The MA Social Policy aims to explore the development and contemporary context of social policy both in Britain and internationally. A key feature of the programme is the emphasis on understanding social policy developments within its broader economic, social and political context. Students will study a number of core and optional modules covering a wide range of perspectives. It is designed for both home and international students.
The MA Social Policy is made up of 180 credits. This includes 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit dissertation (10,000 words). The Postgraduate Diploma is made up of 120 credits of taught modules.
Download MA Social Policy course brochure (PDF)
Why study this course
If you are currently working in social policy or interested in a career in health, housing, social services and social security, then the MA Social Policy could be for you.
The Institute of Applied Social Studies in the School of Social Policy is an internationally leading centre for research in social policy and social work. The Institute has developed a reputation for delivering high quality teaching and learning which enables students to develop into reflective and research informed professionals.
The Institute is located in the newly refurbished Muirhead Tower.
Video courtesy of PGS TV
The modules include:
The Politics of British Social Policy Since 1940
This module explores some key developments in the politics of British Social Policy since 1940. Topics will include the impact of the Second World War on the development of the British welfare state, the post-war Labour reforms (1945-1951). 'One Nation' Conservative social policy (1951-1964), Labour's revisionist welfare strategy in the 1960s and 70s, the Thatcher welfare 'revolution' (1979-1990), New Labour's 'third way', welfare strategy (1997-2010) and contemporary developments in the Cameron-Clegg coalition government from 2010.
Introduction to Applied Social Research
This module introduces students to the theory of social research and the different methodologies in an applied policy and practice setting. The development of a research proposal, choice of methodology and methods, access and ethical considerations and the research process are included and students are expected to undertake a small piece of empirical or policy research as part of their dissertation.
British Social Policy – Beyond Welfare?
This module provides students with an understanding of recent debates and trends in British social policy. Current topics include the growth in income and wealth inequalities, workfare and 'conditionality', anti-social behaviour and community justice.
International Social Policy
This module introduces students to developments in Social Policy in Europe and beyond. It looks at different models of Social Policy and welfare development, explores the impact of globalisation on social welfare and enables students to critically compare and analyse Social Policy from different cultural, political and historical perspectives.
Plus two courses from a range of options, including:
Researching Social Policy
Sectors and Services in British Social Policy
New Migration and Social Policy
A range of optional choices from within social sciences
Fees and funding
Fees for 2014-15:
Home and EU (full time) £5,940;
Home and EU (part time) £2,970;
Overseas (full time only) £13,665
Home and EU (full time) £3,960
Home and EU (part time) £1,980
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available, please contact the Department directly. Prospective sutdents can contact the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system at www.studenthelp.bham.ac.uk.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
A good Honours degree or equivalent is normally required. This will often be in the field of social science, although applications from those with degrees in other disciplines are welcome. Applications are also encouraged from those without an Honours degree who have five years or more relevant work experience in a policy or practice area.
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
How to apply
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages