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Rethink public policy from the ground up, by exploring creative and innovative approaches for making, shaping and influencing policy design and delivery. Read more

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:

  • a robust understanding of the concepts and tools used in public policymaking today, their application and limitations
  • an understanding of the wider contexts and constraints within which public policy is made
  • the confidence to apply different policymaking tools and think creatively about them, identifying new ways to achieve public policy goals
  • the ability to read, critique and develop persuasive arguments about the characteristics of policy problems, the knowledge we have about them, and alternatives for action and inaction

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.

Graduate prospects

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.

Course brochure

Download the course brochure.

Course structure

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.


Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Year 1

  • Public policy: theory, politics and practice
  • Public policy and economics
  • Knowledge, evidence and data in public policy

Year 2

  • Public policy case analysis
  • Dissertation or Policy portfolio

Learning and assessment


Online resources

  • Podcasts and videos
  • Topic overviews with specified reading, key issues, questions and debates
  • Structured online web-discussion with academic staff
  • Blogs and forums
  • Policy Case Study library covering specific areas of public policy, developed by leading experts

Residential resources

  • Practical data analysis and intensive digital data workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Extended seminars with visiting policy professionals on practice-based topics
  • Free attendance at the Institute for Policy Research annual symposium


  • Blog
  • Data analysis practical
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Online web-forum contributions
  • Policy brief
  • Policy evidence and data review
  • Presentations
  • Public Policy case report
  • Take-home examination

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The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) is the first Masters programme to jointly address the issues of climate and energy policy in an interdisciplinary fashion. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) is the first Masters programme to jointly address the issues of climate and energy policy in an interdisciplinary fashion. It tackles policy and regulatory change, the historical and technological evolution of energy sources, energy markets and their participants, the global governance of climate change as well as the challenges associated with transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The programme specifically addresses the requirements of those wishing to deepen their theoretical and practical understanding of how energy and climate policies are designed, shaped, advocated and implemented and by whom across a multitude of cases drawn from the Global North and South and across multiple levels of political organisation from global to local arenas.

The MSc is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy. It prepares for a multitude of careers in public and private contexts, including in public administration and government departments, strategic policy and risk advisory, government relations and public affairs, policy advocacy, think tanks and academia.

Guest speakers on the programme's modules have included Angus Miller (Energy Advisor, UK Foreign Office), Tom Burke (Founding Director, E3G and Environmental Policy Advisor, Rio Tinto), Jonathan Grant (Asst. Director Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC), Kash Burchett (European Energy Analyst, IHS Global Insight), Chris Dodwell (AEA Technology, former Head of International Climate Policy, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change) and Andrew Pendleton (Head of Campaigns, Friends of the Earth).

The programme draws on the teaching and research strengths of CISD and of the SOAS departments of International Politics, Law, Economics and area studies (especially of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as a wide range of languages. In particular, students will be able to benefit from the expertise located at the Centre for Environment, Development and Policy (CEDEP), the Law School's Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC), the Centre on the Politics of Energy Security (CEPES), the Centre for Water and Development, and the SOAS Food Studies Centre.

In addition to the three core modules of Global Energy and Climate Policy (1 unit), Applied Energy and Climate Studies (0.5 units) and Global Public Policy (0.5 units) students choose a fourth module to meet their specific professional needs and personal interests.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour of Paris and Brussels.

Programme objectives

- Excellent understanding of the nature and development of global energy and climate policy, drawing on a variety of contributing disciplines

- Excellent knowledge of regulatory challenges and their impact on public and private stakeholders in both the Global South and North

- Ability to critically contribute to contemporary policy debates about reforms of international energy and climate governance architectures and their interaction with national and sub-national policy and regulatory frameworks

- Development of practical skills including policy analysis and policy advocacy, risk analysis, strategic communication and media

We welcome applications from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. It is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to global energy and climate policy.

Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.

Listen to the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy and CISD's 1st Annual Energy and Climate Change Conference (May 2011) podcast (http://www.4shared.com/mp3/EdRUc-qq/CISD_Energy_and_Climate_Change.html), organised by students.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/2016 (pdf; 172kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy/file80890.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The programme may be taken in one year (full time) or in two or three years part time with the schedule designed to allow participation by those in full time employment. Participants may choose a combination of courses to meet their professional needs and personal interests. The programme is convened on a multi-disciplinary basis, and teaching is through lectures, tutorials and workshops conducted by SOAS faculty and visiting specialists.

