Department of Political Science


Postgraduate Taught FAQs


The application deadline has passed, can I still apply?

It is not possible to submit an application once the application deadline has passed. Applications can be submitted up to 5pm (BST) on the deadline date advertised. If you have missed the deadline you would only be able to submit an application for the next admissions cycle which opens in October 2024. 

How long should my personal statement be?

The personal statement should be 1 to 2 pages long. We do not impose a specific word limit. (Please note that the field in the application will allow up to 3000 characters. If your statement is longer than this, you will need to upload it as an additional document.) 

It does not need to follow a certain format. This is an opportunity for you to tell us about yourself, that you have the necessary academic skills and motivation required to pursue the degree

What does the Admissions process involve?

Your online application, once submitted, will be received by UCL Graduate Admissions. Once your details have been logged, and your references received, your application will be sent to the department for a recommendation. Once a recommendation has been made, your application will be returned to Admissions, where an official letter will be produced and sent via the Portal. 

We expect to turn-around applications in approximately 15 working days (from the time we receive them from Admissions). However, this may take longer during busy periods. The end-to-end process takes approximately five weeks.

How many applications can I submit?

Applicants are permitted to only submit two applications per admissions cycle. 

How much is the application processing fee?

There is an application processing fee for £90 for online application and £115 for paper applications.

Updating Applications

If I decide to defer for a year. What is the process and when will I need to decide by?

For more information regarding deferring your offer please visit this website https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-offer-holders/deferr...

When do I need to accept my offer?

As a courtesy we usually ask offer holders to accept their place within four weeks of receiving their offers so that we may plan for your arrival.

How to upload my transcripts?

Transcripts should be uploaded to your student portal via the 'upload' button. If you have issues uploading, please send your transcript/s to this email address, transcripts.pgadmissions@ucl.ac.uk


Does the Department offer funding or scholarships for postgraduate study?

Unfortunately, funding within the department for Masters students is scarce. Most of our students are self-funding through loans or savings. For information on possible postgraduate funding avenues outside of the department, please visit here


Do both my references need to be academic?

One of your references must be academic. Your application will not be processed without one. The other may be from an employer or colleague who has worked with you closely.

What happens if I graduated a long time ago and I can not provide and academic reference?

Please note that your academic referee does not necessarily need to be someone that knows you from your undergraduate degree – they may know you though another programme of study. As long as they can comment on your performance in an academic capacity, this will suffice.

If this is also not possible, please provide two employment references. We will contact you if we require further information.

 Relevant Information

Can I study part-time?

The Masters programme can be taken part-time over 2 years. It is generally expected that students complete 50% of a full programme load per year of registration, although we are keen to offer flexible study arrangements where possible. 

The courses offered are not run separately as evening classes for part-time students, although some courses are scheduled in the late afternoon/early evening. Part-time students attend the same classes as their full-time colleagues - they just take half of the course load in each year. 

For each module lasting one term in length, the total contact time is approximately 20 hours with an additional 130 hours of reading, essay writing and/or revision. 

While we try to make part-time study as flexible as possible, our Masters programmes are demanding and we advise students that, if they intend to work alongside the course, their work should be flexible in nature.

I am going to take an English test later in the year, can I still apply now?

You may apply for a place on a programme without yet meeting the English language criteria. However, any offers made to you would be conditional upon you providing evidence of your English proficiency prior to enrolment.

Can I ask for feedback on my unsuccessful application?

We regret that we cannot offer feedback due to the volume of applications that we receive.

Do you require a deposit?

For September 2023 entry, a deposit is required for the following programmes:

MSc International Public Policy

MSc Public Policy

MSc Security Studies 

MSc Global Governance & Ethics

£1000 for full-time study

£500 for Part-time study

For more information on deposits, please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/fees-and-funding/tuition-fee-deposits

The Department of Political Science, UCL requires successful applicants of the MSc International Public Policy, MSc Public Policy, MSc Security Studies and MSc Global Governance programmes to pay a tuition fee deposit which will take effect from September 2022 for those applying for places in 2023. 

Payment of the deposit: Payment of the deposit aids UCL in its student numbers, module and estates planning.  Once a successful applicant is enrolled on their programme of study, the deposit will form part of the total tuition fee, as quoted on the offer of admission.  

The required tuition fee deposit must be paid in full by the deadline specified in the offer of admission, which will usually be no earlier than 1 April for entry the following September.

Payment of the tuition fee deposit (in full or in part) will be considered as acceptance of the terms detailed in the policy. 

Can I visit the department?

The Political Science department is not open outside the University /Department open/offer holder days, but prospective students thinking of applying to UCL are normally welcome to have a look round college grounds at any time, to experience the character and atmosphere. For information on UCL Campus tours, please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/campus-tours/ 

Due to Covid-19, I am unable to take my English language test because the IELTS test centres are closed, how will this affect me?

We accept several English language tests as proof of eligibility, including Duolingo.

For further information please see the English Language requirements for undergraduate students and postgraduate students.

However, please note that a UKVI acceptable IELTS is necessary for students who wish to enrol on a Pre-sessional English course with our Centre for Languages and International Education.

Does the department assess transcript equivalencies before submitting an application?

We do not assess academic equivalencies in the department.  These will be assessed by UCL Central Admissions once your application has been submitted. In the meantime, please see the equivalencies information on the Prospectus - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees

How many courses are considered lectures versus small tutorials?

Nearly all of our modules are taught through a combination of lectures and small-group interactive seminars. Our lectures vary in size depending on the programme and module. Seminars average between 15-20 students.

Is it advisable to apply for MSc International Public Policy and MSc Public Policy early in the admissions cycle?

Yes, due to the high numbers of competitive applicants that apply each year, applicants for the International Public Policy Programme and the Public Policy programme are encouraged to apply as early in the admissions cycle as possible as these programme can close early. 

When should I pay my fee by?

Find out more about fee payments.

Can I transfer to a Masters programme?

We do not offer any transfers into our Masters programmes, preferring to keep cohorts intact and in fairness to the amount of competitive applications we receive each year. 

Can I apply for a (graduate) application fee waiver?

UCL acknowledges that prospective students living in conflict zones, or affected by displacement, may face considerable difficulties in paying the application fee. UCL is firmly committed to making the application process accessible to individuals disadvantaged by such circumstances and would be pleased to consider written requests for suspension of the application fee.Should you wish to make such a request, please contact Graduate Admissions.