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COURSE TITLE Master of Arts in Social Policy









Second Cycle

Level 7

6 Semesters

Part-time Evening


Andreana Dibben

Social inclusion and cohesion are deemed to be of increasing importance. Almost one quarter of the Maltese population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion and social changes have been rapid with effects on the relationships and institutions that underpin social cohesion. By taking a social inclusion approach, this programme will focus on designing and implementing policies and programmes through which the terms of people's social participation can be improved. It will also offer a broad set of professional skills based on the values of good governance, equity, efficiency and effectiveness.

The programme of study includes topics which focus on:

• theory, critical debates and trends in poverty and social exclusion, including selected areas of focus;
• theory, critical debates and trends in social change, social inclusion and social cohesion;
• EU Cohesion Policy and its implementation in Malta;
• needs assessment, formulation and analysis of policy, including comparative policy at EU level;
• advanced research methods and research and practice seminars;
• management theory and skills in respect of planning, implementing and evaluating social services and projects;
• rationale and techniques of service user participation and stakeholder consultation.
LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of the Course students will be able to:

- Define and measure poverty, inequality and social exclusion, with a critical appreciation of measurement debates and the ability to source and analyse various international datasets in these areas;

- Explain how issues of diversity such as gender, race, age and disability intersect to exacerbate disadvantage;

- Analyse the extent to which institutional structures, processes and reforms enable people living in poverty to exercise agency;

- Define the purposes of the various EU institutions as well as the policy priorities and processes in the area of social policy;

- Identify and analyse the causes and consequences of policy change, with reference to contemporary theoretical explanations of welfare state retrenchment and reform;

- Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the development of, and the similarities and differences between, welfare regimes in Europe, the US and beyond;

- Critically analyse contemporary social changes as well as those relational and institutional dimensions of cohesion that mediate the effect of these changes;

- Demonstrate an understanding of EU cohesion policy as well as the national structures, roles and priorities through which cohesion policy is implemented in Malta;

- Demonstrate the ability to plan and evaluate social services and projects, and a profound understanding of good management practices in these areas, demonstrating their knowledge through practice seminars;

- Develop advanced knowledge of the major research methods relevant to the social sciences, demonstrating their knowledge through research seminars and through a dissertation.

Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through the various theoretical and project-based assignments, subject seminars, research and practice seminars, examinations and dissertation. The analytical nature of the subject matter, as well as assigned readings and guided debates, will serve to develop their intellectual understanding of the causes and consequences of contemporary social issues and trends, as well as a critical appreciation of the role of policies and programmes in addressing them. The key skills have been outlined in the learning outcomes above, but will essentially include the capacity to undertake social analysis; to critique but also to formulate policies in both national and comparative perspective; to plan, manage and evaluate social services and projects; and to plan and conduct sound research. These skills are both key and transferable across a wide range of social settings. These, together with the critical thought fostered in this programme, will enhance both their employability and their personal development as socially engaged and professionally competent members of society.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO FURTHER STUDY This course will enhance employability of persons who wish to work in social policy development, research, project and service management in a broad range of areas in the social field within government, private or NGO sector at local, EU and international level. Students may go on to apply for a PhD course with the Department upon successful completion of this course.
COURSE INTENDED FOR Graduates working in positions of administration, research or project management in a broad range of areas in the social field and those aspiring to further studies in social policy.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of a Bachelor degree with at least Second Class Honours in Social Policy or in any other area of study which the Board deems to be relevant.

Whilst filling in the online application, applicants must have the Police Certificate of Conduct in hand as they must include certain details from it in the application form.

On acceptance on the course, applicants will also be asked to submit an original Police Certificate of Conduct (not more than 6 months old) to the Faculty for Social Wellbeing.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2017.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.




Last Updated: 12 July 2017
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

For applicable fees please check the link on the Finance Office webpage.

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