|Start date:||September 2018|
|Duration:||1 year full-time
2 years part-time
|Programme code:||SCST82 (full-time)
MSc International Social Change and Policy
Want to find out more about the MSc International Social Change and Policy?
Watch our webinar with Dr Majella Kilkey (Course Leader), Dr Kate Weiner (Admissions Tutor) and current MSc International Social Change and Policy student Wendy Kim to hear more about the course, entry requirements and what it's like to be a postgraduate student in the Department.
We live in an era of unprecedented rapid social change, which reaches all parts of the globe. Understanding the processes driving these changes, the challenges that they pose and the policy responses needed are fundamental to the work of social policy analysts internationally, including in Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe.
The MSc in International Social Change and Policy is an innovative and exciting programme that will develop your awareness of the most pressing challenges posed by social change, enable you to critically examine dominant policy responses to key aspects of social change at national, cross-national comparative and global levels, and make you aware of agendas on policy alternatives and futures.
The course is taught by a team of internationally-recognised academics with specialism in ageing, migration, labour markets, inequalities, family life and comparative and international research methods, and whose research has demonstrable impact beyond academia. The course team is composed of social policy, sociology and social work academics, leading to deeper understanding of the causes of, and solutions to, global and international social problems.
Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on developing the practical skills required by social policy analysts working internationally. The Dissertation with Internship option will also give you the opportunity to apply those skills in a real-world policy environment.
Aims and outcomes
The MSc International Social Change and Policy aims to provide students with an up-to-date and critical understanding of the epistemologies, theories and processes through which we might better understand contemporary social change from an international perspective.
Not only will the course develop your awareness of the most pressing challenges posed by social change, and how the scale and patterning of those challenges varies internationally, but it will enable you to critically examine the dominant policy responses to key aspects of social change at national, cross-national comparative and global levels, making you aware of agendas on policy alternatives and futures.
The course provides comprehensive training in research methods, with an emphasis in approaches relevant to research and policy analysis from an international and comparative perspective.
You will be equipped with the skills required to undertake independent social scientific research with international policy relevance at an advanced level. Furthermore, you will develop transferable skills and knowledge that will be of benefit whether you eventually work in international or national social policy analysis or some other related field.
Is this course for me?
This course is an excellent choice for students who want to think systematically from an international perspective about the key social challenges of the 21st Century, and develop the knowledge and skills to critically analyse policy responses at the national, cross-national comparative and global levels.
For professionals already working on social policy in government, international organisations and development agencies, global advocacy agencies and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), this course provides an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the subject area.
Teaching is conducted through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory classes, small-group work and problem-solving.
Assessment can vary across modules between a combination of essays, oral presentations, policy reviews, posters and portfolio work. You are assessed in a variety of ways in order to test a range of knowledge, skills and capabilities. There is also a dissertation, which provides the opportunity to focus in-depth on a topic of individual choice. You can choose to do a standard dissertation or a dissertation linked to an internship. One-to-one supervision is provided for students when undertaking their dissertations, during which the intellectual and methodological issues of the dissertation are discussed, and you can get help and support in planning your work.
Each module is assigned a credit value: 180 credits are required for graduation. 90 of these are core modules, 30 are optional and finally 60 credits are allocated to one of two dissertation options.
Students who take this programme part-time will have a period of two years to complete. The part-time route is structured in the following way: students will take 90 credits in the first year and the remaining 90 credits in the second year. The dissertation, which is worth 60 credits, must be taken in the second year.
Your dissertation options
One important aspect of optionality on the MSc International Social Change and Policy is the dissertation. You can choose to follow a standard dissertation route, or you can take the dissertation with internship route.
The example course structure listed above may be subject to change in future years. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant.
Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.
In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.
The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant or social science discipline, such as sociology, social policy, politics, international relations, or development studies. Applicants with relevant work experience and good academic potential are also encouraged to apply.
We have wide experience of a range of international qualifications. Please visit our website for international applicants for specific advice on the entry requirements for your country.
If you do not meet the entry requirements for our postgraduate taught Masters degree programme, you can still be considered for our pre-Masters programme. Please find out more about our Graduate Diploma and our relationship with Sheffield International College.
