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MA Social Policy and Administration

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  • Objectives
    This course offers a long-standing and widely respected degree, which enables students to study important and pressing social questions through a challenging social policy literature. This taught MA programme has been running for twenty-five years and is one of the most popular in the UK. It is especially suitable as a ‘conversion-course’ for graduates with degrees in other subjects who wish to broaden their qualifications. Graduates with a substantial undergraduate training in social policy will also find that the extensive range of electives and the opportunity to write a postgraduate dissertation enable them to extend and deepen their understanding of the subject. The University of Nottingham is one of the most prestigious universities in the UK and possesses one of the country’s most attractive campuses. The School of Sociology and Social Policy has an enviable reputation in the social sciences and appointed the first Professor of Social Administration in 1948, later playing a key role in establishing the UK’s Social Policy Association (SPA). We have welcomed MA students from Botswana, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Seychelles, Pakistan, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda and the USA. Students bring with them widely varied academic and professional experience. Some students come directly after completing a first degree, but many others have some prior work experience in the public or voluntary sector. The wide range of contrasting experiences brought to the programme by its students is an important asset that greatly enriches both class discussion and the wider student experience. It is best to think of the MA programme as one integrated programme of study, fashioned in part by each student whose choice of electives and dissertation topic reflects their individual interests. The programme offers an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a substantial academic literature, concerned with some of the most pressing and urgent issues of our time.
  • Academic Title
    MA Social Policy and Administration
  • Course description
    Social Policy and Administration (MA)
    Duration: 1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time

    Course Content
    You will study the following core modules (worth 70 credits):

    Principles of Social Policy 1 and 2
    Social Policy Project
    Research Methods and the Dissertation

    Principles of Social Policy 1 & 2 will introduce you to major themes and issues of social policy. The Social Policy Project is a tutorial in which you will discuss these key issues.

    Elective modules (worth 50 credits) can be chosen from around the University. The wide range of electives offered by the School of Sociology and Social Policy recently includes:

    History of British Social Policy
    International Social Policy
    Sociology of Developing Societies
    Theories of Welfare
    Women and Social Policy
    Health Policy
    Housing Policy

    For students keen to develop their social research skills, there is a menu of social research electives, including modules on the Philosophy of Social Science, quantitative and qualitative research methods.

    Please note that all module details are subject to change.

    The dissertation will afford you the opportunity to conduct a major piece of independent research on a topic of your choice. You will prepare a dissertation proposal during the first semester and work closely with a supervisor internationally known for their expertise in Social Policy.

    Course Structure
    The MA in Social Policy and Administration can be taken on a full-time basis over 1 year or part-time over 2-3 years. There is also be the opportunity for full-time students to begin the course at the start of the spring semester in January, where this is more convenient.

    The MA consists of taught core and elective modules totalling 120 credits (which are taken during the autumn and spring semesters) and a 60-credit dissertation (undertaken over the summer period).

    In addition to the core modules (worth 70 credits), you will take 50 credits from an approved list of optional modules.
    All taught modules are assessed by written work of 3,000 words for a 10-credit module, or 6,000 words for a 20-credit. Full-time students usually take 60 credits in each semester, assessed at the end of each semester.

    Part-time students usually spread the same work and assessment over 24 to 36 months.

    A dissertation of 15,000 words must be submitted by the end of the summer period – this is worth 60 credits.

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