Taught course

Philanthropic Studies (Distance Learning)

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.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.

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 optional termly study days (recorded for those students who cannot attend in person) at our Canterbury campus.

All students pay 2 years of fees, regardless of whether they pursue the full MA, PG Diploma or PG certificate.

Information for international students

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.

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 see our funding pages for the most current information

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24 months


distance learning
24 months

Course contact details

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