Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK/EU fee

£660 per 20 credits* (2018/19)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)

UCAS code


Course level




Start date



One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

Course description

Stimulating and challenging, our MA Social and Political Studies is ideal for the ambitious student keen to develop their intellectual flexibility.

Follow a personalised study plan

This is an innovative masters degree where you will not be restricted by traditional discipline boundaries within the social and political sciences. A large proportion of the course is made up of optional modules, which means you have the freedom to shape a study programme tailored to your own interests and curiosity.

You will gain a broad understanding of key issues across the different fields of social and political sciences, exploring subjects you might not have considered before. Throughout, you will draw on the internationally renowned expertise of staff from across our College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences, who have a strong track record in promoting multi-disciplinary studies.

An impressive portfolio of skills

The MA Social and Political Studies enhances your career prospects by nurturing skills which are highly prized by employers. You will become familiar with using and analysing primary and secondary data, develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and improve your abilities as a reflective learner.

Your dissertation will give you the chance to conduct in-depth and original research into a subject of your choice.

Because the global dimension features at every stage of the course, you can also set yourself apart as an independent thinker capable of seeing the world from different perspectives.

Real-world experience

Thanks to our strong professional networks, you will benefit from a vibrant programme of guest speakers, including professionals working in the fields of social policy and politics who will share their experiences with you.

A professional learning environment

This course is delivered at One Friar Gate Square, a modern, iconic building in the heart of the vibrant city centre, it is the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.

What you will study

The course is made up of three stages - Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MA. You will study modules such as:

  • Research Methodologies (core module)
  • Two optional modules
  • Three optional modules
  • Dissertation (core module)

Examples of optional modules available include:

  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Policy Evaluation.


Please note: modules are subject to availability, and may change to suit the needs of industry.

How you will learn

You will learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, group tutorials and blended learning.

How you'll be assessed

The assessment methods used will be standard open-question exams and essays.

Who you'll meet

You will be taught by experienced academics who are specialists in their field and whose research is opening up debates about some of today’s most important social and political issues. They include:

Dr Helen Brocklehurst, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in International Relations who is currently undertaking research into issues surrounding children’s consumption of global politics in an age of terror, engaging with teachers and public bodies responsible for the production of education materials. She is also investigating the regulation and ethical issues raised by the circulation of photographs of children in conflict.

Dr Francesco Belcastro, Lecturer in International Relations with wide-ranging research interests in the fields of international relations and Middle East Studies. He is particularly interested in the application of traditional international relations theories and concepts at regional level and his current studies focus on regional involvement in civil wars both at theoretical level and with reference to Syria. Dr Belcastro is also a Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews.

George Ellison, Senior Lecturer in Law who specialises in public law, human rights and crime.

Rachael Ita, Lecturer in Law whose areas of expertise include international human rights law, public international law and constitutional law. Rachael is currently conducting research into the margin of appreciation doctrine in the interpretation of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Dr Francis Jegede, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Diplomacy whose current research interests focus on terrorism and global security. His work is particularly concerned with the political economy of violence with regard to the rise of state and non-state armed groups.

Dr Sung-Hee Lee, Lecturer in Sociology who has particular research interests in social policy in Europe and East Asia, social policy and gender, comparative social policy, and social care services. She also specialises in qualitative research methods and organises our Sociology Research Seminar Series.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject.

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will need to hold IELTS 6 with a minimum of 6.0 in each module

Fees and funding

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)


£660 per 20 credits*

£660 per 20 credits*


£13,500 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out moreFind out more

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out moreFind out more

Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

Find out moreFind out more

How to apply

UK/EU students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

International students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for a postgraduate degree


This MA nurtures your analytical, evaluative, critical and creative thinking, together with your ability to synthesise new ideas and present complex issues in accessible ways. You will also develop an international outlook which will take you far in our increasingly globalised society.   

Such transferable skills are invaluable across many sectors and you could discover career opportunities in international institutions like the United Nations, central government, local authorities, think tanks, pressure groups, NGOs, social enterprises, charities and educational institutions.

Because the MA helps you develop and refine your capacity to conduct independent research, it could also be your first step towards an academic research career.

If you are already working, you can select optional modules which are aligned to your current role and career aspirations, paving the way for you to progress to more senior or specialist positions.

Opportunities for further study

The MA Social and Political Studies could be the springboard for taking your studies to MPhil or PhD level. You will be well prepared for the challenge: the range of assessment methods and the way modules are delivered on this course enhance your independent learning skills. In addition, the dissertation improves your abilities in research and communication. 

Ongoing careers support

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course – and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.

Contact details

Course: Dr Helen Brocklehurst (Programme Leader) +44 (0)1332 591167 (0)1332 591167 (0)1332 590500

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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