The Centre endeavours to make as many of the courses for Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) accessible to part time students. The majority of CISD lectures are at 18.00 where possible however lecture times will be rotated on a yearly basis for some courses (between evening and daytime slots) so that part time students will have access to as many courses as possible over the duration of their degree. Associated tutorials are repeated in hourly slots with the latest taking place at 20.00. Students sign up for tutorial groups at the start of term and stay in the same group throughout the academic year. There is a minimum of two and a half hours formal teaching a week (lecture and tutorial) for each GECP course taken. Practical exercises may take place at weekends.

Teaching includes:

- Theory and practice of global energy and climate change policy as intertwined global issues

- Practical toolkit including policy analysis and planning, risk analysis, strategic communication, policy advocacy and negotiation skills

- Interaction with policymakers and government officials, energy industry and NGO representatives, and other practitioners

- An elective from a wide range: International Relations, International Law, International Economics, International Security, Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World or a course offered by other SOAS departments (e.g. Development Studies, Politics, Economics, Law)

Further activities:

Also included in the degree programme:

- Week-long study trip to energy and climate change related organisations in Brussels and Paris
- Advanced media and communication skills training by current and former BBC staff
- Participation in workshops attended by public and private sector stakeholders
- Opportunity to organize and run the Centre’s annual Energy and Climate Policy conference
- Guest lectures by leading scholars and senior practitioners (visit the CISD website (http://www.cisd.soas.ac.uk/all-audios/1) to listen to the podcasts)

This course is also available online and is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy and who wish to study in a flexible way. Please click here to view more information http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy-online/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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City's MSc in Health Policy helps you understand, navigate and influence the 21st century health and health care environment. City’s MSc Health Policy is the ideal route for graduates looking to start, change or develop their career within the health policy field. Read more
City's MSc in Health Policy helps you understand, navigate and influence the 21st century health and health care environment.

Who is it for?

City’s MSc Health Policy is the ideal route for graduates looking to start, change or develop their career within the health policy field. It combines an international focus and academic rigour with the development of practical, transferable skills that can be applied in a wide range of real-world health policy, planning and management settings.

We welcome applications from graduates (UK or international) from any academic discipline. The course is also suitable for established professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, including:
-Medical, nursing and allied health professions
-Health management and administration
-Public health
-National and local government
-National NGOs
-International agencies
-Research institutions and consultancies
-Pharmaceutical, insurance and other health-related industries.


Health and health care policy are at the top of the political agenda around the world. People are living longer, consumers are expecting more from their health services and chronic illnesses are becoming prevalent. Medical technology is advancing rapidly, creating ever-increasing demand for the latest treatments.

Health policy affects and is affected by all of these factors. It aims to meet the growing challenges facing health systems by providing answers to such questions as:
-How can we best meet people’s changing health needs?
-How can we control spiralling health costs, while maintaining high quality and comprehensive health services?
-What is the most effective way of organising and paying for health care?
-How can we tackle inequalities in health and access to care?
-How can we measure and improve the performance of health systems?

City’s MSc in Health Policy gives you the knowledge and tools you need to understand, analyse and influence the health policy process, and to operate within an increasingly complex policy environment.

You will analyse the social, political and economic factors that affect policy at a local, national and international level. You will explore how and where policy is made, and who the key players are; and learn how to present your ideas clearly and persuasively to a range of influential stakeholders to bring about change.


You have the opportunity to do a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage you to create your own. One recent student worked within the refugee camp in Calais alongside the NGO Doctors of the World as part of her dissertation research on refugee access to health care.

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mix of lectures, class discussions and seminars, student presentations, case study analysis, interactive computer-based exercises, a virtual learning environment (Moodle) and self-directed reading.

Lecturers are drawn from City's Schools of Health Sciences and Arts and Social Sciences. A number of distinguished external honorary and guest lecturers have also taught on the programme, including:
-Professor David Oliver (President of the British Geriatrics Society, former National Clinical Director for Older People at the Department of Health, and Visiting Fellow at the King's Fund)
-Professor Paul Burstow (Chair of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and Minister of State for Care Services in the Coalition Government, 2010-12)
-Brigadier Tim Hodgetts CBE (Medical Director, Defence Medical Services, and former Medical Director, NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps)
-Beccy Baird (Fellow in Health Policy, the King's Fund)

City has an international reputation for academic excellence in the areas of health and food policy, health services research, health management, health economics and executive leadership across a broad range of professional disciplines. You will learn from and alongside colleagues who aim to influence health policy and lead health-related initiatives.

