Development, Technology and Innovation Policy MPA

London, Bloomsbury

This unique Master's of Public Administration degree is for those interested in a critical understanding of the roles that technologies and innovations can play in local and global development. Embedded in innovation systems thinking, this MPA provides candidates with tools to explore how public policy can help align technologies and innovations to effectively respond to persistent and new societal challenges.

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
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 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

From adapting to climate change to enhancing agricultural productivity and providing water, energy, medicines and education to the billions without access, countries the world over need to harness scientific and technological innovation to transform their economies and improve human wellbeing. However, most countries, developing countries in particular, often have innovation systems that are weak, fragmented and not designed to respond to pressing national and local priorities.

Our Development, Technology and Innovation Policy MPA takes candidates through an experiential learning journey in which they will emerge equipped with the tools, mental models and skills to creatively tackle persistent and emerging development questions in pursuit of vibrant, sustainable, profitable and inclusive economies across the developing world.

This MPA will tackle a series of pressing questions for policymakers, such as: 

  • How can countries, in particular low- and middle-income countries, achieve their development goals in the face of rapid technological change, increased global interdependencies, and a wide range of wicked problems such as disease epidemics and climate change? 

  • How best can countries engage in policy experimentation and/or prototyping in pursuit of their development targets? 

  • Should emerging economies follow innovation and development models used by advanced economies or should they pioneer new approaches to innovation? 

Who this course is for

This is a practitioner-oriented, professional programme with practical learning activities aimed at students who want to be part of the next generation of thinkers and practitioners influencing the interfaces between national and global development imperatives with tools from science, technology, innovation, engineering and public policy. This MPA draws students from diverse technical and non-technical disciplinary backgrounds and levels of work experience. A key requirement is for candidates’ interest in and willingness to engage with and interrogate ideas from science, technology, innovation and engineering and their contribution to societal development.

What this course will give you

This MPA offers empirically and conceptually grounded experiential learning to sharpen the skills needed for managing the interface between policy, technologies, innovations and societal objectives. Students can learn through inquiry, going beyond describing or explaining the concepts learnt, to applying and interrogating the different concepts and tools in different scenarios of development challenges. 

Students undertake a week-long scenario activity on the policymaking process, engaging with external experts and UCL academics. Students go on to undertake a nine-month major group project on a policy challenge for a real-world client or undertake their own individual project independently or with an existing employer. Development-oriented policy areas explored in past projects include health, agriculture, energy, waste, transport, and digital technologies. 

Students also have the opportunity to network with UCL STEaPP's broad range of international partners, expert Faculty members and a diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes, as well as the wider UCL community. 

The foundation of your career

Graduates from the Development, Technology and Innovation Policy MPA have gone on to work in international development organisations, government departments, supranational and global agencies, corporate regulatory affairs departments, in advocacy groups, think tanks or consultancy firms, doing legislative, regulatory or policy analysis work. Other graduates proceed to PhD or Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) studies.


This MPA equips candidates to tackle inequality, vulnerability and exclusion that societies face in many sectors, including access to energy, health, education, infrastructure, water and sanitation and finance.


There will be various networking opportunities throughout the degree including:

  • participation in relevant STEaPP research clusters;
  • participation in relevant departmental, faculty and university seminars;
  • leveraging our location to facilitate exposure visits to and from development agencies, policy organisations and industry;
  • opportunities for co-publishing with faculty and other cohort members.

Teaching and learning

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 your skills and responsibility for building justice and equity in your chosen domain.

The MPA programmes are professional degrees, that will allow you to build not only competencies and knowledge but networks that will be of tremendous value throughout your career.   

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

You 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. Your 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 3 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.

If you successfully complete the required credits you will be awarded a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) Development, Technology and Innovation Policy.

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 Development, Technology and Innovation 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.

Room W30, Institute of Education (IOE) Building, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL - Open day

Graduate Open Events: STEaPP MPA (On-Campus)

Do you want to lead change, and help to change the world for the better? Join us at our MPA Open Event (on-campus) 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 assessing your application, the MPA Admissions Panel are particularly looking to understand:

  • why you want to study Development, Technology and Innovation Policy at graduate level
  • what particularly attracts you to the programme at UCL
  • how your academic and professional background and interests meet the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree and how the MPA fits with your career goals.

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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