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Digital Technologies and Policy MPA

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

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Applicants electing to study the MPA Routes on a part-time basis must be available to study on a full-time basis for the initial term of the MPA (from the end of September to Mid-December).

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 24 July 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£19,520 (FT)
£10,240 (PT)
Overseas:
£27,460 (FT)
£13,640 (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.

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

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

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

  • are global agreements on cyber security realistic or necessary?
  • how do we balance protection of human rights against the security of the Internet of Things?
  • how can we reconsider approaches to policy-making in the rapidly evolving information age?

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), an elective module (15 credits), and a Major Group Project module (45 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MPA in Digital Technologies and 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 three core modules with students from sister MPA programmes, and a specialist module focusing on their degree topic.

  • Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy
  • Analytic Methods for Policy
  • Digital Technologies and Policy
  • Ethics, Institutions and Power

Optional modules

Students select one optional STEaPP module from the following:

  • Science Advice for Policy
  • Risk Assessment and Governance
  • Clean Energy and Development
  • Science Funding and Governance
  • Development, Technology and Innovation in Policy
  • Energy, Technology and Climate Policy
  • Sustainable Infrastructures and Public Policy
  • Urban Innovation and Policy

Students will then also select one further 15-credit graduate module which is relevant to their degree of study. This module can be selected from any UCL department.

MPA Group Policy Project

In the Group Project, students work with an external client on a relevant policy challenge. With the support of STEaPP academic staff, the multidisciplinary student groups work together to produce an analysis that meets their clients' needs.

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 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.

Accessibility

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

Funding

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

Careers

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.

Employability

Throughout the MPA programme, students will:

  • gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in digital technology
  • develop an understanding of the knowledge systems underpinning successful policy-making processes
  • learn how to communicate with scientists and engineers, policymakers and technology experts
  • develop the skills to mobilise public policy, and science and engineering knowledge and expertise, to address societal challenges.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Policymakers and those in the private sector often feel they lack the appropriate background to take the lead on developing strategies, policies and guidelines that can account for the wide range of diverse (and sometimes competing) interests that characterise today's era of rapid technological change. Graduates of this Master's of Public Administration will be able to develop informed policy and tackle the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

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. They also gain practical insights through a week-long scenario activity on the policy making process and an extended policy project with a real-world client on a relevant topic.

Students will gain access to UCL STEaPP's network of international partners, expert staff and a diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes.

Department: Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy

Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
24 July 2020

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 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

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Page last modified on 14 February 2020