Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Two Year Master's in International Social Policy - MA

2018

Developed for international students, the Two Year Master's in International Social Policy MA provides an introduction to high-level academic study leading to a recognised postgraduate qualification.

2018

Overview

You gain a clear, confident and advanced understanding of the subject while receiving intensive coaching in academic study and writing. Language and study support are also given in the first year to help you achieve your full potential.

The skills you develop on this programme include critical thinking, data analysis and presentation of key findings as well as transferable skills such as time management, IT and problem solving.

Studying the pathway of International Social Policy enables you to apply theories and methods of comparative social policy in exploring specific fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development and family policy. You learn advanced research techniques becoming equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age.

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

SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe. An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, with 99% of the research submitted judged to be of international quality.

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

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

National ratings

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

This programme has been designed to equip you with essential skills over the course of two years. Years one and two gradually build your cumulative knowledge in your chosen subject area, alongside developing essentially study skills at a higher level.

Our two year Master's programmes offer a structured and supportive environment in which you can develop both academic and language skills while undertaking postgraduate study at a renowned UK university.

In the first year, you take 45 credits of academic skills and English, and a 30 credit core module in your chosen pathway. In addition, you select 45 credits from a wide range of optional modules at higher or intermediate level.

In the second year you take 120 credits of modules at Master's level and a 60 credit dissertation in a topic of your choosing. The core modules of the second year (80 credits) are: Comparative Social Policy; Design of Social Research; Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy and Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules.

You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include Credits

Welfare states face many challenges in the contemporary world. This course takes a comparative approach by systematically analysing key fields to show how a variety of countries have identified and tackled problems of social policy. It starts with a consideration of theoretical frameworks but most of the course is directed at consideration of welfare issues in different countries and to specific topics: globalisation, migration, population ageing, disability, the cuts and so on. In this way, the student is provided with a systematic overview of some of the main areas in which international and national social policy agendas co evolve. It is intended for students of social policy, social work, and social sciences.

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The coalition government has argued that following the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent double-drip recession adoption, the UK has no option but to pursue austerity policies. This has included a huge squeeze on spending on cash transfers often referred to as 'welfare'.

This module focuses on poverty and inequality and how such social security policies impact upon them. Students will analyse the nature, extent and causes of poverty and inequality, with reference to the UK. The module will make students aware of current issues in welfare reform as it relates to groups vulnerable to poverty including: people who are unemployed; people who are sick or disabled; older people; children; lone parents; people from Black or minority ethnic groups. The module also shows how social security policies encompass different principles of need, rights and entitlement for users of welfare services.

It is designed to be of interest to Sociology and Health and Social Care students as well as Social Policy students.

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This module will introduce students to the analysis of health policy focusing on recent policy changes in the UK and identifying the major influences which have shaped these policies. There have been considerable changes in health service policy and health policy in the UK over the last decade involving changes to existing policies and the development of new policy themes. The latter have included a growing recognition of the need to address inequalities through public health policies but the relative neglect of environmental health policies, a focus on the views and/or the voice of the user and the public, the emergence of evidence-based policy and practice, the marketisation and privatisation of health care, the introduction of managerialism and the attempts to regulate the medical profession. This module provides an analysis of these recent policy developments and explores to what extent they reflect significant shifts in policy. What shapes these policies is examined through an exploration of the influence of professional medicine and other occupational groups including CAM, the pharmaceutical industry, the State, patients groups and the wider global environment. It links analysis of the theory of policy making with an analysis of empirical examples.

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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).

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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

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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.

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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.

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Social theory is a nebulous field of inquiry with fuzzy boundaries. Some of the most significant contributions to it in terms of ideas and concepts have historically originated in the work of thinkers diversely identified with a wide range of disciplines - such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, anthropology, literary and aesthetic theory, historical and cultural studies, as well as with sociology. This module approaches contemporary social theory by exploring a set of themes through close readings and analyses of several texts by 20th and 21st century theorists whose work has been to varying degrees appropriated across the social sciences and the humanities, but yet whose contribution to ‘social theory’ per se is still open to question, in any case far from canonical.

In working through these selected primary texts within a seminar group, the aim is to critically investigate and evaluate what they offer to social theory, and to critically assess their usefulness for understanding various social and political phenomena characteristic of contemporary life and society in a globalised world. During the course of such detailed discussions, we will also, no doubt, reflect on the distinction between modern and postmodern social theory; the ‘linguistic turn’, the ‘cultural turn’, the ‘ethical turn’, the shift from narrative to image based culture, and other general parameters of social theorizing in recent times.

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This module investigates and critically examines the ways in which understandings of race, racisms, difference, and belonging have shaped, both historically, and in the contemporary era, multiethnic societies such as Britain and the USA. This topic is especially pressing, given the vast amount of change in many Western societies - greater cultural diversity, globalization and greater mobility, changes in the manifestations of racism, and changing patterns of family and community life. In what ways do notions of race and racial difference, and contestations over belonging, still matter (or not) in societies today? What competing evidence exists in claims about either the continuing (or declining) significance of ‘race’ and notions of difference more generally? Should we attempt to transcend ‘race’ and racial thinking?

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20

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

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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.

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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 Prospect

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • prepare you for the academic challenges of postgraduate study in SSPSSR;
  • offer a range of modules that provide a solid grounding for further study at Master’s level in the UK;
  • develop academic and research skills in Social Science degrees taught through Social Sciences;
  • increase your proficiency in English for general academic purposes and for study in SSPSSR to a standard which is equivalent to C1 on CEFR or 6.5 in IELTS;
  • enable you, on completion, to study successfully alongside others who have completed a full UK Social Sciences degree;
  • enable you to develop their independent study and research skills in the context of postgraduate study associated with SSPSSR.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structures, registers and varieties of English to a level sufficient for you to be successful on a University of Kent postgraduate degree programme;
  • the inter-disciplinary nature of academic skills in Social Sciences;
  • academic literacy and skills - in particular, the use of English for academic purposes;
  • contemporary activities and organisation of the main institutions of the UK welfare systems, including the provision, financing and regulation of social security, education, health and social care, and housing;
  • operation and impact of non-governmental sources of welfare including the informal, voluntary and private sectors, and of how these interact within mixed economies of welfare;
  • ways in which other countries organise their social policies and welfare institutions;
  • the key concepts and theories of welfare, including human needs and social welfare; inequality, poverty and exclusion; citizenship, social difference and diversity; theories of the state and policy making; theories and methods of comparative analysis
  • how different social groups and individuals experience, respond to and contest social policies;
  • the political economy of welfare and how values and principles are related to political and economic interests;
  • the strengths, weaknesses and uses of social research and research methods.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • critical reflection;
  • discussing and undertaking written and interpretative analysis of key material;
  • presenting, evaluating and interpreting a variety of data using defined techniques in a logical and systematic fashion;
  • problem-solving: social policy encourages imagination and flexibility in seeking solutions to social problems;
  • research: discovering information, manipulating data and discovering their meaning;
  • evaluation and analysis: summarising and analysing arguments, reports, documents and other written and verbal data;
  • sensitivity to the values and interests of others: self-reflection, listening and interacting with others, and taking account of your own normative and moral positions in order to understand how human needs are experienced and met.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • description and basic analysis;
  • distinguishing between some of the core theories, concepts and approaches in social policy;
  • understanding and evaluating data derived from social surveys and other research publications;
  • understanding and evaluating investigations on social questions and problems;
  • understanding research methods and commenting on research evidence.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • team and independent working: collaborating effectively as part of a team and in group activity for a common goal; the ability to work with others; independent working and study skills;
  • communication skills: presenting material in written and oral form; making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation; understanding the dynamics of communication;
  • critical thinking: critically evaluating and reflecting on your own and others' opinions; analysing and critically examining material as well as identifying and describing problems;
  • research: understanding and evaluating research material, including qualitative and quantitative data; processing information (reading) and using libraries;
  • IT/ICT: making effective and appropriate use of IT/ICT both for communication and as a means of learning;
  • planning and time management: planning effectively, meeting  deadlines and managing your own learning.

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.

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.

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

  • Undergraduate study at an overseas university or institution in a relevant social sciences field;
  • or, an undergraduate degree from a UK institution where Social Policy has represented a component but not the principal focus of study;
  • or, a relevant foundation degree, ordinary (Bachelors) degree, Diploma of Higher Education or other higher diploma.

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

Average 6.0 in IELTS test, minimum 6.0 in Reading and Writing (students will need to meet the SSPSSR linguistic entry requirement by gaining an equivalent grade in module LZ605 - Advanced English for Postgraduate Academic Study in Social Sciences and Humanities).

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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Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

International Social Policy (2 years) - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £12010 £12010

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

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: