MSc Social Policy


Program Description

Why this course?

This course offers you the opportunity to develop and extend your knowledge and understanding of key social policy issues together with advanced training in research methods.

It aims to improve your knowledge and understanding of the factors which shape social needs and the ways in which different societies have responded to these. This will enhance your research skills and enable you to undertake an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

It's suitable for:

  • students who have studied social policy at the undergraduate level and who now wish to build on the foundations they have already laid before entering employment or embarking on further study
  • graduates of other disciplines who wish to improve their knowledge and understanding of social and welfare issues whilst also enhancing their research skills
  • individuals already in employment who wish to update their existing knowledge and skills before moving onto the next stage of their careers

What you'll study

The course includes a combination of research methods classes, core disciplinary training and individualised study.

In addition to classes in research design, quantitative methods, and qualitative methods, the course also includes substantive classes in "Welfare concepts and ideas" and "Approaches to welfare: past, present and future". The first of these classes examines some of the most important concepts and ideas which have shaped thinking around social policy issues. The second class examines the historical development of social policy in a range of different countries before moving on to examine some of the major challenges facing policy-makers in the area of social policy today.

You'll also have the opportunity to pursue more individualised courses of study which reflect the specialist research interests of our social policy staff. These include such issues as:

  • the history of social policy in the UK
  • the mixed economy of welfare
  • citizenship
  • race, ethnicity & social policy
  • migration
  • child poverty
  • technology & welfare

Following the successful completion of your coursework, you'll have the opportunity to complete a research-based dissertation on a topic of your own choice.

Entry requirements

First or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in Social Policy or a related discipline.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigration (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.


2016/17 - £4,600

Rest of UK

2016/17 - £4,600


2016/17 - £13,000

Last updated Feb 2018

About the School

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation across a wide spectrum of disciplines. We aspire to generate new ideas, knowledge and skills to increase our understandin ... Read More

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation across a wide spectrum of disciplines. We aspire to generate new ideas, knowledge and skills to increase our understanding of the world and strive to make a significant contribution to the economy, society and culture of Scotland and beyond. With one of Scotland’s top law schools, and as the country’s largest provider to teacher education, we also have significant expertise in developing the professional practice needed to equip modern societies at all levels. Read less