Application deadline: As early as possible
Tuition fee:
  • £ 5,100 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 12,450 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 90 ECTS
Credits: 180
Duration full-time: 12 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time
More information: Go to university website
Intensity: Flexible
Duration part-time: 24 months
Part-time variant: Flexible

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Description

Welfare states everywhere face challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. In a globalised and interdependent world, these issues can only be understood from an international perspective.

The International Social Policy programme provides you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy. You learn about the common features of social policy arrangements internationally and the diversity and differences that characterise welfare in different countries.

The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific social policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development and family policy. You become familiar with the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to social policy, and are equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age.

About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR)

SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe. It has received top ratings in Research Assessment Exercises, and most recently had 70% of its work judged as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” in terms of its “originality, significance and rigour”.

The School supports a large and thriving postgraduate community and in 2010 distributed in excess of £100,000 in Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quota awards, and in University and SSPSSR bursaries and scholarships to new students.

Academic staff specialise in research of international, comparative and theoretical significance, and we have collective strengths in the following areas: civil society, NGOs and the third sector; cross-national and European social policy; health, social care and health studies; work, employment and economic life; risk, ‘risk society’ and risk management; race, ethnicity and religion; social and public policy; sociology and the body; crime, culture and control; sociological theory and the culture of modernity.

National ratings

Most recent Research Assessment Exercise: social work, social policy and administration ranked 4th nationally for research quality, with 70% of the research rated "world-leading" or "internationally excellent".

Kent was ranked 6th in the UK for social policy in The Times Good University Guide 2014 and 7th for social policy and administration in The Guardian University Guide 2015.

Contents

The programme provides you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy. You learn about the common features of social policy arrangements internationally and the diversity and differences that characterise welfare in different countries.

The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific social policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development and family policy. You become familiar with the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to social policy, and are equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

SO832 - Using Research-Advanced Critical Skills

SO833 - Design of Social research

SO877 - Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy

SO872 - Comparative Social Policy

SO876 - Organised Civil Society and the Third Sector

SO878 - International Migration, Issues and Perspectives

SO879 - Culture, Health and Social Care

SO884 - Race, Difference and Belonging

SO886 - Worlds of Work

SO893 - Religion and Social Theory

SO894 - The Family, Parenting Culture and Parenting Policy

SO938 - Governing Science, Technology and Society in the 21st Century

SO838 - The Idea of Civil Society

SO839 - Fundraising and Philanthropy

SO867 - Foundations of Sociology

SA803 - Politics and Sociology of the Environment

SO813 - Sociology of health, illness and medicine

SO817 - Qualitative Research

SO819 - FRTP Module 4

SO822 - Social & Political Movements

SO825 - Terrorism and Modern Society

SO998 - Dissertation

Assessment

Modules combine various forms of coursework; a research dissertation also acts as a modular component of the course in its own right.

Learning outcomes

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy
  • impart country-specific as well as cross-national empirical and theoretical knowledge of current challenges and processes of transformation of welfare systems
  • enable you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development, and family policy
  • develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas pertaining to social policy
  • familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of international social policy.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • comparative approaches to social policy
  • research design and methodologies for studies of social policy
  • theories and ideologies of welfare provision in a global world
  • the impact of post-industrialisation and globalisation to the study and understanding of social policy
  • an understanding of social policy developments in Europe and across the world
  • implications and challenges of social policy programmes for gender, class, age, ethnicity and race
  • an understanding of the relationship of international actors to national social policy systems
  • the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their critical application in the scholarly literature and in policy papers.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
  • the ability to use theoretical concepts and frameworks to gain a sophisticated understanding of the challenges and dilemmas of international social policy
  • the ability to reflect on and manage your own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback from your peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
  • general research skills: how to gather data from secondary sources, especially large international data sets and web-based resources
  • seminar presentations and discussions will encourage you to present information verbally.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to identify and understand key issues in theory and research on international social policy from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • the ability to identify current debates and challenges for specific policy fields using a comparative framework
  • the ability to research and access the main sources of information relevant to international social policy
  • the ability to understand the logic behind applied research, from research design to data collection and data analysis
  • the ability to present results in a meaningful way to international academic forums, as well as to more varied audiences.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to undertake research from a diverse range of sources, including data compiled by international and national policymakers, transnational agencies and governmental data, as well as existing survey and interview data
  • the ability to summarise detailed and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately
  • the ability to formulate arguments in verbal presentations, using social science language and terminology, and defend these against opposing views
  • the ability to present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended readership
  • the ability to evaluate personal performance.

Requirements

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

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Funding


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