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MSc International Social and Public Policy

The MSc International Social and Public Policy (ISPP) addresses how states and societies respond to global challenges of social, demographic and economic change, and of poverty, migration and globalization. It is underpinned by the LSE approach to social and public policy that is explicitly international, interdisciplinary and applied.

 

MSc International Social and Public Policy MSc International Social and Public Policy
Academics and alumni from the LSE Department of Social Policy talk about the MSc International Social and Public Policy London School of Economics and Political Science

 

You can choose to pursue your studies towards either:

MSc International Social and Public Policy (ISPP)

The MSc International Social and Public Policy

  • provides students with advanced postgraduate education in social & public policy and how it relates to social problems across high, low and middle income countries and transnationally.
  • enables students including those with professional backgrounds in social & public policy to engage in new ways  of thinking about how best to meet human needs and increase wellbeing.
  • equips students with core understanding of central issues of social & public policy development, of the inequalities in policy drivers and outcomes, and of the interrelationship between the state market, family and NGOs / civil society in provision, organisation and funding;
  • provides students with the opportunity to specialise in areas of specific interest in social & public policy, such as international development, NGOs / civil society, and migration, by facilitating their learning in these areas and their engagement with contemporary research.

The degree is taught by a team of leading researchers in the field, each of whom has both research and hands on policy experience.  As well as providing intellectual stimulation, your studies will also help you achieve your career goals.

The programme will provide you with a thorough understanding of the core concepts and debates within social & public policy including the policy process, wellbeing, inequality, poverty and exclusion, global institutions and the aid system, sustainability and livelihoods, and rights and citizenship.

During the programme you will be able to engage with other topics such as the principles and delivery of social protection policies, the provision of education, the analysis and measurement of wellbeing for the purpose of policy, urbanisation and migration, social advantage and disadvantage and its consequences, development and social & public policy, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, NGOs/civil society, and the politics of the policy process.

The 10,000 word dissertation enables you to focus your learning in depth on a topic of your choice within social & public policy.

The interdisciplinary, international and applied nature of social & public policy means that graduates are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be employed in many different settings.

The programme will develop your critical thinking, and your ability to analyse and apply research, theories and concepts. You will:

  • acquire skills in evaluation and analysis of policies in international and comparative context;
  •  learn to construct evidence-based and critically-informed arguments in written and oral form;
  • gain experience in working collaboratively with others;
  • identify, develop and utilise the skills and tools necessary to carry out a sustained, individual research project.

This programme equips students to work in social & public policy fields in government, NGOs, international organisations, private sector providers or in academia.

Whichever path you wish to pursue, the LSE Careers Service  is there to provide you with comprehensive careers guidance both during and after your studies. You will also be able to connect with a network of 130,000 former students in the LSE alumni community, and benefit from mentoring and networking events through involvement with alumni special interest and regional groups.

 

or the MSc ISPP with a subject specialism in:

Development

The MSc International Social and Public Policy (Development)

  • provides students with advanced postgraduate education in the theory and practice of social & public policy in developing and transition countries.

The programme

  • compares the experience of social & public policy in a variety of countries and  international organisations. 
  • enables students including those with professional backgrounds in social & public policy to engage in new ways  of thinking about how best to meet human needs and increase wellbeing.
  • equips students with core understanding of central issues of social & public policy development, of the inequalities in policy drivers and outcomes, and of the interrelationship between the state market, family, NGOs / civil society and international organisations in provision, organisation and funding

The degree is taught by a team of leading researchers in the field, each of whom has both research and hands on policy experience.  As well as providing intellectual stimulation, your studies will also help you achieve your career goals.

The programme will provide you with a thorough understanding of the core concepts and debates within social &  public policy and development, including the policy process, wellbeing, inequality, poverty and exclusion, global institutions and the aid system, sustainability and livelihoods, rights and citizenship.

During the programme you will engage with other topics including the politics of the policy process, the principles and delivery of social protection policies, the international aid system, global social policy, and issues of governance.

Optionally you will also be able to study topics such as NGOs/civil society, the analysis and measurement of wellbeing for the purpose of policy, social advantage and disadvantage and its consequences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and urbanisation and migration.

The 10,000 word dissertation enables you to focus your learning in depth on a topic of your choice within social and public policy from the perspective of development. 

The interdisciplinary, international and applied nature of social & public policy means that graduates are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be employed in many different settings.

The programme will develop your critical thinking, and your ability to analyse and apply research, theories and concepts. You will:

  • acquire skills in evaluation and analysis of policies in international and comparative context;
  •  learn to construct evidence-based and critically-informed arguments in written and oral form;
  • gain experience in working collaboratively with others;
  • identify, develop and utilise the skills and tools necessary to carry out a sustained, individual research project.

This programme equips students to work in social & public policy fields in government, NGOs, international organisations, private sector providers or in academia.

Whichever path you wish to pursue, the LSE Careers Service  is there to provide you with comprehensive careers guidance both during and after your studies. You will also be able to connect with a network of 130,000 former students in the LSE alumni community, and benefit from mentoring and networking events through involvement with alumni special interest and regional groups.

Migration

The MSc International Social and Public Policy (Migration)

  • provides students with advanced postgraduate education in the theory and practice of social & public policy with particular reference to migration

The programme

  • compares the experience of social & public policy and in a variety of countries and  international organisations, and how they relate to the challenges of migration and the experiences of migrants. 
  • enables students including those with professional backgrounds in social & public policy to engage in new ways of thinking about how best to meet human needs and increase wellbeing.
  • equips students with core understanding of central issues of social & public policy development, of the inequalities in policy drivers and outcomes, and of the interrelationship between the state market, family, NGOs / civil society and international organisations in provision, organisation and funding

The degree is taught by a team of leading researchers in the field, each of whom has both research and hands on policy experience.  As well as providing intellectual stimulation, your studies will also help you achieve your career goals.

The programme will provide you with a thorough understanding of the core concepts and debates within social and public policy and migration including the policy process, wellbeing, inequality, poverty and exclusion, global institutions and the aid system, sustainability and livelihoods, and rights and citizenship.

During the programme you will engage with global trends and processes in migration, the different rights and statuses of migrants, researching migrants and hearing migrant voices, gendered processes in migration, and drivers and motivations in migration.

Optionally you will also be able to study topics such as NGOs/civil society, the analysis and measurement of wellbeing for the purpose of policy, analysis of social advantage and disadvantage and its consequences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and the politics of the policy process.

The 10,000 word dissertation enables you to focus your learning in depth on a topic of your choice within social and public policy from the perspective of migration. 

The interdisciplinary, international and applied nature of social & public policy means that graduates are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be employed in many different settings.

The programme will develop your critical thinking, and your ability to analyse and apply research, theories and concepts. You will:

  • acquire skills in evaluation and analysis of policies in international and comparative context;
  •  learn to construct evidence-based and critically-informed arguments in written and oral form;
  • gain experience in working collaboratively with others;
  • identify, develop and utilise the skills and tools necessary to carry out a sustained, individual research project.

This programme equips students to work in social & public policy fields in government, NGOs, international organisations, private sector providers or in academia.

Whichever path you wish to pursue, the LSE Careers Service  is there to provide you with comprehensive careers guidance both during and after your studies. You will also be able to connect with a network of 130,000 former students in the LSE alumni community, and benefit from mentoring and networking events through involvement with alumni special interest and regional groups.

Non-Governmental Organisations

The MSc International Social and Public Policy (NGOs)

  • provides students with advanced postgraduate education in the theory and practice of social & public policy as it applies to civil society and NGOs in developing and transition countries.

The programme

  • compares the experience of social & public policy and the role of civil society in a variety of countries and  international organisations. 
  • enables students including those with professional backgrounds in social & public policy to engage in new ways of thinking about how best to meet human needs and increase wellbeing.
  • equips students with core understanding of central issues of social & public policy development, of the inequalities in policy drivers and outcomes, and of the interrelationship between the state market, family, NGOs / civil society and international organisations in provision, organisation and funding

The degree is taught by a team of leading researchers in the field, each of whom has both research and hands on policy experience.  As well as providing intellectual stimulation, your studies will also help you achieve your career goals.

The programme will provide you with a thorough understanding of the core concepts and debates within social & public policy and NGOs including the policy process, wellbeing, inequality, poverty and exclusion, global institutions and the aid system, sustainability and livelihoods, rights and citizenship.

During the programme you will examine the roles and functions of NGOs including service delivery, advocacy, relief; the organisational, communication, and management challenges facing NGOs; and the role of NGOs in the policy process and their relationship with multiple stakeholders. 

Optionally you will also be able to study topics such as the analysis and measurement of wellbeing for the purpose of policy, social advantage and disadvantage and its consequences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, urbanisation and migration, and the politics of the policy process.

