Note: New entry requirement in 2019

For students starting in 2019, Danish/Nordic as well as English language proficiency is a requirement as Danish elements are introduced as part of the programme.

Master in Social Sciences - Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies (MSc)

Why are some societies more unequal than others? How can we explain high levels of unemployment and soaring budget deficits? Why do women participate in the labour market in some countries, but largely stay at home with others? Why do health care and other public services differ in their quality across developed societies? The answers to these questions are all related to the welfare state.

The development of the modern welfare state has profoundly transformed societies in the 20th century. In the Western World, it has laid the foundation for peace and stability and helped to establish fundamental principles such as gender equality and social mobility. More recently, Asian and Latin American countries have embraced the concept and developed ambitious welfare state programmes.

Hence, all over the world welfare states fundamentally shape the functioning of societies. At the same time, they are subject to intense political conflict and exposed to multiple pressures for change. Understanding the roots of the modern welfare state as well as its effects and main challenges, therefore, is essential in learning about the future of societies. This is the knowledge we provide our students with.

Programme structure

The Master programme is made up of four semesters over a two-year period. The mandatory first semester courses provide you with an overview of the development, challenges and possible solutions for public policy and welfare studies. The second semester goes more in-depth with the three basic pillars of the education, namely public administration, the welfare state and the labour markets, as well as comparative methodology and data. During the third semester, you will receive more specialised training in methods, as well as in the analysis of policies and politics. Furthermore, you may be able to participate in an on-going research project or have a semester abroad. During the fourth and final semester, you will write your independent Master thesis, where you can choose to focus analytically on a topic of your interest.

Career Opportunities

The MSc in Social Sciences in Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies provides the skills and knowledge to pursue various careers in the area of public policy analysis, advice and development.

These include job in:

  • International organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the International Labour Organisation, the OECD and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
  • INGOs and NGOs that are active in the social policy area, such as the fight against poverty, active inclusion and anti-discrimination.
  • International and national interest organisations, including trade unions and business organizations.
  • International and national consultancy companies and statistical agencies.
  • National, regional and local ministries, departments and institutions dealing with labour market and social policy.

Entry Requirements

To apply for the Master's programme in Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies you need a relevant Bachelor's degree. You can apply if you hold a university bachelor degree in:

  • All social sciences
  • Political Science
  • Social Work
  • History
  • Areas studies
  • International Negotiation - Economics, language and culture

You can also apply if you hold a university bachelor's degree within Humanities if your degree includes a minimum of 20 ECTS points of courses belonging to the following areas:

  • Comparative politics, comparative policies
  • International relations, European studies
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Research methods
  • Contemporary history
Program taught in:

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Last updated June 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
- Free for EU/EEA students. Price for non-EU/EEA students, per year: EUR 8500
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Meet Niklas, who studies comparative public policy and welfare