The Civil Society, NGO and Non-profit Studies PDip/MA provides you with an advanced understanding of social science debates, theories and concepts relevant to organised civil society.
Strengthening the profile and capacity of civil society is now seen as a top priority by political commentators, social scientists and policy-makers all over the world. There has never been a greater need to develop a critical yet constructive understanding of the actions, behaviours and institutions that populate the space between states and markets, ranging from local voluntary associations to national social enterprises and transnational charities.
This programme draws deeply on the unique combination of scholarly and practical knowledge of the third sector, social movements and philanthropy situated in the School. You develop an in-depth understanding of the evolution of the meanings of civil society across time and space and the role its organisations and institutions play in political, social and economic life.
Teaching imparts country-specific as well as cross-national and transnational empirical and theoretical knowledge of the historical and contemporary challenges faced by these organisations.
You are also engaged in analysing how third sector organisations relate to ongoing social, political and economic transformations. In particular, your capacity to think sympathetically, but critically, about third sector contributions to policy through welfare systems and in other public policy arenas is developed.
Since 2013 we have worked with the NCVO to provide scholarships for appropriately qualified individuals from organisations with membership of the NCVO. The scholarship comprised a generous £2,000 towards tuition fees and was available on a competitive application basis. We believed this scheme was needed because many British voluntary organisations lack the extensive budgets to enable their staff to benefit from higher level degree programmes, yet face enormous social, economic, political and policy pressures at the current moment.
We are delighted to be collaborating in this way with the NCVO to help strengthen the capacity of voluntary or third sector organisations in Britain and will announce details for the 2015 scholarships shortly.
Think Kent video series
Who makes donations worth £1 million or more, and why? This talk by Dr Beth Breeze explores the world of mega-philanthropy, sharing insights into the people who give - as well as those who ask for - the biggest charitable donations. Drawing on nearly a decade of research, Dr Breeze explains how many million pound donations are given by UK donors and to UK charities, what kinds of causes receive such support and what donors hope for in return.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research was ranked 2nd for research power in the UK. The School was also placed 3rd for research intensity, 5th for research impact and 5th for research quality.
An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research, gaining the highest possible score of 100%.
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. Current compulsory modules for this programme are: Design of Social Research; The Idea of Civil Society and Organised Civil Society and the Third Sector.
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.
|Modules may include||Credits|
SO833 - Design of Social research
This module aims to provide students with the skills to develop a research idea and to turn this into a coherent, achievable and interesting! research proposal. The course will be particularly useful for those doing empirical research in their MSc or PhD dissertation, or who will use social research after their studies.
In developing these skills, the course also provides an introduction to research methods and methodological debates. It will cover:
1. Key skills in research design developing a research question; writing a research proposal; and real-world considerations like ethics, cost, and feasibility;
2. Qualitative research design an overview of different types of qualitative methods and the logic of qualitative design; when to apply qualitative methods; and key design issues such as choosing cases and planning qualitative analysis;
3. Quantitative research design an introduction to the logic of quantitative research, and key issues such as turning the social world into numbers; when to apply quantitative methods; issues surrounding generalisation; how to interpret quantitative analysis results, and an introduction to the most common form of quantitative analysis;
4. Mixed-methods designs, which combine qualitative and quantitative research.
This course is complementary to the specialist courses in doing qualitative (SO817) and quantitative (SO819) research, and the course Using Social Research Advanced Critical Skills (SO832).Read more
SO838 - The Idea of Civil Society
The module provides an up to date overview of how key social science thinkers from across the social sciences have understood and analysed the relevance and contribution of civil society in their models and theories. It explores how contemporary scholars have continued to use their ideational frameworks to explore current social, political and economic problems and issues. It starts by acknowledging some of the key antecedents to contemporary notions of civil society in classical and pre-modern thought, and then systematically reviews how leading theorists of, and commentators on, post Enlightenment social and political developments have defined this sphere, and accounted for its roles and contributions in their formulations. Most of these writers have crossed what we now think of as disciplinary boundaries In each case, their basic socio-political models are reviewed, their accounts of civil society explicated and critiqued, and the applications of their contemporary interpreters to civil society issues explored.Read more
SO876 - Organised Civil Society and the Third Sector
The module provides an up to date overview of the range of contributions of the third sector to economic, social and political life. It includes analysis of definitions and categorisations, and the problematic boundaries between OCS, the third sector, the State and the market; foundational theories of third sector existence, organisation, functioning and behaviour; attention to the historical and current public policy agenda in relation to OCS and the third sector, in the UK and internationally; and reviews important approaches to evaluation in the third sector.Read more
SO877 - Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy
This course focuses on key challenges for International Social Policy through systematically differentiating and analysing key fields and issues. In this way, the student is provided with a systematic overview of some of the main spheres in which international and national social policy agendas co evolve. Individual social policy fields include extended working life and retirement; health; social security, migration policy and social care; with related issue areas including social exclusion and urban policies. While many policy domains are under pressure to change in the context of common socio-economic and processes including population ageing, globalisation, and international migration -the response to these pressures will vary depending on a number of internal and external socio-economic and political factors, whose configuration will vary markedly by country and policy field.
