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Comparative and International Social Policy (MA)

Course Description

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy provides training in policy analysis and policy research with an international and comparative dimension. It is ideal for those working in, or wishing to work in international policy analysis and policy development in governments, charities and NGOs around the world. The programme adopts a broad international approach, rooted in the conceptual and empirical analyses of higher income countries within the OECD, but adopting these to the study of a broader sample across the globe.

Who is the programme for?

*Graduates from social policy, politics, sociology, international studies or other social sciences.
*Graduates from other backgrounds who wish to develop an understanding of social research methods and policy analysis.
*Those looking to develop a career in social research and/or policy analysis.


Our programmes are designed for students who look to become active in international social policy analysis and research. Graduates from the MA in Comparative and International Social Policy programme head to a wide variety of destinations, but most tend to go into one of three key areas:
*policy analysts inside government agencies, NGOs or campaigning organisations;
*researchers in the same fields; or,
*academic research, often following a further period of study at PhD level.

Themes and content

The MA in Comparative & International Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training modules. In the Autumn Term you are provided with a broad introduction to comparative social policy theory and methods and grounding in key social policy analysis themes, issues and theories.

In the Spring Term, you undertake more detailed analysis of social policy themes and issues and combine this with study of the impact of globalisation on social policy. Following completion of these modules, you will embark on your own individual research project, producing a 15-20,000 word dissertation under the guidance of your own individual supervisor. You will also have the opportunity to present your research in progress to a wider audience during a programme of dissertation workshops.


The MA Social Policy programme comprises of modules which have been specially developed for the postgraduate programmes in the Department. We do not co-teach these modules with undergraduate students, and this allows you to study the themes and issues at a more advanced level. The fixed number modules on offer is a demonstration of our commitment to developing a high-quality, advanced programme of study which is focused in its aims, so that graduates and employers of graduates of the programme can be assured they have developed the appropriate knowledge and skills to analyse and tackle global social policy issues.
Modules are taught through a combination of workshops, lectures and seminars. You will find that small group working and establishing your own perspective on social issues will become a core part of your studying process.
Find out more about modules here: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/postgraduate-modules/social-policy-ma-mres/

Funding opportunities

Of particular note for students wishing to study MA CISP:

Chevening Scholarships http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/scholarships/chevening/faq/
Jean Monnet Scholarships http://euroalert.net/en/calls.aspx?idc=2530
World Wide Studies for Ukraine http://worldwidestudies.org/en/page/country-uk/

Our calilbre

In the latest national research evaluation exercise (REF 2014) our overall research performance was ranked third in the UK, with 54% of research activity rated as world leading. We were also ranked joint first in the UK for research impact.

The QS World University Rankings included a separate subject league table for Social Policy & Administration for the first time this year and our department was ranked 25th in the world.

The QS World University Rankings also ranked us 4th in the UK for social policy.

Talk to us

Our Virtual Open Days are the ideal way to find out more about postgraduate study at York. At the live event you can chat online with academic staff and current York postgraduate students as well as watch talks on finance and student life. Go to https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/open-days/virtual-open-day/ to find out more.

Visit the Comparative and International Social Policy (MA) page on the University of York website for more details!

Student Profiles

Maria Bourboulis Scholarship - Single Award

he Department of Social Policy and Social Work is honoured to announce the call of applications for the Maria Bourboulis Scholarship to prospective postgraduate taught students that receive offers for the following programmes: MA in Social Policy, MA in Comparative and International Social Policy, MA in Global Social Policy and MA in Global Crime and Justice.The scholarship is worth £12,000 covering fees (Home/EU) with the remainder paid as a stipend towards living costs. Only Home and EU applicants are eligible for this funding opportunity. The scholarship is available on an annual basis and lasts for one (1) year. To honour the memory of Maria Bourboulis we anticipate that the recipient of the scholarship will explore in their independent research study (Dissertation) historical and contemporary social and welfare problems in Southern Europe.The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic and work excellence. Preference will be given to prospective students that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of South European welfare debates, contemporary problems, social policy reforms and analysis.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Have received an offer for one of the following programmes: :
MA in Social Policy, MA in Comparative and International Social Policy, MA in Global Social Policy and MA in Global Crime and Justice.
- Begin your studies in September 2017
- Have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent prior to commencing the Masters programme.
If English is not your first language you should also read the English Language requirements 2016/17 for postgraduate study for each department. http://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/international/english/.

Application Procedure

Complete the form available on the website via the link below and email it to [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Upper second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification. However, if you have relevant work experience with good academic potential you may also be considered.

Course Fees

Home/EU: £6,760; Part-time: 3,380 - International: £16,290, Part-time: £8,145

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of York

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