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Postgraduate Courses 2017/18

International Social Policy - PDip, MA

Canterbury

Overview

Welfare states everywhere face enormous 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 which accounts for these common pressures and processes, but which also recognises and engages with the diversity of national traditions and institutions for delivering welfare.

The International Social Policy programme takes a policy analytic approach to provide 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 variety  and differences that characterise welfare across the countries and regions of the world. Drawing on the research-based expertise available at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research which relates to countries ranging from China, South Korea and Singapore in South East Asia to the UK, Germany and Sweden in Western Europe, you are equipped to understand how national and global forces interact to shape trajectories of welfare system development.  

The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring enduring cross cutting themes in  social policy, including the prioritisation of equality and capabilities, as well as to drill down to how and why policy unfolds in key welfare fields. You develop policy analytic skills in relation to such areas as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, and children & family related policy. You acquire expertise in  the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to all these aspects of social policy, and are thus equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age across the full range of national contexts and policy situations.

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. 

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.

Think Kent video series

Dr Heejung Chung from the University of Kent explores the benefits of flexible working and the potential negative effects it can have for workers, especially in the context of increased competition, high unemployment and the decline of worker and union power.

National ratings

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%.

Course structure

We place considerable emphasis on structured, interactive seminars with a high degree of student participation. You also join the staff/graduate seminars which allow MA and research students to become involved in a professional research culture.

The programme gives you a clear and confident grasp of social policy in developed and developing countries. You gain an advanced understanding of the relevant debates, theories and concepts of international issues alongside skills in research design and data collection.

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. Current compulsory modules for this programme are: Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power; Design of Social Research; Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy.

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.

SO833 - Design of Social research (20 credits)

Module Summary:



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).

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO877 - Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)

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 programmes

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO872 - Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)

The approach of the course, like its subject matter, is inter-disciplinary, drawing on sociology, political economy and policy studies.



It covers:



- 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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO876 - Organised Civil Society and the Third Sector (20 credits)

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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO894 - The Family, Parenting Culture and Parenting Policy (20 credits)

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 policies

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO938 - Governing Science, Technology and Society in the 21st Century (20 credits)

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 innovation

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO867 - Foundations of Sociology (20 credits)

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 Parsons’s 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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SA803 - Politics and Sociology of the Environment (20 credits)

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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO813 - Sociology of health, illness and medicine (20 credits)

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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO817 - Qualitative Research (20 credits)

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;

• focus groups;

• oral history;

• case study methods;

• ethnographic theory and method;

• action research;

• critical discourse analysis;

• narrative analysis;

• visual methods.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO819 - Quantitative Data Analysis (20 credits)

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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO822 - Social & Political Movements (20 credits)

The module is designed so that, as well as covering a core of central concepts and theories, students will have the opportunity from selecting from among a range of optional topics.



i) Core Topics (These will be covered every year):

? Introduction: questions of definition – protest, collective action, social movements, social movement organisations. NGOs, pressure groups

? Collective behaviour or political action? The question of rationality; mass society theory; relative deprivation

? Resource mobilisation theory and its critics

? Political opportunity structures

? Ideas, values and knowledge in the making of social movements

? Mass media and social movements: framing and its consequences

? New communications media and social movements

? Structure, context and process in the development of social movements

? Prospects for the development of global social movements

? The impact of social movements: how do social movements matter?



ii) Optional Topics (These will be offered subject to student demand)

? Making sense of violence: riots; terrorism

? Political participation: rationality and resources

? Peace movements: reactive protest?

? Student movements: leading edge of the new politics or pathologies

of troubled youth?

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO825 - Terrorism and Modern Society (20 credits)

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.



Lecture list:

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)

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SO998 - Dissertation (60 credits)

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.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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Teaching and Assessment

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

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.

Learning outcomes

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.

Careers

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.

SSPSSR consistently ranks highly for student satisfaction and teaching quality, ranking 2nd in the UK for our Social Policy students' graduate prospects (The Complete University Guide 2017).

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs in roles which utilise their wide range of skills and are often found in managerial positions.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

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.  

Entry requirements

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

General entry requirements

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. 

International students

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.

Research areas

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.

Research centres

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.

Q-Step Centre

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.

Tizard Centre
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.

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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.

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Professor Michael Calnan: Professor of Medical Sociology

Diffusion and innovation in health care and technology; trust and health care; dignity and the provision of health and social care for older people. 

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Dr Heejung Chung: Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy

Welfare state and labour markets; gender; work-life balance and work-family conflict; labour market flexibility; working-time flexibility; employment insecurity.

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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.

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Dr Trude Sundberg: Lecturer in Social Policy

Research methods and comparative welfare issues.

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Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Contacts

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

E:information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 823684

F: +44 (0)1227 827005

E: sspssr-pg-admin@kent.ac.uk

School website

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

International Social Policy - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £6500 £14670
Part-time £3250 £7340

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 information@kent.ac.uk

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

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