Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

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
Placements

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.

You will examine 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
  • 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

Students the following compulsory courses:

  • Social Policy and Society
  • Fundamentals 1
  • Mathematics for Social Science
  • Introduction to Statistics for Social Science

In addition, during years 1 and 2 you must take at least 2 of the following courses:

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

Social Policy and Society

In this course, we will introduce you to core concepts in the analysis of key government policy areas.

We do this by contrasting policy models based on classic economic perspectives with models based on a social policy approach. You will explore the consequences of different policy decisions by governments on different parts of society.

Fundamentals 1

You will develop the analytical skills to discuss contemporary policy issues and produce relevant outputs.

Politics of the Welfare State

In this course, we introduce you to the politics of the area that in many countries constitutes one of the largest sets of government expenditure. You will be confronted with debates about different ways of delivering welfare and the interplay between the state and the private sector.

Rethinking the Financial Crisis

This course will equip you with expertise to engage with economic questions in contemporary policy discussions. It introduces thoughts by traditional thinkers (such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx or Friedrich Hayek) to help understand our current economic system after the great financial crisis of 2007/08.

European Social Policy

You will engage with perspectives beyond the nation state. You will learn that much policy making is a multilevel affair. Examine the differences between countries, supranational organisations, such as the European Union, and how they play an important role in the development of policy.

Optional courses

You will take further options from across the University to broaden your perspectives. These options may include courses within social and political science, such as:

  • social anthropology
  • international relations
  • sociology
  • political science
  • social work

You can also choose options from other disciplines, such as:

  • economics
  • philosophy
  • history

Year 2

You will take three compulsory courses:

  • Evidence, Politics and Policy
  • Understanding Public Policy
  • Research Skills for Social Policy
  • Doing Social Research with Statistics

In addition, during years 1 and 2 you must take at least 2 of the following courses:

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

Evidence, Politics and Policy

You will discuss how particular types of research and evidence affect public policies while others do not. This course engages with the making of real politics. We ask how different actors in government, media and academia use evidence well to substantiate policy proposals or misuse evidence to manipulate outcomes. We focus on four contemporary hot-topic policy areas.

Understanding Public Policy

You will develop the skills needed to analyse specific policies created by governments with regards to their goals, structures and effectiveness.

You will engage with external practitioners to understand the practical implications of their academic knowledge to the world of real policy making.

Research Skills for Social Policy

In this course, you will learn how to create the foundations for high quality social research yourself.

Politics of the Welfare State

In this course, we introduce you to the politics of the area that in many countries constitutes one of the largest sets of government expenditure. You will be confronted with debates about different ways of delivering welfare and the interplay between the state and the private sector.

Rethinking the Financial Crisis

This course will equip you with expertise to engage with economic questions in contemporary policy discussions. It introduces thoughts by traditional thinkers (such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx or Friedrich Hayek) to help understand our current economic system after the great financial crisis of 2007/08.

European Social Policy

You will engage with perspectives beyond the nation state. You will learn that much policy making is a multilevel affair. You will also examine the differences between countries, supranational organisations, such as the European Union, and how they play an important role in the development of policy.

Optional courses

You will take further options from across the University to broaden your perspectives. These options may include courses within social and political science, such as:

  • social anthropology
  • international relations
  • sociology
  • political science
  • social work

You can also choose options from other disciplines, such as:

  • economics
  • philosophy
  • history

Year 3

You must take three core courses:

  • Designing and Doing Social Research
  • Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy
  • 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 continue to take social policy courses and will complete an individual research project.

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 (2021/22)

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.

Placements

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 where the University has special links in locations such as:

  • North America
  • Central and South America
  • Australia
  • Asia

We also have European exchange schemes with Leuphana University Lüneburg and Jacobs University Bremen (Germany).

You can also apply to university-wide 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
  • individual supervision

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a wide range of methods that will enable you to develop different academic and practical skills.

Our assessments range from traditional academic essays and exams, but also include:

  • policy analyses and briefs
  • policy blogging
  • analyses of political actors
  • project work
  • seminar engagement

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 areas such as:

  • government
  • voluntary organisations
  • pressure groups
  • 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-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at B, or AS Mathematics at A. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics at 5. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 6 (if not at HL). Mathematical Studies is not accepted for any of our Quantitative Methods degrees.

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

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 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 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 (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • 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 degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

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

None.

Funding

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