MA Social Policy
Help drive change in social inequalities
Delivery: online, part-time
Duration: two years
Start dates: January, May and September
Next welcome week: 12 September 2022
Next course start date: 19 September 2022
Fees: £8,300 (flexible payment plans available)
Application deadline: 29 August 2022. We recommend applying as early as you can to secure your place. Visit our Apply Now page to start your application.
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.
Why study with us?
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)
Receive tailored support and resources to sharpen your independent learning, giving you the skills to further your own development long after graduation
Explore contemporary issues with modules that will provide you with a framework of knowledge and the analytical skills needed to thrive in this field
Watch our webinar with Course Leader Jonathan Pratt to find out about the course in more detail:
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
Are you interested?
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.
Hear from a graduate
"I was very happy with this course and how it was delivered. It covered all aspects of how policies are made to the important areas of welfare state, social security and social exclusion. I also gained excellent skills in social research methods. I used these skills when writing my dissertation, which has since been used to support a funding bid for the organisation I work for. This has helped me in my role as Chair for Marketing and Fundraising for a charitable organisation."
Rose - on-campus MA Social Policy graduate, Chair for Marketing and Fundraising in Voluntary Sector
Are you interested?
Dr Jonathan Pratt, Course Leader
Jonathan is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He holds expertise in the history, politics, and theory of social welfare development; comparative social welfare; and the impact of ideology on the organisation and delivery of welfare services.Read more
Dr Steve Cunningham, Module Leader
Steve is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and the Course Leader for our on-campus BA (Hons) Social Policy and Sociology programme. His areas of research are welfare history; poverty and social security; the sociology of welfare; asylum and immigration policy; child labour; and children’s activism.Read more
Dr Stuart Cameron, Module Leader
Stuart is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and the Course Leader for our on-campus Doctor of Professional Practice Community and Social Care: Policy and Practice programme. His research interests consist of education policy; undergraduate employment; welfare history; social theory; and the sociology of childhood.Read more
Dr Mary Drummond, Module Leader
Mary is a Lecturer in Social Policy as well as an Academic Adviser and Dissertation Tutor to on-campus BA Community and Social Care: Policy and Practice students. Her areas of expertise include social housing; urban development; poverty and welfare conditionality; social theory; and critical realism.Read more
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:
Civil service administrator
Health service manager
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.
Hear from a graduate
"My deep interest in social policy is both a professional and personal one. Completing the MA Social Policy degree has been beneficial to my career as a FE lecturer as it not only assisted me in gaining a promotion to a senior tutor position, but also allowed me to lead innovation and change within the department."
Emma - on-campus MA Social Policy graduate, Further Educational (FE) Lecturer
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