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:
Our department is ranked equal first in the UK for the impact of its research (Times Higher Education's Ranking or the 2014 Research Excellence Framework).
York is ranked in the world top ten for Social Policy and Administration in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2020.
You'll gain transferable skills in global social policy analysis and research, these will be relevant to a future career with international organisations.
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.
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.
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:
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.
|Study mode||UK (home)||International and EU|
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,440||£18,700|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
There 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.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
Further information about Social Policy and Social Work funding.
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
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.
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent|
|Other qualifications and experience||You will also be considered if you have relevant work experience and academic potential|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, minimum 55 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, minimum 169 in each component|
|TOEFL||87, minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
|Duolingo||110, minimum 100 in all other components|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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.
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.
Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.