MSc Policy ResearchFind a programme
|Faculty||Faculty of Social Sciences and Law|
|Awards available||MSc , PG Certificate (Postgraduate Certificate), PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma)|
One year full-time;
two to five years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||Yes|
|Start date||September 2019|
Researchers, research managers, policy advisers and service planners are all faced with a growing need for research that is timely and relevant. This programme builds on the links between research and policy in developing the particular skills and capacities needed by policy-oriented researchers, professionals and postgraduate students interested in carrying out public policy, social policy and social welfare research. We believe this is vital if researchers are to maximise the impact of their work in addressing issues of real concern to policy-makers.
The programme provides core research training in philosophy and research design in the social sciences, along with introductions to and further approaches in quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences. It also offers optional units in areas of the school's particular research expertise, such as child and family welfare, gender and violence, health and social care, poverty and social exclusion, and policy-oriented evaluation.
We recognise that students will be joining with relevant - albeit varied - experience. Therefore, there will be opportunities for you to draw on your own experiences as researchers, managers and policy advisers and to share these with other participants on the programme. Those who have recently embarked on a career in policy research, or who hope to do so, will find the programme offers a unique combination of academic rigour, up-to-date policy content and relevant skills development.
Core units are taught in collaboration with other postgraduate programmes, providing a co-learning environment and giving you the opportunity to interact and share insights with other interest groups.
Fees for 2019/20
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:
- UK/EU: full-time (MSc)
- UK/EU: two-year part-time (MSc)
- Overseas: full-time (MSc)
- Channel Islands/IoM: full-time (MSc)
- UK/EU: full-time (PG Dip)
- Overseas: full-time (PG Dip)
- Channel Islands/IoM: full-time (PG Dip)
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2019/20
The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
The programme is delivered through a combination of intensive block teaching and weekly delivery to ensure it is as accessible as possible to postgraduate students, busy policy professionals and practitioners. The way units are delivered means you can accumulate credits flexibly and organise your patterns of attendance to suit your needs and circumstances.
The MSc and Postgraduate Diploma consist of four core units and two optional units. A dissertation of 10-15,000 words is required for the MSc. The Postgraduate Certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete three units, two of which must be from the list of core units.
An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) a relevant social sciences discipline, such as sociology, social work, psychology, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy or law, and a personal statement that evidences your ability to benefit from this programme. Other qualifications (including those awarded by professional bodies) and relevant professional experience will also be considered.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
The MSc in Policy Research stresses the development of policy research and analysis methods, as well as substantive knowledge. Graduates from our MSc Policy Research can go on to work as policy researchers and analysts, or research commissioners/managers in public or private agencies, both in the UK and overseas.
Potential employers include local or central government departments, national or international non-governmental organisations, or international institutions such as the European Union.
Alternatively, our MSc provides students with the core training to further their career in academic research with a PhD in Social Policy.
We welcome applications at any time of year. Early application is advised as places may fill quickly.
The closing date for ESRC studentship applications is midday on Tuesday 29 January 2019. For further details on applying for ESRC funding, please visit the SWDTP website.
Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.
REF 2014 results
- Social Work and Social Policy:
- 38% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 42% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 18% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
- 2% of research is recognised nationally (1*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.