Taught course

Applied Social Science

University of the West of Scotland · School of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a relevant Honours degree (any social science; medicine; health; law; or social work). Applications will also be considered from those with a degree in another discipline or other professional training or experience relevant to programme specialisms (accredited or recognised prior experiential learning related to civil society, public affairs, criminal justice, applied psychology, social work or social policy). Such applicants will be required to complete written work in order to demonstrate their academic ability, and may be invited to attend an interview prior to acceptance. Overseas students must also meet UWS English language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc offers innovative and applied training in a number of specialisms including a named degree in civil society and public affairs; criminal justice; applied psychology; or global social work and social policy.

The MSc provides you with applied and transferable social science research skills to better understand the complexities of society, the role of multiple organisations (‘actors’) in governance systems, and disciplinespecific expertise. The programme is interdisciplinary and employability is a major theme of the MSc subject pathways so as to equip you with key applied skills for the graduate job market. Intensive workshops are delivered primarily by academic experts, with input from practitioners and non-academic specialists. You can study for the MSc in Applied Social Science, by choosing optional modules across pathways, or opt for a specialist named degree, as follows:

Applied Psychology Gives you the skills to research and examine human behaviour in various social settings i.e. education, healthcare and the workplace. Civil Society and Public Affairs Provides you with an advanced understanding of the relationship between civil society, the institutions of multi-level governance and the policymaking environment. Criminal Justice and Community Practice Gain the skills and understanding of criminal justice and youth violence to research and navigate the causes of crime and strategies for tackling criminal activity. Global Social Work and Social Policy Provides social workers, community workers and voluntary sector workers with opportunities to engage with the most innovative social work and social policy throughout the world.

Your learning

You will study core and specialistmodules. Core modules include:

  • Social Research Today;
  • Contemporary Social Issues;
  • Research Methods;
  • Dissertation.

Students of the generic Applied Social Science course can also study three specialist electives. For students studying for the various named degrees, specialist modules offered include:

Applied Psychology:

  • Psychology Applied to Public Health;
  • Psychology in the Workplace;
  • Psychology Applied to Education Civil Society and Public Affairs;
  • Theories of State and Civil Society;
  • Politics, Power and Civil Society;
  • Policy and Practice Criminal Justice and Community Practice;
  • Philosophy of Crime and Justice;
  • Policing; Youth Violence;
  • Policy and Practice Global Social Work and Social Policy;
  • Comparative Social Policy;
  • Social Work in a Global Context; Migration and Human Rights;
  • Policy and Practice.

Our Careers Adviser says - Graduates find careers in various specialist roles particularly related to research, campaigning and advocacy across public, private, voluntary and charity sectors. Part-time students may already be working in roles related to the specialist study areas and use the MSc for career advancement.

Information for international students

For more information please visit our website.

Fees and funding

For more information please visit our website

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Dr John Connolly
0800 027 1000 (+44 141 849 4101 out with UK)