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Why study a master's in social policy?

Why study a master's in social policy?

Social policy examines and questions the public policy, principles and practices governing society’s laws, action and support, in areas such as healthcare, criminal justice, inequality, education and employment. 

Of interest to anyone looking to better understand or influence human welfare and quality of life, there are many reasons to advance your studies in this subject. Below, we highlight our top five.

1. Social policy is a fascinating subject

Social policy is a varied and interesting subject that touches on lots of different academic disciplines, including sociology, social work, public policy, public administration, economics and politics.

You’ll gain greater insight and a deeper understanding of social issues and how to solve them. You’ll learn about policy creation, implementation and its challenges for government and non-profit agencies.

On our MA in Social Policy, you’ll address some of the most pressing issues faced by the world today: care for an ageing population; global spending and investment; sustainability and the impact of climate change; challenging poverty; creating better societies and reliable infrastructure.

Why is social policy important?

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2. Take your pick from a huge range of professions

Due to the broad remit of the subject and diversity of skills acquired through its study, successfully completing your MA in Social Policy will give you access to multiple different career paths in a range of private, public and third sector organisations.

This includes the fields you’d expect, like social research, social work, adult services, housing, lobbying, all levels of government, NGOs, think tanks and social enterprises.

However, it can also lead into professions which more generally benefit from a better understanding of social problems and how to solve them, for example, human resources management (HRM), fundraising, charity, emergency services, education or the media.

In fact, in any career that involves human interactions, you can benefit from greater compassion and empathy with people whose circumstances may differ from your own.

3. Make a difference

Studying social structures and their impact on individuals, communities, nations and countries can help you understand and become more involved in solving social problems.

Professionally and personally, your individual knowledge, insight and life choices can ultimately save lives and help the world become a better place.

In everyday life, through the power of your voice and vote, you can raise awareness of social issues, challenge social policy, provide support and compassion to those in difficulty.

Alternatively, you can choose a more direct approach, pursuing a profession in social welfare provision and public service, where you can proactively make and implement long-term positive social change.

4. Advance your knowledge and accelerate your career

An undergraduate degree demonstrates a higher level of education which can improve your career prospects up to a certain point, but a master’s degree signifies that you have mastered study in your chosen field.

It is an impressive credential which proves you have obtained a level of expertise that will enable you to apply for advanced positions and give you a competitive edge over candidates with less knowledge or a Bachelor’s degree alone.

Employers recognise that postgraduate courses are more autonomous: they require much more personal effort and commitment, demonstrating personal and professional skills, like independence, self-motivation and time management.

5. Develop transferrable skills, highly sought after by employers

Much more so than at undergraduate level, postgraduate study requires you to undertake in-depth research, both independently and as part of a team.

Specifically, you will be encouraged to critically evaluate and debate the impact of current and future social policies by sourcing and interpreting significant bodies of evidence.

You will learn to solve complex problems, applying subject-specific knowledge to everyday work and life, presenting the rationale for your arguments in a clear and accessible way.

In doing so, you’ll develop a wealth of core transferrable skills that will be valuable to any employer – critical and independent thinking, creativity, problem solving, teamwork, presentation, research and analysis.

Explore contemporary social policy issues on our part-time, online MA in Social Policy. Choose from three start dates per year:

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