Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Government, Policy and Society with Quantitative Methods

UCAS code: L231

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Social and Political Science

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Government, Policy and Society with Quantitative Methods

This programme is based on social policy - the study of societies and the way they change through policymaking. It looks at the ways in which public policies, social institutions and market forces affect how contemporary societies operate and are affected by debates about social justice. Social policy is relevant to many areas of everyday life, including housing, employment, income, health and education.

Government, Policy and Society with Quantitative Methods is designed for students interested in the content of social policy, the process by which policy is made and its impact on society.

You will study these topics at local, national and global levels. The programme specifically equips you with advanced quantitative skills that allow you to engage at a high level with evidence-based policymaking.

The programme receives support and funding from the UK-wide Q-Step initiative, allowing you to benefit from small class sizes and to develop your skills in close proximity to experts. There is also plenty of support available to help those less confident with maths.

Year 1

There are two compulsory courses in social policy during Year 1: Social Policy & Society and Understanding Public Policy.

During Year 1 or 2, you must also take at least two courses from the list:

  • Rethinking the Financial Crisis
  • Politics of the Welfare State
  • European Social Policy

In addition, you must take two quantitative methods courses: Mathematics for Social Science and Introduction to Statistics for Social Science.

For your remaining one or two courses during Year 1, you may choose freely from a wide range across the University.

Year 2

There is one compulsory course in social policy during Year 2: Evidence, Politics and Policy.

In addition, you must take one quantitative methods courses: Doing Social Research with Statistics.

For your remaining two or three courses in Year 1, you may choose freely from a wide range across the University.

Year 3

You must take three core courses: Designing and Doing Social Research, Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy, and Statistical Modelling.

During Years 3 and 4, two or three courses must be in advanced quantitative methods and the remainder in a variety of topics in public policy, such as:

  • Social inequality
  • Labour markets
  • Childhood
  • Health policy
  • Education policy

Year 4

You will do a dissertation in Year 4.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Most of the teaching takes place in the University's Central Area. You will also have access to the University's computer facilities and libraries.


Opportunities are offered to undertake an eight-week work placement with a local employer, concentrating on the use of statistical evidence in policymaking.

Study abroad

You may apply to spend Year 3 abroad in one of several universities in North America, Central and South America, Australia and Asia with whom the University has special links.

In addition, we have European Erasmus exchange schemes with Leuphana University L√ľneburg and Jacobs University Bremen (Germany).

You can also apply to university-wide Erasmus exchanges in Amsterdam (Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland) and Lund (Sweden).

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials/seminars and individual supervision.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework, and through a Year 4 research project.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2019/20)

Quantitative skills in social science are in very short supply in the UK and further afield. Graduating from this programme can thus open up a very wide range of fulfilling careers, in government, voluntary organisations, pressure groups or commercial organisations.

The programme also equips you with skills and knowledge that could be applied to careers in teaching or to the management and delivery of services, whether public or commercial.

You will have access to bespoke careers advice in recognition of the strengthened employability that arises from quantitative expertise.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'.)
  • A Levels: ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAB - ABB'.)
  • IB: 40 points (grades 766 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL) (Revised 11/12/2019 from '40 (766 at HL)').

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: Mathematics at grade B. National 5: English at grade C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at grade B, or AS Mathematics at grade A (if A Level is not taken). GCSEs: English at grade C or 4. (Revised 18/3/2019 to provide more accurate information).
  • IB: HL: Mathematics at grade 5. SL: Mathematics at grade 6 (if not taken at HL) and English at grade 5. Mathematical Studies is not accepted for any of our Quantitative Methods programmes. (Revised 18/3/2019 to provide more accurate information).

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications 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, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Government, Policy and Society with Quantitative Methods

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding