Master in Public and Social Policies
Master in Public and Social Policies
The Master in Public and Social Policies, offered in collaboration with the JHU, provides you with the tools to analyse the social well-being and quality of life of populations and implement innovative public policies with the aim of creating fairer societies. Become an agent of social improvement through public policies.
The Master in Public and Social Policies, taught in Barcelona in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University, provides the training and tools necessary to develop responses to current social needs. Through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary training, the program aims to teach professionals capable of responding to social needs and solving all kinds of social problems through public policies.
During the master you will learn to analyse quantitative and qualitative information on the well-being and quality of life of populations, to diagnose social needs and to make proposals. Thus, from this data you will discover how social, public, and private improvement plans are designed. With a teaching team of experts, you will gain in-depth knowledge of the different dimensions of the welfare state and current social issues such as housing, social exclusion, the labour market, public health, or climate change. The master includes professional internships in public and private, national and internacional institutions and entities.
The Master in Public and Social Policies has a Steering Committee made up of the following members:
- Joan Benach. Professor of Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University and Co-director of the JHU-UPF Public Policy Centre.
- Donald Steinwachs. Professor at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Services and Outcomes Research.
- Keshia Pollack. Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy.
- Sebastià Sarasa. Professor of Sociology at Pompeu Fabra University.
Program jointly offered with:
Why choose this program
Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University
The master is developed in Barcelona at the JHU-UPF Public Policy Centre, following the academic criteria of UPF and Johns Hopkins University (USA).
Learn from industry experts
The master has professors from the different fields of national and international public policies, with a combination of academic and professional profiles that help to offer an approach to public and social policies from both the theoretical and practical spheres.
Gain access to a specific study plan
The study plan, designed by our experts in public policies, delves into all aspects related to Public and Social Policies in Spain, Europe, and Latin America. Aspects such as work and labour market, health and public health, education, social services, family support services, housing, environment, prevention of social exclusion, the impact of economic policies in the social sphere, etc.
Reference program in the field of public and social policies
The Master in Public and Social Policies is considered the 2nd best Master in Political Sciences and Administration by El Mundo Ranking among 250 masters in Spain.
Who is it for?
The Master in Public and Social Policies is aimed at professionals in the management of public and social policies, as well as graduates from areas such as social and political sciences, law, economics, sociology, and other social sciences.
his is an official master and has the academic recognition of the Ministry of Education of the Government of Spain. The Quality Agency of the University System of Catalonia (AQU Catalunya) has institutionally accredited the UPF-BSM. This accreditation certifies all the official university master's degrees that we teach and recognizes the quality of our educational model in accordance with the criteria of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
The University Master's Degree in Public and Social Policies takes place over two academic years, combining training with theoretical and practical elements. The learning sequence begins with a period of familiarization with the conceptual and applied bases of the analysis of public policies, and continues by delving into the areas that structure the contents of the programme.
Following this learning sequence, the participants will concentrate in the first year on the teaching linked to laying the foundations of the analysis of public and social policies, and the research techniques that facilitate their development.
In the second year, a series of subjects will be undertaken related to deepening the analysis and evaluation of public and social policies, as well as the institutional capacities of public organizations and the networks of actors that promote them. In addition, during the second year, and according to the thematic and professional interests and concerns of each participant, the Master's Final Project must be carried out, an essential exercise to personalize and deepen the contents of the Master’s course.
During the first and second year of the Master's, the subjects related to public policies of a sectoral and transversal type are also developed. These subjects, unlike the previous ones (which are taken exclusively by the students of one course), combine the students of two courses to provide new dynamics of learning and interrelation. The focus, diversity, and deepening of these sectoral and transversal contents represent one of the most characteristically distinctive features on the Master’s and that have led it to be recognized nationally and internationally.
The Master's curriculum is structured in four areas and is deployed in the following subjects.
BSM Inside is a transversal and interdisciplinary module, common to all master's and postgraduate degrees at UPF Barcelona School of Management, which has been conceived to work on a set of key competencies for professional development in conjunction with the real needs of today's organizations.
This module extends throughout the academic year and is made up of 3 areas of knowledge that constitute the identity traits of the UPF-BSM: Communication; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and Planetary Well-being and Humanities.
All the subjects of the BSM Inside module are 100% online and have been designed as self-learning subjects: from the first day of the subject until the end of the term you will have all the teaching materials available on the eCampus and you can work with the material and the different activities that it contains at your own pace, according to your availability and in a self-organized way.