The course follows and complements the first core module of the International Social Policy MA (SO872 International Social Policy). The two modules together form a cohesive and coherent approach to social policy from an international and comparative perspective, although the Key lssues module is also self-contained and accessible in its own right to students of other MA programmesRead more
SO885 - Social Suffering
In summary, social suffering calls for a new project of social science. It involves researchers in the attempt to understand how social and cultural conditions moderate the experience of suffering. It also brings a critical focus to the ways in which such experience serves to expose the moral character and structural force of society within peoples lives. Whilst attending to the particular ways in which individuals struggle to make the problem of suffering productive for thought and action, it also works to understand how, through to the level of collective experience, this contributes to wider dynamics of social change. This course examines these cross-disciplinary issues and debates with the aim of assessing their sociological significance and political implications.Read more
SO894 - The Family, Parenting Culture and Parenting Policy
The module will explore the following:
Sociological analysis of the term parenting
The social history of debates about the family and the sociology of privacy
The changing meaning of childhood, motherhood and fatherhood
The meaning of the term intensive parenthood and its relation to expertise and risk culture
The sociology of identity, as applied in studies of the experience of parenting
The relationship of policies linking family life to broader social policy
Critiques of state intervention in family life and of particular contemporary parenting policiesRead more
SO938 - Governing Science, Technology and Society in the 21st Century
The course aims to develop an empirically grounded and theoretically engaged understanding of key debates in the contemporary governance of science and technology. It is interdisciplinary, bringing together perspectives from across the social sciences, science & engineering and the humanities to explore the social, political, economic and ethical implications of scientific progress. It takes on a global perspective and identifies key actors and processes in the normalization of scientific practice. Indicative topics include:
From sociobiology to biosociality: Introduction to the social studies of science
The captain and the steward: Changing relations of scientific and political authorities
Global harmonization of national policies: Examples from life sciences and climate sciences
Institutionalization of knowledge and non-knowing
Bio-terror versus bio-error: Biosecurity after synthetic biology
Bioethics and the domestication of technology
The political economy of biopower
Communities of fate: governmentality and biological citizenship
Better-off when handicapped? Boundaries and fairness in human enhancement
The art of representing science: The role of art and new media in scientific outreach
The cosmopolitanization of science: Dependence and interdependence of world innovationRead more
SO854 - The Sociology of Risk
1. Introduction: The Sociology of Risk
2. The Social Semantics of Risk in Historical Perspective
3. Ulrich Beck and the Risk Society
4. The Cultural Theory of Risk
5. Governmentality and Risk
6. Reading / Essay Writing Week
7. The Perception of Risk in Sociological Perspective
8. The Management of Risk in Sociological Perspective
9. Risk in Mass Media
10. Risk, Subjectivity and the endangered self
11. Transnational Risks and Civil Society
12. World Risk Society: Retrospect and ProspectRead more
SO867 - Foundations of Sociology
This course is designed to provide a guide to the foundations of sociology by exploring the most influential traditions of writing in the discipline and examining how these were forged on the basis of an ongoing dialogue with the legacy of the Enlightenment. After situating sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts, the course analyses how the founders of the discipline developed a series of a competing visions of those processes elementary to social and moral life. Focusing mainly on the French and German traditions of sociology, but also incorporating the British tradition, we progress by examining the tensions that have arisen between collectivist visions of the social whole and competing conceptions of voluntarist inter/action, before focusing on Parsonss attempt to reconcile these approaches within an overarching conception of the sociological tradition. The second part of the course moves away from these classical visions of sociology to those post-classical attempts to reconstruct the discipline on the basis of alternative concerns such as conflict, culture and post-modernity. Here we study a number of perspectives that have contributed to a fragmentation of the discipline. Whilst most sessions are concerned with debating the dominant theoretical interests that have defined the discipline, others are devoted to investigating key junctures in the development of methodology and research practice. The course aims to provide students with critical insights into the ways in which sociology has been configured as a discipline in response to key junctures in its history.Read more
SO872 - Comparative Social Policy
The approach of the course, like its subject matter, is inter-disciplinary, drawing on sociology, political economy and policy studies.
