Climate, Innovation and Sustainability Policy MPA

London, Bloomsbury

The Climate, Innovation and Sustainability Policy MPA prepares future decision-makers to tackle complex sustainability challenges, particularly in relation to climate change and associated innovation. This includes, but is not limited to, developing clean energy, expanding green infrastructures, modernising water systems, and improving integrated transport networks. Graduates gain the skills and knowledge to develop robust policies that align infrastructure investment with economic, social and environmental goals.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Students are encouraged (but are not required) to have work experience prior to enrolling on this programme.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

In tackling complex sustainability challenges like climate change the need for innovation in planning and governance approaches is increasingly prominent.  Governments face the urgent need to improve living standards, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and support sustainable development. While the demands on physical, ecological and social infrastructure are growing, there is evidence across the globe that many infrastructure systems are in disrepair, with significant policy and governance challenges. The introduction of new technological and social innovations offers ways to operate infrastructures more effectively and efficiently, delivering better quality services, and providing leadership in the paradigm shifts needed to respond to contemporary environmental and social challenges. 

Students will examine contemporary issues for climate and sustainability policy at local, national and global levels,  considering the impact of new technologies alongside growing imperatives for infrastructure to support the changing nature of economies and societies. 

The programme examines the institutional structures and governance of innovation systems for addressing climate change, alongside decision-making processes and the mobilisation of technical expertise to plan and deliver physical infrastructure systems that are sustainable. 

Students will develop strong analytical skills, to critically evaluate the range of technical, policy and regulatory solutions that can be used to identify, understand and address sustainability problems.

Who this course is for

This professional, applied degree is suitable for those who wish to develop competencies in infrastructure policy; or those with a background in science, technology or engineering who aim to work with policy. No technical background is required, but students should be willing to engage with technical scientific and engineering concepts.

What this course will give you

This practical programme offers experiential learning to develop the skillset required for leading innovative policy development for sustainability, with a focus on climate and sustainable infrastructure policy.

The foundation of your career

Graduates of this Master's of Public Administration acquire skills to work in environment, climate and sustainability areas and in a range of infrastructure sectors or policy organisations. Career destinations might include national and local government; utility providers or regulators; international agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations and other global organisations; technology companies focused on innovations in infrastructure systems; environmental agencies; consultancies and think tanks.


Throughout the MPA programme, students will:

  • gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in climate, innovation and sustainability policy, focusing on the alignment of infrastructure planning and investment with environmental, economic and social goals;
  • develop an understanding of the knowledge systems and public engagement processes underpinning infrastructure policy development;
  • learn how to communicate with engineers, policymakers and technology experts;
  • develop the skills to mobilise public policy, and science and engineering knowledge and expertise, to address societal challenges relating to climate, innovation and sustainability policy. 


Students have the opportunity to network with UCL STEaPP's broad range of international partners, expert faculty and a diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes, as well as our honorary staff. Guest speakers from across the globe are part of the integrated delivery of the MPA programme and engage with students throughout the taught modules. Speakers are intentionally drawn from academia, public and private research, private sector, non-governmental organisations and diverse policy settings. STEaPP regularly runs departmental events. In addition, previous MPA cohorts have self-mobilised to organise social events where academic and career experience, ideas and contacts can be shared via peer learning.

Teaching and learning

This MPA programme blends traditional and contemporary teaching and learning methods, including lecture style content delivered asynchronously online and synchronously in class, which is used to contextualise learning and encourage class discussion and debate. Face-to-face class time is focused on facilitated engagement between students, module leads and guest speakers and small group activities. In the term one core module, students select their own independent topic to develop a substantive research paper on. Students also undertake a week-long scenario activity on the policy-making process where they engage with external experts and UCL academics. In the term two core module, students work through an extended case study, selected for its contemporary relevance to the MPA. In term three students undertake a major project on a policy challenge for a real-world client, or undertake their own individual project independently or with an existing employer. These experiences, in combination, seek to provide a realistic training experience which will effectively equip students for their chosen careers.

The MPA is highly interdisciplinary and brings together students from a range of backgrounds to tackle complex policy challenges. The teaching approach provided by STEaPP is both experiential and applied, focusing on developing candidates’ skills and responsibility for building justice and equity in chosen domains. The MPA programmes are professional degrees, that will allow candidates to build not only competencies and knowledge but networks that will be of tremendous value throughout their careers.

The programmes combine practice-oriented classroom teaching methods with scenario-based learning, enabling candidates to engage with real-world policy challenges that matter to them personally. These scenarios and simulations are designed to help candidates consolidate their knowledge, develop essential practical skills and test their understanding of principles – preparing candidates to be an influential policy actor.

Candidates will be assessed primarily through a series of problem-oriented projects (including both presentational components and submitted materials), complemented by short written assignments, scenarios and simulations. The final project will include a longer written report, often for or with a professional partner organisation.

In terms one and two students have on average 12 - 13 contact hours a week with staff. Modules (four are studied each term) have either two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorials or three hours of lectures. In addition, there will be independent study and group work. In term three the timetable will be lighter although there will be set times for MPA group project and MPA individual project supervision and support.


The programme consists of eight 15 credit modules (three of which are common across the MPA suite of programmes, two are route specific and three are elective choices from other STEaPP modules). Students may choose either an MPA group project or the MPA individual project as their final 60 credit module.

You will study four modules in term one and four in term two. Term three and Summer are designated for the MPA group project and the MPA individual project.

The part-time version of the MPA follows the same structure as the full-time but with credits of study in each year.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MPA in Climate, Innovation and Sustainability Policy.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: STEaPP MPA

Do you want to lead change, and help to change the world for the better? Join us at our MPA Virtual Open Event to learn about our MPA programmes, which will provide you with the skills needed to work at the interface between science, technology, engineering and public policy.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £25,900 £12,950
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with the programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Sustainable Infrastructures and Public Policy at graduate level
  • why you want to study Sustainable Infrastructures and Public Policy at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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