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.
Modes and duration
Part-time students will typically be required to attend on two half days per week in term time (4-6hrs in total per week). The timings of the sessions will be dependant on the MPA route followed by the student.
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.
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.
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: Good
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 taught the conceptual frameworks, interdisciplinary evidence and policy making tools and analytical methods to develop innovative science and engineering policies. Students also study how policies are implemented, and evidence 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.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of eight 15 credit modules (five of which are common across the MPA suite of programmes, two are route specific and one is an elective choice from any other STEaPP module).
Students may choose either an MPA Individual Project or the MPA Group Project as their final 60 credit module.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MPA in Science, Engineering and 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.
Students undertake five core modules together with students from sister MPA programmes, and two route/specialist modules which focus on their MPA degree topic.
Students then have one further elective choice in which they may select one further module from any STEaPP are providing in that year. Students also have a choice for their final project, in which they may take either an MPA Individual Project or the MPA Group Project.
- Public Administration
- Evidence for Decision Making
- Policy Making
- Foundations in Science, Engineering and Public Policy (Route Specific)
- Knowledge and Governance
- Analytical Methods for Policy
- Science Funding and Governance (Route Specific)
- MPA Individual Project or MPA Group Project
Students must select one STEaPP module as an additional module, in 2021-22 these will likely be as follows;
- Gender and Technology
- Clean Energy and Development
- Risk Assessment and Governance
- Sustainable Infrastructure and Public Policy
- Development, Technology and Innovation Policy
- Urban Innovation and Policy
- Emerging Dilemmas in Digital Technology Policy
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
MPA students may chose between an MPA Individual Project or MPA Group Project for their final piece of work. In the Group Project, students work with an external client on a relevant policy challenge. With the support of STEaPP academic staff, the multidisciplinary student groups work together to produce an analysis that meets their clients' needs. For the Individual Project, students may develop a dissertation, policy analysis or other research project to work on (indivdually or with an existing employer/organisation).
Teaching and learning
The programme combines innovative classroom teaching methods with unique scenario-based learning, enabling students to dynamically engage with real-world policy challenges. Scenarios, simulations and case studies are designed to help students consolidate knowledge and develop essential practical skills and their understanding of principles.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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 MPA programme, students will:
- gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in innovation, development, science, technology and engineering;
- develop a greater awareness of the knowledge systems underpinning successful policy making processes;
- learn how to communicate with scientists and engineers, policymakers and industry experts;
- develop the skills to mobilise technology, science and engineering innovations and expertise to address societal challenges.
Why study this degree at UCL?
Science and engineering are at the centre of an increasing number of policy issues that affect every aspect of society. This practical programme offers experiential learning for the skills and knowledge that leaders need to navigate policy making at the intersection with science and engineering.
Students undertake a week-long scenario activity on the policy making process where they engage with external experts and UCL academics. Students go on to undertake a nine-month major project on a policy challenge for a real-world client or undertake their own Individual Project independantly or with an existing employer. Example policy areas include resources, energy, waste, transport, or communications.
Students will gain 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.
Department: Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy
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?
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.
- All applicants
- 31 May 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 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.
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