Organization and scheduling of classes
On the Master’s you will share a classroom with national and international students with whom you will learn to understand and analyse, to design and offer solutions, to implement and evaluate public and social policies to improve the well-being, quality of life, and health of the population (either at a local, national, or international level).
This is all done with the perspective of expanding and developing social, employment, environmental, and economic rights, and increasing fairness. During your first year, you will be able to share a classroom with the 20–25 participants who begin their studies during that course in subjects aimed at obtaining a solid basis for the analysis and research of public and social policies. Likewise, within that same course, you will be able to share other subjects with the participants who started the Master’s in the previous year in topics related to sectoral and transversal public policies. In the following year you will share the classroom with the participants who advanced with you in subjects related to institutional capacities. In addition, during that same course you will also share public policy subjects of a sectoral and transversal type with the participants of the next course who have begun their studies during that year. This educational design is possible thanks to the fact that the subjects linked to the sectoral and transversal public policies of the programme follow independent itineraries that do not respond to a gradation in terms of complexity, but to the desire to generate educational synergies and new learning dynamics.
In general, classes are taught in concentrated sessions for two weeks a month in Barcelona (usually the second and third week, as long as weekday holidays allow it), although there may be exceptions to this timetable which will be communicated beforehand in good time. The timetable is from Monday to Friday, between 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm. This structure is designed to facilitate, as much as possible, the combination of students' academic life with professional and family life.
Once students have completed the course they will obtain the Máster Universitario en Políticas Públicas y Sociales official Master's Degree, issued by the Pompeu Fabra University.
Issuance of official Master's Degrees: The amount stipulated in the DOGC (Official Gazette of the Government of Catalonia) must be paid for the rights to issue the degree. This rate varies annually and the rate in force at the time of application for the degree will be applied.
The Master in Public and Social Policies has teachers from different areas of national and international public policies.
Lecturer in Public and Occupational Health at Pompeu Fabra University.
Associate Professor UPF
Full Professor UPF
Associate Professor UPF
Associate Professor UPF
- Manuel Aguilar Hendrickson
Lecturer at the Department of Social Work and Social Services at the University of Barcelona.
- Marc Àmbit
Consultant at the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency.
Lecturer in Project Management at Pompeu Fabra University, Toulouse Business School, and CETT.
- Bentley Allan
Assistant lecturer in Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.
- Javier Arregui
Lecturer in Political Science at Pompeu Fabra University.
He was also a research fellow at the Inter-University Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands).
- Lucía Artazcoz
Director of the Community Services Institute, Barcelona Public Health Agency.
Adjunct Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University. Director of the Online Biomedical Research Centre (CIBER) for Epidemiology and Public Health's Transversal Program on Inequalities.
- Joan Benach
Director of the Health Inequalities Research Group and the Employment Conditions Network (GREDS-EMCONET).
Lecturer in Public and Occupational Health at Pompeu Fabra University.
- Xavier Bonal Sarro
Director of the research group Globalization, Education and Social Policies (GEPS) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
- Carme Borrell
Director of Barcelona Public Health Agency
PhD in Public Health, specialist in preventive medicine and public health and in family and community health
Associate Professor at Pompeu Fabra University
Also, she is Head Researcher of the EU-funded SOPHIE project and former Director of Spanish magazine Gaceta Sanitaria from 2010 to 2016.
- Nuria Bosch
Fiscal Policy Researcher at the Barcelona Institute of Economics.
Professor in Applied Economics at the University of Barcelona.
- Alex Costa
Department of analysis of the municipal data office of the city council of Barcelona.
PdD in Economics from University of Barcelona.
General Director of Statistic Planning at INE and Deputy Director of Economics Statistic Idescat.
- José M. Freire
Head of the Department of International Health at the National Health School / Carlos III Institute of Health.
He was also the President of the European Management Association (EHMA).
- Joan Carles Gallego Herrera
Ex-secretary of the CCOO de Catalunya trade union.
- Eduardo Garzón
Doctor in Economics and Business.
Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid and at the JHU-UPF Public Policy Centre.
- Ricard Gomà
Spokesperson for ICV-EUiA (a coalition between the Green Party and the United Alternative Left Party) on the Barcelona City Council.
Lecturer in Political Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
He was also the Second Deputy of the Mayor of Barcelona.
- Maria Jose Gonzalez Lopez
Researcher at the Gender Studies Centre at UPF.
Adjunct lecturer at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at UPF.
- Joan Guix
Director of the Camp de Tarragona Regional Service of the Agency for Health Protection of the Government of Catalonia.
