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.
Modes and duration
Part-time students will typically be required to attend on two half days per week in term time (4-6hrs in total per week). The timings of the sessions will be dependant on the MPA route followed by the student.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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.
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.
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 policy makers, such as:
- are global agreements on cyber security and data protection realistic?
- how do we balance 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 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 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 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.
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 Digital Technology and Policy (Route Specific)
- Knowledge and Governance
- Emerging Dilemmas in Digital Technology Policy (Route Specific)
- Analytical Methods for Policy
- MPA Individual Project or MPA Group Project
Students must select one STEaPP module as an additional module, in 2021-22 these will likely be as follows;
- Gender and Technology
- Risk Assessment and Governance
- Clean Energy and Development
- Science Funding and Governance
- Development, Technology and Innovation in Policy
- Sustainable Infrastructures and Public Policy
- Urban Innovation and Policy
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
MPA students may chose 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. With the support of STEaPP academic staff, the multidisciplinary student groups work together to produce an analysis that meets their clients' needs. For the individual project, students may develop a dissertation, policy analysis or other research project to work on (indivdually or with an existing employer/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 utilised, and 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 professional and academic skills.
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-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.
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.
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?
Policy makers 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 Group Project with a real-world institutional partner on a relevant topic, or via an Individual Project allowing for work with an existing employer, their own sourced policy organisation or on a self-determined research project.
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
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?
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.
- All applicants
- 30 July 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 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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