Resource website of social and solidarity economy

Bath, United Kingdom - University of Bath – Masters in Wellbeing and Public Policy and International Development at the University of Bath, with the Post-Graduate Certificate stage available by distance-learning.


Wellbeing has caught the attention of policy makers and practitioners because of its potential to provide new perspectives on what matters and new ways to assess policy outcomes and their impact in people’s lives.

Our MSc in Wellbeing in Public Policy and International Development provides a unique opportunity to develop the skills and understanding to engage with this, offering multidisciplinary approaches to the theory, analysis and assessment of wellbeing in public policy, development practice, social research and social action.

Spanning the global divide between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries, the MSc will appeal to students and professionals wishing to build careers which make a difference in the public, NGO or private sectors.

Located in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, the programme builds on a high profile programme of ongoing research into wellbeing in developing countries and an expanding programme in policy research. It draws, in addition, on established expertise in international development, governance, social movements, and policy analysis. This gives a distinctive emphasis on social, cultural and political dimensions of wellbeing.

Core units in concepts, analysis, ethics and the assessment of wellbeing are complemented by a wide-range of options in international development, policy analysis, governance, politics, and environmental sustainability.

By studying this programme you will:

  • gain a systematic understanding of the different theories and concepts underlying the use of wellbeing in public policy, development practice and social action

  • appreciate how different political, economic, social and cultural contexts affect how wellbeing is understood

  • be able to analyse critically how different approaches to wellbeing are applied in public policy and development practice, and the political implications of this

  • read and understand the use of different indicators and measures of wellbeing in policy and the implications of these for public action and people’s lives

  • become familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of different methods of assessing wellbeing, and be able to apply some of these in practice

  • provide the knowledge of theories necessary for ethical reflection and practice in public policy and international development

  • evaluate how wellbeing policies are shaped through the interaction between different actors (such as policy-makers, businesses, lobby groups, social movements, non-governmental organisations, international agencies and their clients) in a multiplicity of local and global arenas

  • analyse the connections and tensions between wellbeing at the individual and collective level

  • foster reflexive practice, and provide skills and knowledge that can be used for innovative thinking and creative action to advance human wellbeing and sustainable development.

Programme structure

Core Units

  • Foundations of international development

  • Wellbeing: concepts, measurement and policy

  • Ethics and public policy

  • Wellbeing assessment in public policy and development practice

  • Research and professional skills

Optional units

  • Advanced Policy Analysis

  • The Politics of Policy

  • Comparative European Social Policy

  • Economics for international development

  • Sociology & social anthropology of development

  • Natural resources and sustainability

  • Critical issues in social development

  • Policy Evaluation: Methods and Techniques

  • Welfare Regimes and Social Policy

  • Management of development

  • World politics: conflict, security & development

  • Political economy of globalisation

  • Governing Contemporary Societies

  • Regional Research Specialism (Latin America, Africa or South East Asia)

  • Politics of Sustainability

You can also study other units offered by the Department of Social & Policy Sciences or other departments subject to Director of Studies approval.

View Programme & Unit Catalogue for further information.

Some of these units can be taken by distance-learning towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development.


Dr Severine Deneulin