- The value of a comparative approach to social policy and some of the problems in carrying it out
- The main theoretical approaches
- The way welfare states have been categorised
- Welfare in the less-developed world
- Migration and the welfare state
- EU and the Europeanization of social policy
- Globalisation and the welfare state
- Likely future developments in social welfare
The course will equip you to understand the ways in which scholars have approached the subject of the welfare state and also convey knowledge on some of the major issues in welfare.Read more
SA803 - Politics and Sociology of the Environment
This module is particularly concerned with the forms and outcomes of the political contention and mobilisation around environmental issues, ranging from pressure groups, formal environmental movement organisations and Green parties to local environmental activism and radical environmental protest. It also considers the relationship between democracy and the environment: is democracy good for the environment? Would more deliberative forms of democracy improve matters? The approach is cross-nationally comparative and will also consider issues of global environmental politics.Read more
SO813 - Sociology of health, illness and medicine
The module is organised around the general theme of a discussion of current debates in the sociology of health, illness and medicine drawing on both theoretical and empirical research. More specific themes will include: the social construction of health and the changing boundaries between health and illness; medicalisation and the discovering of new mental and physical illnesses ; narratives of illness and identity in the context of chronic illness and disability assessing the value of concepts such as biographical disruption: the changing structure, nature and regulation of medicine and the explanatory power of the new sociology of professionalism.; the political sociology of medicine which explores the relationship between the state and organised interests such as the pharmaceutical industry; changing approaches of the public /patients to maintaining health and managing illness in the context of a culture of consumption where health and lifestyle might be seen as commodities and maintaining a healthy body keeps control over an uncertain and changing world ; trust, risk and mental health ; consideration of the growth in the use of non orthodox health care and the development of medical pluralism and a discussion of the relationship between structure and agency in the context of social inequalities in health.Read more
SO817 - Qualitative Research
This module focuses on the theory and practice of qualitative research. It explores the various aspects of using and collecting qualitative data. The aim of the module is to illustrate a range of practical techniques while considering related problems of evidence and inference in qualitative analyses.
Students will be versed in a range of techniques and will have the opportunity to practice some of them, this includes:
the theory and practice of interviewing and different varieties of interview;
case study methods;
ethnographic theory and method;
critical discourse analysis;
visual methods.Read more
SO819 - Quantitative Data Analysis
The module will provide an introduction to the use of Statistical Analysis within the Research Process. It will begin by introducing and discussing different types of measurement and the practical problems of data entry in SPSSW. After discussing basic data description and transformation the focus will shift to Exploratory Data Analysis and the need to examine the data carefully. Simple approaches to summarising data and distributions will then be examined. This will then be followed by methods to test research hypotheses through bi-variate and multivariate methods that are used extensively in the Social Sciences. The final part of the module will look at various issues surrounding the practical issues of quantitative data analysis, such as how to find appropriate data and about presenting research outcomes.Read more
SO823 - Social Change & Political Order
This module examines how postcommunist, transition and developing countries respond to the liberal democratic political order, critically exploring the economic, social and moral aspects of neoliberalisation in the southern hemisphere. Notions of power, the state, class, agency and morality are central to considerations of social and political change. Several key topics, including gendered politics, state corruption, international aid, global finance and fraud, slums and migration, will be discussed. The module is interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to engage with key ideas and studies from sociology and political science to development studies and ethics. Each week students will explore a broad range of literature, spanning from political sociology to moral economy, so that students gain a deeper appreciation of people' politics and values in emerging and newly liberal societies.Read more
SO825 - Terrorism and Modern Society
Following the events of September 11 public concerns surrounding the related threats associated with terrorism have inevitably deepened. This course will provide a general introduction to the terrorism and pose a series of questions that rarely feature in mainstream criminological and sociological discourse. A central aspect of the course will be an examination of the actual risk posed by international terrorism and whether or not the threat is enhanced by the fears and anxieties generated by a risk-averse culture.
