Social Policy and Social Research MSc
The MSc in Social Policy and Social Research encompasses both a theoretical understanding of the policy process with advanced research methods training, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in complex and challenging policy contexts. This degree has ESRC 1+3 training recognition, meaning it stands alone as an MSc but will also prepare students for doctoral research.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelors' degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a social science subject, such as sociology, psychology, social policy, economics, or history. If you do not meet these requirements, other considerations, such as relevant work experience, may be taken into account.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
Students are equipped with the conceptual tools and empirical evidence necessary for investigating social policy and policy-making, including critical assessment of the role of research evidence in policy development and implementation. Graduates will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding and analytical and methodological skills to conduct social research in different policy contexts.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
- Understanding the Policy Process: Theories and Issues
- Evidence for Policy and Practice
- Social Theory and the Study of Contemporary Social Problems
Students select optional modules from the following list.
- Introduction to Data Analysis
- Introduction to Regression Analysis
- Introduction to Qualitative Research
- Systematic Reviews Design and Planning
- Survey Design
- Impact Evaluation Methods
- Longitudinal Data and Analysis
- Using STATA Efficiently and Effectively
- Advanced Qualitative Methods
- Systematic Reviews for Complex Policy Issues
- Research Engagement, Participation and Impact
- Systematic Reviews: Meta-Analysis, Qualitative Synthesis and Mixed-Methods Synthesis
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words. Workshops and online resources help prepare students for the dissertation.
Teaching and learning
A rich variety of teaching of methods are used, including lectures combined with seminars. In some modules, students are given the opportunity to develop presentational skills through group projects. The programme includes both face-to-face and online components. Assessment is through coursework assignments and a 12,000-word dissertation.
The programme offers a unique opportunity to study social policy and the ways in which research, along with other forms of evidence and knowledge, connects with and impacts on policy-making and professional practice. Training is also provided in social research methods relevant to people working in a policy or academic context. It is structured to allow students to customise their degree according to their preferred area of study and future career plans.
The programme is located within the Department of Social Science, a research-intensive department with an outstanding international reputation. It is taught by an inter-disciplinary team, all with specialist expertise across a wide range of policy areas.
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