European and Comparative Social Policy - Long Essay

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Stephen Mangen OLD 2.62


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The purpose is to allow students to study a topic in depth by researching the literature and analysing a subject. Often these essays involve original perspectives or empirical research.


An appropriate supervisor will be appointed to advise each candidate and comment on draft elements of the dissertation.

Selection of Topic

The dissertation should conform to one of the following formats

• a study of a single EU state (or region, city etc) and one or more policy areas focusing on the impact of EU level social policy. This state should not be the student’s own country. Within this format the focus may also be at the sub-national level (regions, cities etc).

• a comparative study of two or more states (or their subnational levels) focusing on one or more policy areas. The sample may include the student’s own country.The sample may include non-EU countries as well as  the student’s own country.

• a study of an element of EU-level social policy or EU processes of social policy making.

The general subject area of the dissertation should be approved by the MSc programme director and dissertation supervisor by the sixth week of the Michaelmas Term. This will facilitate a specific research topic for the dissertation to be subsequently formalised. This topic may only be changed by agreement with programme director and supervisor and, in any case, no later than the end of the Lent Term.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in September.

The completed dissertation, which should be typewritten, must be submitted on or before 1 September (or if this falls on a weekend, the first weekday after 1 September). It must not exceed 10,000 words, bibliography and tables will not be included in this total.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.6
Merit 51.2
Pass 25.6
Fail 4.7

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: 17

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information