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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue

MA Social and Public Policy

Programme code:MA-SAPPUCAS code:
Duration:12 Months Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Kahryn Hughes Contact

Total credits: 180

Entry requirements:

2:1 BA Hons in the Social Sciences, Business Studies or related discipline
English language requirements as directed by School Policy

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

School of Sociology and Social Policy MA Examination Board

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

There are no national QAA subject benchmarks for the study of social or public policy at Masters level.

There is a 2007 statement of benchmarks for undergraduate honours degrees in ‘social policy and administration’. This defines the subject as ‘the study of the distribution and organisation of welfare and well-being within societies’ and its ‘focus is on the ways in which different societies understand and meet the needs of their populations’. It emphasises the rapidly changing, and increasingly international, nature of social policy and is based on four principles, which are equally relevant to Masters level study in the subject. Namely:

- the rigorous linking of theoretical analysis with empirical enquiry
- the identification and understanding of different value positions
- a willingness to engage with a range of intellectual traditions and social science disciplines
- the belief that students should acquire the skills and qualities which enable them to become active and informed citizens.

Programme specification:

This programme will provide students with an in-depth understanding of issues, concepts, events and analyses informed by knowledge across or in aspects of Social and Public Policy. Students will have the opportunity to exhibit mastery in the exercise of generic and specific intellectual abilities relevant to Social and Public Policy, and to demonstrate an understanding of issues, approaches and techniques related to research or advanced scholarship in Social and Public Policy, and having relevance to their own investigatory work. In the MA dissertation they will have the opportunity to formulate ideas and hypotheses and to develop, implement and execute plans by which to evaluate these and to critically and creatively evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in Social and Public Policy.

The MA in Social and Public Policy is the ideal course for people who either work, or would like to work, in government, public sector services, quasi-governmental or non-governmental organisations or business sector where the social implications of policy-making and policy-analysis are relevant. These include: central and local government departments; housing and health organisations; charities; research consultancies and advocacy groups. The programme is excellent preparation for PhD studies in this area.

Social and Public policies are essential to the welfare of populations. They impact upon equality, inclusion and citizenship. How such policies are framed and how they are made has a dramatic effect upon our societies and the lives of people in different social groups. Social and Public policies include those relating to health, housing, education, employment, pensions and social care. There is a demand for well-trained policy-analysts and policy-makers to help develop effective and socially-just Social and Public policies.

The MA Social and Public Policy builds upon the University of Leeds' research expertise in this area, especially in theories of welfare and social justice. Students will learn from staff members’ extensive experience in UK policy-research and international comparative research. The programme will enable students to understand the key issues in Social and Public policy and how policies are made, implemented and evaluated. The course will involve training in evidenced-based policy approaches and realist evaluation methods. It will also include consideration of European Union (EU) policy frameworks and students will be supported to make international comparisons with welfare arrangements outside the EU. They will have the opportunity to think critically and creatively about policy and welfare issues and to tailor their studies to fit with their career aspirations.

Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

SLSP5305MSocial Policy Analysis15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5306MSocial Policy Debates15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5345MPublic Administration: Policy, Planning and Development in a Globalised World30 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
SLSP5400MDissertation60 credits1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth)
SLSP5501MResearch Strategy and Design30 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 15-30 credits from the following list of optional modules available in the School of Sociology and Social Policy:

SLSP5240MRacism, Decoloniality and Migration30 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5303MContested Bodies30 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5307MQuantitative Research Methods15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5308MQualitative Research Methods15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5309MPolicy and Programme Evaluation15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5360MResearching Inequality in the Media30 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
SLSP5370MReality TV: Truth or Fiction?30 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)

If candidates wish they may choose to study up to 15 credits from the following optional modules available outside of the School:

GEOG5830MEnvironmental Assessment15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
LAW5330MEuropean Human Rights15 creditsNot running in 202324
LUBS5399MUnderstanding and Managing Effective Groups and Teams15 creditsNot running in 202324
TRAN5191MSystem Dynamics: Modelling Policy15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)

Last updated: 12/05/2023 16:52:04


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