Adjunct lecturer at Rovira i Virgili University (Tarragona).
- Mateu Hernandez
General Manager of Economic Development on the Barcelona City Council.
He is also the General Director of Barcelona Global. Member of the International Advisory Board for the Fourth Strategic Plan for New York.
- Adolfo Jimenez Fernandez
Economist, member of the European Institute of Social Security.
He was also the General Secretary of the Ibero-American Social Security Organization and the Spanish Social Security.
- Daniel Montolio Estivill
Member of the Barcelona Economics Institute.
Associate lecturer at the Department of Public Economy, Political Economy and the Spanish Economy.
- Carme Montserrat
Professor at the Faculty of Education and Psychology of the UdG.
Principal Researcher for Liberi, Research Group in Childhood, Youth, and Community.
- Josep Muñoz
Head of the Provincial Council of Barcelona's Social Welfare Service.
- Francesc Pedró
Senior Analyst at the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University.
He is also Head of the Department of Evaluation of Sectoral and Technological Policies at UNESCO.
- Maravillas Rojo
Director of the Government of Catalonia's Social Entrepreneurship Program.
She was also General Secretary of the Ministry of Work and Immigration.
- Toni Rodon
European Doctor in Political Science and Assistant Professor at UPF.
- Albert Sales Campos
Adviser to the Social Rights Office at Barcelona City Council.
Adjunct lecturer at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at UPF.Member of the research group Criminology and the Penal System at UPF.
- Sebastià Sarasa
Member of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Federation of Sociology.
Lecturer in Sociology at Pompeu Fabra University.
- Mary Sheehan
Adjunct lecturer at the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University (USA).
- Pere Soler Masó
General Coordinator of the Inter-University Master in Youth and Society.
Lecturer in Youth Policies at the University of Girona.
- Joan Subirats
Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Administration at the UAB.
- Juan M. Pericàs
Doctor of Medicine specializing in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, and Public Health.
Associate researcher in the GREDS group at UPF.
Vice-Coordinator of the IMI2 EU-PEARL project at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital and Research Institute.
- Juan Torres López
Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Seville.
He was also the Secretary General of Universities and Research for the Andalusian Government.
- Ricard Zapata Barrero
Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITim) at UPF.
Lecturer at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at UPF.
- Ben Zipperer
Senior researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (USA).
Economist and researcher at the Economic Policy Institute in the USA.
The master combines both theoretical and applied content, with the aim that the student not only learns examples of practical application of public and social policies, but also understands the framework and the theoretical reasons that justify one decision instead of another.
The program facilitates active participation in training, stimulating the adaptation of the program to individual needs.
All the knowledge provided to the students aims to develop and consolidate their abilities to analyse public policies in order to detect any points of improvement that they may have, according to a theoretical perspective and also compared with respect to different political, institutional, social, and economic contexts.
During the course of the classes, and according to the nature of each subject, the teachers provide the students with case studies that allow them to observe the translation of the analysed theoretical framework to specific public policies.
Tutoring and monitoring
Throughout the program, the academic management team will monitor the student to offer support and ensure their correct progress, in addition to what the teachers may do in each of their subjects.
At a general level, the evaluation of students in each subject is carried out through exams, presentations or research work (the latter, individually or in groups). The evaluation system of each one of them is regulated by the academic report of the master and takes into account the work or final exam, the activities that have been developed in the classroom and the participation of the students in said activities and in the debates that may take place.
The teacher can choose whether to offer students a final project and/or an exam as the main evaluation method. The choice is reflected in the program for each subject that students have available on the eCampus.
Project-oriented learning and the combination of lectures and active methodologies such as case studies, flipped learning, solving real problems and professional simulations allow the student to connect theory and practice, acquire advanced skills and achieve learning which is transferable to work.
You will have:
- Master's or postgraduate work to learn by doing
- A personal mentor to monitor your Master's Final Project (TFM) or Postgraduate Final Project (TFP)
- Digital resources to achieve transversal skills
- Interdisciplinary activities and workshops
On the master you will share a classroom with national and international students and you will learn to design, implement, and evaluate public and social policies to improve the well-being and quality of life of the population (whether at a local, national, or international level). With a perspective of expansion and development of social, labour, and economic rights. Upon your incorporation, you will share a classroom with the 20–25 students who start their studies during that year, as well as with those who started the master's degree in the previous year. The following year, you will share the classroom with the students of your class and with those who start their studies during that year. This is possible thanks to the fact that the subjects of the program follow independent itineraries that do not respond to any gradation in terms of their complexity.
