Social Policy for Development

About Social Policy for Development (SPD)

  • Are you concerned about poverty, inequality or social exclusion?
  • Do you want to know more about population growth, employment creation, or children and youth in the Global South?
  • Did you know that most of the policies directly addressing these subjects fall into the category of social policy?

The Major in Social Policy for Development offers an interdisciplinary, critical approach to the analysis of the problems of social reproduction and social provisioning – or of societal responses to social need – within a context of development and associated social and structural transformations. Emphasis is given to the question of how social policy can be used as a force for progressive transformation and for sustainable, equitable, gender-aware and socially-just development within a context of contemporary globalization and profound population transformations such as migration and urbanization.

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A short informational video


Target group

The Social Policy for Development Major is an interdisciplinary degree devised to meet the needs of professionals, researchers, teachers, community based workers, activists and others working on social policy related themes in international development agencies, national governments, national and international donor organizations, non-governmental organizations, or in advocacy and social movements.

It also meets the needs of people working with governments but in the private sector, such as in consultancies that increasingly work on social development and social policy related issues. 

Find out more about the ISS student body.


Within the MA programme students have an option to specialize further. Take a look at the current specializations on offer.


Recording of the Webinar Information Session 2017

ISS study guide

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