The International Public Policy MSc at UCL provides students with a detailed and systematic understanding of how political institutions, processes and public policies operate in world affairs. The programme brings together the academic study of international relations with analysis of public policy formulation and governance beyond the nation-state.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £12,950 (FT) £6,415 (PT)
- £21,160 (FT) £10,740 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
As a minimum, an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university; a CGPA of 3.3; or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant practical or work experience in a related field may also be taken into account.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students are equipped with the theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for an in-depth understanding of policy-making within the general theories of international relations, political science, public policy and comparative politics. They develop analytical skills for the study of world politics and the assessment of issues currently facing international policymakers.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
- International Organisation: Theory and Practice (30)
- Public Policy Economics and Analysis (PPEA) (15)
- Introduction to Qualitative Methods: Researching Politics using Interviews, Observations and Fieldwork (15)
- or Introduction to Qualitative Methods: Researching Politics using Texts, Transcripts and Images (15)
- or Advanced Qualitative Methods (15)
- Introduction to Quantitative Methods A and Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)
Choose one of the following 15 credit modules:
Further modules can be chosen up to a value of 30 credits in total from a list available at our website: Political Science Department.
- Foreign Policy Analysis (15)
- Global Public Policy (15)
- International Political Economy (15)
- Theories of International Relations (15)
- Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Policy and Management (15)
- Terrorism (15)
- Making Policy Work (15)
- Policy-Making and Regulation in Europe (15)
- The European Union in the World (15)
- The European Union, Globalisation and the State (15)
- Agenda Setting and Public Policy (15)
- The Political Economy of Development (15)
- Governing Divided Societies (15)
- Globalisation (15)
- Rebellion (15)
- Global Ethics (15)
The above modules are suggestions only and this is by no means an exaustive list.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, and includes a policy simulation and a series of talks with leading practitioners and policymakers. Assessment is through a variety of methods, including unseen examination, long essays and the dissertation.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduate destinations both nationally and internationally include:
- 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 (for example through internships)
- Public and private sector organisations such as: 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 other universities in the UK or overseas
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Accredited Parliamentary Assistant, European Parliament
- Analyst, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Consultant, United Nations (UN)
- EU Energy and Climate Policy Assistant, Greenpeace
- International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce
Students are prepared for a number of potential careers ranging from additional academic work to employment in both the public and private sector. Previous students have secured employment in government agencies in the UK and abroad. A large number of students also find work in the financial sector, including investment banking and consulting. The success of previous students is attributable to the rigorous methods training provided, as well as the diversity of the modules offered.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of international public policy.
London features an enormous range of seminars, conferences, and other events on issues related to the programme. These provide a means for students to expand their knowledge and extend their professional networks.
The research preparation and tailor-made interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary training students receive are of the highest standard available, at one of the world's top universities, as reflected in UCL's performance in a range of rankings and tables.
Department: Political Science
Student / staff numbers
› 78 staff
including 2 postdocs
› 489 taught students
› 38 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Political Science
89% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
Most students use the MSc as the foundation for, or a year out from, a career in international politics or policy-making. Applicants should ideally have a background in economics, European issues, international relations, law, philosophy, politics, political science or sociology.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study International Public Policy at graduate level
- why you want to study International 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
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.