Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One Year, Part-time: Two to three years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    January, September

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. UCLan's MA Social Policy postgraduate degree will be of benefit to professionals working in the world of social welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline, and to the interested citizen. There are core modules in poverty and social inequality; comparative social policy and social change; social theory and social policy; the making of social policy; introduction to social research. Newly-introduced modules include a work placement module: social policy in practice, with an alternative choice of a reflecting on policy and practice module for those students already in work who may wish to focus analysis on their current professional role.

Entry Requirements

Applicants would normally have a first degree at Honours Classification 2:2 or above in Social Policy or a related discipline such as Economics, Health Studies, History, Politics or Sociology. Exceptionally, consideration will also be given to applicants with a first degree of Honours Classification of 2:2 or above in other disciplines. Candidates with a professional qualification in social care, health or a related area who do not have a first degree will be asked to demonstrate their suitability for postgraduate study on the basis of an essay of 2000/2500 words on a relevant topic. Candidates may be asked to attend an interview.

Programme at a Glance

Students are required to complete six taught, single modules, all of which are compulsory, together with a triple module dissertation or a research topic of the student's choice (after discussion with a member of staff). There is one optional choice, in that students must choose either Social Policy in Practice or Reflecting on Policy, Politics and Practice.

  • Poverty and Social Inequality
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • The Making of Social Policy
  • Social Policy in Practice OR
  • Reflecting on Policy, Politics and Practice
  • Social Theory and Social Policy
  • Introduction to Social Research
  • Dissertation

Postgraduate Advice Event

The next UCLan Postgraduate Advice Event will be on Thursday 10th November 2016.
For details and registration for this event please visit our Eventbrite page.
Please contact Course Enquiries with any queries regarding postgraduate study and research.

Further Information

Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to that range of life enhancing and life sustaining experiences, whose distribution lies at the heart of welfare states. These include education, health care, housing, and income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings and the care associated with the experience of contingencies which lead to a loss of independence and autonomy. There can be little doubt that social policy issues are now at the centre of political debate in Britain and much of the rest of the industrialised world. 

The New Labour government of 1997-2010 made the ‘modernisation’ of these services and the improvement in the quality of users' experiences the test by which it wishes to be judged: in what directions has the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition taken social policy since the defeat of New Labour?

The MA Social Policy is a modular course that offers the opportunity to engage in a discussion of some of the most important issues of a world characterised by profound cultural, demographic, economic, political and technological change. It will be of relevance and benefit to professionals who work in one or other sector of the mixed economy of welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline such as Economics, Health Studies, History, Philosophy, Politics and Sociology, and to the interested citizen.

The course aims to: 

  • Provide an intellectually challenging range of modules that focus on a number of the most important theoretical perspectives at the "cutting edge" of the subject
  • Apply an advanced critical perspective to social policy issues relevant to your professional and/or academic situation
  • Encourage you to develop a framework of knowledge, critical understanding and analytical skills that can be used as a basis for both professional and personal development

How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

Course Specification and Handbook

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2017/18

Full-time: £6,300 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,050 per 20 credits for first 120 credits studied (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

New UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

The UK Government has confirmed that a new postgraduate loan scheme will be introduced for students commencing a Full Masters Postgraduate programmes from 2016/17 academic year.

View further information

Learning Environment and Assessment

Students will be taught in a combination of lecture, seminar and workshop settings. The research module makes extensive use of eLearn. Full-time students will normally have six hours per week class contact time (3 taught modules per semester), whilst part-time students will normally have between two to four hours per week class contact time (One-two modules per semester, depending on the student's chosen programme of study). Students also receive additional tutorial support in negotiation with their personal tutor.

The course employs a variety of assessment methods including essays, seminar presentations, data analysis and a 15000 word dissertation that is the biggest single component (worth three modules) of the MA target award. There are no examinations. All forms of assessment have been designed to test the extent to which learning outcomes have been achieved.

There is also a dissertation (triple module) on a topic of the student’s choice. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and supervised self-directed study. It is assessed through coursework and a dissertation. There are no examinations.