Taught course

Philanthropic Studies

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

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a minimum requirement of a 2:1 honours degree or higher in a social science or related subject. Applicants with good degrees in other subjects and experience working or volunteering in the philanthropic or charitable sectors will also be considered. In exceptional circumstances we will consider students with lower grade honours degrees if they can demonstrate significant experience working or volunteering in the philanthropic or charitable sectors. In exceptional circumstances we will consider students who do not have a degree if they can demonstrate significant experience working or volunteering in the philanthropy or charitable sectors. We may in these circumstances ask for examples of recent written work to help make admission decisions. Overseas students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence that they have sufficient skills to undertake an intensive course of studies in English (i.e. average 7.0 in IELTs test). Candidates will receive a conditional offer with a 6.5 test score in IELTS.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is the UK’s first Master's in Philanthropic Studies. It is an innovative online course that builds on our expertise and teaching in civil society, fundraising, philanthropy, the third sector and volunteering.

Our programme meets demands for better higher educational provision for the charity workforce, as well as demands from donors for greater understanding of the meaning and purpose of philanthropy. It is delivered by academics trained in a wide range of relevant disciplines including social policy, business, history, sociology, geography, moral philosophy, anthropology, law and economics.

The programme also draws significantly on expertise from beyond the University, including teaching contributions from leading philanthropy experts, advisers, consultants, grant-makers, fundraisers and strategic philanthropists.

The team at Kent is led by Dr Beth Breeze - author of the annual ‘Million Pound Donor Report’, co-author of Richer Lives: Why Rich People Give, and frequent contributor to charity sector and media debates.

This programme will be attractive to students seeking a high-level understanding of philanthropy and/or a career in the buoyant philanthropy sector, as well as to professionals seeking an opportunity to reflect on their practice.

The programme is distance learning with occasional seminar attendance at either our Medway or Canterbury campuses.

Course structure

This programme is offered as a distance-learning course, with an optional three-day induction at the start of each year, and one study day per term, held at our Canterbury campus. All course work is completed online, where you participate in online discussion forums and have access to journal articles and specialist materials. After successful completion of the assignment, the module is equivalent to 20 credits at Master’s level.

We offer a ‘modular’ system so that you can choose whether to study three modules to gain a PG Certificate or six modules to gain a PG Diploma. There is also the opportunity to study any one module as a taster before committing to a full Certificate, Diploma or Master’s programme.

Information for international students

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 information and application process.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
distance learning
24 months


part time
24 months


part time
24 months

Course contact details

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