Taught course

Social Policy

University of Bath · Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Candidates should hold a first or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university OR an equivalent degree in another subject, together with substantial relevant work experience.

Months of entry


Course content

The MRes Social Policy programme is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The programme is designed for:

  • Those developing careers as policy analysts or applied researchers in national or international social or public policy organisations or government departments
  • Prospective PhD students in social or public policy

The programme combines the academic study of social policy with a comprehensive exploration of research methods. Students develop experience and skills through analysing, comparing and evaluating social and public policies.

Within an active research community, students are supported in identifying, investigating and realising their own original research. We encourage diversity of intake regarding experience, qualifications and interests to stimulate the mutual experience and learning.

The excellence of the research undertaken within the Department of Social & Policy Sciences has been recognised most recently by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011. We were also ranked 2nd in the country in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

This MRes is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). It forms part of the Social Policy Discipline-specific Pathway.

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway, where successful graduates could proceed onto an MPhil or PhD in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences.

Programme Structure:
Core Units:

  • Short research apprenticeship project (MRes)
  • Quantitative methods 1: introduction to quantitative methods
  • Long research apprenticeship project
  • Research for policy: concepts, methods and values
  • Qualitative methods 1, Principles & skills of social research
  • MRes Dissertation

Optional units:

  • Comparative European social policy
  • International family policy
  • Globalisation & economic insecurity: social policy challenges
  • Comparative research methods
  • Quantitative methods 2
  • Qualitative methods 2

Information for international students

IELTS 7.0 (with not less than 6.5 in each of the four components), or TOEFL 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test) with a score of not less than 4 in TWE, or 100 (internet-based test) with not less than 24 in each of the components.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see: http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/fees/taughtfees/hss/index.html#socialpolicy
International students
Please see: http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/fees/taughtfees/hss/index.html#socialpolicy

The Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School provides guidance on potential sources of funding (studentships and scholarships) for postgraduate students. For more information, please visit our website.

This is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised programme, suitable for ESRC-funded 1+3 awards or subsequent +3 applications.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24+ months


full time
9 months
part time
21 months


full time
4 months
part time
16 months

Course contact details

Admissions Officer
+44 (0)1225 386634