Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
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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

Government, Policy and Society with Quantitative Methods is based on social policy, the study of societies and the way they change through policy-making. It will equip you with advanced quantitative skills that allow you to engage at a high level with evidence-based policy-making.

Social policy is relevant to many areas of everyday life, including:

  • housing
  • employment
  • income
  • health
  • education

This programme is designed for students interested in:

  • the content of social policy
  • the process by which policy is made
  • the impact of policy on society You will study these topics at local, national and global levels.

You will examine the ways in which public policies, social institutions and market forces affect how contemporary societies operate, and how they are affected by debates about social justice.

Q-Step support and funding

This programme receives support and funding from the UK-wide Q-Step initiative. This means you will benefit from small class sizes and be able to develop your skills in close proximity to experts.

There is also plenty of support available if you are less confident with maths.

Year 1

You will take the following compulsory courses:

  • Social Policy and Society
  • Mathematics for Social Science
  • Introduction to Statistics for Social Science
  • Understanding Public Policy
  • Politics of the Welfare State

Social Policy and Society

In this course we will introduce key ways to analyse how government policies affect society.

We use a variety of important concepts like power and inequality to make sense of societal structures. This allows us to look at the impact of policy on different groups of people (for example, based on class, gender or race).

Understanding Public Policy

In this course, you will develop the skills needed to analyse specific policies created by governments with regard 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.

Politics of the Welfare State

In this course we introduce you to the politics of welfare.

In many countries this area 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.

Optional courses

You will take further optional courses from across the University to broaden your perspectives. These 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:

In the course Comparative Social Policy:

Global Perspectives you will compare different approaches to social policy in European and non-European countries.

In addition, you will take two social policy courses, which are likely to focus on research skills and the use of evidence in politics and the economy. Further details are subject to our current review of our pre-honours curriculum for Year 2 students.

Optional courses

You will take further optional courses from across the University to broaden your perspectives. These 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:

  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Principles and Practicalities for Social Policy
  • Analysing and Communicating Social Policy
  • Statistical Modelling During Years 3 and 4 two or three courses must be in advanced quantitative methods.

The remainder can be 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 (dissertation).

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 (2024/25)

Our facilities

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

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the School of Social and Political Science and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Social and Political Science

Placements

You will have the opportunity to complete an eight-week work placement with a local employer, concentrating on the use of statistical evidence in policy-making.

Study abroad

You may apply to spend Year 3 abroad in one of many institutions where the University has special links, in locations such as:

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

We also have a dedicated European exchange scheme with Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany.

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 include traditional academic essays and exams, as well as:

  • 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 open up a 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 teaching or to the management and delivery of services, whether public or commercial.

We offer bespoke career advice tailored towards the strengthened employability associated with studying quantitative methods.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB by end of S5 or AAAA by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 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).

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

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

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
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at 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: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

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

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

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