Dissertation - International Social & Public Policy

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Adam Oliver


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 (Education), 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.

Those taking the course part-time must submit the dissertation in their second year.

Course content

The 10,000 word dissertation enables students to analyse in greater depth an issue relevant to their international social & public policy programme. You should discuss with your designated supervisor he selection of topic and its title title.

Your supervior can advise about preliminary reading, methods and broad analytical approach; and comment on the draft version. At their discretion, supervisors may give additional advice and comments.

Please note: Students on the Development, Migration, Education 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.


Online workshops/Dissertation support sessions will be held in late AT and throughout WT for students taking SP498 (CJP Dissertation) and those taking SP499 (ISPP Dissertation)

Academic Mentors will provide regular supervision and feedback throughout the three terms.

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, as a basis of discussion to confirm their topic. The Mentor will provide regular supervision and feedback.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

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

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 33.5
Merit 56.5
Pass 8.9
Fail 1

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2022/23: 204

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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