Dissertation - International Social & Public Policy

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Isabel Shutes OLD 2.58 and Dr Sonia Exley OLD 2.46


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 (LSE and Fudan), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Migration), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Non-Governmental Organisations) and MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Research). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The 10,000 word dissertation enables students to analyse in greater depth an issue relevant to their international social & public policy programme.

Students on the Development, Migration or Non-Governmental Organisations ISPP streams are expected to complete dissertations on topics related to their stream, or they may not qualify for the stream Degree for which they are registered. Dissertations of students on the ISPP (Research) stream are required to be based on empirical quantitative or qualitative research, except by permission of the programme director.


4 hours of lectures in the MT. 10 hours of lectures in the LT.

Academic Mentors will provide regular supervision and feedback throughout the three terms (MT, LT and ST).

Formative coursework

The area of study is defined by the student, in consultation with their Academic Mentor.

An Academic Mentor is appointed to supervise each student. Students will discuss an outline proposal with their Mentor and submit their outline to the Programme Support Office in the Lent Term. The Mentor will provide regular supervision and feedback.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in September.

Dissertations should be no more than 10,000 words in length (100% of this unit), excluding the bibliography.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2019/20: 165

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication