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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Taught Masters Programmes

We offer a broad range of taught masters programmes  - from professional training through to masters degrees that are ideal preparation for further study and academic research.

We have an intellectually vibrant community at postgraduate level and attract a diverse body of students from across the world.  Providing a meeting place for cultures and perspectives is a valuable part of the taught postgraduate experience that we offer to our postgraduate students.

MSc in Africa and International Development

This programme aims to locate African development firmly in theory and practice. It seeks to contextualise and analyse development interventions in Africa.

MSc in African Studies

The MSc in African Studies is intended for all of those with an enthusiasm for Africa-related issues, ideas, and areas of research. The recently restructured programme provides a substantive theoretical and methodological grounding in three of Edinburgh's core disciplinary strengths in African Studies - Anthropology, History, and Politics - within a study framework that is sufficiently flexible to enable students to develop their own interests with a view to the job market and/or future research.

MSc in Comparative Public Policy

This degree will introduce students to the challenge of making comparative analyses of and for social policy development. It will give them opportunities to develop their analytic and methodological skills for comparative analysis. It will consider the main focal points of comparison in social policy, including the comparative analysis of welfare states, of regions and nations, and of particular policies. These subjects will be examined from an analytic perspective which explores key themes such as the role of context and contraints, the analysis of policy choice, the influence of values and institutions, and the processes of learning and policy transfer.

MSc Digital Sociology

The MSc Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh develops knowledge and skills in digital culture, the digital economy and the sociology of finance, and emerging digital research methods.

MSc in Energy, Society and Sustainability (with the School of Geosciences)

The world is facing an ‘energy trilemma’ - how can we achieve energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability? This new MSc programme focuses on analysing the social, societal and environmental dimensions of energy transitions. The programme also looks at low carbon technologies, policies and markets. There are opportunities to examine how citizens are involved in and are affected by changes in energy systems through international field trips and research projects.

MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security (with the School of Law)

How can we build a safer, fairer world? This MSc brings together expertise from the School of Law and the School of Social & Political Science to examine the connected phenomena of crime, justice and security in a global context.

MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society

This MSc degree combines environmental politics and environmental sociology with normative philosophy. It provides a uniquely comprehensive social scientific perspective on global environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable development, energy, and biodiversity. A distinctive feature is the opportunity to complete a project-based report involving close work with practitioners in government, business or NGO sector.

MSc in Global Health Policy

The emerging field of global health has rapidly become central to foreign, trade and development agendas. This programme offers an interdisciplinary and policy-focused approach to global health, equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue roles in public health policy, research and advocacy.

MSc in Health Policy

Health systems across the world are under pressure to broaden access to services while improving quality and efficiency. This programme offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of contemporary health systems, preparing students for careers in policy, management, advocacy or further study.

MSc in International and European Politics (incl. European Practitioner Pathway)

Offers an advanced understanding of key issues and controversies in contemporary international and European politics. Courses in IEP are grounded in the categories of International Relations, European Studies and Comparative and Regional Politics. IEP thus offers students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies in a large and intellectually stimulating community and to develop their core interests in one of these streams.

MSc in International Development

This programme looks at the challenges facing people, communities and institutions in the Global South.

MSc in International Political Theory

The MSc International Political Theory analyses contemporary international affairs from a philosophically-informed perspective, with a particular focus on their ethical dimensions. Specifically, the programme looks at how to apply the methods and intellectual resource of (normative) political theory, or political philosophy, to contexts beyond that of the modern nation-state.

MSc in International Relations

Our MSc International Relations looks at the pressing challenges and problems humanity faces in the international realm - war and peacebuilding, terrorism, power, diplomacy, climate change, trade, inequality, poverty, migration and international cooperation.

MSc in International Relations of the Middle East

The MSc in International Relations of the Middle East is an interdisciplinary programme that builds on two fields of study: International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. Courses in the programme will equip students with a theoretical basis in International Relations to explore the historical and political dynamics of Middle East politics.

