This course equips you with the skills to understand the new challenges of our increasingly interdependent world.
It is no longer possible to study national social policies in isolation. Global interconnections are multiplying and intensifying across a range of fields, including economics, politics and the natural environment. This course provides an introduction to comparative social policy and recent developments in welfare reforms from around the world.
Social policy is concerned with questions such as:
- How can we create a good society?
- How much money should we spend on welfare services?
- Is the current distribution of income and wealth socially just?
- Should we be charged individually for using welfare services?
- Should free markets and profit motives play a central role in service delivery?
- What are the causes and consequences of poverty?
You will compare welfare models of developed welfare states, such as European countries, and explore the relevance of recent developments and debates for developing countries. This course also considers the future of social policies and comparative analyses.
Training in research methods allows you to evaluate policy outcomes, not only in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency, but also their wider socio-economic and political contexts.
The school's teaching and research focuses on the fields of social policy, criminology, sociology, cultural studies, health studies, social work and public policy. You will be taught by researchers with world-leading reputations in these subjects, and our research-led culture allows you to develop your interests in particular themes and topics.
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Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of core and optional modules.
MA students will complete a 60-credit 15,000-word dissertation over the summer, and an appropriate dissertation supervisor will oversee your progress.
Previous topics have included:
- Illegal immigrants in the UK: the case of African migrants
- Can international organisations stop child labour in Turkey?
- Exploring the role of poor governance in increasing poverty in Pakistan: 2001-2011
- Has there been a decline of the middle classes in Hong Kong?
- Forget about love, let's talk money
- The transforming Chinese family law and the implications for urban Chinese women
Modules are typically assessed through a 5,000-word essay or report (or two 2,500-word essays or reports), usually on a topic of your choice. The Research Methods and Research Management module includes a 5,000-word dissertation proposal.
2:2 (or international equivalent) in any discipline
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
This course draws on carefully selected material to cover the whole area of international social policy, from formulation to implementation and outcomes. It is designed to equip you with the skills needed for a variety of careers, such as:
- international development organisations including the World Bank, United Nations and International Labour Office
- departments and ministries concerned with social policy in national governments
- public and third sector organisations including research or managerial roles in health, housing and social services
- academic and non-academic research
Our graduates move into a wide range of careers following their time in the school. Studying at postgraduate level can give you a head start in the job market by helping you to gain new knowledge and develop vital skills.
Program taught in: