Undergraduate 

Social & Public Policy MA(SocSci)/LLB/MA

Students on campus

Social & Public Policy focuses on social problems such as poverty, homelessness and ill-health. The programme applies ideas from political science, sociology and economics to explore how governments shape their responses, and to understand the impacts of public policy on society.

You’ll have the valuable opportunity of a work placement with a voluntary or public sector organisation.

What our students say

Student on campus

‘I can say honestly that I enjoyed learning about every course and module that I undertook as part of this dynamic, interesting and relevant degree. The MA degree in Social & Public Policy equips you with an understanding and knowledge of social and public policy, both in theory and practice. In particular, I apply the research, writing and critical thinking skills I have developed from this degree into my work as a caseworker in a very busy London MP’s office, where issues relating to welfare, immigration and housing policy are felt acutely by residents and the wider community. Finally, I would recommend this degree to students who are interested in working in politics, public policy and academia, both nationally and internationally.’

Sanketa, MA Honours Public Policy

Programme structure

Year 1

You will examine the development of policies and services such as health and social security that were created to eradicate postwar social problems, through a focus on the famous Beveridge Report of 1942, which identified the "Five Giants" of want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. Then using experiences in Glasgow as a lens, you will have the opportunity to study current responses to social problems such as crime, youth gangs, drugs misuse and urban deprivation.

Year 2

You will study influential ideas and major perspectives on welfare and public policy in order to examine assumptions about the aims of policy and the functions of welfare. This includes examining ideological and political agendas in an international context. You will also look into the politics and power dynamics of policy making, considering how social problems, such as teenage pregnancy and welfare reform, are constructed and why some are high on the political agenda while others are not. 

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will choose subjects from a diverse range of topics to suit your interests, including:

  • Work, welfare and the politics of reform
  • Disability and society
  • Health and health inequalities
  • Housing policy, welfare and markets
  • Remaking cities: dilemmas of 21st-century urban policy
  • Education for citizenship
  • Making public policy in the real world
  • Active citizenship (includes a placement in a voluntary or public sector organisation)
  • Ideological concepts and values
  • Utopias: welfare theory and social policies for a "good society"
  • Paying for public policy
  • Youth policy and welfare: cross cultural perspectives.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

Special Glasgow feature

Glasgow Q-Step Degrees

The University of Glasgow's Q-Step Centre offers programmes which develop your quantitative skills, or in other words, your ability to handle data and use numerical evidence.

Developing quantitative skills and your confidence in using them, will really enhance your insight and understanding of the key issues you encounter in your chosen field of study.

The University of Glasgow Q-Step Centre offers five degree programmes that integrate quantitative skills training within the School of Social and Political Sciences. All of these programmes aim to engage you with meaningful ways of understanding the social world.

We will teach you how to understand and analyse quantitative results, as well as how to present your own, and how to discuss their substantive implications. These are essential skills for understanding quantitative evidence presented in academic literature, but also for interrogating data in public media and government reports.

Around one quarter of your study time will be devoted to quantitative methods. And our degrees also offer you the possibility to gain valuable experience by participating in internships with selected high-profile employers.

MA (SocSci) Social & Public Policy with Quantitative Methods

Social and Public Policy focuses on social problems such as poverty, homelessness and ill-health. The programme applies ideas from political science, sociology and economics to explore how governments shape their responses, and to understand the impacts of public policy on society.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. There are currently two options available: the Erasmus+ Programme and the International Exchange Programme. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2019

About entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.

Admissions Policy

A-levels and International Baccalaureate

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

Admissions Policies

  • See our full A-level Admissions Policy
  • More information on our International Baccalaureate admissions requirements
  • Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

    MA (SocSci) (Hons)

    A-levels

    • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
    • Other mandatory requirements: One A-level arts, humanities or language subject.

    Highers

    • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAAB.
    • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: AABB. 
    • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAA.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English OR a Higher Humanities subject at Grades A or B.

    We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

    • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABBB. 
    • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AAABB-BBBBBB.
    • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English OR a Higher Humanities subject at Grade B.

    Accepted humanities and languages Highers

    Higher applicants to Social Sciences MA (Soc Sci) degrees must attain, or have attained, EITHER English Higher OR another humanities/language/social science Higher subject to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages/social science Higher subjects are listed below.

    • Business Management
    • Cantonese
    • Classical studies
    • Drama
    • Economics
    • English
    • English for Speakers of Other Languages
    • French
    • Gaelic
    • Geography
    • German
    • History
    • Italian
    • Latin
    • Mandarin
    • Media
    • Modern Studies
    • Music
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Psychology
    • Religious Education
    • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
    • Sociology
    • Spanish
    • Urdu

    International Baccalaureate

    • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points.
    • Other mandatory requirements: HL6 English and a Humanities subject at HL6/SL6.

    European qualifications

    Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [pdf]

    Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

    LLB (Hons)

    A-levels

    • Standard academic entry requirements: AAA.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: N/A.
    • Other mandatory requirements: A-level English OR GCSE English Literature & Language. LNAT (see below).

    Highers

    • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAAA.
    • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: AAABB.
    • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAA including two Advanced Highers at Grades BB.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English. Applicants with conditional offers based on S6 results are encouraged to study Advanced Highers in Arts or Social Science subjects. LNAT (see note below).

    We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

    • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AAABB.
    • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AAABB-BBBBBB.
    • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade B. LNAT (see note below).

    International Baccalaureate

    • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
    • Other mandatory requirements: English at HL6. LNAT (see below).

    Law National Admissions Test (LNAT)

    With the exception of applicants to the LLB (Fast Track), applicants to all LLB degrees who do not already hold an undergraduate degree are required to take the Law National Admissions test (LNAT) by 20 January 2019. The LNAT is run by a consortium of UK universities and comprises a two-hour on-screen test made up of multiple-choice (80 minutes) and essay (40 minutes) questions. It is designed to assess verbal reasoning skills and command of written English. The test can be taken by applicants at centres throughout the UK and overseas. Information on how to sit the test, together with practice papers, can be found at: www.lnat.ac.uk.

    Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

    MA (Hons)

    A-levels

    • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
    • Other mandatory requirements: One A-level arts, humanities or language subject.

    Highers

    • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB.
    • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: ABBB.
    • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAB.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade A or B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade A or B.

    We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

    • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB.
    • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AABB-BBBBB.
    • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade B.

    Accepted humanities and languages Highers

    Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher and another humanities/language/social science Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages/social science Higher subjects are listed below:

    • Business Management
    • Cantonese
    • Classical studies
    • Drama
    • Economics
    • English
    • English for Speakers of Other Languages
    • French
    • Gaelic
    • Geography
    • German
    • History
    • Italian
    • Latin
    • Mandarin
    • Media
    • Modern Studies
    • Music
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Psychology
    • Religious Education
    • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
    • Sociology
    • Spanish
    • Urdu

    International Baccalaureate

    • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Three HL subjects including English AND a Humanities or Language subject (SL6 will be considered for ONE).

    European qualifications

    Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [pdf]

    A-level and IB applicants can expect offers to be between the minimum and standard entry requirements depending on demand for places on the degree.

    Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

    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*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
    • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
    • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
    • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
    • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
    • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

    * Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

    For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

    Pre-sessional courses
    The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

    FAQs

    What do I do if...

    my language qualifications are below the requirements?

    The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures 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:


    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 see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


    Career prospects

    This degree provides many of the analytical, literary and teamwork skills that employers are looking for in the labour market. Our graduates pursue careers as managers, professionals and policy analysts in the private, voluntary and public sectors, including central and local government, in the UK and internationally. They work in diverse fields including housing, health, social services, advocacy, city planning, education, media and commerce.

    Degrees and UCAS codes

    When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

    MA(SocSci) (Hons)

    • KIS
      Social & Public Policy: L430
    • KIS
      Social & Public Policy with Quantitative Methods: LG43
    • Business & Management/Social & Public Policy: LN42
    • KIS
      Business Economics/Social & Public Policy: LLC4
    • KIS
      Central & East European Studies/Social & Public Policy: RL84
    • KIS
      Classics/Social & Public Policy: LQK8
    • KIS
      Economic & Social History/Social & Public Policy: LV43
    • KIS
      Economics/Social & Public Policy: LL14
    • KIS
      Geography/Social & Public Policy: LL47
    • KIS
      Politics/Social & Public Policy: LL42
    • KIS
      Psychology/Social & Public Policy [*]: LC48
    • KIS
      Sociology/Social & Public Policy: LL64

    LLB (Hons)

    • Scots Law/Social & Public Policy: ML14

    MA (Hons)

    • KIS
      Celtic Civilisation/Social & Public Policy: LQK5
    • KIS
      Classics/Social & Public Policy: LQ48
    • KIS
      Digital Media & Information Studies/Social & Public Policy: GL54
    • KIS
      Film & Television Studies/Social & Public Policy: LW46
    • KIS
      Gaelic/Social & Public Policy: QL54
    • KIS
      Greek/Social & Public Policy: LQ47
    • KIS
      History of Art/Social & Public Policy: LVK3
    • KIS
      Latin/Social & Public Policy: LQ46
    • KIS
      Music/Social & Public Policy: LW43
    • KIS
      Portuguese/Social & Public Policy: 6Y5X
    • KIS
      Social & Public Policy/English Language: QL3L
    • KIS
      Social & Public Policy/English Literature: LQ4H
    • KIS
      Social & Public Policy/Theatre Studies: LW44
    • KIS
      Spanish/Social & Public Policy: RL44
    • KIS
      Theology & Religious Studies/Social & Public Policy: VL64

    [*] Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

    Scholarships

    We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That’s why we’ve invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

    RUK Access Bursary 2018 Entry

    The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2018-19 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

    more information

    RUK Excellence Scholarship 2018

    The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

    more information

    The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

    How to apply

    If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    UCAS deadlines

    The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.

    The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

    • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
    • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
    • 30 June: international (non-EU) students.

    Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
    Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

    UCAS tariff points

    The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

    How soon will I receive a decision?

    We will usually respond before the end of March.

    If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

    If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

    Will I be interviewed?

    An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

    Is deferred entry available?

    For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

    University Transfers

    Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

    1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
    2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

    Widening participation

    We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

    Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
    Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

    94%

    Social Policy students were satisfied overall

    Data published by Unistats, March 2018