The 10,000 word dissertation enables you to focus your learning in depth on a topic of your choice within social and public policy from the perspective of civil society / NGOs. 

The interdisciplinary, international and applied nature of social & public policy means that graduates are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be employed in many different settings.

The programme will develop your critical thinking, and your ability to analyse and apply research, theories and concepts. You will:

  • acquire skills in evaluation and analysis of policies in international and comparative context;
  •  learn to construct evidence-based and critically-informed arguments in written and oral form;
  • gain experience in working collaboratively with others;
  • identify, develop and utilise the skills and tools necessary to carry out a sustained, individual research project.

This programme equips students to work in social & public policy fields in government, NGOs, international organisations, private sector providers or in academia.

Whichever path you wish to pursue, the LSE Careers Service  is there to provide you with comprehensive careers guidance both during and after your studies. You will also be able to connect with a network of 130,000 former students in the LSE alumni community, and benefit from mentoring and networking events through involvement with alumni special interest and regional groups.

Research- New for 2019

In the ‘post truth’, ‘fake news’ era, being able to make intelligent, critical judgements about evidence on social and public policies could not be more important. The research specialism of the International Social and Public Policy programme will equip you with the skills to do just that, in your professional life and as a concerned citizen. Whether you are aiming for a career in a policy or practitioner role where you will need to weigh up the claims made for and against different options, or whether you are expecting to design and lead research of your own in the future, the research specialism will give you the headstart you need, through a set of high-quality, integrated courses taught by leading academics in the field – themselves engaged in impactful research.

The programme combines advanced training in research methods, applications to international social and public policy problems and in-depth investigation of particular policy areas, and it affords you the opportunity to design and carry out your own independent, empirical research. It consists of four units.

The first unit, provided in conjunction with the Department of Methodology, offers hands-on quantitative and qualitative methods training. Students can select from a menu of courses depending on their previous experience to tailor the unit to enhance their skills. For example, those with prior data analysis training can opt for more advanced multivariate analysis and measurement and an introduction to qualitative analysis,  while those with a stronger qualitative background may choose a more specialist course for example on ethnography, together with an introduction to quantitative data analysis.

Through the second unit you will explore the relationship between research and social and public policymaking, globally and within regions and countries. We investigate approaches to policy evaluation (including Randomised Controlled Trials), how different kinds of research can inform policy development, and the roles of different actors in the research and policy process – including examples of good and bad practice. We learn directly from lecturers who are themselves involved in informing policy through their research about the opportunities and frustrations of the research/policy interface.  

In the third unit, you may study in-depth national or international social and public policy areas of your choice including health, education, housing, criminal justice, poverty, inequality and migration.

The final component of the programme is a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic individually selected by you, prepared with the guidance of a personal supervisor, involving original empirical research. Students often find this one of the most rewarding parts of the programme and some have gone on to develop their dissertations into published work or future extended research, for example through a PhD. Research placements, for example with a non-governmental organisations can be arranged.  

The programme aims to:

  • provide students with advanced postgraduate education in social & public policy research and the opportunity to apply and develop their research skills to investigate and evaluate policies, inequalities and provisions in their areas of interest
  • enable students, including those with professional backgrounds in social & public policy, to engage in new ways of thinking about how best to understand and research issues concerning human needs and increase wellbeing.
  • equip students with the research skills they will require for entry to the MPhil/PhD programme
  • provide students with the opportunity to plan and begin to map out a research project that they will pursue in the MPhil/PhD programme
  • to convey to students the links between practice, policy and research within the broad area of social policy
  • equip students to work in social & public policy fields in government, NGOs, international organisations, private sector providers or in academia by enabling them to develop a core understanding of central issues in and methods of social & public policy research
  • develop students’ analytical, organisational, and planning skills, and enhance their written and oral communication skills.

The research specialism equips you with transferable and highly marketable research skills and an in-depth understanding of social and public policy, before you move on to evaluate, commission or lead your own research, for example through continuing academic study or employment in an international organisation,  government, NGO, public body or the private sector. It combines advanced training in research methods with hands-on experience of policy research. 

 

You will study the different roles of: national governments, the family, civil society, the market, and international organisations in providing services and support across the life course from childhood to old age, and evaluate their effectiveness. You will be introduced to, and compare, policies from different national settings. You will interrogate the ways in which inequalities in social and economic position and in access to services and support are shaped by social background, race, ethnicity, migration status, gender, sexual orientation, disability & age, and by geographical location.