English language requirements
Our minimum English requirement is:
For more information on other acceptable English language qualifications with variable requirements, please visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/info/englang
If you do not meet the entry requirements for the MSc in International Social Change and Policy, you can be considered for our pre-Masters programme.
|Fees and funding||
You can look up fees for full- and part-time postgraduate courses here.
CK Wong Bursary
The Department of Sociological Studies is pleased to offer the CK Wong Bursary to prospective students from the East Asia region, who wish to study the MSc International Social Change and Policy with us in 2018.
One bursary, worth £5,000, is available. In order to apply for the CK Wong Bursary, prospective students must meet the following criteria:
The deadline for applications is 30 March 2018. The successful applicants will be notified by email within five weeks of this date.
Studying for your degree at the University of Sheffield offers you a world-class high-quality qualification and excellent value for money. One of the great advantages of studying at the University of Sheffield is that your money will go further in our city.
Postgraduate taught course tuition fee deposits
If you are an International applicant and have accepted a place on a taught postgraduate course, the University of Sheffield will ask you to pay a deposit towards your course tuition fee. By paying a tuition fee deposit you will indicate that you are definitely going to take up your place. Read more here.
You can find information on tuition fees for both UK/EU and overseas students here.
Home or overseas tuition fee status?
In common with other UK universities, the University of Sheffield charges different fees dependent on whether students are classed as Home or Overseas for tuition fee purposes. The decision to class a student as a Home or an Overseas student is determined by government legislation as set out in the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 2007. The regulations governing the fee status of students can be found on the government legislation website.
Tuition fee refund policy
If you are considering, or have decided to take leave of absence, withdraw entirely or transfer to another University, you will need to know how this will affect your tuition fees. Read the Tuition Fee Refund Policy for essential information on tuition fee refunds here.
Funding your study
Other potential costs
If for any reason, you fail or are unable to complete an assessed piece of work which is a requirement to pass your course, you may be required to pay a reassessment fee. information about these fees can be found on the University's exam webpages.
Reader in Social Policy and Programme Leader
Majella researches at the intersection of migration and family studies, with a particular interest in migration- and family-related policies, and people's lived experiences of family-life in the context of increasing migration and mobility. She is Co-Director of the Migration Research Group in the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Current projects include MIGRATE, a project funded by the European Commission and focused on understanding the impact of 'Europe's migration crisis' on European integration. Majella is also Co-Investigator examining how families 'do care' in mobile and diverse societies, on the Economic and Social Research Council-funded research programme Sustainable Care. With colleagues at the Centre for Migration Research in Warsaw and colleagues at the University of Sheffield, Majella is also working on a programme focused on how migration is transforming Polish society.
Marie Curie Research Fellow
Ruby's main research interests are comparative social policy in Europe and East Asia, defamilisation, social exclusion, welfare mix, culturally sensitive policy and practice in health and social care.
Ruby's international research experience has inspired her to reconsider the cultural relevance of conventional welfare theories to non-Western welfare systems. Since 2011, she has been working with an international team comprising researchers from Hong Kong, Sheffield, Taiwan and Shanghai to conduct a series of researches to examine the similarities and differences between East Asian and European welfare systems.
Ruby's major teaching subjects are social divisions, social inequality, social research methods, comparative social policy in Europe and East Asia.
Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Social Work
Liam's research interests are as follows: gender and pension provision, gender inequality in the workplace, funeral provision and poverty, disability and ageing research, theories of ageing, and the sociology of sport.
Much of Liam's research focus is on inequalities in later life and policy implications, particularly in relation to pensions. This has often included a gendered focus. The role of planning for retirement has also been explored. Liam has liaised with the Labour Party, Trade Unions, the European Parliament and pension providers about these findings. He is also interested in theories of ageing and the application of the political economy of ageing.
Lecturer in International and Comparative Social Research Methods
Alvaro’s research interests include social stratification and inequality, labour markets, education, family and gender, and migration.
Alvaro has a strong methodological focus centred in a wide range of quantitative methods used across the social sciences (sociology, political sciences and economics), especially in international and cross-national comparative research. For instance, in his PhD Alvaro investigated the impact of educational homogamy in the patterns and evolution of gender inequalities in couple relationships over the course of marriage using panel methods, simultaneous equation modelling and event history analysis.