1. Introduction: a brief overview of key historical perspectives (KH)
2. Approximating the problem of terrorism: contested definitions (FF)
3. True Lies: conspiracy and secrecy in an age of uncertainty (KH)
4. Fanaticism 1: fundamentalist cultures (KH)
5. Fanaticism 2: the psychology of the terrorist (KH)
6. Reading Week
7. Polarized moralities: culture wars and extremism from Oklahoma City to the Brixton Bomber (KH)
8. Uncertainty and risk: terrorism and the revolt against change in a globalized world (FF)
9. Living with the terrorist threat: public perceptions, hyper terrorism and the media (FF)
10. Resilience and Vulnerability: How communities respond to terror (FF)
11. Review lecture: Framing fear post 9/11 (FF)Read more
SO832 - Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power
This course provides students with the understanding and skills necessary to use research, whether within a research career or outside of it. Building on other training in the details of specific methods, it focuses on two sets of broader questions. Firstly, it looks at uncertainty in social research how confident are we about what we know? In answering this question it looks at issues of quality in qualitative and quantitative research, the difficulties of causal inference and generalisation, coming to conclusions from research reviews, and philosophical issues around truth and values. Secondly, it looks at the link between research and action. In doing this, it goes from the very practical (how to ensure that your research is used by policymakers and/or practitioners, and to deal with the political pressures on researchers) to the conceptual (in what ways does evidence get used by wider society?) to the normative (should researchers be critical, and if so, what are their ethical obligations in doing this?).Read more
SO998 - Dissertation
The aims of this module are twofold:
First, to provide students with the opportunity to independently carry out an in-depth inquiry to investigate a research question(s) of their choice, producing a coherent review of the relevant literature, a logical discussion and a clearly communicated set of conclusions in the form of a dissertation.
Second, to prepare students to become research-minded practitioners in order that they have the capacity to undertake research in practice settings and/or take a lead role in supervising others in such work.
The following represents the likely format for curriculum delivery:
In mid-November, there will be a two-hour workshop, which will outline the aims, the structure, the process of the dissertation. During the spring term, the students will finalise their proposal with their chosen supervisor. If the dissertation requires ethical research approval, an application will be submitted to the school research ethics committee by the beginning of the summer term. During the summer term and vacation, students will meet their supervisor every fortnight to discuss the progress of their dissertation. The supervisors will provide feedback on written work and will set monthly work plans and targets for the students. The dissertation topic will relate to a key question, issue and problem within social science.Read more
Teaching and Assessment
Assessment is by coursework, plus the dissertation (for the award of the MA).
This programme aims to:
- provide you with an advanced understanding of social science debates, theories and concepts relevant to organised civil society (OCS), where the latter includes the ‘third sector’ of NGOs, social movements and other formations between the market and the state, and refers to the institutions and practices of philanthropy, altruism and reciprocity
- impart country-specific as well as cross-national and transnational empirical and theoretical knowledge of the current challenges and processes of transformation applying to this sphere of society, and the organisations within it
- develop your understanding of, and capacity to think critically about, the key policy contributions of, and roles fulfilled by, OCS as a significant policy actor in welfare and broader public service system functioning and development
- develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas relevant to, or forming part of OCS
- familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of OCS studies.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- foundational social science conceptualisations of civil society and their applicability to the modern world and its problems
- contemporary theories and ideologies of OCS and associated institutions and practices in a global age
- comparative and multi-level approaches to organised civil society
- the impact of globalisation, shifts in governance, and a range of related ongoing processes of political and economic change for OCS
- leading public policy developments in Europe and across the world as these apply to civil society
- the relationship of international actors to national social policy systems
- researching design and methodologies for studies of civil society
- the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their critical application in the scholarly literature and in policy papers.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- developing reasoned arguments, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement
- reflecting on and managing your own learning and seeking to make use of constructive feedback from your peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
- using theoretical concepts and frameworks to gain a sophisticated understanding of the challenges, and dilemmas of OCS
- general research skills: gathering data from secondary sources, especially large international data sets and web-based resources
- seminar presentations and discussions will encourage you to verbally present information.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- identifying and understanding key issues in theory and research on OCS from a multidisciplinary perspective
- researching and accessing the main sources of information relevant to the study of civil society internationally
- understanding the logic behind applied research, from research design to data collection and data analysis
- presenting results in a meaningful way to international academic forums, as well as to more varied audiences.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to undertake research utilising a diverse range of sources, including data compiled by international and national policymakers, transnational agencies, 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.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills. We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills.
You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.
