Public Policy MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This MSc aims to educate a new generation of public policymakers and policy analysts, familiarising them with the necessary concepts, theories, methods and principles involved in the formulation and analysis of public policy. The programme draws on many disciplines, including political science, economics, law, public management and public health.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£16,500
£8,250
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£26,600
£13,300
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

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.

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.

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

This MSc aims to educate a new generation of public policymakers and policy analysts, familiarising them with the necessary concepts, theories, methods and principles involved in the formulation and analysis of public policy. The programme draws on many disciplines, including political science, economics, law, sociology, psychology, public management and public health. You will learn how to conduct research, acquiring a number of policy analysis skills, in addition to substantive knowledge about the policymaking process. You will have a chance to demonstrate your combination of skills in the independently researched and written dissertation.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for graduates who wish to develop the skills necessary for a career in public policy, or for further academic research in the field. 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 public policy.

The interdisciplinary aspect of this programme provides participants with the opportunity to address some of the key issues of contemporary governance and public sector reform.

UCL is uniquely well placed to draw together theory and practice in the field of public policy in health, where perhaps the most far-reaching of all public sector reforms has taken place.

The foundation of your career

Graduates go on to a range of destinations both nationally and internationally,

including:

  • civil servants in central or local government in the UK and overseas, think tanks,
  • NGOs and consultancies
  • policy officers and researchers for UK members of parliament and members of the European Parliament
  • the European Commission
  • other public and private sector organisations in a range of sectors, for example, Universities UK, Transport for London, the Legal Services Commission, Accenture, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Overseas Development Institute, United Nations Development Programme, Deloitte and Touche, Serco, KPMG, Confederation of British Industry, Civil Service Faststream, the Institute of Government, the Legatum Institute
  • further research study at UCL or elsewhere.

Employability

The training that you will receive in policy analysis, research methods, political science, economics and other disciplines equips them to work in a range of different organisations engaged in policy-making and policy analysis. Additionally, the emphasis on independent research, through the dissertation, enables you to think critically about policy problems and devise innovative solutions to such problems. Finally, public workshops and seminars, as well as careers events enable students to network with alumni and meet policy practitioners.

Teaching and learning

You will be assessed in a number of different ways. In some modules, there are unseen examinations; across modules, there are a number of different types of writing assignments, including essays, research design papers, policy memoranda assignments and the independent dissertation, which by itself is 60 credits. You will also be assessed by written presentations, given verbally in class.

Modules

Full-time

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits comprising core modules covering key substantive and methodological concepts and skills (90 credits) as well as a dissertation (60 credits). In these modules, you will cover topics such as the policymaking process, agenda setting, policy implementation and evaluation, public management, regulation, economics, and research methods. Students further attend optional module(s) to the value of 30 credits so students can personalise their degrees to their own academic or professional interests. A sample of elective module topics includes voluntary sector policy, health policy and reform, energy and climate policy, Parliaments, political parties and policy making, international trade 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 modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in 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.

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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.

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Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500 £8,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

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.

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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Deadline: 11 July 2022
Value: Full tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

GREAT Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: £10,000 towards tuition fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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 Public Policy at graduate level
  • why you want to study 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 in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.