Taught course

Civil Society, NGO and Non-profit Studies

University of Kent · School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Entry requirements

A 2.1 or higher university degree in a social science discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

The Civil Society, NGO and Non-profit Studies PDip/MA provides you with an advanced understanding of social science debates, theories and concepts relevant to organised civil society.

Strengthening the profile and capacity of civil society is now seen as a top priority by political commentators, social scientists and policy-makers all over the world. There has never been a greater need to develop a critical yet constructive understanding of the actions, behaviours and institutions that populate the space between states and markets, ranging from local voluntary associations to national social enterprises and transnational charities.

This programme draws deeply on the unique combination of scholarly and practical knowledge of the third sector, social movements and philanthropy situated in the School. You develop an in-depth understanding of the evolution of the meanings of civil society across time and space and the role its organisations and institutions play in political, social and economic life.

Teaching imparts country-specific as well as cross-national and transnational empirical and theoretical knowledge of the historical and contemporary challenges faced by these organisations.

You are also engaged in analysing how third sector organisations relate to ongoing social, political and economic transformations. In particular, your capacity to think sympathetically, but critically, about third sector contributions to policy through welfare systems and in other public policy arenas is developed.

Information for international students

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding web pages for the most current opportunities and application details.

NCVO Scholarship
Since 2013 we have worked with the NCVO to provide scholarships for appropriately qualified individuals from organisations with membership of the NCVO. The scholarship comprised a generous £2,000 towards tuition fees and was available on a competitive application basis. We believed this scheme was needed because many British voluntary organisations lack the extensive budgets to enable their staff to benefit from higher level degree programmes, yet face enormous social, economic, political and policy pressures at the current moment.

We are delighted to be collaborating in this way with the NCVO to help strengthen the capacity of voluntary or third sector organisations in Britain and will announce details for this year's scholarships shortly.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (subject enquiries)
+44 (0)1227 823684