MSc Human Society (with specialism)

This innovative and dynamic MSc Human Society (with specialism) offers you the opportunity to develop key employability skills and grow your expertise in Early Childhood Studies, Community Development and Youth Studies or Social Care, Health and Wellbeing. Combining focused study in your chosen specialism with essential training to develop the high-level transferable skills demanded by employers, this course allows you to become the master of your own career development.

Key information



Mode of Study:



12 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

Helping you to help others
If you’re seeking to accelerate your career in an area where you can make a real difference to people’s lives, the University of Bolton's MSc Human Society (with specialism) should be of interest to you. This course offers you professionally-relevant training for practice in your specialist area (chosen from Early Childhood studies, Community Development and Youth Studies or Social Care, Health and Wellbeing), coupled with essential skills development for business and leadership that will take your CV to the next level.

An ideal course for graduates and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds
Whether you’re a recent graduate or a professional seeking a change of direction or to increase your credibility in practice, this course offers you the opportunity to study cultures, communities and society in readiness for a career working to improve the lives of vulnerable people, children, families and young people in the community. Our expert team will support you to develop postgraduate-level expertise ready for professional practice in the human services, along with the high-level transferable skills and self-belief you need for leadership roles, teaching or further research. This master’s degree should appeal to (but isn’t limited to) graduates and professionals in areas such as Community Development and Youth Studies; Crime and Criminal Justice; Early Years and Childhood Studies; Education; Law; Nursing; Psychology; Social Care, Health and Wellbeing; Social Work; and Sports Development.

Study a master’s that matters
This course takes a holistic view of social justice, equality and inequality in society so that you can develop a broad appreciation of the interconnected nature and need for multi-disciplinary work in the human services. Armed with this overview, we’ll support you to explore your chosen specialist area in greater depth, preparing you for professional practice in this field. You can specialise in Early Childhood Studies, Community Development and Youth Studies or Social Care, Health and Wellbeing and you do not need to have worked or studied specifically in these areas before. To support your leadership aspirations, we’ll also use tried-and-tested coaching techniques to help you master skills such as problem-solving, collaboration and team working, using your initiative and decision-making.

Experts in the field
Our multi-disciplinary team of experienced academics and practitioners are able to help you forge the necessary links between theory and practice. We’ll support you to develop your knowledge and understanding of human society, focusing on your chosen specialist area. You’ll explore the forms of diversity and challenges to professional practice in the human services. You’ll also learn about the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups in society and how this is related to policy and the professional landscape. Your studies will culminate in your Professional Dissertation, an independent and substantial piece of research that will further your knowledge and practice. This will demonstrate your mastery of an aspect of your field, showcasing your expert knowledge to employers.

Ensuring your learning is contemporary, relevant and industry-informed
We have a well-established network of employers and organisations within our local community that gives us essential insights into the needs of organisations and the individuals they support. We also have significant links with national networks in each specialist area. Our partners span the human services sector and provide up-to-date experience and expertise in practice and policy so you can rest assured that your learning will be contemporary, relevant and industry-informed.

Reach your potential
Our passionate team want to help you make a real difference in society and enjoy a rewarding career. As well as building your knowledge of human society and professional practice, we’ll support you to identify and develop the personal and business skills that are most highly valued in the human services sector. Not only will this help you get established early on in your career, but you’ll also be primed to take on leadership roles. You’ll have the lifelong learning, problem-solving and decision-making skills needed to adapt to the challenges you face throughout your career.

Would you prefer to complete your course over a longer time? We also offer this course with a duration of 18 months full-time or 24 months part-time. For full-time study, please visit our MSc Human Society (with specialism): Extended course search web page for details and to apply. Alternatively, for part-time study, please visit our MSc Human Society (with specialism) course search web page.