Depending on the subject stream that you undertake, you will be required to complete a number of compulsory courses (half units),  which will introduce you to ISPP and the  issues in researching social and public policy. You will also undertake an independent piece of research in the form of a 10,000 word research dissertation.

Other optional courses cover topics such as: education, globalization, politics of social policy, social security, race and ethnicity, children’s rights, riots, sexuality, advantage and disadvantage, urbanisation, welfare analysis and measurement.

Our MSC ISPP programmes equip you for a career in social and public policy in government, NGOs, international organisations, private sector providers, research or in academia.

For more information on programme content, structure and courses view here.

The MSc ISPP replaces and consolidates five previous MSc programmes: Social Policy and Planning, European and Comparative Social Policy, Social Policy and Development, Social Policy and Development (NGOs), Social Policy (Research).

 

MSc International Social and Public Policy-FAQ's

FAQ's for Applicants

Am I eligible to apply?
Please consult the Graduate Prospectus page for ISPP which outlines the entry requirements for the programme. You can also find general information about entry requirements for graduate study (including English Language requirements) here. If you have any further questions about you eligibility for the programme please contact our Graduate Admissions team.

When is the submission deadline for applications?
There is a rolling admissions process with no set application deadline. You can check whether applications have closed here. Please be aware there may be deadlines if you wish to apply for funding. Further information on fees and funding can be found here.

Can I take courses from other Departments?
You can find the programme regulations and courses required for each stream on the Graduate Prospectus page for ISPP. As part of the programme you will be required to take compulsory courses (as prescribed in the programme regulations) as well as a choice of optional courses. For your optional choices it may be possible to take relevant courses from outside of the Department, however, this would be subject to agreement from the ISPP programme director as well as available space on the outside course you wish to take.

Is there an open day?
No, there is no specific ISPP open day, however, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the LSE campus to gain an insight into the LSE experience. You can find information about these here. You can also take a virtual open day online.

How long does the programme last?
Full-time students will study over a 12 month period. It is also possible to study part-time over 24 months.

I am unable to pay the application fee can I receive any support?
If you are unable to pay the application fee you can request a fee waiver. You can find the form and more information about applying for this here.

Are there any scholarships or other forms of financial support available?
You can find information about fees and funding opportunities on the graduate prospectus page for ISPP here.

What are the career prospects?
As well as providing intellectual stimulation, your studies will also help you achieve your career goals. The interdisciplinary nature of Social Policy means that graduates are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be applied in many different settings. Many Social Policy graduates apply their academic training directly; working as policy specialists in government, the public sector and NGOs, as well as following careers in a wide variety of other areas such as consultancy, education, healthcare, and police and justice services. Whichever path you wish to pursue, the LSE Careers Service  is there to provide you with comprehensive careers guidance both during and after your studies. You will also be able to connect with a network of 130,000 former students in the LSE alumni community, and benefit from mentoring and networking events through involvement with alumni special interest and regional groups.

FAQ's for Offer Holders

Can I defer my offer of a place on the programme?
If you are a current offer holder but are unable to attend this academic year you can apply to defer it until the next academic year. You can find information on deferring your offer, and the application form, on the Graduate Admissions page here.

Is it possible to change streams prior to starting?
Yes, if you are an offer holder and wish to change streams prior to starting your study can do so by completing the online form (Number 9 – ‘decline my current offer in order to take up another offer at LSE?’) which can be found here. When completing the form please stipulate the new stream you would like to follow and also the one for which you originally had the offer. The Graduate Admissions team will then process your request to change. NB Please be aware that the entry criteria for ISPP (Research) differ from those for the other streams and so it may not be possible to change into this stream from another. If you wish to change to the Research stream, please complete the online form number 3 'add or amend my programme choices' which can be found here.

Is it possible to change streams after I have started?
Yes, however this is dependent on the courses you have chosen and whether they are allowed within the programme regulations for the stream you wish to change to. If you are in receipt of a scholarship and you wish to change streams we would also recommend that you check whether there will be any implications for your funding. NB Please be aware that the entry criteria for ISPP (Research) differ from those for the other streams and so it may not be possible to change into this stream from another. 

 

IsabelSHUTES

Programme Director

Dr Isabel Shutes

 

 

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7955 6650

Email: socialpolicy.msc@lse.ac.uk