Our graduates obtain a range of transferable skills and report high levels of being in employment or further study within six months of graduation across all of our degree programmes. Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.
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.
The atmosphere in the School is informal and friendly and has at its centre a lively and diverse postgraduate community. The weekly staff/postgraduate seminar series is designed to introduce you to the work of major scholars from the UK and abroad, and there is also a wide range of other seminar and workshop series each academic year.
Our postgraduate students have access to dedicated office space within the department and are able to take advantage of excellent library and computing facilities. Where appropriate, research students are encouraged to expand their experience by teaching part-time in the School.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Social Policy; Journal of European Social Policy; Voluntas; Social Policy and Administration; and Social Policy and Society.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
A 2.1 or higher university degree in a social science or related discipline.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
English language entry requirements
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
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.
Academic staff at Kent share a number of interests, grouped here for your guidance. However, there is often a degree of overlap between groups and your research project does not have to fall neatly within any one of them. The School also has several research centres that bring together experts in the field, co-ordinate research, organise talks and offer opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in discussions and research projects.
The Civil Society
Staff in this research cluster seek to: understand the social forces and cultural interests that move people to take moral responsibility for responding to/caring for the needs of others; document and explain the institutional organisation of charitable behaviour and its social impacts; the socio-cultural dynamics of philanthropic behaviour and its effects on society. They also perform research into contemporary humanitarianism and its powers of influence over social policy and political process; and the character of the social ties and cultural values that structure the interrelationships between humanitarian action, charitable endeavour and philanthropic intervention; as well as the bearing of government policies and governmental processes upon the charitable sector and philanthropic activity.
Cross-National and European Social Policy
Using the framework of studying different welfare regimes, academic staff research a wide range of topics, while postgraduate students conduct research projects in every part of the world. Many of these projects involve overseas students making comparative studies involving their own country and European or UK services. The work of academic staff has resulted in a wide range of policy research related to Europe. Recent cross-national work has included projects examining home care services for older people, formal and informal social care systems, institutional change and the future of welfare reform, industrial relations, housing and community activism. Other interests include globalisation and welfare, and subsidiarity and convergence. Current or recent thesis topics include: democratisation and social policy in Korea; youth homelessness in Greece and the UK.
Health and Social Care
Present studies cover a range of issues within the fields of health services, social work and health policy. Particular interests include health care organisation and policy; risk assessment and management; primary care; public and user views of health care; health inequalities; occupational therapy; care work in health and social care; adoption; foster care; adult attachment theory; mental health; child protection; body work; psychoanalysis; race, ethnicity and health. Current or recent thesis topics include: women’s health in Uzbekistan; improving men’s health: the role of healthy living centres; women, the body and madness.
Migration and Ethnicity
Though socially and discursively constructed, ‘race’ continues to be a key basis of social division and identification in British society, across Europe, and globally. Not only do many disparate ethnic minority groups continue to identify along ethnic, racial and religious lines, but ethnicity and race continue to shape a variety of outcomes, such as employment, educational attainment and senses of ‘belonging’. In this sense, ‘race’ and the recognition of difference continues to matter and is a key element in the School’s research interests.
Risk and Uncertainty
The critical analysis of risk and perceptions of risk have become central issues in the sociology of the ‘risk society’ and this is an important focus of activity in the School. Staff research includes work on health risks and their management, the implications of attitudes and behaviour concerning risk for the welfare state, the development of a culture of risk and anxiety, moral panics, risk and crime, risk and the life course, suffering, and the perceptions of new communications technology.
Work and Economic Life
Interest in the issues surrounding work stretches across SSPSSR and current projects focus on work identity and meaning; work/life balance; age, generation and employment; visual representation of work; deindustrialisation; organisational sociology; gender, ethnicity and class at work; historiography of work sociology; moral economy; workplace ethnography and oral histories.
The School also has several research centres that bring together experts in the field, co-ordinate research, organise talks and offer opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in discussions and research projects.
Centre for Child Protection
The Centre for Child Protection is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and is the first centre of its kind in Europe. Combining research with distance learning programmes and a range of innovative serious training games, the Centre for Child Protection is leading the way in building knowledge and training opportunities for professionals working in this area.
We aim to:
- develop innovative techniques for professional training and support
- translate and apply the latest research and knowledge to inform best practice
- create diverse and flexible learning programmes
- address gaps in post-qualification training provision and opportunities
- facilitate safe and realistic environments in which child protection professionals can develop and enhance their skills and professional practice.
