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.
Modes and duration
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.
Fee deposit: 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.
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.
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
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
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.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in International Public 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.
- International Public Policy (30)
- Public Policy Economics and Analysis (PPEA) (15)
- Qualitative Methods: Interviews, Observations and Mixed Methods(15)
- or Qualitative Methods: Texts and Images (15)
- or Qualitative Methods: Case Studies and Comparative Analysis (15)
- Introduction to Quantitative Methods A or Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)
Choose one of the following 15 credit modules (the other modules remain available as options). Please note that the precise list of modules may vary year by year:
- Foreign Policy Analysis (15)
- International Organisations: Theory and Practice (15)
- International Political Economy (15)
- Theories of International Relations (15)
- International Negotiation (15)
- International Trade Policy (15)
- The Political Economy of Development (15)
Further modules can be chosen up to a value of 30 credits in total from a list available on our website. The full list of modules offered by the Department is subject to change year-to-year.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, and includes a policy simulation and a series of talks with leading practitioners and policymakers. Assessment is through a variety of methods, including unseen examination, long essays and the dissertation.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- £11,000 (1 year)
- Based on academic merit
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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
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.
Why study this degree at UCL?
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.
Department: Political Science
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?
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.
- All applicants
- 4 February 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
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 marks, the department will calculate all years of undergraduate study.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.