UCL Graduate degrees


Development, Technology and Innovation Policy MPA

This unique Master's of Public Administration degree is for those interested in critical understandings on 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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Part-time students will typically be required to attend on two half days per week in term time (4-6hrs per week). The timings of the sessions will be dependant on the MPA route followed by the student.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£21,600 (FT)
£10,800 (PT)
£28,500 (FT)
£14,250 (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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

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: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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. International Preparation Courses

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

International students

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 will engage in deep and critical learning on conceptual frameworks, policy analysis tools and analytical methods useful for developing innovative and agile policy ecosystems that support local and global development. Students will also study how development and innovation policies evolve, are implemented, evaluated and revised in policy cycles. A focus on leadership and the development of professional skills is emphasised throughout the course.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight 15 credit modules (five of which are common across the MPA suite of programmes, two are route specific and one is an elective choice from any other STEaPP module). Students may choose either an MPA Individual Project or the MPA Group Project as their final 60 credit module.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MPA in Development, Technology and Innovation Policy.

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 is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Students undertake five core modules together with students from sister MPA programmes, and two route/specialist modules which focus on their MPA degree topic.

Students then have one further elective choice in which they may select one further module from any STEaPP are providing in that year. Students also have a choice for their final project, in which they may take either an MPA Individual Project or the MPA Group Project.

  • Public Administration
  • Evidence for Decision Making
  • Policy Making
  • Foundations in Development, Technology and Innovation Policy (Route Specific)
  • Knowledge and Governance
  • Analytical Methods for Policy
  • Development Technology and Innovation Policy (Route Specfic)
  • MPA Individual Project or MPA Group Project

Optional modules

Students must select one STEaPP module as an additional module, in 2021-22 these will likely be as follows;

  • Risk Assessment and Governance
  • Clean Energy and Development
  • Urban Innovation and Policy
  • Science Funding and Governance
  • Emerging Dilemmas in Digital Technology Policy
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Public Policy
  • Gender and Technology

Final report

MPA students may choose between an MPA Individual Project or MPA Group Project for their final piece of work. In the Group Project, students work with an external client on a relevant policy challenge. For the Individual Project, students may develop a dissertation, policy analysis, or other research project to work on (individually or with an existing employer or their own sourced policy organisation).

Teaching and learning

The programme combines innovative classroom teaching methods with unique scenario-based learning, enabling students to dynamically engage with real-world policy challenges. Scenarios, simulations and case studies are designed to help students consolidate knowledge and develop essential practical skills and their understanding of principles. During the programme, students acquire a comprehensive range of relevant skills.

Additional costs

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


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


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


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. To date, graduates with this degree 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.


Through the MPA programme, students will:

  • gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in innovation, development, science, technology, engineering and public policy from different parts of the world;
  • develop a greater awareness of the knowledge systems underpinning successful policy-making processes;
  • learn how to communicate and engage with scientists and engineers, policymakers, industry experts and others stakeholders;
  • develop the skills to mobilise development, technology and innovation policy, and science and engineering knowledge and expertise, to address the societal challenges they care about.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The roles that sciences, technologies and innovations have played, continue to play and will play in transforming or improving societies are undoubted, but also not uncontested. From health, food, energy and financial insecurity to infrastructure and climate change issues, countries face persistent and emerging challenges in the backdrop of rapid technological change and increased global interdependencies. This MPA offers empirically and conceptually-grounded experiential learning which hones the skills needed for managing the interface between technologies, innovations and societal objectives.

This MPA enables students to learn through inquiry, going beyond describing or explaining concepts learnt, to being able to apply and interrogate the different concepts and tools in different scenarios of development challenges. Students will undertake hands-on, sector or country-based ‘innovation and development in context’ (IDC) and scenario activities which will develop their skills in research and construction of meaning from what they are learning.

In line with UCL’s connected curriculum and collective social endeavour approach to learning, students on this MPA have the opportunity to network with UCL STEaPP's diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes; and a broad range of UK-based and international experts and partner organisations working in the areas of innovation and development.

Further invaluable practical learning is gained via the MPA Group Project with a real-world client on a relevant topic, or via the MPA Individual Project allowing work with an existing employer, a student’s own sourced policy organisation or on a faculty-determined research project.

Department: Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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.  

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

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.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021