The world’s first undergraduate degree in social change launched by university and charities

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This story has been clarified, please see the last paragraph for more details.

The world’s first undergraduate degree in social change was launched by Queen Mary University in London.

The diploma course, which welcomed its first 13 students this week, will allow students to carry out apprenticeships with several partner associations and has been specially designed for the associative and social sectors.

The four-year course also aims to address the lack of diversity in the upper echelons of the charitable sector and the dearth of intern and graduate development programs in the sector.

The course had 500 applicants, the university said, with 10 of the 13 successful applicants coming from a black, Asian or minority ethnicity and six being women.

Course partner charities include the Alzheimer Society, Action for Children, WaterAid, Mind, the National Council of Volunteer Organizations, the Samaritans, the Prince’s Trust, the YGAM gaming charity, the arts charity and the science RSA and the Boy Scouts, of which CEO Matt Hyde was closely involved in the design of the program.

Students will split their time between college studies and employment with partner charities, and earn a competitive salary and zero student debt.

The charities have also co-designed the course program with the university and the participating charities will be able to contribute to case studies and master classes.

Philippa Lloyd, Deputy Director of Queen Mary University, said: “You have generations growing up now, the Greta Thunbergs of this world, who want to take action to make the world a better place. They also want to have a social impact like an economic impact.

“I think diversity is really important and it’s important to bring it into senior management, not just charities.”

The title of this article has been clarified to indicate that the QMUL program is the first undergraduate degree in social change, not the first degree, as previously stated.


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