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Ardila

March 23rd, 2024

I made the right choice with MSc International Social and Public Policy – here’s why!

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Ardila

March 23rd, 2024

I made the right choice with MSc International Social and Public Policy – here’s why!

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

After about five years of working in the media and development field, I was determined to go back to school. Having spent some time looking into master’s programmes across the UK, I was eventually drawn to the MSc International Social and Public Policy (ISPP) at LSE. Whilst it ranks amongst the best social policy programmes in the UK, the rank was not necessarily the “deal-maker” for me. Instead, it was the variety of subjects I could learn that fit my interests and career plans which sealed the deal.

A few months in, I can say I made the right choice – here’s why:

Various streams to choose from

In ISPP, you have the freedom to choose from one out of seven streams that best suits your interests and career aspirations. The streams are: General, Development, Education, Migration, Non-Governmental Organisations, and Research, as well as the LSE-Fudan Double Master’s in ISPP. For most of these, you’ll be required to take one core course from your stream of choice, leaving ample room to pick from the remaining courses offered, including those from a different stream. For the dissertation, you’ll be required to write on a topic that’s related to your stream. So, whilst you’re led to specialise, you’ll still have the flexibility to explore other areas of expertise.

Wide range of relevant subjects

The various ISPP streams offer you a glimpse into the wide range of subjects you can learn in the programme. Beyond those mentioned, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about many other relevant issues correlated with social policy, such as ethnicity and race, urbanisation, climate change, housing, and the criminal justice system. These are all inter-related areas of concern, given many crises we must address now which reflect the heart of social policy — that is, to approach problems in a holistic way. As someone who hails from Indonesia, I particularly enjoy literature and case studies discussed in lectures and seminars that aren’t limited to European and American contexts. You’ll be taught by some lecturers who’ve had extended experience in researching in Asian and African countries, which undoubtedly will help enrich your perspectives.

Seminar series

The Department of Social Policy that houses ISPP hosts routine public seminars with esteemed internal and external speakers on relevant global issues. During these seminars, the speakers will present their new and cutting-edge research that aim to answer social policy problems from various disciplines, ranging from sociology to economics. In my first few weeks as a student, I was able to attend a public seminar by none other than sociologist Gøsta Esping-Andersen himself, whose works are a must-read for all social policy students. If you’re in London or around, you might want to drop by one of these seminars.

Support in and beyond the classroom

As an international student, I couldn’t help but feel anxious at first about studying in a totally new environment. However, everyone in the ISPP programme has been nothing but welcoming and helpful even before I came to London. There are various kinds of help you can receive from designated staff, ranging from mental health to academic support. Moreover, there are some weekly academic writing classes provided by the programme that I particularly find very helpful in going about my assignments. Beyond that, there are networking opportunities with alumni who’ve gone to do amazing things in various international organisations and government roles, to help you learn the “how-to’s,” and even broaden your career plans.

There’s a lot more that you can explore from the ISPP programme page. If you feel like it’s what you’ve been looking for, don’t waste your time and apply now!

About the author

Ardila

I'm currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Social and Public Policy and I'm originally from Indonesia.

Posted In: Applying: Masters

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