International Social Welfare and Social Policy MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)


January, September

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 13 months full-time, 25 months part-time.


Do you want a career which can change people’s lives? With the focus on social welfare and social policy issues in the local, national and international context, our course will give you the skills and understanding to really make a difference.

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Full description


Career possibilities once you’ve graduated are likely to be in the fields of community development social policy, social welfare, youth work, education, higher education, consultancy or policy making in local, regional and international governmental and non-governmental bodies. You’ll also be prepared to carry out further research and study towards a PhD.

Links with industry and professional recognition

Our Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education works in collaboration with a number of universities from across Europe on the International Doctoral Studies in Social Work (INDOSOW) project. This is the first European Doctoral Programme of its kind and offers the opportunity to take part in an international interdisciplinary study of social work, welfare systems and social policies. For further information about the INDOSOW project visit:

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Globalisation, Social Welfare & Social Policy
    This module considers the relationship between globalisation and social welfare and policy at a micro, mezzo and macro level. It considers how globalisation impacts on social welfare provision and policy planning in different countries and societal contexts, from a political, social, economic, technological and educational viewpoint. We will evaluate and critically analyse whether there are universal values and a universal knowledge base which can be relied upon to provide a response towards overcoming global problems, or whether they are, or need to be, culturally and locally specific. This module also looks at how individuals, social networks and organisations deal with providing support for those in greatest need and how this can be translated to work within an international arena from both a statutory and voluntary/non-governmental organisation perspective. Finally, we will consider the role of the social welfare and social policy worker within a globalised world, and critically debate universal standards of practice and transferable skills and adaptation.
  • Comparative Social Policy & Social Welfare
    Here, we will look at comparative issues concerning social policy and social welfare in the international context. Areas such as migration, poverty and social exclusion, youth work, street living and community work will be analysed across a variety of countries and regions. Within the context of specific case studies, you will apply the principles of comparative analysis and critically evaluate methodological issues which arise. Further emphasis will be placed on the critical evaluation of theoretical perspectives of international social welfare and social policy in the context of case studies. You will develop your own comparative analysis regarding issues of international social welfare and social policy, and enhance your skills in the theoretical and methodological evaluation of literature regarding comparative analysis.
  • Research Studies
    This module is designed to provide you with a critical overview of the main methodologies and designs applied to research within health and social care, professional practice, regulation and policy. It will provide you with an opportunity to explore the theoretical dilemmas that underlie the process of inquiry and its relationship to practice. The module will provide a framework within which to select, evaluate and justify the research methods chosen for your research project. The module requires you to prepare and write a research proposal which will normally lead to a level 4 dissertation. Hence prior knowledge of some research approaches at level 3 is normally expected. This module is taken by students on a variety of courses. Learning will usually be with a group of students who bring different academic and/or professional interests to their study, thus providing a community of collaborative learning well suited to interdisciplinary exploration.
  • Major Project
    The Major Project, which is central to the Masters award, enables students to demonstrate their ability to synthesise learning from previous modules and use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This project provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate: the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to their specialism; depth of knowledge which may involve working at current limits of theoretical and/or research understanding; critical understanding of research methods and its relationship to knowledge; awareness of and ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in their research or professional practice; the ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information which may be complex or contradictory; the capability to expand or redefine existing knowledge to develop new approaches to changing situations and contribute to the development to best practice; the ability to communicate these processes in a clear and sophisticated fashion; the capability to evaluate their work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner. In the course of your studies with us you may generate intellectual property which is defined as an idea, invention or creation which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else. By registering with us on your course you automatically assign any such intellectual property to us unless we agree with the organisation covering the cost of your course that this is retained by them. In consideration of you making this assignment you will be entitled to benefit from a share in any income generated in accordance with our Revenue Sharing Policy in operation at that time. Details of our Intellectual Property Policy and Guidelines can be found on My.Anglia under Research, Development and Commercial Services or by contacting this Office for a hard copy.

Optional modules

  • Global Leadership
    Businesses, whether private, public or third sector, operate in a world facing a range of urgent global issues. This module examines the fitness of business in both Health and Social care and other sectors and individuals to tackle such issues. The key focus will be: effective decision making, adoption of a global approach, creation of a new business paradigm and a contemporary mission. Our module also considers the related concept of MisLeadership, which looks at how leaders have often failed to achieve the optimum outcomes for those they lead. Leaders predominantly create context and this module will explore the skills required to successfully mould and develop the context in a complex evolving environment. Our module will critically examine the following areas: emotional intelligence; leadership behaviours in the 21st century; definitions of leadership, global leadership and misleadership within the context of urgent global concerns; strategic decision making; environmental change; the role of the individual in a leadership position individually, in an organisation and in the wider community; organisational culture; complexity theory; hard and soft systems methodologies; local, national and international policy.
  • Collaborative Practice for Integrated Care
    The role of individuals is a central part of the government's agenda for modernisation, as evidenced by the creation of consultant practitioners posts (e.g. consultant nurse and consultant therapist). These posts function across professional and organisational boundaries and provide strategic direction to their particular area of expertise. Equally, in social work closer links are being forged in terms of policy, practice and organisations. Implementing this policy is often fraught with difficulties. Interprofessional working/partnerships require the development of skills and knowledge to build capacity for shared understanding and maintaining relationships or focus. This module seeks to address some of the most salient issues.
  • Essential Issues in Public Health Policy
    On this module you will develop a critical understanding of public health, and are encouraged to engage in critical debate using historical and theoretical perspectives to examine major public health issues and policy developments. You are encouraged to draw on and share your own experience to inform your understanding of contemporary public health. Emphasis is placed on collaborative working by students in evaluating current policies and practices as well as in generating new ideas. You will relate policies, practice and the ideologies that shape them to the prevailing social and economic conditions. Social inequalities, particularly the widening 'health gap', are a key theme in developing and developed nations. You have the opportunity to apply generalised knowledge to specific areas of public health policy and practice and to reflect critically on the implications of policy interventions across disciplines and agencies.


You’ll be assessed in a range of ways to examine the development of your skills throughout our course, leading to the submission of your Major Project bringing together aspects of learning from earlier modules. Assessment strategies include essays, reports, case studies and debates; there are no exams in this course. You’ll have plenty of group workshop and individual supervised support for your Major Project.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, with over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries.

With 95% of our students finding full-time employment within six months of graduating, you can be sure that our courses have been designed with your career in mind. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives and social workers for over 25 years.

At the cutting edge of research, we offer a range of internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses taught by friendly and experienced staff.

Designed to enhance your learning experience, our facilities include state-of-the-art simulated skills laboratories that mirror real-life clinical situations and UK hospital wards. Our students also benefit from our Early Childhood Research and Resource Centre; a space in which they can experiment with equipment and play activities.

You’ll study in an exciting, modern faculty which has strong links with regional, national and international organisations, including healthcare trusts, schools and academic institutions.

Your enthusiasm. Our passion. Your best foot forward.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Special features

The course leader is a specialist in research and teaching within an international context.

Our students come from across the globe including Bangladesh, Columbia, Ghana, India, Kenya and the UK. Each of our students brings their individual experience in areas as varied as international relations, psychology, social work, social policy, sociology and economics. With lively classroom debates at the top of our agenda, you can be sure that each topic is discussed from multiple perspectives.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2015/16 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2015/16 (per year part-time)


International students, 2015/16 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

There's no statutory funding for postgraduate study. However, we offer a number of scholarships and we've put together guidance on where to start researching funding options.

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements are for January 2016 and September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online