  • Dr Selva Pankaj, the author of ‘Thinking into Character – A Proven Methodology for the Creation of Success & Self-Fulfilment’, is a valued partner of the University whose work will support you in the development of business and career planning, confidence and knowledge.
  • When you successfully complete the master's, your degree title will be chosen to reflect the focus of your studies. Degree titles include MSc Human Society (Social Care, Health and Wellbeing), MSc Human Society (Community Development and Youth Studies) and MSc Human Society (Early Years and Childhood Studies).
  • The University of Bolton’s strong and growing links with human services organisations and employers across the North West offers excellent opportunities for coaching, networking and joint projects with experienced professional practitioners.
  • This MSc is part of the University of Bolton’s ‘Career Development Masters’ suite, offering shared modules that give you a wider business perspective. Inspired by the graduate training programmes of major companies, these modules will help you develop high-level employability and transferable skills and apply them to your chosen specialism.
Key Features
  • Teaching and supervision are delivered by dedicated staff chosen for their expertise and experience in fields relevant to your professional practice and professional development needs.
  • We offer an engaging programme of visiting speakers and practitioners so you can enjoy masterclasses with industry professionals, gaining insights into contemporary issues, developments and practice in the human services field.
  • We'll offer you opportunities for interdisciplinary work and collaboration that will help to develop your understanding of the interconnections between policy and practice.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • You should have at least a lower second class (2.2) honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject or five years’ relevant work experience. Some optional modules may require you to demonstrate appropriate pre-requisite knowledge. To determine if you possess the relevant pre-requisite knowledge for your chosen modules, you’ll need to submit a claim for recognition of prior (experiential) learning. If you hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject you may provide a transcript or other documentation that details your prior study. Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate your professional experience via a portfolio of attested work. Please contact the programme leader to discuss your options.
  • If you wish to gain admission on the basis of five years’ relevant work experience, you’ll be required to attend an online or face-to-face interview and present evidence in the form of a portfolio of work and examples that demonstrate your suitability and aptitude for the course. The evidence should be presented in electronic format and attested by an independent person. The independent person could be a current or former lecturer or an employer who has a more senior role than yourself. The University is looking for candidates who can demonstrate a clear style and commitment to their professional practice and who will benefit from experiencing this area of study.
  • Some modules may require you to satisfactorily complete Fitness to Practice assessments or get an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You don’t need to complete these before starting the course, but if you’re unable to meet these requirements you may be limited in your module choices.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

The MSc Human Society (with specialism) offers named postgraduate routes for practice‐based areas including Early Childhood Studies, Community Development and Youth Studies, and Social Care, Health and Wellbeing. It can also act as a bridge, where appropriate, into an area of professional practice if your undergraduate degree was in another subject area. Additionally, it’s an excellent option if you’ve been working in a relevant field gaining degree-level knowledge through experience and self-study rather than formal education. This master’s aims to expand the knowledge and expertise you’ve gained through your undergraduate or professional work and pave the way for you to achieve your ambitions.

Throughout the programme, we’ll use tried and tested, research-informed coaching and training methods to support your development of essential academic, professional and transferable skills. These will range from postgraduate-level skills in research, critique, problem-solving and synthesis to interpersonal and professional practice related skills such as innovative thinking, team working and project management, the effective use of technology, public speaking, self-presentation and professionalism. Our aim is to ensure you’re ready to impress potential employers, secure the job you desire, and start making a difference to individuals, families and communities immediately upon graduation. By the end of the course, you should have the skills to take charge of your personal and professional development and be able to reflect on your progress as you work towards your goals.

What can I do with this qualification?

Our MSc Human Society (with specialism) focuses on preparing you to become a future leader in the human services sector. After graduation, a wide range of career opportunities will be available to you and will vary depending on your prior qualifications and experience, and on whether you choose to specialise in Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Early Childhood Studies, or Community Development and Youth Studies. By taking this opportunity to develop your professional practice along with clear plans as to how you will use your skills and knowledge, you can accelerate your career in your chosen area. Completing this course will extend your skills and increase your self-confidence, as well as provide a sound basis for doctoral-level study.

If you specialise in Early Childhood Studies, you’ll be well qualified for progression to a managerial or senior leadership role in the sector. You could pursue a career working in early years or with children and young people, such as youth justice, child and family intervention and support, policy development and education, youth work or child psychology.

