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MA Social Policy

MA Social Policy

Help drive change in social inequalities

Course details

Delivery: online, part-time

Duration: two years

Start dates: January, May and September

Next welcome week: 16 September 2024

Next course start date: 23 September 2024

Fees: £8,549 (flexible payment plans available)

Application deadline: September 2024 (date tbc)

Applications are open for both UK and international students. Apply as soon as possible to secure your place. Visit our Apply now page to start your application.

Application process

Course overview

Our online MA in Social Policy will help you understand and analyse some of the most pressing issues faced by the world today.

You’ll explore how cultural, demographic, economic, governmental, and technological changes shape social policy across the globe, and develop the skills needed to carry out social research informed by debates on methodology, epistemology, ethics, and politics.

Speak to a course adviser

Why study with us? 

Experienced team

Benefit from the insight of our experienced academics through regular discussion, feedback, assessments and live webinars (recorded so they can be watched back at any time).

Professional growth

Receive tailored support and resources to sharpen your independent learning, giving you the skills to further your own development long after graduation.

Thrive in the field

Explore contemporary issues with modules that will provide you with a framework of knowledge and the analytical skills needed to thrive in this field.

Learning outcomes

This programme has been carefully designed to provide higher-level critical thinking, awareness and theoretical knowledge in the study of poverty and social inequality as social phenomena.

Upon completing the MA in Social Policy, you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the challenges involved in undertaking social policy research

  • Identify, examine, and make use of research and other appropriate material for the analysis of social policy issues

  • Use the subject specific and cognitive skills you’ll develop in the critical analysis of social policy issues

  • Plan, conduct, and report on your own social policy research projects

Watch your course overview

Watch our webinar with Course Leader Jonathan Pratt to find out about the course in more detail.

Have a question? 

Module overview

Entry requirements

  • You must hold at least a 2:2 degree in Social Policy or a related discipline such as Economics, Health Studies, History, Politics, or Sociology. We’ll also consider your application if you have an honours degree classification of 2:2 or above in other disciplines.

  • We may ask you to attend an online, 45-minute interview to discuss your background and interest in the course.

  • You can also explore using our accreditation of prior learning (APL) to claim credits that you can put towards your degree, based on the experience you currently hold.

  • If you don’t speak English as a first language you will need to hold a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or an accepted equivalent.

Unsure if you have the right qualifications or experience? Don’t worry – we know it’s impossible to measure everyone’s capabilities in the same way.

If you’d like some advice regarding your eligibility, our Course Adviser team is here to help. You can reach them by phoning +44(0)1524 938 558 or emailing

Nonye Otuonye

Hear from a student

"I'm a Leadership and Management Training Consultant. I chose Social Policy because I deliver classes with mature learners on various things like legislation, welfare policy, the Mental Capacity Act, and how housing is affecting our people, community and society at large. This course was a really good opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge."


Nonye Otuonye, MA Social Policy student


Ready to start in September 2024?

How we teach

We offer an interactive mix of weekly webinars, forums, and learning activities to keep you engaged and challenged during your studies with us. However, you’ll also be given the freedom and flexibility to access these resources at your own time, to best fit your schedule.

In addition, we’ll provide guidance on how to identify, locate, and use the online material available in the Library. Comprehensive bibliographies are provided for each module, as are guidelines for when you’ll be expected to produce essays, projects, and your dissertation.

How you're assessed

Throughout the programme there will be a combination of formative and summative assessments. There are no exams.

Formative assessments will typically involve tutor feedback on your presentations and other projects. Summative assessments will typically take place through essays and assessed coursework – your dissertation being one example.

Careers and opportunities

Upon completing the course and earning your degree, you’ll have the expertise needed to establish a successful career in social welfare provision and public service.

The self-direction and time management skills you can expect to gain will also make you a strong candidate for a variety of roles, particularly at a managerial level.

Some of the positions you could explore include:

  • Charity officer

  • Civil service administrator

  • Health service manager

  • Policy officer

  • Social researcher

Your degree also opens you up to the prospect of pursuing a PhD; in many countries an MA is an essential requirement for study at doctoral level.

As mentioned in the module overview section above, your dissertation gives you with the opportunity – after obtaining ethical approval – to conduct an in-depth research project in your intellectual and professional specialist area of choice.

Check out our MA Social Policy careers page for more information on potential career paths open to you.


Find out about the people you'll meet and the services available to you

Get more information on course fees, payment plans, and funding options

Sophie Liebe-Kreutzner

Hear from a student

“From the beginning it’s been clear that UCLan has a really effective system for supporting online students.”


- Sophie Liebe-Kreutzner, MSc in Human Resource Management

Have questions?  

We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch to discuss your course of interest and ask any questions about studying.