Policy development

Policy Development - Photo (cc) http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2960675738/

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Careers in policy development

Our undergraduate and postgraduate Social Policy degrees are specifically designed to develop your understanding of the policy process, how policy may impact upon individuals and be implemented in the real world.

Careers in policy development may be based at the local, national or international level in governmental and non-governmental organisations. Typical roles include:

  • policy analyst
  • advocacy
  • policy advisor
  • research and evaluation officer
  • project officer, senior policy officer.

Career pathways and industry insight

Relevance of our degrees

Our BA Social Policy degree has specific training in the policy process, including a government workshop exercise where you will undertake activities as a mock government attempting to develop policies. You will work in a team, taking on appropriate roles, and develop your communication and analysis skills on the way.

Some of the transferable skills you will develop during your degree include:

  • conveying arguments in different settings and to different audiences,
  • understanding the dynamics of different situations and organisations,
  • interpretation of data and use of computing skills to present and analyse data,
  • identify ethical implications of research and practice,
  • an adaptable and self-motivated work ethic.

Our MA Social Policy and MA Comparative and International Social Policy programmes are taught wholly at advanced level, allowing you to analyse, critique and discuss policies and their implementation. For some of our international students, this has led them to take their new knowledge and policy-analysis techniques back to make a difference in a social policy area of interest in their own countries. Our MA Public Policy and Management (online) enables students working in public or non-profit organisations to develop skills for policy analysis, evaluation and implementation whether at local, national or international level. 

Profile: Dabs

Dabs studied our MRes Social Policy programme and travelled from Botswana to study with us in York.


I chose to study in the Department as I am interested in a career in the Social Sciences, in particular in child welfare and well-being, and child poverty.

Since I am interested in child welfare and well-being, I was happy to tackle any subject in the broad scope - and there were many ideas! However, given the constraints of my resources as a self-funded international student, I opted, through a long process of elimination, to undertake a 'policy analysis' based dissertation. My dissertation explores whether and how select nation states have adapted and incorporated the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child into their legal and policy frameworks.

I hope to enter the International Development field, to work within projects and programmes that are aimed at the enhancement of children's lives around the world. I would also consider further studies if possible. I intend to gain as much knowledge and expertise as possible, in order to be able to give back to my home country.

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