Taught course

International Social Policy

University of Nottingham · School of Sociology and Social Policy

Entry requirements

2.2 (or international equivalent) in any subject area.

Community Care; International Social Policy; Theories of Welfare; Women and Social Policy; Health Issues; Poverty and Social Security; Social Policy Dissertation; Social Policy and the Environment; History of Welfare State.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Social Policy is concerned with questions such as:

  • How can we create a good society?
  • How much money should we spend on welfare services?
  • Is the current distribution of income and wealth socially just?
  • Should we be charged individually for using welfare services?
  • Should free markets and profit motives play a central role in service delivery?
  • What are the causes and consequences of poverty?

It is no longer possible to study national social policies in isolation. Global interconnections are multiplying and intensifying across a range of fields: economics, politics and the natural environment, among others. The MA in International Social Policy provides an introduction to comparative social policy and so to recent developments in welfare reforms from around the world.

This MA highlights the implications of such developments and equips students with the skills they need to understand the new challenges of the increasingly interdependent world in which we live. The course provides comparisons of the welfare models of ‘developed welfare states’, such as those found in European countries; and explores the relevance of recent developments and debates for developing countries. The MA also includes subjects that consider the future of social policies and comparative analyses, such as the module ‘Climate Change and Social Policy’.

Training in methods allows evaluation of policy outcomes, not only in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency but also extending to consider wider socio-economic and political contexts.

The success of the School of Sociology and Social Policy reflects the diverse intellectual backgrounds and research interests of our staff and our commitment to academic excellence. Social policy draws on insights from across the social sciences and humanities, including sociology, political science and economics. Nottingham is well placed to offer this multidisciplinary programme as the School is one of the UK’s leading centres for teaching and research in the fields of not only of social policy but sociology, cultural studies, health studies, social work and public policy. Students will be taught by researchers with world-leading reputations in these subjects. The research-led culture of the School therefore allows you to develop your own interests in particular themes and topics.

For a more extensive overview, please visit the course page on the University of Nottingham's online prospectus.

Information for international students

English language requirements: IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element).

Fees and funding

ODA, home government, a limited number of university scholarships available.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24-48 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment66
Dissertation34 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)115 951 5559