International Social Policy (MA)

University of Kent the United Kingdom

For more information about International Social Policy at University of Kent, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MA

How long you will study
12 Months

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About International Social Policy at University of Kent

Location: Canterbury


The programme involves critical discussions of how welfare states meet human needs and delve into the enormous challenges posed by social changes. You explore key fields of policy including health, migration, social care and labour market related policy. Methodological training is central to the programme, covering critical thinking and applied qualitative and quantitative technical skills.

Reasons to study an International Social Policy degree at Kent
  • Social Policy at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Times Good University Guide 2022
  • Core modules provide inter-disciplinary insights into fundamental aspects of comparative and international social policy research, and in-depth training in appropriate methodologies
  • Optional (elective) modules focus in detail on specialised topics relating to social policy and allied fields of study
  • A diverse and international community allowing for the development of genuinely global and comparative perspectives
  • Social Work and Social Policy was ranked 3rd in the UK for Research in the Times Higher Education following the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • Academic Adviser and in-house student support team available
  • Thriving cosmopolitan student community in and around the city of Canterbury
  • First-class facilities at our Canterbury campus, close to London
  • Graduate at the historic Canterbury Cathedral

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • comparative approaches to social policy
  • research design and methodologies for studies of social policy
  • theories and ideologies of welfare provision in a global world
  • the impact of post-industrialisation and globalisation to the study and understanding of social policy
  • an understanding of social policy developments in Europe and across the world
  • implications and challenges of social policy programmes for gender, class, age, ethnicity and race
  • an understanding of the relationship of international actors to national social policy systems
  • the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their critical application in the scholarly literature and in policy papers.

Intellectual Skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
  • the ability to use theoretical concepts and frameworks to gain a sophisticated understanding of the challenges and dilemmas of international social policy
  • the ability to reflect on and manage your own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback from your peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
  • general research skills: how to gather data from secondary sources, especially large international data sets and web-based resources
  • seminar presentations and discussions will encourage you to present information verbally.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to identify and understand key issues in theory and research on international social policy from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • the ability to identify current debates and challenges for specific policy fields using a comparative framework
  • the ability to research and access the main sources of information relevant to international social policy
  • the ability to understand the logic behind applied research, from research design to data collection and data analysis
  • the ability to present results in a meaningful way to international academic forums, as well as to more varied audiences.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to undertake research from a diverse range of sources, including data compiled by international and national policymakers, transnational agencies and governmental data, as well as existing survey and interview data
  • the ability to summarise detailed and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately
  • the ability to formulate arguments in verbal presentations, using social science language and terminology, and defend these against opposing views
  • the ability to present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended readership
  • the ability to evaluate personal performance.

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy
  • impart country-specific as well as cross-national empirical and theoretical knowledge of current challenges and processes of transformation of welfare systems
  • enable you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development, and family policy
  • develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas pertaining to social policy
  • familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of international social policy.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR | Part Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Part Time Overseas: N/A

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

What students think about University of Kent

    Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.

    “Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.

    “The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.

    “I was very fortunate to be awarded an International Scholarship, which meant I could dedicate myself to my studies.”

    Academic excellence - Stephanie Bourgeois from France is studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

    “I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.

    “The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”

    Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

    “I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.

    “Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”

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