The master has two differentiated student profiles, the international profile, mainly from Latin America, and the local profile.
International students have experience in the public administration of their respective countries and want to learn in depth all the public and social policies that a welfare state should have and get to know the tools to be able to implement them in their countries.
Local students have experience in public administration, in entities, NGOs, and international institutions and their main objective is to innovate in public policies that are currently applied in the country and get to know the tools to be able to implement them. Some local students also join the master's degree after finishing their undergraduate studies in order to specialize in the field of public and social policy before starting their professional career.
Previous studies in Law and Political Science
Previous studies in Business Administration and Economics
Previous studies in Sociology
This master trains versatile professionals capable of designing, managing, administering, planning, and evaluating public policies to improve the quality of life and the social well-being of the population.
These professionals will act through:
- Agencies and institutions of the welfare state.
- Social, public, and private authorities and those observing of public and social policies.
- Manager. In the case of the public sphere, from this level of responsibility, the professional is in charge of making decisions as to which policies are implemented in the social and welfare area, in accordance with technical and political criteria. From the private sphere (consulting and third sector entities), the professional with these responsibilities leads the recommendations made to public powers to improve their policies in these areas.
- Intermediate position. From this level of responsibility, the professional is in charge of designing and supporting the creation, implementation, and evaluation of public and social policies that have been chosen by political and technical management.
- Technician. From this level of responsibility, the professional is in charge of developing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the public and social policies that have been chosen by political and technical leadership, and under the guidance of the intermediate positions. This technical responsibility can also be developed in a more academic environment, with the study and critical analysis of policies already implemented by the spheres of power.
Admission and enrolment
Our admission process consists of a rigorous evaluation of each application to preserve the quality of the group as well as the training, experience, and work capacity of all students.
Who can apply?
University degree in the field of Political Science, Health Science, Labour Science, Law, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, History, or other social sciences.
Students whose native language is not Spanish, or have not followed previous official studies in this language, must have at least a B2 level certification (Common European Framework of Reference), as well as pass, fluently, a personal interview with the Academic Board in cases where this is required.
Proof of English language level B1 is desirable. The programme is taught in Spanish, with some subjects in English.
Specific selection procedure for the Master in Public and Social Policies:
- The suitability of candidates' profiles will be based on a written presentation of a maximum of two pages, in which the candidate explains their suitability for the Master programme and their professional objectives.
- Participants on the Master in Public and Social Policies will ideally have a university degree in the fields of Political Science, Health Science, Labour Science, Law, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, History, or other social sciences.
- In addition, both national and international experience would be considered favourable (experience in government and private institutions, including NGOs, international bodies and their local agencies).
- As set out in Article 6 of Royal Decree 861/2010 of 2 July on Credit Recognition and Transfer, the above mentioned professional and work experience will be recognised in the form of credits that will count towards obtaining the final certificate, as long as said professional experience is related to the key competencies dealt with in the programme.
- A personal interview with the candidate or consideration of their CV.
How to apply?
To apply for admission to this program, students must read and accept the Terms and Conditions of Contract once they start the application for admission through its form.
Application for admission
Complete your application within the next admission rounds:
|Round||Application deadline||Admission resolution|
Applications for admission will be evaluated when you complete the following steps:
- Complete the online admission form.
- Pay the €120 admission fee. This amount will be returned if you are not admitted.
- Send the following documents through the online platform e-registrar:
- Presentation letter or video
- Scanned copy of university degree (if you are in the last year of your degree, you can provide your academic records)
- Scanned copy of Transcript of Records. Make sure that it includes your GPA (Grade Point Average)
- Scanned copy of ID Card or Passport
- Passport-size photo (jpg format)
Additional documents may be requested in certain cases.
Applications are subject to the number of places available on the program.
- The Admissions Committee will select the candidates on the basis of a personal or CV-based interview.
- You will be notified of the admission decision in writing.
- Resgistration must be paid within a 15 days after the admission.
- Once the letter of acceptance to the program has been received, you will need to submit the following original documents before the course begins:
- Stamped and/or authenticated photocopy of your university degree.
- Stamped and/or authenticated photocopy of your transcript of records.
- If you have a foreign degree you may need to submit additional documents.
- Paying the reservation fee (25% of the program's tuition fees) is essential in order to reserve your place
- If you pay the tuition fees by bank transfer you will be required to introduce the program code. The program code for this course is 1505.
- The remaining tuition fees must be paid 2 weeks before the start of the course.
Master in Public and Social Policies