Choosing the MSc Human Society (Community Development and Youth Studies) offers different opportunities. You could work in management or senior-level positions in a wide range of settings such as schools and colleges, youth and community centres, local government, housing associations, substance and alcohol misuse support organisations, youth offending teams, community-based groups, as well as residential settings such as care homes.

Finally, specialising in Social Care, Health and Wellbeing opens up opportunities to work in a wide range of statutory, voluntary and independent settings, including local authority or multi-agency teams, health promotion projects, refugee and asylum services, hospitals, sheltered accommodation, hospices and day centres and residential care units. As a graduate, you’ll be well prepared to seek leadership roles in these areas as well as in commissioning and care management services.

On successfully completing the course, you’ll be invited to continue your education via the MPhil and PhD degrees that are available at the University of Bolton.

Alternative career options

Depending on your chosen specialism, after graduation you can also use this qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Leadership and management
  • Public administration
  • Mentoring
  • Social enterprise
  • Health promotion
  • Behaviour management
  • Policy management
  • Learning support, education and teaching
  • Advising and consultancy
  • Family support
  • Probation and the prison service
  • Careers advice
  • Youth offending
  • Care home management
  • Health services management
  • Occupational therapy
  • Child protection

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £9,250 for the academic year 2023/24.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £13,550 for the academic year 2023/24.

Useful information

This course is one of our Career Development Master's - Game Changers degree programmes. Generous bursary schemes are being offered for these courses. Please see our Scholarship and Bursaries web pages.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

Thank you for your interest

In order to determine your suitability for this course as an international student and also to confirm you meet any initial eligibility criteria, we need you to answer a few short questions.


Our team of academic and professional staff will use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help you gain and develop appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills. You can expect practice-based enquiry, self-directed study, lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and work-based learning. Scheduled sessions will be held in the evening, allowing full-time and part-time students to study together and offering opportunities for those working in professional environments to present live case studies.

It’s important to realise that the time spent with a tutor during formally scheduled activities is only a small part of the learning time identified for a module. You’ll also be expected to spend a significant amount of time in guided independent study, such as general background reading, preparing for seminar activities and working on assignments. We are committed to supporting you throughout your learning journey. Over time, our guidance will purposefully become less structured and prescriptive. This will encourage you to develop confidence and independence in your studies and take responsibility for managing your own learning time as you increase in autonomy.

The assessment strategy for the programme is designed to help you achieve the overall aims of the curriculum, as well as the learning outcomes for individual modules. As well as assessing your achievement, it helps to organise and develop your learning. Assessment feedback can help you develop your skills and an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

The types of assessment you’ll be required to complete fall into two general categories: formative and summative. Formative assessments help in learning and developing knowledge and skills. Summative assessments, on which grades are allocated, reflect the quality of the learning that has been achieved. Formative assessment will take place via tutorial discussion, group workshops including peer and tutor review, and guidance on work in progress. Formative feedback will be provided face-to-face via discussion, online or in written form. Summative assessments consist of both practical and applied theoretical work. These will include a range of assessments including practical projects, written work, presentations and portfolios.

Your final master’s degree title will reflect your specialist areas of practice (please note that the final award title will be selected in agreement with the University within the parameters specified in programme documentation).


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Professional Dissertation
  • Business Literacy and Employment Skills
  • Solutions Driven Design and Practice
  • Diversity, Challenge and Future (Policy and Practice)
  • Integrated, Professional Practice
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Zubair Hanslot
Dr, Provost and Executive Lead for Postgraduate

+44 (0)1204 903045

Mohammed Abdel-Haq
Professor, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Development

Joanne Smith
Dr, Associate Teaching Professor, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing

+44 (0)1204 903784

Paula Connaughton
Academic Co-ordinator for Standards and Enhancement and the Learner Experience, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing

+44 (0)1204 903764

Bimpe Kuti
Academic Co-ordinator for Student Recruitment and Retention, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing

+44 (0)1204 903796

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

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Anderton centre2
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QQA Scheme Participant