UCL Graduate degrees


Innovation, Public Policy and Public Value MPA

The Innovation, Public Policy and Public Value MPA teaches the competencies, capabilities and leadership skills needed for purpose-driven organisations - in public, private and civil sectors - to confront the grand challenges of the 21st century.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Flexible students normally attend half this amount.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 7 April 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£19,520 (FT)
£10,240 (PT)
£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. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate Arts and Humanities, Social Science and Economics, and Engineering subjects awarded with First or Upper Second-class Honours (2:1), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: Advanced

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

As a graduate of the programme, you will help organisations refocus themselves to become mission-led, driven by public purpose, and able to welcome and manage the explorative and risk-taking processes that structural change, innovation and socio-economic transformation require. Key to this process is a rethinking of public and societal value: how to create it, how to nurture it (within organisations) and how to evaluate it. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits

The programme is divided over three terms in one academic year, with four compulsory (90 credits) and two optional taught modules (30 credits) plus a final project (60 credits). 

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

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

All students are expected to take four compulsory modules.

  • Public Value and Public Purpose (30 credits)
  • Grand Challenges and Systems Change (30 credits)
  • Creative Bureaucracies (15 credits)
  • Transformation by Design (15 credits)

Optional modules

Up to 30 credits drawn from the following:

  • Contemporary Political Philosophy II: Social Justice and Equality (15 credits) [Term 2]
  • Democracy and Accountability: Holding Power to Account (15 credits) [Term 2]
  • Urban Innovation and Policy (15 credits) [Term 2]
  • Development, Technology and Innovation Policy (15 credits) [Term 2]
  • Smart Cities: Context, Policy & Government (15 credits) [Term 2]
  • Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty (30 credits) [Terms 1 and 2]
  • Rethinking Capitalism: (15 Credits) [Terms 1 and 2]


The MPA culminates in individual project work (60 credits). The project is a written work of substantial analysis of a management, policy or program problem for an external organisation (typically a public organisation). The project is prepared either in consultation with or during placement in an external organisation and an academic supervisor in the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.


For the final project, students have the option to go on a placement, during term 3 organised by the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures and seminars; the assessment is based on personal and group presentations, reports, papers, and examinations.

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the Programme Administrator, Ms Isha Reid, by e-mailing i.reid@ucl.ac.uk or telephoning +44 (0)20 3108 8261.

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. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies. 

Any additional funding available from the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

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


The programme is aimed at teaching the competencies, capabilities and leadership skills needed for purpose-driven organisations in all sectors -- public, private and civil organisations. 


Graduates from the MPA will possess a unique skill set in public policy, organisational and institutional innovation, new models of innovation policy (mission-oriented innovation), and strategic design and digital transformation of public services. Many public sector organisations, policy think tanks and other policy analysis organisations, NGOs and increasingly also large private organisations are looking for employees who are well versed and skilled in new ways of justifying, evaluating and implementing public policies. Graduates will have strong analytical and leadership skills.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Tackling grand challenges, ranging from climate change to health care for aging populations, requires organisations to be fully equipped to co-create markets together and to understand the opportunities for technological, organisational and social innovations. Our MPA programme provides a state of the art curriculum and policy toolkit for shaping this dynamic world.   

Studying this globally unique programme, you will gather an in-depth understanding of the economics of innovation, technological, social and institutional innovations, and cutting-edge thinking around public administration and governance, strategic design and digital transformation. A cross-cutting theme throughout the programme is new economic thinking needed for tackling key 21st century challenges.

You will help organisations overcome the following challenges: how can we create and articulate a sense of shared public purpose; how can we manage complex accountabilities and relationships with multiple stakeholders; how can we lead long-term change in organisations and systems; and how to mobilise people within and outside organisation to engage with the need for change.

Department: Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

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.

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?

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in the disciplines of Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Economics or Engineering from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. This programme will be attractive to both those who have recently graduated, as well as practitioners who desire to further their knowledge, understanding and application to improve their potential to contribute to tackling the grand challenges of the 21st century through innovation. 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: Advanced

Application deadlines

All applicants
7 April 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 12 August 2020