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Social Policy (MRes)

Course Description

This well established taught MRes programme offers a combination of taught coursework and a supervised dissertation, giving you the opportunity to develop advanced research and analysis skills and to examine, through your own guided research project, aspects of social policy in which you have a particular interest.

Our MRes Social Policy programme is suited to you if you are interested in:

* The main pillars of the welfare state in the UK and elsewhere
* The impact of globalisation on social programmes in the UK and other countries
* Why the policy-making process in the 21st century is so complex
* How and why patterns of social inequality still persist
* What more could be done to reduce child poverty at home and abroad

Who is the programme for?

* Graduates from social policy, politics, sociology or other social sciences. Graduates from other backgrounds who wish to develop and understanding of social research methods and policy analysis.
* Those looking to develop a career in social research and/or policy analysis.
* Those considering undertaking a 1+3 route to a PhD level qualification

Graduates from the MRes in 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

For the most part, the MRes in Social Policy is based around research training modules. In the Autumn Term you are provided with a broad introduction to social research methods, before moving into more advanced training in both qualitative and quantitative methods in the Spring Term. 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. In addition to this research training focused content, you will also complete a social policy analysis module that both provides an overview of issues in key social policy fields and grounds you in key policy analysis theories.
Read more about the course structure: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/mres-social-policy/#tab-2


The MRes 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 relatively small number of modules on offer is a demonstration of our commitment to developing a high-quality, advanced programme of study which is focused in its aims.

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 specific modules here: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/postgraduate-modules/social-policy-ma-mres/

The research environment

* One-to-one supervision whilst undertaking an extended social policy research project on a topic of your choosing
* The chance to study in one of the biggest social policy departments in the world that has a reputation for research excellence
* A friendly, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment in which to study
* Small group teaching with classes typically no larger than 20 people and some with fewer than 10 people
* Research students in SPSW are part of the new Research Centre for the Social Sciences (ReCSS) . ReCSS hosts events and training for social sciences research students as well as weekly coffee mornings where you can gather for a chat and support. http://www.york.ac.uk/social-science/

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. In the meantime please contact us with any questions and we will respond within two working days.

Visit the Social Policy (MRes) 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. If English is not your first language you should also read the language requirements for PG study: View Website

Course Fees

Full-time: £6,760. Part-time: £3,380 (year 1 fee). International: £16,290. Part-time: £8,145 (year 1 fee)

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of York

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