Master in Public and Social Policies

Program curriculum and final degree

Program Curriculum

The Master in Public and Social Policy combines theoretical and practical elements in analysing the following content:

These subjects combine theoretical and practical elements to analyze the following contents:

Taught modules: Basic theoretical concepts

  • Social, political and economic structure: international, European, state and regional level.
  • Social and public policies in OECD countries.
  • Design, implementation and evaluation of public and social policies.
  • Democracy, citizenship and political participation.
  • Challenges of public and social policy in the 21st Century.

Basic methodology

  • Research Techniques for Public and Social Policy.
  • Quantitative Techniques for Public and Social Policy.
  • Qualitative techniques of analysis and evaluation of public and social policies.
  • Sources of statistical information (national and international).
  • Project Planning.

Applied knowledge

  • Management of public administration.
  • Public finance: public budgets, public procurement and accounting.
  • Law and legal sociology.
  • Applied economics.

Specialized knowledge

Social security policies

  • Pensions and other social transfers.
  • Unemployment insurance.
  • Pensions for widowhood and permanent disability.
  • Social security in Europe and America.

Active employment policy and labor market 

  • Consequences of economic globalization.
  • Social impact of the economic policies and of the employment policies.
  • Changes in world production and its impact on employment policies.
  • Work policies: evolution, direct salary, indirect salary and social salary.
  • Analysis of active employment and labor market policies.

Policies concerning the environment and social space

  • The Impacts of climate change.
  • Quality of the workplace, unemployment, social welfare and occupational health.
  • Environment: the relation between physical and social space.
  • The city and the impact of globalization on its quality of life.
  • Housing policies.
  • Prevention policy and public security.

Healthcare and public health policies

  • Social, economic and political determinants of the quality of life and health of the populations.
  • Health Reforms in Spain, Europe, OECD Countries and developing countries.
  • Public health policies in Spain, Europe, the OECD countries and developing countries.
  • Environmental and occupational health.
  • Attention to vulnerable populations (children, adolescence and the elderly).

Education Policies

  • Education policies in Spain, in Europe and in OECD Countries.
  • Primary, secondary and university education.
  • Theories of human capital.

Policies to promote women and family services

  • Economic, social and political dimensions of discrimination against women
  • Corrective policies for discrimination against women: a comparative analysis.
  • Family assistance policies.
  • Economic reproduction.
  • Policies for children and youth.

Policies concerning care for senior citizens and dependence

  • European Policies of Social and Community Services.
  • Social services for senior citizens and dependence.
  • Health services for senior citizens and dependence.
  • Quality of life for senior citizens.

Policies for preventing social exclusion

  • Poverty and marginalization.
  • Immigration.
  • Policies for correcting social inequality: comparative international analysis.

Social and community services policies

  • Volunteering and non-profit organizations and social welfare.
  • European policies on social and community services.

Social impact of economic policies

  • The social dimension of European integration.
  • Macroeconomic policies and their social impact.
  • Social impact of economic and/or political integration processes.

These areas will be covered non-sequentially and will appear in different subjects.

Academic Practical exercises and internships

This master encourages active student participation in the education process. For this reason an internship is a compulsory part of the course. This internship can be in an organ of public administration (at a local, autonomous or state level), a private institution or a non-governmental organisation, under the direction and supervision of a tutor in the host centre and the coordinator of the master.

Students who have done an internship previously can substitute this part of the course with a theoretical assignment under the supervision of a tutor.

Final report

Once the taught component of the master and the internship are completed, the student will produce a final report analysing a social problem of his or her choosing and proposals for its solution.

Complimentary seminars (optional)

Complimentary seminars on different aspects of public policy and the welfare state will be offered throughout the academic year. These are designed to supplement the compulsory classes. They are short courses, lasting from 3 to 9 hours, and will be optional and not-assessed.

To see the syllabus of the master click here (spanish).


* The information contained herein may be subject to changes.

Final Degree

Upon successfully completing the program, students will receive a Master's Degree in Public and Social Policy, awarded by Pompeu Fabra University. Students will receive a certificate issued by the collaborating institutions; Johns Hopkins University and UPF Barcelona School of Management.

favourable accreditation