Professional development course

Social Protection: A Primer (online)

Course details

From 30 June 2020 until 28 February 2022


To enrol, click on the link below and follow the instructions to create a Moodle account.

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Join our free online course to learn about the basics of social protection and its implementation around the world.

Effective social protection systems are vital to help those living in poverty to cope with crises and shocks, find employment, and live healthier and fulfilling lives.

Through this short online course, you’ll learn the basics of social protection – what it is and how it works. You’ll explore key concepts and definitions, regional differences and core issues in building social protection systems.

The course was developed by the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies with support from Irish Aid.

Course aims

This course will provide you with a foundational understanding of social protection and an opportunity to deepen your knowledge and reflect on your own practice.

Who should attend?

The course is suitable for policymakers, practitioners, researchers and project managers who have an interest in social protection or are working in social protection and who wish to build their knowledge of social protection and its implementation around the world.

This course is also advised as a pre-course for the online programme offered by the inter-agency initiative: TRANSFORM – Leadership and Transformation Curriculum on Building and Managing Social Protection Floors.

How you’ll learn

The course is delivered online and divided into a series of modules. In each module, you’ll learn through a mixture of video lectures, slides and quizzes. You’ll be given additional resources (such as readings and audio visual materials on third-party websites) to help you to deepen your learning further.

The course is self-directed and self-paced. This means that you can go through the course and its modules at your own pace, engage at a time that is convenient for you, and work through its content for as long as you like each time you log in. Completing the course is expected to take between four and six hours.

The modules in this course are sequenced so that they direct you on a logical journey through the basics of social protection. Modules include

  • Module 1: History, definitions and approaches
  • Module 2: Policy instruments
  • Module 3: Regional approaches
  • Module 4: Future of social protection

When you pass the final assessment, you will be awarded with a certificate of completion.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • understand the concepts and definitions of social protection
  • understand the remit of social protection policies and programmes
  • have insight into the differences of how social protection is being implemented across the world
  • reflect on the future of social protection.

Entry requirements

This course is open to all and is fully accessible to those with sight or hearing impairments.

The course is taught in English. To derive the maximum benefit from the course, your English needs to be of an intermediate standard or higher. Prior knowledge of social protection is not necessary.

Course fees

This course is free of charge.

How to apply

Before applying please read our short course IDS_Terms_&_Conditions (pdf) and IDS Code of Conduct (pdf).

How to enrol

To enrol, click on the link below and follow the instructions to create a Moodle account.

Key contacts

Image of Leah Plati
Leah Plati

Programme Officer (MA) Programme Manager (Short Courses)


+44 (0)1273 915832


Supported by
Irish Aid


About this professional development course

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection

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