Digital Technologies and Policy MPA

London, Bloomsbury

This Master's of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares future leaders and decision-makers across the public, private and third sectors to consider the complex dynamic between political and technical factors in the digital economy in order to effectively address issues like cyber security, privacy, online human rights, and market dynamics.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£22,200
£11,100
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£29,400
£14,700
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

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.

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

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.

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

This MPA degree prepares future leaders and decision-makers working in policy to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by today's fast-evolving digital technologies.

The world is changing rapidly and understanding the ways that digital technologies impact the global economy, national security, healthcare, employment, and human rights is an essential skill for the next decade. Cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) pose challenges to established ideas about privacy, security, and equitable societal progress.

The MPA will tackle a series of pressing topics for policymakers, such as: 

  • Are global agreements on cyber security and data protection realistic?
  • How do we balance the protection of human rights against the security of emerging digital technologies? 
  • How can we reconsider approaches to policy-making in the rapidly evolving information age?

Students also gain a deep understanding of conceptual frameworks, policy tools and analytical methods to implement, evaluate and revise public policies through a series of core modules.

Who this course is for

The degree is suitable for professionals or graduates currently working in (or who want to work in) policy and planning, as well as decision-makers from a wide range of organisations including non-governmental organisations, technology companies, think tanks, consultancies. 

The MPA is also suitable for academics, engineers, scientists and technologists who would like to shape public policy related to digital innovation and the Internet. Although no technical background is required, students should be interested in and willing to engage with ideas from science, engineering and technology.

What this course will give you

Students are taught how to bridge gaps within government and in the public and private sector, gather evidence to support decision-making and engage with issues like cyber security and Internet governance.

Students undertake a week-long scenario activity on the policymaking process where they engage with external experts and UCL academics. Students go on to undertake a nine-month major project on a policy challenge for a real-world client or undertake their own Individual Project independently or with an existing employer. Example policy areas include resources, energy, waste, transport, or communications.

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.

The foundation of your career

You develop the skills and insights to work for a range of policy/strategy focused organisations, including:

  • National and local government
  • Think tanks and consultancies
  • International agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations and other global organisations
  • Multilateral development banks such as the African Development Bank
  • Government offices of innovation and development
  • Environment agencies
  • Transportation agencies
  • Planning agencies
  • Corporate and institutional sustainability offices
  • Network organisations (e.g C40 Cities)
  • Public water and energy utilities

Employability

This MPA degree prepares graduates to step into leadership and decision-making roles in government, technology companies, think tanks, and consultancies that engage with issues like cyber security, the digital economy, the Internet of Things, Internet governance and online human rights.

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.

Modules

Full-time

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 another STEaPP module). 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 1 and four in Term 2. Term 3 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) Digital Technologies and Policy in your programme discipline.

Part-time

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 is subject to change.

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

Accessibility

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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £22,200 £11,100
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400 £14,700

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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.

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 Digital Technologies and 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 in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021