Photos of university



This programme provides an alternative route to a traditional PhD for students who wish to develop their careers in the rapidly changing world of professional policy-making. It is based on coursework and a dissertation, offering a broader curriculum and a structured learning environment that combines both teaching and research.

The programme exposes you to contemporary theory and analysis of policy studies. It will provide you with up-to-date knowledge on the determinants, processes and outcomes of policy-making from global to local levels. It also offers practical training in a range of research techniques and methodologies, enabling you to employ the most appropriate methods in a variety of settings and in the different phases of the policy-making process from design to implementation and evaluation. The training also enables you to develop your analytical skills to generate primary data and allow critical appraisal and evaluation of documentary sources.


Programme structure The modular programme allows flexible delivery to full- and part-time students as an advanced 'in service' professional development and as a highly prestigious 'pre-service' qualification for recent graduates. For students with a Masters degree the coursework consists of 150 credit points (7.5 units) and the research component is based on a 45,000 word dissertation. Most units are taught in concentrated three-day blocks.

Core units

* Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
* Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
* Perspectives on Policy
* Philosophy of Social Science
* State and Society
* The Core Skills of Social Research (two half-units of 10 credits)

Optional units

* Domestic Violence: Research, Policy and Activism
* Further Quantitative Methods
* Governance and the Changing Institutional Framework
* Health and Social Care Research
* Researching Poverty, Inequality and Social Inclusion
* Researching Child and Family Welfare
* The Economics of Public Policy
* Special Independent Study

Please note: not all optional units run in each academic year.

UK requirements for international applications

Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

University requirements

Undergraduate applicants may use UCAS system or Common App (for all courses except medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences). International students may find country-specific admission criteria on the website. For instant, student from Russia with a Certificate of secondary education may be admitted to the Univeristy of Bristol only after foundation/bridging program, while those with International Baccalaureate/A-level degree may apply directly to undergraduate programs.

Graduate students have to use university's website for application. All documents should be uploaded on this website and the admission decision will also be provided on the website.

International students should provide English test results in order to apply to both undergraduate and graduate programs. University of Bristol accept various tests, including IELTS, TOEFL, CAE/CPE and some others. Language requirements may depend on the type of program: they are typically higher for Art&Humanities and lower for Science programs. For instance, the highest IELTS score required (profile A) for undergraduate and graduate programs is 7.5 (7.0 in each section).

Program requirements


An upper second-class honours degree, preferably in the Social Sciences. Students may enter the Doctor of Social Science programme and complete 12 units at level 8 before embarking on their dissertation. These students will be enrolled as MSocSci candidates and are then upgraded to Doctor of Social Science candidates after completing half of the coursework.

Applicants with a suitable Masters degree will receive credit recognition and dispensation, such that they will be required to take 150 credit points of coursework. Students will be registered as Doctor of Social Science candidates. Doctor of Social Science candidates progress to the dissertation after completing the coursework.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Similar programs:
The Queen's University Belfast logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Domestic students: $ 5.89k / Year
  • International students: $ 16.8k / Year
  • Ranking:
  • 2536 StudyQA
  • Duration:
  • 1 year
    Sheffield Hallam University logo
    • Tuition Fee:
    • Domestic students: $ 4.67k / Year
    • International students: $ 11.7k / Year
      University of East Anglia logo
      • Tuition Fee:
      • Domestic students: $ 10.6k / Year
      • International students: $ 14.4k / Year
        Sheffield Hallam University logo
        • Tuition Fee:
        • Domestic students: $ 4.67k / Year
        • International students: $ 11.7k / Year
          See all of the 148 similar programs