report’, co-author of Richer Lives: Why Rich People Give, and frequent contributor to charity sector and media debates.

This programme will be attractive to students seeking a high-level understanding of philanthropy and/or a career in the buoyant philanthropy sector, as well as to professionals seeking an opportunity to reflect on their practice.

The programme is distance learning with occasional seminar attendance at either our Medway or Canterbury campuses.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/769/philanthropic-studies

Course structure

This programme is offered as a distance-learning course, with an optional three-day induction at the start of each year, and one study day per term, held at our Canterbury campus. All course work is completed online, where you participate in online discussion forums and have access to journal articles and specialist materials. After successful completion of the assignment, the module is equivalent to 20 credits at Master’s level.

We offer a ‘modular’ system so that you can choose whether to study three modules to gain a PG Certificate or six modules to gain a PG Diploma. There is also the opportunity to study any one module as a taster before committing to a full Certificate, Diploma or Master’s programme.

Each module comprises:

- Study days, which will feature guest lectures and question and answer sessions from key academics and practitioners.

- Short online lectures

- Short video/audio recordings from key academic experts

- Short video/audio recordings from a range of practitioner sources

- Online seminars

- Weekly guided study using a range of academic sources

- Student-led discussion using online forums


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

You take three compulsory modules:

- Fundamentals of Philanthropy – introducing you to key conceptual approaches and mapping how philanthropy has evolved over time.

- Global Philanthropy: Comparative Perspectives – studying philanthropy around the world to understand the diversity of cultural, social and political contexts that influence the understanding and practice of philanthropy.

- Understanding Social Research – preparation for your dissertation through the introduction of research methodologies and developing a critical understanding of how to employ different techniques.

Optional modules include:

- The Art and Science of Fundraising – understanding the nature of fundraising and how asking interacts with giving, plus thorough instruction on the techniques, knowledge and attributes required by development professionals.

- Advising Donors – covering the growing body of research on the role of advisers and consultants in supporting more effective philanthropy, designed with the needs of community foundation staff in mind.

- Volunteering and Society – exploring volunteering and its role in society, by looking at volunteer motivations, strategies for volunteer management, and the relationship between volunteering and the changing policy environment.

Programme Learning Outcomes:

- An advanced critical understanding of the major theories of philanthropy and how these relate to practice.

- A systematic understanding of the historical evolution of philanthropy and charity across the world and how these relate to and impact upon current debates.

- An advanced knowledge of the range of funding streams available to charitable organisations and the impact and consequences of pursuing different types of income.

- A comprehensive understanding of the theory and practice of key techniques used in the philanthropy sector.

- A critical awareness of the policy environment in which philanthropy and charitable organisations operate and how this impacts upon their work.

- A practical understanding of the rationale and methods for collaborating with a range of stakeholders, including colleagues, trustees, volunteers, donors, funders, beneficiaries and representatives of statutory funders.

- An advanced knowledge of qualitative methods for researching outcomes and applying best practice.

- An advanced knowledge of quantitative methods for researching outcomes and applying best practice.

- A comprehensive understanding of how to apply theoretical knowledge in order to reflect upon and develop professional practice.


- Participation in ’online learning environment’ forums

- Coursework assignments

- Reflective learning logs

- Professional documents including audits, business cases, strategic plans and critical appraisals

- Mid-module quizzes

- Dissertation (supported by regular Skype meetings and at least one face to face meeting)

Research areas

SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe.

Based on our results in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, research in the School was ranked 2nd for research power in the UK by the Times Higher Education. It was also 3rd for research intensity, 5th for research impact and 5th for research quality (GPA) with:

- an impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF

- 99% of the research submitted was judged to be of international quality

- the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research, gaining the highest possible score of 100%.

This reflects that when not on campus or teaching, our staff actively engage in research activities such as writing books, speaking at conferences, and contributing to academic and professional journals.

Our research work also involves supervising PhD students who also teach on the programme, some of which are graduates of the School. Students with an interest in further study are actively encouraged and valued as part of a department that offers the best in teaching and research.


