The programme broadly addresses four themes:

  • Social policy process: How are social policies made within nation-states? What is the role of institutions, interests, ideas and evidence in this governance process?
  • Social policy in a globalised world: How do global, international and transnational influences filter through the national policy-making process, and how do they impact on the design and the effectiveness of social policies?
  • Social policy, politics and society: Why is social policy making a conflictual process? How do social policies shape society and impact on specific social groups?
  • Social policy and research: How can social policy be analysed? How can research improve the design and implementation of social policies? 

Study Details:

2 years, part time, online.

Module Details:

Year One – Foundation 

3 compulsory modules to introduce and discuss key concepts and topics: 

  • Social Policy Analysis 
  • Globalisation and Social Policy
  • Social Policy: Evidence, Ideas and Institutions

Year Two – Specialisation and dissertation 

One option module; compulsory module on research methods; Graduate Workshop; and Masters dissertation.

  • Option One: Comparative Social Policy 
  • Option Two: Work, Welfare and Citizenship
  • Graduate Workshop (Part One) – studied in parallel to option module
  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Graduate Workshop (Part Two) – studied in parallel to Introduction to Research Methods
Dissertation – 18,000 words Independent Study Project




Standard fee: £11,310

Entry Requirements

Academic and professional background

An upper second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification. However, if you have relevant work experience with good academic potential you are encouraged to apply.

The programme is aimed at early-to mid-career professionals involved in social policy development or delivering welfare services in government departments and agencies, not-for-profit and voluntary organisations and public/private partnerships. Students will be encouraged to draw on and reflect upon their professional experience in the course of the programme, although there are no formal entry requirements in relation to the length of that experience.

English Language
If you are not from a majority English speaking country (as defined by the UK Home Office) you will need to show evidence that you meet the university English language requirement.

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