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MA Global Social Policy

Understand social policy in a regional and global context with this unique masters degree

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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The study of global social policy is an area of increasing interest, both academically and as an applied subject. It is especially relevant given the growing importance of supranational and international social policy discourse and policy interventions in tackling social problems.

This course will enable you to engage effectively and critically with the theoretical and empirical dimensions of global social policy development. It offers a combination of taught coursework and a supervised dissertation. So you'll have the opportunity to develop detailed knowledge of social policy in a global context. Through your own guided research project you will explore aspects of social policy in which you have a particular interest.

This MA is especially suitable for:

  • Prospective social policy analysts and researchers with an interest in global and/or international social and public policy
  • Professionals working on social policy in international organisations and development agencies, global advocacy agencies and international non-governmental organisations
  • Graduates from social policy, politics, sociology or international studies degrees who want to hone their undergraduate studies in a more focused area of study
  • Potential PhD students who want to develop their theoretical and empirical skills in this area.

Global outlook

You'll gain transferable skills in global social policy analysis and research, these will be relevant to a future career with international organisations.

Course content

The MA in Global Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training modules. In the autumn term you'll get a broad introduction to relevant social policy theories, analysis and methods. In the spring and summer terms you'll undertake specialised analysis of global social policy themes and issues.

After this you'll have an opportunity to undertake a relevant research placement that will help inform your own research project.  In the placement you will have the opportunity to put the research skills that you have learnt on the course into practice in a real world situation. You'll then produce a dissertation under the guidance of your individual supervisor

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules

You will take 180 credits over the course of your MA.

In the Autumn Term you'll take two compulsory modules:

In the Spring Term you'll take two more compulsory modules that focus on international social policy:

In the Summer Term you will complete the Making Global Social Policy (20 credit) module and produce a 15,000 to 20,000 word dissertation for the Independent Study Module (80 credits), under the guidance of an individual supervisor. Subject to availability of fieldwork opportunities in internationally-focused NGOs, some students undertake a relevant research placement that helps inform their dissertation research project

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

You will complete an individual research-based dissertation on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a specific member of staff.

The course has a strong research focus. Half your time will be spent on taught modules and half on your own specialist research project. This reflects the advanced nature of our social policy masters courses which are designed to act as a pathway to careers in policy analysis or PhD level study.

Given the individual nature of dissertations, the topics studied by previous students are extremely varied. Recent projects include:

  • The influence of global business on global social policy
  • Business and human rights
  • The impact of world bank poverty reduction strategies on developing economies
  • The emerging Latin American consensus as a challenge to the Washington Consensus
  • Why is housing policy neglected in global social policy?

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the ways in which politics and economics operate at the national, regional and global spheres to influence social policy development using in-depth knowledge of the complexity of global social policy-making and global social problems.
  • Analyse and evaluate policy design at the regional and global level, and engage in the informed construction of policy solutions to complex social problems.
  • Effectively design global-focused policy research projects drawing on appropriate research theory and methods; retrieve, generate and interpret relevant primary and secondary data, digital resources, and work within appropriate ethical codes of conduct and data protection laws.
  • Communicate information and ideas clearly and authoritatively to specialist, informed and global policy-interested audiences in ways that balance academic rigour and accessible presentation of complex information.
  • Reflect on their own independent learning experience by conducting and facilitating the management of a global social policy research project that requires analysis of the global policy context and the devising of global policy strategies that take into account multiple and multilevel interests.
  • Work effectively in teams, with sensitivity to the individual perspectives, organisational positions and institutional dynamics of peers and other actors, and recognition of their own subjective positions.
  • Critically apply knowledge and skills to the pursuit of social progress beyond the local and domestic policy-making context as active and participatory global citizens.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,810£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,905
year 1 fee
£8,685
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

here are no mandatory additional fees but we do recommend that you set aside some money for photocopying. Course books will be available to you from the Library either in print or online format but you may wish to buy your own copies (book prices vary, with new books usually costing between £20 and £60). All other teaching resources will be available online.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Department scholarship information

Maria Bourboulis Scholarship - open to UK and EU students.

Further information about Social Policy and Social Work funding.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

I had a really positive experience, and in my opinion, the MA completely delivered. It engaged in an in-depth way with the many different elements of Global Social Policy. Before this course I thought my knowledge of social policy around the world was good, but it demonstrated just how complicated it can be, and how many different factors affect the social policy of nations.
Lily, MA Global Social Policy, 2016

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

The modules for this MA have been specifically developed for postgraduate study. You will be taught through a combination of hands-on workshops, lectures and seminars based on real cases and data. You'll find that small group working and establishing your own perspective on social issues will become a core part of your studying process.

  • One-to-one supervision while undertaking an extended social policy research project on a topic of your choosing
  • A friendly, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment in which to study
  • Small group teaching with the majority of lectures typically no larger than 30 people and often less than 15.

You'll also be able to attend the Department's lectures and University lectures from visiting speakers from across the world.

Facilities

The Department has one of the largest concentrations of social policy research in the UK.  You'll have access to staff, projects and research across a wide range of social policy areas and the Department is home to many internationally renowned research centres, including:

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work on Campus West. Your contact hours will be mainly in Alcuin College, with additional teaching nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Your assessment will be continuous and based mainly on essays and reports. You will receive written feedback on all assessed work. There are no exams.

You'll complete a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation as part of your own specialist research project. You'll also have the opportunity to present your research as it progresses to a wider audience as part of our dissertation workshops.

Careers and skills

The MA in Global Social Policy develops skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different career areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

Career opportunities

This MA is aimed at students interested in careers ranging from national or international policy analysis to international development, applied research and campaign work.

Graduates go on to a wide variety of destinations but most tend to go into one of these key areas:

  • Policy analysis inside international or intergovernmental organisations, national government agencies, think tanks, social service administration, NGOs or campaigning organisations
  • Research in policy organisations, consultancies or international departments of national civil services
  • Government ministries
  • Academic research and PhD level study.

Transferable skills

  • Communicate effectively, drawing on a range of skills and presentation techniques for different settings and audiences
  • Manage time effectively to work independently to deadlines
  • Work effectively in a group and as a member of a team in a variety of roles, including taking on leadership responsibilities
  • Work effectively in a variety of workplace settings by understanding the internal dynamics of institutions
  • Self-awareness and evaluation
  • Evaluate, analyse and design effective policy delivery and outcomes
  • Retrieve and interpret data from a variety of sources, including electronic databases
  • Use computer skills to present and analyse data.
I was surprised at how varied the modules were and as a result, I have gained skills in different areas. These vary from conducting research and presenting, to writing policy reports and briefs, all skills that can be transferred into employment.
Lily, MA Global Social Policy, 2016

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

You will normally be expected to have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. You will also be considered if you have relevant work experience and academic potential.

The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.

English language

If your native language is not English, you should meet an English language proficiency level of 6.5 in the British Council's IELTS test with at least 5.5 in each component. We do accept other English language tests.

You may also want to attend the University's pre-sessional language courses.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Next steps

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Social Policy and Social Work

Related courses

The MA in Global Social Policy is part of a group of social policy masters degrees that draw on the research excellence of the Department to enable you to study social policy at an advanced level. These courses each offer a unique blend of modules to allow you to specialise in a particular area.

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