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Different course options

Full time | University of Birmingham | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Global Warming Social Policy / Administration

Course type


Course Summary

Social Policy seeks to not only understand the social world; but seeks to change it for the better through practical action.

Human well-being can be delivered through a range of public, private and voluntary institutions. At the beginning of the 21st Century, welfare systems and other public institutions, seeking to fulfil human need face considerable challenges, presented by economic crisis, an ageing population, increasingly flexible forms of work, migration, and shifting ways of family life. Alongside these fiscal and demographic pressures that nation states face, rising socio economic inequality and austerity has begun to reverse a number of key social advancements in terms of health and social mobility, making it a fascinating and critical time to study these issues.

The MA Social Policy will entail the study of a range of social problems, such as poverty, homelessness, substance use, crime and health inequalities. In doing so, you will be encouraged to consider the underlying causes and to formulate policy solutions to address specific social problems. Alongside this, the MA Social Policy programme will examine contemporary and comparative developments within social policy, so that you will be able to consider the shifting nature of welfare arrangements in a broader political, economic and social context from both a UK and global perspective.

Inherent to Social Policy, as a field of study, is a normative focus that seeks to not only describe the state of a specific society in terms of the fulfilment of human needs, but to consider if our societies should be more effectively and justly organised. A key focus for the MA Social Policy programme, will be on the ways in which we might transform our societies to increase human well-being and to promote sustainable forms of living, and to encourage you to evaluate alternative forms of social organisation.


Social policy is an applied social science that will challenge you to formulate your own policy solutions to key social issues. In so doing, equipping you with a combination of social research expertise, substantive knowledge of social issues and policy domains, as well as techniques of policy analysis.

The MA Social Policy programme is designed for those working in various areas of social policy such as health, housing and social services or who are interested in pursuing a career in these and related fields. It is also suitable for students who have studied a relevant social science or humanities programme at undergraduate level and who are now seeking to study social policy for the first time at postgraduate level.


Philosophies of Welfare: creating new societies (20 Credits) - Core
Dissertation (60 Credits) - Core
Poverty, Wealth and Inequality (20 Credits) - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

For entry onto this programme you will normally have an undergraduate degree of at least a 2:1. Applicants with a 2:2 degree classification will be considered on a case by case basis, if you have extensive related work experience.

University information

Part of the Russell Group of UK universities, the University of Birmingham has been developing great minds, encouraging challenging debates and pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence for over 100 years. Over 14,000 students from over 150 countries choose to study at Birmingham, meaning you will be part of a diverse and vibrant community. 40% of this student population are postgraduates. Birmingham understands that you want to...more

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