Lecturer in the Sociology of Childhood
Afua's current research interests include: the global export of a particular notion of childhood through international law and policies and its impact on local communities; the implementation of international children’s rights standards within a developing country context; the impact of cultural values such as reciprocity, respect and responsibility on children’s rights principles; the socialization of children and changing parent-child relations and the implications for children’s welfare and rights; the concept of children’s participation in non-Western societies.
Afua convenes the postgraduate module ‘International Childhoods: Rights, Policies and Practices.’
Professor of Social Policy and Gerontology
Alan's research interests span a wide range in social analysis, social policy and social planning. He is a specialist in social gerontology and, with two colleagues in the Netherlands, is responsible for developing the concept of social quality and he Chairs the European Foundation on Social Quality, which is based in Amsterdam.
Alan has published more than 30 books, over 200 reports and more than 300 papers in scholarly journals and edited volumes. His work has been published in more than 20 languages. He is a founding Academician of the Academy for Learned Societies in the Social Sciences, and, in 2007, was given lifetime achievement awards by both the British Society of Gerontology and the Social Policy Association. He has been active in the UK voluntary sector for many years and co-founded the Disability Alliance in 1974. He is currently Patron of the National Pensioner's Convention.
Professor of Sociology
Sue's work covers topics relating to care, work, gender and family, and draws on over 40 funded projects. These include major projects on gender and employment in local labour markets (2003-06, HEESF award); on carers, employment and services (2005-07, EU EQUAL award to Carers UK); and on the everyday lives of older people with care needs who use technology to support independence in the home (2011-14, Technology Strategy Board award). Most recently, she leads a large Economic and Social Research Council-funded research programme on Sustainable Care: Connecting People and Systems.
Sue specialises in research with the potential for policy and practical impact, and has expertise in making complex research findings accessible to a wide range of audiences, wide experience of research design and methods, and extensive knowledge of policy on care, carers and employment.
|What our students say||
"Having chosen to change career paths, I decided that completing a Masters degree would both equip me with new skills and give me the space I needed to find that alternative path. The MSc in International Social Change and Policy appealed to me for numerous reasons. First, I wanted to figure out how to affect social change, to be a positive actor in the world. That the course had an international focus was even better. Team this with the possibility of doing a dissertation with a paid internship, and also the opportunity to apply to the University's GLOSS scheme, then there really was no other course out there for me.
"The core module, International Social Change and Problems, has been interesting, particularly the way that we've been able to study such a variety of subjects. That we've been lucky enough to have had seminars delivered by other specialists in the department has also enriched my experience of the course. I've also enjoyed studying a module outside of the department - Theorising the City in the Global South. I love that there was the flexibility to do this and how welcome I felt in the class, despite coming from a different department."
- Lucy Jessop, MSc International Social Change and Policy graduate
"I wanted to focus on relevant issues from a global perspective, so the title name 'International Social Change and Policy' was a good fit for my research interests.
“The MSc International Social Change and Policy programme gives students the freedom to choose what they want to study in the big boundary of international studies. The course teaches students how to research and how to politically analyse their research topics, so I think this is really good for students who want to study further. I find sharing my opinions with students from other countries on the course to be very interesting.
"One of my professors in South Korea was an alumni of the University of Sheffield and she also did her PhD in Sociological Studies with Professor Alan Walker as her supervisor, so she strongly recommended that I study at Sheffield. She said: "if you want to study in the UK and you want to study policy, then I recommend you to go to Sheffield and do your Masters degree study there and then PhD study."
- Seung Hyun Moon, current MSc International Social Change and Policy student
"Everything on the course is well organised because in the first semester, we study International Social Problems and in the second semester, we will study the policy. Under the cores, all kinds of issues are introduced and covered. Everything is introduced by way of a workshop, so we are encouraged to discuss with fellow students rather than just being taught things by the teacher.
"We also learn about Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods and they are both very useful because those are the skills we need to conduct proper research."
- Hsin-Tzu Yang, current MSc International Social Change and Policy student
|Social policy blog||
The blog posts below, written by our academic members of staff, offer an example of applying social policy research to everyday life and give a sense of what the discipline can offer.