Public policy is the study of the major policy issues affecting society today, such as how to provide adequate benefits and pensions to those who need them. This programme deals with vital issues for the future of this country and it provides a challenging intellectual training with a strong vocational orientation.
A major characteristic of public policy is its applied focus, so it is directly relevant to today’s living. It is about both theory and practice. This subject will be familiar to you if you have taken Modern Studies, Politics or Sociology at school.
Initially you will focus on the famous Beveridge Report of 1942, which identified the ‘Five Giants’ of want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. You will examine policies and services such as health and social security, which were created to eradicate postwar social problems. You will also have the opportunity to study current social problems, such as homelessness, juvenile delinquency and drug misuse. You will then look at the future of key policy areas.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
The second year aims to build on material outlined in the first year, introduce key concepts and principles and address important issues in public policy with a social and urban focus. You will also examine
- ideology and welfare
- how policy is made, delivered and financed.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you successfully complete the courses in years 1 and 2 you may progress to two further years of study for an Honours degree. Over the two Honours years you will also choose subjects from a diverse range of topics to suit your interests. These options include
- Crime, community and safety
- Disability and society
- Health policy and health services
- Housing policy
- Urban policy
- Education for citizenship
- Active citizenship (includes a placement in a welfare agency)
- Ideological concepts and values
- Welfare ideologies
- Paying for welfare.
At Honours, it is possible to do this degree together with a language. It usually involves spending a year abroad between years 2 and 3. This type of degree is particularly useful if you hope to develop a career overseas.
Public policy deals with vital issues for the future of this country and it provides a challenging intellectual training with a strong vocational orientation. It provides students with the transferable skills that many employers are looking for.
Our graduates pursue careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors, including
- management and personnel in commerce and industry
- local and central government, especially housing and planning
- social work
- health services administration.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAAB (including English or a humanities subject/language) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAA or AAABB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. English or a humanities subject/language at grade A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AAAB, AABBB or AABB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Social Sciences MA (Soc Sci) degrees must attain, or have attained, EITHER English Higher OR another humanities/language Higher subject to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
If you have exceptional A-level or Advanced Higher grades it's possible to gain exemption from Year 1 study and enter directly into Year 2 or follow a faster route advanced entry programme, both of which allow you to complete your degree in one year less than usual. See: Advanced entry
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.