Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) is an integrated programme designed for people looking towards careers as practitioners, planners and administrators of public services whose interest lies at the international and European level or is likely to involve cooperation with other countries. It is equally aimed at those interested in careers in teaching and social research with an international or European perspective. The programme, launched in 1988, was the first graduate programme of its kind in the EU. It provides students with the opportunity of examining major current social problems and the range of policies being developed to address them from a comparative perspective with a special focus on Europe.
Through multi-disciplinary and cross-national comparative study, students gain a thorough grounding in the comparative analysis of the institutional arrangements of European welfare states, as well as examining specific social problems shared by individual countries and the issues involved in further integration. Welfare state models outside the EU and the growing pressures of globalisation are also studied in order to widen understanding of social policy options available.