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 research
(Times 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 in the world top ten for Social Policy and Administration in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2020.
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 totalling 180 credits in the course of your, including 60 credits of core taught modules, 40 credits of option modules, and the 80 credit Independent Study Module.
In the Autumn Term you'll take two compulsory modules:
In the Spring Term you will choose two of these option modules:
In the Summer Term and summer months you'll take part in two compulsory modules:
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.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,040||£18,240|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a 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).
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.
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.
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.
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 graduate
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.
You will be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which is based on Campus West. Teaching will take place in Alcuin College and other locations across 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.
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.
The MA in Social Policy is designed for students who want to become active in social policy analysis and research. Graduates from the MA in Social Policy go on to a wide variety of destinations but most tend to go into one of three key areas:
|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 requirements|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 110|
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 IELTS 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.
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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