Postgraduate study

Social Justice and Community Action (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip, PgCert

Awards: MSc, PgDip, PgCert


Online learning

Funding opportunities

Since my first day on the course, I have benefited from the support and mentorship of the course organisers, my personal tutor and my colleagues. This has allowed me to refine my research interests and to focus on the type of work I’d like to do next. The work we do on the course is practical and we are given opportunities to focus our learning on issues that are of personal interest. This ‘learning by doing’ approach brings the topics to life and gives us the tools we need to operationalise the principles of social justice in real-world contexts.

Samantha Wood MSc Social Justice and Community Action 2018
Samantha Wood               MSc Social Justice and Community Action 2018

Our life chances are shaped by our family and community relationships, access to good quality public services, the particular features of our governing institutions and levels of economic inequality. That life chances are unequally distributed across the globe, and within particular countries, is an injustice.

The MSc in Social Justice and Community Action is a part-time, online masters programme, designed to equip you with the knowledge and practical skills to help you make positive social change. It offers you the opportunity to:

  • critically engage with foundational ideas and debates about social justice
  • relate these ideas to your own practice context
  • consider a range of approaches in communities, in policy and in different organisational contexts


This programme is the flagship teaching initiative of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Justice Academy, a multi-disciplinary network of academics and research centres committed to global justice concerns, and is a joint initiative with the Moray House School of Education and Sport.

Delivered fully online, this programme gives you the opportunity to work closely with your fellow students and tutors in a properly supported, collaborative and vibrant online learning environment, studying at the times and in the places that suit you best.

The programme is delivered through a rich mix of taught inputs, independent study and group work, making use of the following online methods:

  • live online lectures, pre-recorded lectures and podcasts
  • live online tutorials and text-based discussion forums
  • reflective blogs

Specialist IT skills are not required.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The flexibility of this programme means you can choose an exit point and study at a pace that suits you best.

You can study towards:

  • a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) over 12 months
  • a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) over 24 months
  • the full Master's (MSc) degree over 36 months

To obtain the Master's qualification, you will complete:

  • three compulsory courses
  • three option courses
  • a supervised dissertation or applied research project

Compulsory courses

  • Theories and Politics of Social Justice
  • Community Engagement: Co-Constructing Knowledge with Communities

And one of:

  • Organisational Management for Social Justice
  • Working with Children and Young People for Social Justice
  • Policy Analysis for Social Justice
  • Learning for Democracy

Option courses

Any of the above courses which you have not yet taken plus:

  • Activist Social Research
  • Displacement and Development
  • Key Skills in Development Practice
  • Digital Education in a Global Context

You may also choose from a wide range of online courses provided elsewhere in the University, for example:

  • Analysing Development
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Global Development Challenges
  • Global Health Governance
  • Health Inequalities and the Social Determinants of Health
  • Roots of African Poverty and Development
  • Politics and Theories of International Development
  • Public Health and Health Policy

This programme is designed for professionals working on social justice issues in diverse contexts, notably research and policy, grassroots practice, education, and for recent graduates who wish to gain the skills to enter the social justice field.

Students will acquire the skills applicable to social justice work in the public, third and private sectors. Graduates may find career opportunities, or opportunities for career advancement, in diverse contexts such as:

  • grassroots community practice
  • education
  • public policy development
  • policy advocacy
  • social research in non-governmental organisations or in the public/private sectors
  • research

Hear what our graduates have to say

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

We may also consider your application if you have substantial practice or research experience or other relevant qualifications; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Moray House Access Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer a scholarship covering tuition fees and living costs for one student. The scholarship is for UK nationals domiciled in the UK, from backgrounds or groups which are underrepresented in our School.

Online Learning Scholarships

(Revised 6 February 2023 to update funding opportunities)

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

If you are intending to apply for a UK Postgraduate Loan, you should apply on the '3 Years (Part-time)' route.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