The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & CriminologyPart of Social SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc International Social Policy (1 year)

The MSc International Social Policy masters programme considers social policy issues and debates in a broad international context.  Students will receive training in international social policy analysis and evaluation using quantitative and/or qualitative research methods. This MSc offers choice and flexibility to specialise on the basis of three pathways:

Ageing Societies, Development Studies and Research Methods.

Introducing your course

How can we create a better society? What does it take to improve the way a global community interacts and governs? Explore these questions and more with a masters in International Social Policy and forge a career that covers social policy, welfare, politics, social policy issues and debates in a broad international context. Study fascinating modules which include International Social Policy, Understanding Social Change, Research Design and International Social Welfare.

international areas showing contrast of wealth and depravation

Overview

The aims of the international social policy masters programme are to provide you with:

  • an in-depth understanding of key theoretical and conceptual debates in international social policy, the capacity to evaluate competing explanatory frameworks and the role of cross-national and comparative perspectives
  • detailed knowledge of the various means by which social policy is delivered and the ability to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches in varying national contexts
  • a knowledge of key issues in the philosophy of social science and the ability to apply this knowledge in the design and practice of social research
  • a knowledge of the principal methods of qualitative or quantitative research utilised in the social sciences and an understanding of their application in different contexts, and (dependent on your choice of options in semester two) a knowledge of the techniques of data analysis utilised in the social sciences and their applications
  • a choice of specialising, dependent on pathway, on key issues associated with international social policy (ie ageing societies, development and social enterprise) or advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • the ability to design and conduct independent research in the field of sociology and/or social policy, utilising appropriate research methodologies, and grounded in an understanding of the process of research management and ethical and legal issues associated with the conduct of social research
  • the capacity to present ideas, arguments and research findings through different means of communication

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You should apply for this masters in international social policy using the University's online application form. You can find more details on our Apply page.

Deadlines

Masters in international social policy applications can be submitted at any time, although we would encourage you to apply before the end of May. If you are seeking financial support for your postgraduate studies, we recommend that you apply before the end of February so you have time to gather the necessary documentation for your funding body/sponsor.

MSc modules

If applying for one of our MSc programmes, please specify the pathway from the four offered you intend to take.

References

For all international social policy masters applications, two academic references are required. Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications until we have received both references.

Programme Structure

The structure of the international social policy masters can vary but normally full-time students take three modules (or equivalent) per semester. Part-time students normally take three modules in year one, and three in year two.

Key Facts

  • Programme director: Professor Traute Meyer
  • Social Sciences - As part of the Division, you will be joining our multidisciplinary Social Sciences community, which offers research and teaching programmes not only in sociology, social policy and criminology but also in ageing, demography, economics, international relations, politics, social work and social statistics.
Our Masters will explore key debates internationally on social welfare
Exploring key debates internationally on social welfare

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

English Language Requirement

For applicants whose first language is not English, the IELTS requirement will be an overall score of 6.5 with no individual score below 6.0.

Please visit our international pages to find out about the University's regulations about English language requirements and support here.

Selection process

We welcome international social policy masters applications from students with a first- or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline (such as sociology, social policy, public and social administration, politics, economics). At the discretion of the admissions officer, applicants might also be accepted on the basis of relevant work experience.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

The masters in international social policy course structure may vary but full-time students normally take three modules (or equivalent) per semester. Part-time students normally take three modules in year one, and three in year two.

Three pathways are offered for the MSc International Social Policy: Research Methods, Ageing Societies and Development Studies.

Some of the compulsory modules students may take are listed below.

Once you have successfully completed your taught modules, you will carry out a piece of independent research to be written up as a 15,000 word dissertation. Full-time students submit the dissertation by the end of September of that year; part-time students normally submit the dissertation by the end of the following December.

Some of the compulsory and optional modules students may take are listed below

 

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing/

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Learning & Assessment

Pathways

Pathways

 

Four pathways are offered for the MSc International Social Policy: Research Methods, Ageing Societies, Development, Social Enterprise

Research Methods

Compulsory

RESM6003 Qualitative methods 1

Optional

RESM6005 Survey design

DEMO6021 Understanding population change

DEMO6023 Population poverty and policy

DEMO6026 Population and reproductive health

GERO6017 Methods for researching ageing societies

GERO6018 Perspectives in gerontology

GERO6019 Demographic change ageing and globalisation

GERO6020 Ageing health and wellbeing

PAIR6005 The south and global politics

PAIR6010 Governance and policy

SOCI6035 Understanding modernity

SOCI6045 Development and migration

SOCI6048 Social enterprise design

 

Ageing Societies

DEMO6021 and DEMO6023 must be taken togehter

 
Compulsory

GERO6018 Perspectives in gerontology

 
Optional

DEMO6021 Understanding population change

DEMO6023 Population poverty and policy

GERO6017 Methods for researching ageing societies

GERO6019 Demographic change ageing and globalisation

GERO6020 Ageing health and wellbeing

Development

DEMO6021 (10 credits) and DEMO6023 ( 10 credits) must be taken together

 

Compulsory

SOCI6045 Development and migration

 

Optional

DEMO6021 Understanding population change

DEMO6023 Population poverty and policy

PAIR6005 The south and global politics

SOCI6035 Understanding modernity

Study locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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