What is social policy?

If you are interested in hearing about what social policy is and why it is important have a look at the ESRC Festival of Social Science video or access video clips of professors of social policy arguing why social policy matters. The ESRC also have resources for schools: what do we mean by happiness and well-being, how can we measure them, and what helps us to be happy? Or what does research tell us about teenagers and street crime, and are the media stirring up an issue?

Would you like to find out more about social policy?

The Social Policy Association supports the annual Festival of Social Science organised by the ESRC. Find out whether there are Festival of Social Science activities near you.

Are you interested in studying social policy at college or university?
Social policy is not available as an A level subject but is covered within two Diploma courses:

  • Public Services Diploma: View the video for an insight into social policy and public services.
  • Society, Health and Development Diploma: view the video for an insight into social policy and society, health and development.

Social policy is popular at university level, either as a single Honours degree or as part of a broader degree course. University admissions criteria for students wishing to take social policy or social policy as part of another undergraduate course can be accessed through the UCAS website which also lists all undergraduate courses with a significant social policy content. These criteria now include Diploma qualifications. Prospective students and their parents can search, review and compare subjects at universities and colleges in the UK through the associated Unistats website.

Are you curious about careers in social policy?

National surveys show that social policy graduates have a very good record of finding work in the public, voluntary and private sectors. Careers for which a social policy degree is particularly relevant include management or policy work in central and local government; in key service sectors such as the penal system, education, health and sports and leisure; voluntary and non-governmental organizations, and retail management. Read about what former social policy students went on to do after courses at two universities:

Other universities will also have information about the career progression of their own students included on their websites.