Human well-being can be delivered through a range of public, private and voluntary institutions. At the beginning of the 21st Century, welfare systems and other public institutions, seeking to fulfil human need face considerable challenges, presented by economic crisis, an ageing population, increasingly flexible forms of work, migration, and shifting ways of family life. Alongside these fiscal and demographic pressures that nation states face, rising socio economic inequality and austerity has begun to reverse a number of key social advancements in terms of health and social mobility, making it a fascinating and critical time to study these issues.
The MA Social Policy will entail the study of a range of social problems, such as poverty, homelessness, substance use, crime and health inequalities. In doing so, you will be encouraged to consider the underlying causes and to formulate policy solutions to address specific social problems. Alongside this, the MA Social Policy programme will examine contemporary and comparative developments within social policy, so that you will be able to consider the shifting nature of welfare arrangements in a broader political, economic and social context from both a UK and global perspective.
Inherent to Social Policy, as a field of study, is a normative focus that seeks to not only describe the state of a specific society in terms of the fulfilment of human needs, but to consider if our societies should be more effectively and justly organised. A key focus for the MA Social Policy programme, will be on the ways in which we might transform our societies to increase human well-being and to promote sustainable forms of living, and to encourage you to evaluate alternative forms of social organisation.