The Centre is led and informed by a team of experts in the field of child protection. With many years of experience in both research and practice, we are committed to improving the provision of continued professional development to enhance the skills of those involved in child protection.
Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS)
The Centre for Health Services Studies has a strong record in attracting research grants from the National Institute for Health Research, European Union Framework Programme, ESRC, Department of Health, as well as local health authorities and trusts. It is a designated NIHR Research Design Support Service. Particular areas of expertise include pragmatic trials, risk assessment and management, care of vulnerable adults including older people, and public health.
Centre for Philanthropy
Dedicated to an understanding of the social processes and cultural experiences by which people acquire moral dispositions to care for others, the Centre for Philanthropy offers a focal point for much of this work. Research is conducted into the ways in which our capacity for feelings are socially cultivated, corporately structured, politically mediated and economically expressed. The School is also linked to the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC), collaborating with the University of Birmingham on third sector theory and policy analysis.
Centre for Social and Political Movements
The Centre was established in 1992 in order to consolidate Kent’s leading position in the study in Britain of social and political movements. The Centre is actively involved in international networks of social movement researchers through its participation in the Erasmus network on ‘Social movements, conflict and political action’ and through its members’ activity in the relevant research committees of the International Sociological Association, the European Sociological Association, and the European Consortium for Political Research.
Centre for Social Science and Risk
The Centre conducts research into the concept of risk and uncertainty: how and why risk is manifested and how it is experienced in today’s society. Staff take an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing upon sociology, law, social psychology, and history. The Centre’s research seeks to understand causal issues from the perspectives of both individuals and organisations while considering the wider political and social context.
Personal Social Services Research Unit
The PSSRU is the largest social services research unit in the UK, and operates at three sites: the University of Kent, the London School of Economics and the University of Manchester. Facilities include the Griffiths Library of Community Care, a reference library of more than 10,000 books, journals and other literature linked to the Unit’s field of study. Research focuses on needs, resources and outcomes in health and social care: major concerns are resourcing, equity and efficiency from the perspective of users, agencies and others. The Unit has developed a distinctive analytical framework called the ‘production of welfare approach’ to illuminate this research.
The University of Kent is one of 15 universities in the UK to have a Q-Step Centre, significantly funded by HEFCE, the Nuffield Foundation and ESRC, to provide students with advanced training in quantitative methods in social sciences.
The Centre is based in SSPSSR and incorporates teaching from Politics and International Relations, Law, Business and Liberal Arts. At its heart is the delivery of quantitative skills training in a subject context, a community-based project and professional placements. Quantitative Methods (QM) training, which greatly enhances employability and provides a deeper and more secure grasp of the quantitative skills needed to evaluate evidence and analyse data within a discipline, is delivered in a practical and engaging manner.
The Tizard Centre is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments. The Centre is at the forefront of learning and research in autism, intellectual disability and community care, and in 2013 received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work in these areas.
Our primary aims, through research, teaching and consultancy, are:
- to find out more about how to effectively support and work with people with learning disabilities
- to help carers, managers and professionals develop the values, knowledge and skills that enable better services
- to aid policymakers, planners, managers and practitioners to organise and provide enhanced services.
The Tizard Centre is recognised as leading the field in deinstitutionalisation and community living, challenging behaviour, quality of staff support, sexuality and autism, and has had a significant impact on national policies in these areas. We are committed to addressing issues arising from social inequality.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Dr Jeremy Kendall: Senior Lecturer in Social Policy
The voluntary sector in the UK; the welfare mix, particularly the motivations and behaviours of providers of care for older people in the UK; British social policy in general; the European dimension of public policy, particularly social policy, towards organised civil society.View Profile
Dr Ben Baumberg Geiger: Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy
Disability, the nature of work and the benefits system; the relationship of evidence, policy and critique; attitudes to tax/benefits; theorising inequality; alcohol (and other addictions) policy, especially pleasure and corporate social responsibility.View Profile
Dr Tina Haux: Lecturer in Quantitative Social Policy
Family policy, parenting, family separation, lone parents, welfare-to-work, social justice, evidence-based policy-making and, increasingly, longitudinal research methods, comparative social policy.View Profile
Professor Sean Sayers: Emeritus Professor of Philosophy
Social, moral and political philosophy; Hegel and Marx.View Profile
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Civil Society NGO and Non Profit Studies - MA at Canterbury:|
|Civil Society NGOs and Non Profit Studies - PDip at Canterbury:|
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com
General additional costs
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