MSc Wellbeing in Public Policy and International Development


Course suspended

This course is currently suspended for 2017/18.

You may want to consider our MSc International Development or Masters of Research courses.


Qualifications and durations

Full-time MSc (1 year)
Part-time MSc (2 years, allowing three months for the final dissertation*).

*At the discretion of the Director of Studies, part time students may be able to have an extension of three months (giving a total of six months for the dissertation and an overall total registration period of 27 months). Students extending into their 3rd academic year may be liable for a pro-rated continuation fee.


This MSc has been developed to reflect the increasing interest in wellbeing from academic and policy circles in both developed and developing countries. This degree provides aspiring and established professionals with a unique opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to engage with wellbeing in public policy and international development courses, policy and research.

The MSc Wellbeing in Public Policy and International Development involves:

  • Rigorous reflection on different concepts and measures of wellbeing: what they have in common and how they vary
  • Critical review of different applications of wellbeing in policy contexts
  • In-depth investigation of the politics of wellbeing, and how this can differ by culture, location and social identity
  • Practical experience of undertaking a wellbeing assessment
  • Evaluation of the roles of qualitative and quantitative data and analysis in advancing understanding of wellbeing
  • Rigorous discussion of ethics and philosophies of social justice
  • An active learning experience as part of an international student body in a world leading centre for research in wellbeing in public policy and practice

Course structure

Core Units:

  • Wellbeing: concepts, measures & policy
  • Wellbeing assessment in public policy and development practice
  • Academic research skills and dissertation preparation
  • Ethics and public policy
  • Wellbeing in Public Policy and International Development: masters dissertation

Optional Units:

  • Advanced policy analysis
  • The politics of policy in international perspective: actors, arenas and conflict
  • Foundations of international development
  • Comparative European social policy
  • Economics for international development
  • Sociology & social anthropology of development
  • Policy & politics of developing countries
  • Critical skills for international development and policy research
  • International corporate social responsibility: principles and practice
  • The politics of sustainability: environmental security and international relations
  • Critical issues in social development
  • Comparative research methods
  • Governing contemporary societies
  • Management of development (MID)
  • Political economy of globalisation
  • World politics: conflict, security & development
  • Natural resources and sustainability
  • Wellbeing in public policy and international development: extended essay
  • Wellbeing assessment research project
  • Policy evaluation: methods and techniques
  • South Asia regional research specialism
  • Africa regional research specialism
  • Latin America regional research specialism

Students can also study other units offered by the Department of Social & Policy Sciences or other Departments subject to Director of Studies approval.

View Programme & Unit Catalogue for further information (this is the current structure of the course).

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university. or
  • an equivalent degree in another subject, together with substantial relevant work experience.

Underlying these conditions is a belief that students must bring a minimum combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the course.

English Language requirements

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the course of study.

  • IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each of the four components)
  • PTE Academic of 62 with no less than 59 in any component

If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.

You may be eligible for a combined offer to include both pre-sessional English 5 (PS5) and the Master's degree course. The advantage of this offer is that overseas students can apply for a Visa for the full duration of the course rather than re-applying for a Visa at the end of the pre-sessional course.

Tier 4 visa pilot

Find out how you can benefit from a streamlined visa application process.


  • Two references are required. At least one of these must be an academic reference.

How to apply

We are not accepting applications for this course as it is suspended for 2017/18.

Financial information



Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6634

Related links


Main areas of research

We are an internationally-recognised research-intensive department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social wellbeing and social justice.

We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics, and Health.

We also have an active and vibrant community of research students undertaking their own research alongside our academic staff.

Research Centres

Research themes

Our five research themes are:

Departmental Staff

Find out more about our staff and their research interests.


The Department of Social & Policy Sciences includes academics from social policy, sociology, social work and international development.

The international excellence of our research was recognised by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research. Our Department collaborates with a wide range of users at the local, national, European and global levels.

Postgraduate programmes

We offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes. Our postgraduate teaching strongly reflects our research and our links to policy-makers and development institutions at the national, European and global level.

Our Department also has an active MPhil/PhD research programme. We take great pride in fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Seminar series

We run a lively and well attended postgraduate research seminar series. Each of the Research Centres run seminar series and conferences associated with their research activities. The University of Bath also has a Research in the World public lecture series where key national and international academics are invited to speak.

Careers information

We are committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their training. Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations, for example:

  • social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations
  • public policy analysis at local, national and international levels
  • public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.