Science, Engineering and Public Policy MPA

London, Bloomsbury

This Master's of Public Administration (MPA) is designed for professionals who want to lead change and navigate decision making in science, technology and engineering or innovation policy. The degree combines core content on policy making and administration, evidence and analysis with a detailed look at science for policy and policy for science.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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

Innovations in science, technology and engineering (STE) are almost always central to grappling with complex global challenges. As a result, decision-makers in the public and private sectors must work with scientists and engineers to implement change.

Students on the Science, Engineering and Public Policy MPA are taught the conceptual frameworks, interdisciplinary evidence and policymaking tools and analytical methods to develop innovative science and engineering policies. Students also study how policies are implemented, and how evidence is generated and governed to support appraisal and evaluation.

A focus on leading effective change and the development of professional policy skills is emphasised throughout. Students also gain insights from policy practitioners, industry experts and UCL researchers.

Who this course is for

This is a professional programme with practical learning activities that will appeal to students who want to master the mobilisation of science and engineering inputs into policy processes in diverse fields. Although no technical background is required, students should be interested in and willing to engage with ideas from science and engineering. 

What this course will give you

This practical programme offers experiential learning for the skills and knowledge that leaders need to navigate policy making at the intersection of science and engineering.

Students undertake a nine-month major project on a policy challenge for a real-world client or undertake their own Individual Project independently or with an existing employer. Example policy areas include resources, energy, waste, transport, or communications.

Students have the opportunity to network with UCL STEaPP's broad range of international partners, expert faculty and a diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes.

The foundation of your career

The MPA aims to equip early-career science, technology, engineering and public policy professionals with the practical skills and knowledge to enable them to influence public policy and public decision-making. The programme is designed so that its graduates know how to mobilise science, technology and engineering through policy, can understanding options for regulating fast-changing technology, can use diplomacy to navigate stakeholder concerns and can communicate and engage with science, technology, engineering and public audiences.

Through this MPA, graduates develop the skills and insights to work for a range of policy/strategy-focused organisations, including:

  • National and local government and parliament
  • Think tanks and consultancies
  • International agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations and other global organisations
  • Multilateral development banks such as the African Development Bank
  • Government offices of innovation and development
  • Environment agencies
  • Transportation agencies
  • Planning agencies
  • Corporate and institutional sustainability offices
  • Network organisations (e.g. C40 Cities)
  • Public water and energy utilities


Through the programme, students will gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in innovation, science, technology and engineering while developing their understanding of the knowledge systems underpinning successful policy-making processes.

Teaching and learning

The MPA is highly interdisciplinary and brings together students from a range of backgrounds to tackle complex policy challenges. The teaching approach provided by STEaPP is both experiential and applied, focusing on developing your skills and responsibility for building justice and equity in your chosen domain. The MPA programmes are professional degrees, that will allow you to build not only competencies and knowledge but networks that will be of tremendous value throughout your career.   

The programmes combine practice-oriented classroom teaching methods with scenario-based learning, enabling you to engage with real-world policy challenges that matter to you personally. These scenarios and simulations are designed to help you consolidate your knowledge, develop essential practical skills and test your understanding of principles – preparing you to be an influential policy actor.   

You will be assessed primarily through a series of problem-oriented projects (including both presentational components and submitted materials), complemented by short written assignments, scenarios and simulations. Your final project will include a longer written report, often for or with a professional partner organisation.

In Terms 1 and 2 students have on average 12 -13 contact hours a week with staff. Modules (four are studied each term) have either two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorials or three hours of lectures. In addition, there will be independent study and group work. In Term 3 the timetable will be lighter although there will be set times for MPA Group Project and MPA Individual Project supervision and support.


The programme consists of eight 15 credit modules (four of which are common across the MPA suite of programmes, two are route specific and two are elective choices from other STEaPP modules). Students may choose either an MPA Group Project or the MPA Individual Project as their final 60 credit module.

You will study four modules in Term 1 and four in Term 2. Term 3 and Summer are designated for the MPA Group Project and the MPA Individual Project.

The part-time version of the MPA follows the same structure as the full-time but with credits of study in each year.

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 are 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 MPA in Science, Engineering and Public Policy.


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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £24,200 £12,100
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

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:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with the 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 Science, Engineering and Public Policy at graduate level, and at UCL particularly
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • 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.

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

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