Public Policy MSc
This MSc aims to educate a new generation of public policy-makers and policy analysts, familiarising them with the necessary concepts, theories, methods and principles involved in the formulation and analysis of public policy. The programme draws on many disciplines, including political science, economics, law, public management and public health.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £9,550
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,750
- Overseas Full-time: £16,750
- Overseas Part-time: £8,500
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students develop a working knowledge of particular aspects of political science theory relevant to understanding how public policies are formulated. They gain a basic understanding of economic approaches to public policy analysis and of the concepts of economic efficiency and equity as societal objectives.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field. Britain's only department focused exclusively on graduate teaching and research, it offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of public policy.
The interdisciplinary aspect of this programme provides participants with the opportunity to address some of the key issues of contemporary governance after two decades of public sector reform.
Through the involvement of the Medical School, UCL is uniquely well placed to draw together theory and practice in the field of public policy in health, where perhaps the most far-reaching of all public sector reforms has taken place.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
All MSc students undertake an individual research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and case studies, and is taught by scholars that have carried out theoretical and empirical research in the field. Students will be assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays, course work and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
Scholarships available for this department
Selection based solely on financial need.
For a prospective UK Master's student from under-represented background enrolling on a participating programme . Selection based solely on financial need.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, a 3.3 GPA or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Advanced
How to apply
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for graduates who wish to develop the skills necessary for a career in public policy, or for further academic research in the field. Applicants should ideally have a background in economics, European issues, international relations, law, philosophy, politics, political science or sociology.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Public Policy at graduate level
- why you want to study Public Policy at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging and truly international academic environment
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Graduates go on to a range of destinations both nationally and internationally including:
- Civil servants in departments in central or local government in the UK and overseas
- Policy officers and researchers for UK members of parliament and Members of the European Parliament
- The European Commission
- Other public and private sector organisations in a range of sectors, for example, Universities UK, Transport for London, The Legal Services Commission, Accenture, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Overseas Development Institute, United Nations Development Programme, Deloitte and Touche
- Further research study at UCL or elsewhere
Top career destinations for this programme
- Icelandic Red Cross, Project Manager, 2010
- Department of Energy and Climate Change, Policy Advisor, 2010
- Work Research Foundation of the State of New York, Senior Programme Officer, 2010
- Department of Transport, Commercial Adviser, 2011
- King's College London, Research Assistant, 2011
- Labour Party, Campaign Organiser, 2011
The training that students receive in policy analysis, research methods, political science, economics and other disciplines equips them to work in a range of different organisations engaged in policy making and policy analysis. Additionally, the emphasis on independent research, through the dissertation, enables students to think critically about policy problems and devise innovative solutions to such problems. Our students have found employment in government, think-tanks, NGOs and consultancies, in organisations such as Accenture, the COnfederation of British industry, Civil Service Faststream, the Institute of Government, the Institute of Public POlicy Research, KPMG, OECD, the UK National Audit Office, and Serco Group, among other places.
T: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950
Register your interest
Keep up to date with news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts. Register your interest
Make an application
"I was able to develop my research interests into a more focussed package, which then helped me enormously when drafting my PhD research proposals."
PhD Candidate, UCL School of Public Policy, 2011
"I chose to apply for graduate study at UCL because the programme was extremely attractive, the supervisors that I was going to work with were great, and because the environment at my department fosters healthy competition and self-development."