BSc International Social and Public Policy

The BSc International Social and Public Policy programme is a multi-disciplinary, international degree that integrates the analysis of government policy with the understanding of broader global political, economic and social change.

International Social and Public Policy courses at Bristol

As an undergraduate student at the University of Bristol you can choose to study international social and public policy as a three-year degree or as a four-year degree with a year spent studying at a university abroad.

Why study International Social and Public Policy at Bristol?

In an increasingly turbulent and fragmented world, engagement with and a deeper understanding of the dynamics of social and public policies and the ways in which contemporary social, political and economic issues are shaped and responded to, has never been more important.
The International Social and Public Policy degree at Bristol aims to explore, analyse and critically assess contemporary social and public policy issues in and across societies, in different parts of the world. This allows students the opportunity to gain major insights into the role of public policy, policy actors and institutions and an understanding of the development and implementation of policy measures designed to influence the social circumstances of individuals and groups across societies. 

The BSc International Social and Public Policy is located within the School for Policy Studies, which provides a supportive environment for students to flourish as independent, active learners. You will be taught by enthusiastic lecturers who are passionate about their subjects and who use their research to inform their teaching, ensuring that you acquire relevant and up-to-date knowledge.

The Social Policy undergraduate programme in the School for Policy Studies is highly rated in the university league tables. The quality of the teaching is related to the research strengths of the school; your lecturers will be leading researchers in their field including migration, poverty and inequality, cities and urban sustainability, violence and conflict.

What kind of student would this course suit?

The inter and multi-disciplinary nature of our International Social and Public Policy course means that it is ideal for students who want to develop a broad and holistic understanding of social and public policy in a global and comparative context. 
It would suit anyone who has interest in understanding the dynamics and nature of global social issues, how they manifest in different parts of the world and the policy responses to them. The course will also appeal to International students or those interested in following a career abroad.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching methods include traditional/interactive lectures, classes or seminars, tutorials and clinics, and there is the opportunity to develop transferable skills through working with others in small groups and giving presentations. 
In the first year students will gain an understanding of the key concepts and theories of comparative and international social and public policy  to enable a deeper understanding of the ways in which social, political and economic issues are shaped and responded to globally and in different parts of the world. 
In the second year you will analyse policy making and implementation, as well as exploring comparative political economy in global, national and local contexts. A range of options in international policy areas and different regions of the world are available, together with the opportunity to experience a work placement; providing a unique opportunity to gain real life experience of working on social and public policy issues at a local level.
The opportunity for 12-months studying abroad (BSc International Social and Public Policy with Study Abroad) at the end of the 2nd year offers an excellent opportunity for extending and deepening your knowledge and experience of policy issues, institutions and outcomes in a different parts of the world. 
In the final year students are again able to extend the range of international policy study options, as well as undertake a dissertation to practice their research skills and showcase their knowledge.
We place a strong emphasis on the role of assessment and feedback in helping you develop through your study. Every unit includes summative assessment. Methods of assessment are varied and could include unseen examinations and extended essays, video presentations, as well other structured written assignments. The 10,000 word dissertation is a piece of research carried out independently with the support of an academic supervisor.

What are my career prospects?

When it comes to choosing a career, International Social and Public Policy graduates will be equipped with the expertise, knowledge and skills to enhance their employment opportunities. They will be well prepared for careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors and in environments that require global and international insights and interpretations on policy issues, developments and solutions in the context of social, political, economic and geographical change.
This degree will appeal to students interested in following a career in policy-making at both a local and national level, the Civil Service, community engagement work, Corporate Social Responsibility, the Foreign Office, international NGOs and development work.

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School contact

Dr Oscar Berglund

Central admissions 

School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
8 Priory Road
Bristol, BS8 1TZ

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