Social Policy and Social Innovation

General objective

In this policy stream, students are engaged in the study of today's most significant societal challenges and welfare state transformations, at the intersection between welfare systems, demographic shifts, globalization dynamics and the increasing social equity concerns in education, employment, income, health and well-being. Students learn about the latest social policy theoretical and empirical research in interdisciplinary perspectives and gain an understanding of the mechanisms by which policy patterns and trends impact social change.

Students acquire expert knowledge and the methodological skills required in analyzing and monitoring social policy design through core courses that cover a wide range of social policy fields taking into account the diversity of actors involved in policy making and the innovative social processes underlying contemporary societal change. They will also learn to measure and analyze social policy impact on individuals and societies mobilizing a diversity of methods and research designs. They will learn the main concepts necessary to understand the political dynamics of social policy reforms.

This policy stream is particularly relevant to students who come to social policy because of their passion for social change and their commitment to reinventing public affairs.

Specific features

Our policy stream courses, dedicated to Social Policy and Social Innovation students, follow a carefully designed pedagogical program:

  • On the first semester, students take part in a Global Inequalities class that will equip them with the necessary conceptual, analytical and empirical knowledge on the global economic inequality and on its interactions with environmental sustainability to properly understand these issues and act upon them. Our Core Courses have also been adapted to our Social Policy and Social Innovation students: we offer them to take part in a Public Policy class oriented on the study of Welfare States and a Policy Analysis and Policy Evaluation class focusing on Social Policies.
  • On the second semester, students are required to take part in a Social Innovation class that will enable them to design entrepreneurial projects linked to social challenges. They will also have to look at Social Policies through the perspective of the major stakeholders in the field: Private Companies thanks to a Corporate Social Responsibility class, or Public Institutions thanks to a Social Innovation and Sustainability class.
  • Finally, on the third semester, this stream offers the opportunity for our students to specialize in several fields of Social Policy :
    • Professional orientation :
      • As researchers through a dedicated research class
      • Or as practitioners through the interaction with professionals
    • Thematic orientation:
      • Urban studies
      • Education policies
      • Labor policies
      • LGBTQI+ policies
      • Etc.

In addition to their core courses, students will have the opportunity to choose elective courses covering other policy areas such as Social Economy, Migrations, Ageing, etc.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this policy stream are well-positioned to pursue careers related to public service at the local, national and international levels in a diversity of fields such as education, employment, development and social protection. Graduates might consider a range of careers, including but not limited to, work in various international or non-profit organizations engaged in development, migration, global inequality, and for-profit organizations engaged in social policy and social change.


Master in Public Policy:

Master in European Affairs:

Scientific Advisors

Bruno Palier, expert in welfare reforms in France and in Europe, CNRS Research Director at Sciences Po, Centre d'études européennes.
Trained in social science, he has a PHD in Political science, and is a former student of Ecole Normale Superieure. He is studying welfare reforms in Europe. He is co-director of LIEPP (Laboratory for interdisciplinary Evaluaiton of Public Policies).

Mirna Safi, research fellow at Sciences Po, affiliated with the OSC since 2007 and a member of CREST-LSQ Laboratory. She is interested in immigration, ethnic and racial inequality, discrimination and segregation. Her current research focuses on the impact of immigration on ethnoracial stratification in the French society, anti-discrimination policies at the workplace, ethnic minority, residential mobility and locational choice. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.


For more information, please contact us.

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