I remember reading through the potential classes I could take throughout my programme and being disappointed that I could only choose four – there were so many that I was interested in taking!
If you’re in the ISPP programme in the Social Policy department, two courses are mandatory (potentially a third if you pick one of the streams) and then you choose the remaining three or four electives that interest you. You take a total of six courses plus your dissertation.
Don’t panic about course registration, it seems like a lot until you’re actually in the process of doing it. The department is great with sharing updates and instructions and is always there (in person or virtually over email) if you need them.
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get into a class you wanted to take – all of the professors teach interesting classes, and if you really want to learn about a particular topic, you can audit the lecture.
What that means is that you can attend lectures as if you were in the class. You don’t get graded and you won’t be placed in a seminar class. You won’t be assessed, and it doesn’t count towards your degree. You’ll learn more about auditing when you have Welcome Week and learn in detail about the course selection process.
For the Social Policy department, we were required to write brief statements detailing why we want to take each course. Don’t brush these under the rug – they’re important as the course lecturers read these if a course is oversubscribed. I wrote mine in advance so I could just copy and paste them into the form when it came time to choose which courses I wanted to try to get into.
We do decide which classes we want to apply for, but we don’t get to make our own schedule in terms of class timings. At first, I wasn’t sure what that would be like since at my undergraduate university I was able to pick my classes and pick the sections I wanted based on what time and day they met. But I couldn’t have been happier with my schedule both terms and if you have a real conflict the department does help you sort it out.
This post was written during the 2019-2020 academic year regarding the MSc in International Social and Public Policy. Please refer to the programme regulations of your intended year of study to see if there are any updates/changes to the course structure.