Applied Social Science

UCAS codes

Course contact

Dr Maria Sapouna
+44 (0)1698 2838613 or 0800 027 1000 (+44 141 849 4101 out with the UK)

Qualifications and durations


  • Full-time - 12 months
  • Part-time - 24 months


Start date(s)

  • September

Tuition Fees

Additional costs
Please note that for some programmes of study there may be additional costs involved which are not included in the tuition fee advertised. These could be, for example, for study materials, fields trips or equipment. Programme leaders will be able to provide detail of any additional costs.
The MSc offers innovative and applied training in a number of specialisms including a named degree in civil society and public affairs; criminal justice; applied psychology; or global social work and social policy.
Applicants should hold a relevant Honours degree (any social science; medicine; health; law; or social work at 2:2 or above).

Applications will also be considered from those with a degree in another discipline or other professional training or experience relevant to programme specialisms (accredited or recognised prior experiential learning related to civil society, public affairs, criminal justice, applied psychology, social work or social policy). Such applicants will be required to complete written work in order to demonstrate their academic ability, and may be invited to attend an interview prior to acceptance.

Overseas students must also meet UWS English language requirements.
The MSc provides you with applied and transferable social science research skills to better understand the complexities of society, the role of multiple organisations (‘actors’) in governance systems, and discipline-specific expertise.

The programme is interdisciplinary and employability is a major theme of the MSc subject pathways so as to equip you with key applied skills for the graduate job market. Intensive workshops are delivered primarily by academic experts, with input from practitioners and non-academic specialists.

You can study for the MSc in Applied Social Science, by choosing optional modules across pathways, or opt for a specialist named degree, as follows:

Civil Society and Public Affairs
Provides students with an advanced understanding of the relationship between civil society, the institutions of multi-level governance and the policymaking environment.

Criminal Justice and Community Practice
Students gain the skills and understanding of criminal justice and youth violence to research and navigate the causes of crime and strategies for tackling criminal activity.

Global Social Work and Social Policy

Provides students with opportunities to engage with the most innovative social work and social policy throughout the world.

Applied Psychology

Provides students with the skills to research and examine human behaviour in various social settings i.e. education, healthcare and the workplace.

Your Learning

You will study core and specialist modules. Core modules include:

• Social Research Today
• Contemporary Social Issues
• Research Methods
• Dissertation

Students of the generic Applied Social Science course can also study three specialist electives. Students also specialise within a particular pathway by virtue of the topic/supervision related to the Masters dissertation. For students studying for the various named degrees, specialist modules offered include:

Applied Psychology:
• Psychology Applied to Public Health
• Psychology in the Workplace
• Psychology Applied to Education

Civil Society and Public Affairs:
• Theories of State and Civil Society
• Politics, Power and Civil Society
• Policy Analysis and Practice

Criminal Justice and Community Practice:
• Comparative Penology
• Applied Criminal Justice
• Policy Analysis and Practice

Global Social Work and Social Policy:
• Comparative Social Policy
• Social Work in a Global Context;
• Policy Analysis and Practice


Applied Social Science Video 
Click to view the video of Dr William Dinan - Senior Lecturer in Sociology.  


Graduates find careers in various specialist roles particularly related to research, campaigning and advocacy across public, private, voluntary and charity sectors. Part-time students may already be working in roles related to the specialist study areas and use the MSc for career advancement.

Useful Information

  • Financial Support

    This course is recognised by SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland) for access to postgraduate loan funding towards postgraduate tuition fees and living costs. Check the SAAS website for details of loan eligibility criteria for UK and EU students.