Rethink public policy from the ground up, by exploring creative and innovative approaches for making, shaping and influencing policy design and delivery.
This specialist MSc in Public Policy offers you the opportunity to delve into how public policy is made, what shapes it, and how you can make a real difference as a policymaker.
You will explore the political, economic and social dynamics and forces that influence contemporary public policy issues. This will enable you to think creatively about public policy design and delivery, and your role within it.
Highly applied in nature, the course draws on diverse cases from policymaking globally, as well as from Europe and the UK. You’ll work with academics from the Institute for Policy Research, Department of Social & Policy Sciences and Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies with international expertise in this area, and have links to senior and experienced policymakers from around the world.
The course also examines how data, knowledge and evidence in the digital environment are re-shaping how public policy is analysed, made and practised.
You will leave the course with:
The course is delivered in an inspiring format, with highly structured and interactive online content; face-to-face learning and networking at short residentials in Bath and London; and intensive support from leading Bath academics throughout.
Ideal for those already working in policy, or aspiring to do so, the course offers plenty of opportunity to draw on examples from your own professional experience, and to apply the new ideas and skills to your own specific public policy interests.
The specialist teaching and tools you acquire will put you in a strong position for moving forward in any policy-facing or policy-shaping role, whether in analysis, strategy or delivery.
You will be equipped to work as a national civil servant in a policy role, government affairs official, think tank researcher, parliamentary advisor, policy advisor, policy advocate in a large INGO or advocacy organisation.
You could also work in regional or local government strategy, public service policy or strategy, or the private sector providing contracted public sector services.
You could also take your studies further to doctoral level.
This course lasts 2 years. Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.
Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. In a globalised and interdependent world, these issues can only be understood from an international perspective which accounts for these common pressures and processes, but which also recognises and engages with the diversity of national traditions and institutions for delivering welfare.
The International Social Policy programme takes a policy analytic approach to provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy. You learn about the common features of social policy arrangements internationally and the variety and differences that characterise welfare across the countries and regions of the world. Drawing on the research-based expertise available at SSPSSR which relates to countries ranging from China, South Korea and Singapore in South East Asia to the UK, Germany and Sweden in Western Europe, you are equipped to understand how national and global forces interact to shape trajectories of welfare system development.
The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring enduring cross cutting themes in social policy, including the prioritisation of equality and capabilities, as well as to drill down to how and why policy unfolds in key welfare fields. You develop policy analytic skills in relation to such areas as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, and children & family related policy. You acquire expertise in the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to all these aspects of social policy, and are thus equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age across the full range of national contexts and policy situations.
We place considerable emphasis on structured, interactive seminars with a high degree of student participation. You also join the staff/graduate seminars which allow MA and research students to become involved in a professional research culture.
The programme gives you a clear and confident grasp of social policy in developed and developing countries. You gain an advanced understanding of the relevant debates, theories and concepts of international issues alongside skills in research design and data collection.
You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:
This programme aims to:
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills. We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills. You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.
Our graduates obtain a range of transferable skills and report high levels of being in employment or further study within six months of graduation across all of our degree programmes.
Over 98% of Kent's postgraduate students who graduated in 2016 were in work or further study within six months. Recent graduates from our School have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.
How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/
We offer inspirational teaching and supervision alongside first-class library and IT facilities. You also benefit from our high-impact research in all subjects. Whatever you are looking to study, Kent provides a dynamic and challenging environment for your postgraduate studies.
* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions
From air pollution to the spread of vector-borne diseases, changes in our environment can have profound repercussions for human health.
The Health and the Global Environment Option of the MSc Environmental Technology is offered in collaboration with a highly qualified network of practitioners encompassing Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy, School of Public Health, the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, and the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment. The option focusses on building students’ knowledge and understanding of the key issues that link human and environmental health.
This is a highly dynamic and stimulating environment in which to study, where you will interact with a range of academics, staff scientists and policy analysts working on the most pressing environmental and health issues both locally and globally.