Understanding philanthropy is a crucial skill for anyone aspiring to be effective in a role in a charity or grant-making body or as a philanthropist. The knowledge and skills that you gain through this Master's programme will equip you with an essential and highly practical understanding of the history, methodologies and impact of philanthropic activity.

The distance learning delivery of the Master’s programme enables you to fit learning around your life and work commitments and you have the chance to apply your knowledge as you progress. Each cohort contains a unique mix of experiences and professions, providing a valuable opportunity for information exchange and networking.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the PgCert/PgDip/MA Philanthropic Studies page on the University of Kent website for more details!

Student Profiles

The Templeman Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

This scholarship covers the tuition fees for one year of a full-time taught postgraduate programme at the University of Kent.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full-time taught postgraduation tuition fees for one year


•Applicants must be University of Kent Graduates.
•Applicants must already hold, or be expected to achieve, a first class honours degree from the University of Kent.
•Applicants must have received, and accepted an offer for a full-time taught postgraduate degree (any subject) at the University of Kent for 2016-17.
•Full-time UK (home), EU and overseas fee paying students are invited to apply.

Application Procedure

Email the Scholarships Unit ([email protected]) with the following:•Subject line: Templeman Scholarship
•Include in the email: ◦ full name
◦student application number or current student ID number
◦previous University of Kent undergraduate student ID number
•Attach a covering letter addressing "Why I wish to pursue my chosen postgraduate degree at Kent".

Further Information



Graduate School Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The University of Kent offers a broad variety of postgraduate study and research opportunities across a range of superb locations in Canterbury, Medway, Brussels and Paris. Our postgraduates benefit from teaching and supervision by world-leading researchers and have access to excellent facilities and training opportunities. The Graduate School Scholarship Scheme was established in 2009 to celebrate the founding of the University's Graduate School, which is responsible for the strategic development of graduate education and research within the University. The scholarship provides a £1,000 reduction (£500 per annum for part-time students, for 2 years) in tuition fees to University of Kent 2015 graduates who earn a Bachelors degree with honours (or undergraduate Masters degree) and register for a postgraduate degree at Kent by 1 October 2015.Candidates can hold the Graduate School Scholarship in conjunction with other awards except where these awards offer full fees and a Research Council UK equivalent maintenance grant. The Graduate School Scholarship cannot be held in conjunction with the University's loyalty discount.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1000 towards tuition fees


Exclusively for 2015 Kent graduates who are registered at Kent by 1 October 2015 for a self-funded postgraduate degree programme.

Application Procedure

There is no need to make a separate application. The tuition fee reduction will be provided to all eligible 2014 graduates on registration.

Further Information



Music Scholarships - 15 Awards

The University of Kent recognises the role that music and culture plays in the development of the individual and the benefits cultural activities bring to the wider University community. It offers Music Performance Scholarships of up to £5,000 each year to talented instrumentalists and singers studying for any degree. The scholarship is intended to encourage excellence and development in music performance, and includes instrumental/vocal tuition with experienced teachers. Around fifteen scholarships are awarded to new applicants each year. In return, recipients are expected to make a major contribution to the musical life of the University. Scholarships will normally be allocated only to those students whose musical interests and talents can be supported within the University community.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Music Scholarships/Awards are intended to recognise and encourage excellence. Applicants would usually be expected to demonstrate some or all of the following criteria when submitting their written application:•an advanced ABRSM grade (or equivalent, including RockSchool, Trinity or other international musical qualifications)
•a significant musical profile whilst in school / college / university or the local community
•appropriate performing experience at county or national level / conservatoire, e.g. youth choir, county orchestra, wind band, jazz or big band
•experience in giving public performances, e.g. gigs or solo recitals, major role in musical theatre productions

Application Procedure

There is no deadline prior to the start of the academic year, but early application for is advisable. If you would like to discuss the Music Scholarship/Award Schemes prior to your application, contact Susan Wanless, Director of University Music, Tel 01227 823305.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first degree, attaining a 2.1 or equivalent in a social science discipline and must satisfy the School’s minimum English language requirements of IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component), from a qualification taken within the last two years.

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