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MSc Social Policy (Research)

The MSc Social Policy (Research) programme combines advanced training in research methods and policy evaluation with hands-on experience of social policy research. Through a set of high-quality, integrated courses taught by leading academics in the field - themselves engaged in impactful research – the programme  equips you with transferable research skills and in-depth understanding of social policy, before you move on to lead your own research, whether in the form of a PhD or in government, NGO or private sector employment.

The programme is provided in conjunction with the Department of Methodology, and offers advanced training in both quantitative and qualitative methods along with a specialist taught course on social policy evaluation (including randomised controlled trials) and the relationship between research and policy. Students also have the opportunity to take up to two optional courses in national or international social policy areas of their choice including health, education, housing, criminal justice, poverty, inequality and climate change. A key component of the MSc is a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic individually selected by the student, prepared with the guidance of a personal supervisor, and usually involving original empirical research. The dissertation may be carried out in partnership with an external organisation such as an NGO through a research placement, which we can help to facilitate. 

Please refer to the Calendar for programme regulations.
Please refer to the Graduate Prospectus entry for the list of compulsory courses and options available to the programme.

Please refer to the Department Index of courses for information about course suspension, withdrawal and capping (limited places) as it becomes available.

All taught courses in the Department of Social Policy are 'capped'. This  means that there are a fixed number of places available. In the first instance, priority for acceptance onto a course is given to students of the Department. The Department is unable to guarantee that a place will be offered on a course unless it is a compulsory element of a programme of study.






Dr Tania Burchardt

Programme Director

Dr Tania Burchardt
Associate Professor


Angela Fitzgerald

Programme Administrator

Angela FitzGerald





The programme is recognised as research training by ESRC and eligible applicants who intend to continue to do a PhD may apply for 1+3 funding.