SA4AB      Half Unit
Researching International Social & Public Policy

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Berkay Ozcan OLD.2.33


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Social and Public Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Development), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Migration) and MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Non-Governmental Organisations). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course aims to provide an understanding of issues associated with the research process in the context of MSc in International Social & Public Policy dissertations. It includes an examination of philosophical issues underpinning research methods in social policy, the place of different research methods (qualitative and quantitative) in international social & public policy, the use of research and the role of evidence in informing social & public policy, and the process of writing a social policy dissertation.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will undertake a group presentation during the course discussing approaches in researching social policy. They will receive written feedback on this presentation, and it will form the basis of the first part of their summative assessment. They will also undertake a short (1000 word) account of research paper aimed at summarising the key points, contributions and methods involved for a non-academic audience.

Indicative reading

Three useful texts are: Alan Bryman (2012) Social Research Methods, 4th edition Oxford University Press; C Robson & K McCartan (2015) Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, 4th edition. Oxford University Press; Justin Parkhurst (2016) The Politics of Evidence: From Evidence-Based Policy to the Good Governance of Evidence, Routledge.


Essay (75%) in the MT.
Other (25%) in the MT.

The course is intended to inform the student’s dissertation in terms of underpinning issues, concepts, methodological choices and the role of research in social and public policy implementation.

Assessment comprises 1) an individual write up of a group presentation on the role of different forms of research in international social & public policy (MT week 7, 25%) and 2) a short essay discussing how the issues covered in the course relate to a specific research application, chosen by the student (LT week 1, 75%).

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information