International Public Policy MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The International Public Policy MSc at UCL provides students with a detailed and systematic understanding of how political institutions, processes and public policies operate in world affairs. The programme brings together the academic study of international relations with analysis of public policy formulation and governance beyond the nation-state.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
£9,000
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£29,000
£14,500
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

As a minimum, an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university; or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant practical or work experience in a related field may also be taken into account.

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: Level 5

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


Students are equipped with the theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for an in-depth understanding of policy-making within the general theories of international relations, political science, public policy and comparative politics. They develop analytical skills for the study of world politics and the assessment of issues currently facing international policymakers. In addition to the strong core training in international relations and research skills, the programme offers a wide-range of elective courses which students can choose from; these cover international political economy and development, international security and terrorism, foreign policy, international law, comparative politics, as well as human rights, political and normative theory.

Who this course is for

Most students use the MSc as the foundation for, or a year out from, a career in international politics or policy-making. Applicants should ideally have a background in economics, European issues, international relations, law, philosophy, politics, political science or sociology.

What this course will give you

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of international public policy.

London features an enormous range of seminars, conferences, and other events on issues related to the programme. These provide a means for students to expand their knowledge and extend their professional networks.

The research preparation and tailor-made interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary training students receive are of the highest standard available, at one of the world's top universities, as reflected in UCL's performance in a range of rankings and tables.

The foundation of your career

Students are prepared for a number of potential careers ranging from additional academic work to employment in both the public and private sector. Previous students have secured employment in government agencies in the UK and abroad. A large number of students also find work in the financial sector, including investment banking and consulting. The success of previous students is attributable to the rigorous methods training provided, as well as the diversity of the modules offered.

Employability

Graduate destinations both nationally and internationally include:

  • Civil servants in departments in central or local government in the UK and overseas
  • Policy officers and researchers for UK members of parliament and Members of the European Parliament
  • The European Commission (for example through internships)
  • Public and private sector organisations such as: Universities UK, Transport for London, The Legal Services Commission, Accenture, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Overseas Development Institute, United Nations Development Programme, Deloitte and Touche
  • Further research study at UCL or other universities in the UK or overseas

Teaching and learning

Assessment is through a variety of methods, including unseen examination, long essays and the dissertation.

150 hours is allocated to each 15 credit module. This includes 20 contact hours and 130 study hours.

Modules

You are required to take four compulsory modules (including the Dissertation), two optional modules from the Department of Political Science, and two elective modules.

In term one, you will take a compulsory module on “International Public Policy”, which is focused directly on the analysis of global public policy programmes. You will also attend compulsory modules on quantitative methods (introductory or advanced, depending on prior training).

In terms one and two, you will choose two optional modules from our wide-ranging offer in the fields of comparative politics, international relations, public policy and political theory. Please consult the department’s website for an overview of modules: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/political-science/study/post-graduate-taught/all-postgraduate-modules

Students can also select two elective modules.

In term three, you will sit exams and work on your MSc dissertation project, in one-to-one meetings with your dissertation supervisor and by conducting an independent research.

The programme structure for part-time students follows the same structure as our full-time students. We do encourage our part-time students to distribute their study evenly between the two years of study. The majority of part-time students opt for one of the following patterns:

  • 75 credits in year one and 105 credits in year two;

Or

  • 90 credits in year one and 90 credits in year two.

Upon completion you will have undertaken modules to the value of 180 credits, comprising of four compulsory modules and a dissertation. You will have further attended elective module(s) so you can personalise your programme of study to your own academic or professional interests.

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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in International Public 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: UCL Political Science

Join UCL Political Science for a Virtual Graduate Open Event. Find out more about your Master’s programme of interest, meet the Programme Director, and hear from students and staff from the department.

Online - Open day

About us – Department of Political Science UCL

Want to know more about the Department of Political Science, the degree programmes we offer, our research and student environment? Hear why the Department is recognised as one of the leading departments of politics, not just in the UK but globally.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000 £9,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

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

All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

There are no additional costs for this programme.

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 we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study International Public Policy at graduate level
  • why you want to study International Public Policy at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging and truly international academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

When it is necessary to calculate a final average mark, the department will calculate all years of undergraduate study.

As we typically receive a large number of applications for this programme it is necessary to consider applications in two discrete rounds. After the department has looked at your application, we will contact you by email to tell you which round you are in, if applicable. The email will detail when you can expect to receive a decision or update from us.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.