This course will equip you with the skills to analyse social policy in a way that enables you to understand how policies are developed and the role they play in people's lives.
The course offers a combination of taught coursework and supervised independent study. You'll develop the skills required to carry out your own research in an area of social policy that interests you.
This MA is especially suited to you if you are considering a career in social policy analysis, advocacy or research in the public sector or socially-focused NGOs. You'll cover topics such as the welfare state in the UK and other countries, the impact of globalisation on social programmes and why patterns of social inequality persist.
Ranked third in the UK for overall research performance and joint first for the impact of our researchTimes Higher Education rankings of the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 2014
Graduate students 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.
York is ranked 6th in the UK and 29th in the world for Social Policy and AdministrationQS World Rankings by Subject 2022
We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.
The MA in Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a broad introduction to social research methods and social policy analysis. You'll then narrow down your focus, choosing between advanced research training, more detailed analysis of social policy or a mix of the two.
Most people study full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.
You will take modules including core taught modules, option modules and the Independent Study Module.
You will take core modules which may include:
You will take a selection of option modules, examples of which may include:
You will take further core modules which may include:
This will give you the chance to develop your research interests and participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words for the Independent Study Module.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
You will design, develop and manage your own original research project. You'll be supervised by an individual member of staff. Our strong research focus means that there is an equal balance of time spent on taught courses and your own specialist research project.
Given the individual nature of dissertations, there is huge variation in the topics which can be studied. Recent projects by Social Policy masters students 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)||£9,290||£19,950|
|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 2022/23 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
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 did some research as to good Social Policy Masters degrees: York came up as one of the highest in the country. The plan was to come for a year, do the Masters, then go back to London and carry on my career. There was a change of plan because I loved my Masters so much that when an opportunity came up to do a PhD, it occurred to me that I really didn't want to leave, so here I am still in York.Sophie MA Social Policy
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.
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. You will find that small group working and establishing your own perspective on social issues will become a core part of your studying process.
You'll also be able to attend the Department's lectures and University lectures from visiting speakers from across the world.
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.
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 Social Policy develops the 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.
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent|
|International pre-masters programme||Pre-masters from our International Pathway College|
|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|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, minimum 169 in each component|
|Duolingo||110, minimum 100 in all other components|
|LanguageCert||B2 Communicator High Pass with 33/50 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, minimum 55 in each component|
|TOEFL||87, minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all requirements|
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
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.