Social and Public Policy MA

Year of entry

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

Wednesday 15 February. Find out more

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in social sciences, humanities or a related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£23,500 (total)

Course overview

Students working together in a cafe on campus

This programme explores issues, concepts, and debates in social and public policy research to gain an insight into policy-making and its social impacts.

Core modules explore social theories, issues and research methods relevant to social and public policy. You will develop core skills in critical policy analysis and policy evaluation. There are also opportunities to study and debate current policy issues, such as work and welfare, migration, child and family policy, or the challenges of ageing populations, with a focus on real-life examples.

Supported by our well-known research centres and taught by expert tutors, you’ll tailor the programme to suit your own interests and career aspirations. With a range of optional modules to choose from, you could pursue further advanced research skills or study complementary social topics such as disability studies, gender studies, racism and ethnicity studies, or globalisation.

You’ll gain an insight into some of the most sensitive and complex social issues affecting governments worldwide.

Research insight

You’ll learn in a research-intensive, stimulating environment. As well as the Leeds Social Sciences Institute which fosters collaboration, you’ll benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, the Centre for Families, Life Course and Generations, and the Bauman Institute. All of these centres run their own calendars of events such as workshops and seminars.

Course details

From the start of the programme, you will study core modules that introduce you to the social contexts and social problems that challenge policymakers, and develop your understanding of social research. As the course develops, you will focus more specifically on the process of social policy formation, and the kinds of evidence on which new policies and programmes are founded, and against which their effectiveness is evaluated.

You’ll gain a thorough understanding of research methods, the theoretical assumptions which underpin them and how these affect the way the findings are interpreted. You’ll also focus on specific examples such as welfare reform or employment activation policies.

You’ll choose from optional modules to specialise in topics that suit you. You could study, for example, contemporary social thought to contextualise your work or look at issues such as climate change, care, labour mobility, healthcare, disability, gender, migration, or ‘race’ and ethnicity. You could also choose to study data analysis and research methods in further depth.

At the end of the programme, you’ll submit your dissertation. This is an independent piece of research on a related topic of your choice which will allow you to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during the year.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Social and Public Policy MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Social Policy Analysis 15
Social Policy Debates 15
Public Administration: Policy, Planning and Development in a Globalised World 30
Dissertation 60
Research Strategy and Design 30

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 30 credits from the below:

Module Name Credits
Environmental Assessment 15
Racism, Decoloniality and Migration 30
Contested Bodies 30
Quantitative Research Methods 15
Qualitative Research Methods 15
Policy and Programme Evaluation 15
Researching Inequality in the Media 30
Reality TV: Truth or Fiction? 30
Climate Change Mitigation 15
System Dynamics: Modelling Policy 15

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies including presentations, seminars, workshops, online learning, tutorials and lectures. Independent study is crucial to this degree – it allows you to prepare for taught sessions, develop your research interests and build a range of skills.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Your core modules will be assessed using essays. Optional modules may use other forms of assessment that reflect the diversity of the topics you can study, including presentations, book and literature reviews, research proposals and reports among others.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent in a social sciences, humanities or related discipline.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

We operate a staged admissions process for this course, with selection deadlines throughout the year.

If you do not receive an offer in a particular stage, you will be notified that your application has been either unsuccessful or carried forward to be considered in the next stage.

Please see our How to Apply page for full details and the application deadlines for each stage.

If you require a decision earlier than the dates listed in order to meet a scholarship deadline, please notify us through the My Enquiries section of the application portal once you have applied.

The link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Office

Email: pgssp@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £23,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Sociology and Social Policy usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a wide range of knowledge and skills throughout this programme, including sophisticated skills in research, communication and analysis that will be useful in a variety of careers.

Social and Public Policy graduates have gone on to a wide range of posts across the third sector, public services, government and business. These have included central and local government departments, community bodies, housing and health organisations, research consultancies and advocacy or campaigning.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.