Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of core and optional modules.
MA students will complete a 60-credit 15,000-word dissertation over the summer, and an appropriate dissertation supervisor will oversee your progress.
Previous topics have included:
- Illegal immigrants in the UK: the case of African migrants
- Can international organisations stop child labour in Turkey?
- Exploring the role of poor governance in increasing poverty in Pakistan: 2001-2011
- Has there been a decline of the middle classes in Hong Kong?
- Forget about love, let's talk money
- The transforming Chinese family law and the implications for urban Chinese women
Dynamics of International Social Policy
This module introduces you to comparative analyses of different welfare state models and approaches to social and public policy; institutions, issues and debates in international social and public policy; and methods of cross-country comparative analysis.
- perspectives of international social policy
- welfare state typologies and cross-national comparisons
- international institutions, standards and goals
- the European Union
- social policy in less developed countries
- globalisation and welfare states
- international migration and the boundaries of welfare
- discrimination in a multicultural world
- international cooperation, policy learning and policy transfer
- comparative research methods
Globalisation, Europeanisation and Public Policy
This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of the concepts and processes of globalisation and Europeanisation, and the impact of globalisation and Europeanisation upon governance and public policy.
In particular, it examines the impacts of globalisation and Europeanisation upon the governance of and the making of public policy in Britain and other countries.
Policy Analysis: Concepts and Theories
This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of policy-making and policy analysis in government.
It examines key concepts, models and theories of policy-making and policy analysis, and illustrates them by examining policy-making in Britain and other countries.
Research Methods and Research Management
This module provides a general introduction to a range of key issues in the design and conduct of social research, plus guidance on writing both a dissertation proposal and a dissertation. The module combines more formal taught sessions with practical exercises, some of which are group-based.
By the end of the module you will be equipped with the methodological and practical skills to carry out independent research using a variety of research designs and methods.
The module will examine theories of welfare, the funding of the welfare state and key changes in welfare policies, such as the increasing focus on markets and consumer choice, partnerships, the personalisation of service delivery, and the increasing role of the not for profit sector in service delivery.
It will use developments in health service, social care and social security to explore wider issues in the development of welfare services. Although focused on the UK, other countries will be examined as a way of further understanding the developments in the UK and as a form of policy learning for UK reform. It will look at the obstacles and issues associated with these changes.
Dissertation in International Social Policy (MA only)
For the dissertation, you will explore a topic of your choice under the supervision of a designated member of staff. The subject matter must be relevant to the your honours subject.
During the autumn and spring semester you will have identified a topic and decided on an appropriate strategy of enquiry and analysis and written a dissertation proposal. You will then complete the research and writing-up during the summer semester.
You will choose 40 credits of optional modules from the list below, or schools/departments across the University, subject to approval.
Between Europe and the Middle East: Critical Questions of Citizenship and Identity
This module will focus on two geo-political regions: Europe and the Middle East in order to explore and analyse a set of relevant discourses that pertain to understandings and experiences of citizenship and the political conditions for full citizenship. Discourses and practices of freedom, human rights, democracy, gender and multi-culturalism will be of particular concern.
Five sessions will focus on Europe and will concentrate on neo-liberalism, historical formations of freedom and citizenship, democracy, ecology and multi-culturalism. More specifically, the module will focus on a number of significant historical events and developments within the European context.
These will include the European Enlightenment, Europe’s revolutionary past (including Marxism, Anarchism and the Velvet Revolitions of 1989) and more recently Brexit. These features will be investigated in terms of their significance for European identities now and in the past.
Contemporary Issues and Debates in Criminology
The module engages with a range of issues and debates in contemporary criminology.
Contributions to the module will be made by a number of guest speakers with experience in the criminal justice system and related areas of practice as well as from members of staff in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and other schools in the University.
The issues and debates covered in the course of the module will vary from year so the following list is provided for illustrative purposes only:
- The political economy of crime and justice in an age of austerity
- Defining and responding to 'hate crime'
- Pluralised policing
- Prosecuting complex cases
- Mental health in prisons
- State crime, human rights and transitional justice
- 'Whole life' sentences
Globalisation, Citizenship and Identity
This module considers the following key debates in the contemporary study of citizenship, identities and globalisation:
- Globalisation, identity and politics of difference
- Gendering globalisation and citizenship, and globalising gender
- Global and cosmopolitan citizenship
- Intimate/sexual citizenship
- From 'imagined communities' to the 'shock of denationalization'
- Ethnicity: culture politicized
- Globalisation and 'resistance identities'
Human Rights and Critical Modern Slavery
This module critically interrogates dominant liberal discourse on human rights and modern slavery.
Drawing on academic, popular and policy debate on human rights and case studies of phenomena that are deemed to constitute contemporary human enslavement - such as human trafficking, prostitution, domestic servitude, worst forms of child labour, forced labour and bonded labour in a number of sectors and regions - the module offers an opportunity to critically deconstruct the theoretical and political assumptions that underpin this discourse.
The module ultimately aims to draw your attention to the deep connections between human rights and social, economic and political inequality on the basis of gender, class, race, sexuality, age and other identity markers under contemporary conditions of globalisation.
Information Age Management in Government
The module will examine a range of themes and issues within the domain of electronic government and democracy. It will aim to demonstrate the embeddedness of information and communications technologies, including the internet, in the everyday managerial life of government administration. As such it will locate information and its communication as crucial resources for management in government, including for the establishment both of new working practices and for new relationships in and around government, particularly those with citizens.
Leadership, Strategy and Performance in the Public Sector
This module will examine the role of leadership in the public sector. It will discuss different concepts of:
- organisational culture and change
- performance in the public sector
- the use of knowledge and information in organisation learning
- performance improvement in public sector organisations
- the use of strategy in the public sector
You will study different models and approaches to these concepts, how they are affected by and interact with the policy environment, and how they influence each other.
This module will examine the concepts, models and practices of managing people in the public sector. It will study the development and approaches of how staff are managed in the public sector in a range of countries (for example, UK and other European countries). The module will also investigate how public sector staff are recruited, rewarded etc and how their performance is measured.
Political Theory and Social Policy
As an academic subject social policy is underpinned by a wide variety of social, political and economic theories. Without an understanding of these theories our analyses of both society and of welfare systems are likely to be inadequate. For instance, we may overlook the extent to which policies and welfare reforms are sometimes based upon weak theoretical foundations and assumptions.
This module explores a range of both traditional and contemporary themes and concepts, including liberty, equality, citizenship, needs, class, old and new welfare ideologies, as well as recent developments in welfare theory.
Public Sector Financial Management
The module will study the application of modern financial management techniques in the public sector at governmental, sectoral, organisational and unit levels. It will look at:
- budgetary cycles
- financial and budget controls
- cash and accrual (resource) accounting
- management of working capital
- capital budgets and programmes
- project appraisal
- cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis
- audit of public organisations
The module will look at both theoretical and practical methods, as well common developments in government policies.
Theoretical Frontiers in Criminology
This module considers a range of theoretical and conceptual issues in criminology relating to the nature and scope of criminology as a discipline as well as recent developments in criminological theory. The work discussed during the course of the module will be at the forefront of the discipline.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
Modules are typically assessed through essays or reports, usually on a topic of your choice. The Research Methods and Research Management module includes a dissertation proposal.