MSc in International Relations of the Middle East With Arabic

This two year degree combines an intensive Arabic language programme with the study of International Relations of the Middle East in addition to a menu of course options that includes the study of the history, religion and culture of the region. It will equip students with a broad knowledge of the analytical, conceptual and theoretical debates of International Relations and Political Science and a high level of competence in spoken and written Arabic. This will enable them to use this language not only as a means of communication but as an important research and professional skill in fields such as the diplomatic service, journalism and media, business, NGOs, and academia.

MSc in Medical Anthropology

The University of Edinburgh's MSc in Medical Anthropology provides an advanced understanding of health, illness, and medicine in different social and cultural settings. It explores both traditional healing and modern medical technologies. Our MSc in Mecial Anthropology also provides specialist training in medical anthropology for both social/cultural anthropologists and trained health practitioners. Graduates of this programme will be equipped with the conceptual and methodological skills to engage with the broader debates and dilemmas of contemporary global health practices.

MSc in Global Mental Health and Society

MSc in Management of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance

This MSc programme looks at how to respond to the challenges of the bioeconomy, including developing sustainable innovation in a responsible manner; identifying and exploiting value throughout innovation ecosystems; and bringing new technologies to existing and emerging markets.

MSc in Nationalism Studies

Defining 'ethnicity' is only one part of this very problematic area, at a time when it has become clearer how broad and ramified a phenomenon nationalism is. It calls for a correspondingly broad programme of study, drawing in different disciplines and fields of thought. The MSc/Diploma in Nationalism Studies is essentially inter-disciplinary, designed to give students a broad view of nationalism and of its place in the arena of international relations.

MSc in Public Policy

Concerned with analysing the activities of government, in particular the policies of the welfare state. Among the questions addressed are the following: How are priorities chosen? How are policies paid for? How do citizens make their views known? Do policies work? Can they be made more effective? Are those who implement policies sufficiently accountable? Core courses are complemented by courses on research skills and a wide range of options focussing on policy issues in particular areas, including public budgeting, family policy, law and public policy and social policy in Scotland.

MSc in Science and Technology in Society

The MSc in Science and Technology in Society (MSc SaTiS) provides a comprehensive introduction to the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS), offering new ways to understand and investigate the relationship between science and society. This degree equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically engage with the role of science, technology and innovation in societies, and to develop practical proposals for addressing key challenges we face in our technologically advanced world. The University of Edinburgh has a longstanding and international reputation in science, technology and innovation studies. The MSc SaTiS programme prepares its graduates for careers in the public or private sector, and in fields where a strategic understanding of the social dimensions of science and technology is of value.

MSc in Social Anthropology

This degree offers an intensive introduction to contemporary social anthropology. It is primarily a conversion course intended for graduates with little or no previous training in anthropology; these may be either students contemplating future doctoral research in social anthropology or students who wish to acquire anthropological expertise to supplement their existing range of professional skills.

MSc in Social Research

This degree is intended to provide students with an understanding of the key issues in approaches to, and techniques of research in the social sciences. It can be taken either as a free-standing degree, or during the first year of doctoral study.

MSW/Diploma in Social Work

The course will equip you with all the practical and theoretical skills necessary for professional recognition by the Scottish Social Services Council and the General Social Care Council.

MSc in Sociology and Global Change

The MSc will provide you with an overview of the core current discussions and themes of Sociology, including globalisation and the relationship between 'the local' and 'the global', the nature of society and social change illustrated through discussion of substantive topics such as the city, faith and disenchantment, risk, identity and gender.

LLM Human Rights (via School of Law)

The programme is designed to provide you with a theoretical and practical understanding of international human rights law in its broader political context. There is a particular emphasis on the relationship between human rights and conflict resolution. You can explore the role of human rights globally and the international and domestic machinery that promotes and enforces rights, but also focus on how academic debates connect to the practice of human rights.

Taught Masters
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