Master - Policy stream: Social Policy and Social Innovation

general objective of the social policy and social innovation stream

In this policy stream, students are engaged in the study of today's most significant societal challenges, 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 acquire multidisciplinary knowledge required in analyzing and designing social policy through core courses that take into account the diversity of actors involved in policy making and the innovative social processes underlying contemporary societal change. They will also learn the main practical skills to manage 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.


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.


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

  • Global Inequality and Sustainability: that will equip them with the necessary conceptual, analytical and empirical knowledge on global economic inequality and on its interactions with environmental sustainability.
  • Comparative Welfare States and their Reforms and Futures: that will explain and discuss several methodological debates via a cross-national comparison of welfare systems.
  • Social Innovation: 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 choosing to focus either on the role of private sector partnerships for social responsibility or the public sector’s involvement in policy making and sustainable development.

Students will also have the choice to focus on a thematic orientation related to education policy, migration, gender or inequality; or to take on a research or professional perspective through courses led by researchers and practitioners. Students will further develop practical skills and a collaborative culture, by working on case studies as part of the policy lab, or by choosing to apply to the public policy incubator. They will have access to programs that hone their entrepreneurial skills with the Sustainable Development Goals Certificate, or by participating in international conferences with the Global Public Policy Network. Students can also choose to participate in a joint summer school with Harvard and the City Hall of Paris on sustainable development challenges.

Within this interdisciplinary context, core courses include:

  • Comparative Welfare States and their Reforms and Futures 
  • Global Inequality & Sustainability 
  • Social Innovation 
  • Reinventing business to contribute to the development agenda: a practical view 
  • Sustainable Development: Narratives, Policy Making, Practice 
  • Education Policy 
  • Equal Opportunity & Anti-discrimination Policy 
  • Gender, LGBT & Social Policy
  • Migration & Inequality


Master in Public Policy - Social Policy and Social Innovation stream:

Master in European Affairs - Social Policy and Social Innovation stream:

Scientific Advisors of the social Policy and social innovation stream

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 Supérieure. He is studying welfare reforms in Europe. He is a member of LIEPP (Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation 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.


Academic advisor: Jennie Cottle

Academic assistant: Claire Delaunay

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