Human health is fundamentally linked to our environment. Environmental factors contribute significantly to the global disease burden, with an estimated 25% of death and disease globally linked to environmental hazards. In developing contexts, this figure can be much higher, reaching 35% in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.
Crucially, many of these hazards are created or exacerbated by human activities, so managing health for the environment and the environment for health is a growing priority on the environment, public and global health agendas.
The Health and the Global Environment Option is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the key issues in environment and health. The emphasis throughout the course is on the understanding of the principles of exposure assessment, epidemiology, toxicology, health risk assessment and health protection, and their application in the field of environment and health, including:
The Option content covers four main themes:
Theme 1: Managing the Environment for Health
Considers the causes of environmental perturbation, its impacts on health, and approaches to resource management that may benefit health in a global context.
Theme 2: Environmental Decision-Making and Tools
Introduces important policy tools and techniques to assist in robust and transparent decision-making.
Theme 3: Quantifying Exposure and Health Impacts
Develops understanding of the principles and tools for qualitatively and/or quantitatively characterising health risks and impacts related to environmental sources.
Theme 4: Health and the Global Environment
Introduces key concepts in global health and global environmental change, their interactions and impacts, and identifies opportunities for co-management.
Students complete two assessed pieces of coursework. The first is undertaken in collaboration with the Environmental Analysis & Assessment and Water Management options of the MSc, and provides a "real-world" case study looking at contaminated land and water on Hounslow Heath, near Heathrow Airport, in close collaboration with the London Borough of Hounslow Council.
The other is a client-based case study specific to the Health and Global Environment option, and provides the opportunity for students to apply their developing knowledge to an emerging problem within the field of health and the global environment. These projects vary from year to year, with past topics and clients including:
The ultimate aim of the Health and Global Environment option is to prepare students for employment in consultancies, regulatory agencies, industry, research or non-governmental organisations where a systems-based understanding of environment and health issues is vital. Our alumni have found employment in government departments, consultancies, universities and NGOs.
“The experience I gained while studying the Health and Global Environment option really advantaged me in my career as a Health Impact Assessment consultant. Understanding the key concepts relating to topics covered such as epidemiology and exposure assessment is vital when linking health with planning. Although my focus is in the UK, one of the major benefits of the option is that it covers public health issues and management techniques in both the developed and developing world, giving students the opportunity to work anywhere.” Tara Barratt, Assistant Consultant, RPS Planning & Development
"The main strength of the health option is the opportunity to meet people from a wide variety of professions who lecture on different topics within the course. This brings the real world into the class room, giving the theory a more practical element. I am now a research associate in Occupational Health at the University of Birmingham and my knowledge of the industry from talking to visiting lecturers gives me extra confidence when talking to others at company meetings." Joanna Pope, University of Birmingham
"The whole health option course provided me with a sound knowledge of the broad area of health and the environment. Specifically, the training I received in the principles of exposure assessment, toxicology and epidemiology served me excellently in my summer project, which I undertook in Romania. The generic project skills which I learnt throughout the duration of the course have given me the resources to draw upon as a freelance environmental consultant." James Grellier, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Ltd
The MSc in Environmental Technology has been running for over 40 years and provides the highest standard of knowledge and skills development for environmental and sustainability specialists. Through the course students acquire a diverse range of discipline-specific problem-solving skills for tackling contemporary sustainability issues. A major emphasis of the course is on the way that environments function and on the compatible tools, alternative technologies and policies for sustainable environmental management.
Our course combines the natural and social sciences, engineering and business in a truly interdisciplinary manner, providing a foundation for graduates to demonstrate their ability to identify and resolve environmental and sustainability issues in a holistic way. This broad training is followed by an in-depth education in many specialised areas, maintaining the course's interdisciplinary nature. The specialist options in the second term are designed to cater for a variety of individual interests and career requirements.
The course provides students with different options to build on their undergraduate degree, by allowing them to specialise in an area of particular interest, convert undergraduate knowledge to a different setting, differentiate for the job market and learn specific techniques and tools for research and management.
MSc candidates learn to appreciate that successful projects depend, at least in part, on belonging to a network of experts aiming to advance personal and collective environmental goals. We emphasise a friendly and supportive learning environment.
Building on Imperial’s environmental world-class research portfolio, dedicated teaching staff coordinate the interdisciplinary nature of our course and very strong links with industry, business and regulators. We pride ourselves on the quality of the service we provide to students, science and the society, and our excellence in delivering the valuable interaction between scientific/technological training and industrial experience.
First term – Core Course
The Core Course emphasises contemporary policy debates through a number of cross-cutting themes: climate change and energy, international development, sustainability and health, and biodiversity. This is delivered through the following modules:
Second term – specialist Options
Student elect to specialise in one of nine Options in the second term. A strong case study approach is employed with emphasis on working in teams, decision-making, strong analytical skills and report writing and delivery. The nine specialist options currently offered on the course include:
Third Term – Individual Research Project
The research project term, running from April to September, aims to provide graduates with valuable research and practical experience and give them the ability to address individual sustainability and environmental problems with confidence. It provides the opportunity to undertake rigorous independent research; to apply knowledge and understanding of sustainability and environmental disciplines to practical problems; and to develop and demonstrate interdisciplinary, transferable skills with specific emphasis on project management and oral and written presentation skills.
The research project normally follows from the specialist Option and may involve any combination of desk-, laboratory- or fieldwork. It may be set up and carried out in conjunction with an outside organisation thereby providing practical experience which greatly enhances employment prospects, and may be carried out in the UK or abroad.
The programme aims to:
• Provide the highest standard of training for environmental scientists and managers, who will become leaders in their fields, whether in academia, consultancy, research, government bodies, non-governmental organisations or industry and commerce, both nationally and internationally
• Deliver an holistic understanding of the interdisciplinary complexities underlying environmental issues integrating science, technology, law, economics, policy and management, with in-depth education in the more specific areas addressed by the eight specialist options
• Attract highly motivated students, both from within the UK and from overseas
The expected learning outcomes are:
Links with Industry
The MSc in Environmental Technology has developed very strong links with employers and research organisations, and maintains strong links with our large alumni body. All Options benefit from industry and alumni teaching into the course, actively complementing the academic teaching delivered by staff members. Collaborative frameworks are in place aim to deliver outputs beneficial to both organisations and the students in our course.
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.
Students develop a working knowledge of many aspects of political science theory relevant to understanding how public policies are formulated, implemented and evaluated. They gain a basic understanding of economic approaches to public policy analysis and of the concepts of economic efficiency and equity as societal objectives. Students also learn extensively about research methods which gives them the tools necessary to understand political processes and to analyse important policy issues.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
All MSc students undertake an individual research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and case studies, and is taught by scholars who have carried out theoretical and empirical research in the field. Students will be assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays, course work and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Public Policy MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates go on to a range of destinations both nationally and internationally including:
Recent career destinations for this degree
The training that students 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 students to think critically about policy problems and devise innovative solutions to such problems.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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.
This Master's of Public Administration prepares the next generation of climate and energy leaders and decision makers to tackle complex challenges, from mitigating climate change to developing sustainable and renewable energy. Graduates gain the tools, practical skills and knowledge to leverage technology and innovate climate and energy policy and gain insights from practising experts.
Students are taught the conceptual frameworks, policy analysis tools and analytical methods to develop energy and climate policies. Students also study how energy and climate policies are implemented, evaluated and revised in policy cycles. A focus on leadership and the development of professional skills is emphasised throughout.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), an elective module (15 credits), and a major group project module (45 credits) of around 12,000 words.
Students undertake three core modules with students from sister MPA programmes, and a specialist module focusing on their degree topic.
Students select one optional STEaPP module from the following:
Students will then also select one further 15-credit graduate module which is relevant to their degree of study. This module can be selected from any UCL department.
MPA Group Policy Project
In the group project, students work with an external client on a relevant policy challenge. With the support of STEaPP academic staff, the multidiscipinary student groups work together to produce an analysis that meets their clients' needs.
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 are designed to help students consolidate knowledge and develop essential practical skills and their understanding of principles. During the programme, students acquire a comprehensive range of relevant skills.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Energy, Technology and Climate Policy MPA
Graduates of this Master's of Public Administration acquire skills to work in a range of sectors involved in analysis and/or policy-making concerning energy and climate change. Career destinations might include national and local government; international agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations and other global organisations; technology companies focused on sustainable energy; government offices of energy, innovation or development; environment agencies; consultancies and think tanks.
Throughout the MPA programme, students will:
A rapidly changing energy landscape and the impacts of climate change are providing opportunities for policy strategy and leadership in almost every country and industry sector. This practical programme offers experiential learning for skills needed in energy and climate policy-making.
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 for a real-world client. Example policy problems include renewable energy sources, carbon capture and storage, or emerging energy technologies.
Students will gain the opportunity to network with UCL STEaPP's broad range of international partners, expert staff and a diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This refreshed programme explores issues, concepts, and debates in social and public policy research to gain an insight into policy making and its social impacts on individuals and communities.
Core modules will explore social theories, issues and research methods relevant to social policy and welfare. You will also develop core skills in critical policy analysis and policy evaluation. There will be opportunities to study and debate current policy issues, such as work and welfare, child and family policy or the challenges of ageing populations, with a focus on real-life examples.
Supported by our well-known research centres and taught by expert tutors, you’ll tailor the programme to suit your own interests and career aspirations. With a range of optional modules to choose from, you could pursue further advanced research skills or study complementary social topics such as disability studies, gender studies, racism and ethnicity studies, or globalisation.
You’ll gain an insight into some of the most sensitive and complex social issues affecting governments worldwide.
You’ll learn in a research-intensive, stimulating environment. As well as the Leeds Social Sciences Institute which fosters collaboration, you’ll benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and many others. All of these centres run their own calendars of events such as workshops and seminars.
From the start of the programme you’ll study core modules that introduce you to the social contexts and social problems that challenge policy makers, understanding society and social research. As the course develops you will focus more specifically on the welfare state, the process of social policy formation, and the kinds of evidence on which new policies and programmes are founded, and against which their effectiveness is evaluated.
You’ll gain a thorough understanding of research methods, the theoretical assumptions which underpin them and how these affect the way the findings are interpreted. You’ll also focus on specific examples such as welfare reform or employment activation policies.
With this foundation, you’ll choose from optional modules to specialise in topics that suit you. You could study contemporary social thought to contextualise your work, or look at issues such as labour mobility, care, healthcare, disability or ‘race’ and ethnicity. You could study further data analysis and research methods to prepare for future research.
At the end of the programme, you’ll submit your dissertation – an independent piece of research on a related topic of your choice, which allows you to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during the year.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods including presentations, seminars, workshops, tutorials and lectures. Optional modules may also use other methods such as online learning. However, independent study is crucial to this degree – it allows you to prepare for taught sessions, develop your research interests and build a range of skills.
Your core modules will be assessed using essays. Optional modules may use other forms of assessment that reflect the diversity of the topics you can study, including presentations, book and literature reviews, research proposals and reports among others.
You’ll gain a wide range of knowledge and skills throughout this programme, including sophisticated skills in research, communication and analysis that will be useful in a variety of careers.
Social and Public Policy graduates have gone on to a wide range of posts across the third-sector public services, government and business. These have included central and local government departments, community bodies, housing and health organisations, research consultancies and advocacy or campaigning.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.