Modules are assessed through a combination of written coursework, group work and examination. The assessments reflect the learning objectives of the modules.


You will take five core taught modules, which cover the main topics and issues within health policy, the health policy process, the principles of policy analysis, and research methods.

You will also choose two or three further elective modules covering a range of related areas, including public health, global health and health management and leadership.

Core modules
-HPM001 The health policy process, politics and power
-PHM004 Social determinants of health
-HPM004 International health systems
-HPM006 Health economics
-HRM020 Foundations in research methods and data analysis*

Elective modules
-HRM001 Introduction to research methods and applied data analysis*
-HPM003 Health policy in Britain
-PHM001 Public health**
-PHM003 Global health**
-HMM002 Strategic management in healthcare†
-HMM008 Health innovation and change†
-HMM026 Finance and enterprise performance†
-HMM022 Management and leadership in healthcare†
-HMM025 Economic evaluation and pharma†
-APM006 Contemporary issues in mental health
-APM017 Engaging technology
-FPM001 Food and public policy

*The core module HRM020 covers basic research skills and enables you to perform entry-level statistics. It forms the first part of the 30-credit module HRM001 Introduction to research methods and applied data analysis, which goes on to cover more advanced research skills. If you choose to take HRM001, this will replace the core module HRM020.

**A maximum of one public health module (PHM001 or PHM003) may be chosen as an elective.

†A maximum of two health management (HMM) modules may be chosen as electives. Depending on module capacity, it may only be possible to take one HMM module.

Dissertation - you will also write a final health policy-related dissertation, on a topic of your choice, of between 12,000 and 15,000 words.

Career prospects

Because health and health care are such high priorities for both the public and policy makers, health policy specialists will continue to be in high demand. Therefore, if you are working or want to work within any health-related organisation in the public, private or third sectors, this course will help you develop the key transferable skills you need to succeed.

Graduates of the MSc Health Policy have gone on to a variety of policy, campaigning/advocacy and research roles within the public sector such as:
-The NHS and international ministries of health.
-NGOs and third-sector organisations including the Patients Association and a number of professional associations.
-The private sector such as consultancy, corporate communications and pharmaceutical companies.

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Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. Read more

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.

Course structure

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:

  • Design of social research
  • Key issues in comparative social policy
  • Comparative social policy
  • Organised civil society and the third sector
  • The family, parenting culture and parenting policy
  • Governing science, technology and society in the 21st Century
  • Foundations of sociology
  • Politics and sociology of the environment
  • Sociology of health, illness and medicine
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Terrorism and modern society


Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy
  • impart country-specific as well as cross-national empirical and theoretical knowledge of current challenges and processes of transformation of welfare systems
  • enable you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development, and family policy
  • develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas pertaining to social policy
  • familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of international social policy.


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/

Why study at the University of Kent

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.

  • Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017
  • Kent is ranked 25th in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • Kent is ranked 22nd in the Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 42% of our academics are from overseas and we have students representing 158 nationalities
  • In the most recent research rankings, 97% of research at Kent was found to be of international quality (REF 2014)
  • Kent is ranked 17th in the UK* for research intensity and research output (REF 2014)
  • Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why-kent/

* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions

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From air pollution to the spread of vector-borne diseases, changes in our environment can have profound repercussions for human health. Read more

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:

  • field sampling and laboratory analysis for direct determination of contaminants within environmental systems;
  • practical experience of the use of key methods to assess environmental impacts on health;
  • exposure to major global public health challenges, and the stakeholders involved in tackling these issues.

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:

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Health (International Solid Waste Association)
  • Public health and environmental issues associated with shale gas extraction (Public Health England)
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of current heat wave interventions (Committee on Climate Change)


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

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What is public policy? Who are the key actors and which institutions are involved? Who is it shaped by and how does it have an impact on an economic, social and cultural environment that is increasingly globalised?. Read more
What is public policy? Who are the key actors and which institutions are involved? Who is it shaped by and how does it have an impact on an economic, social and cultural environment that is increasingly globalised?

This programme investigates the international public policy environment in terms of global political economy and the impact of business, voluntary sector and public policy agents in the field of multi-level governance. The programme encompasses both a theoretical understanding of the policy process and models of appraisal with a practical orientation to evaluating research evidence.

As well as considering generic policy concerns, the programme gives you an opportunity to choose from a range of substantive policy issues. These include: the economics of public policy; poverty and social exclusion; penal policy; cities, housing and public policy; health and public policy; migration, asylum; and sustainability. All the programme units consider policy in an international and comparative context.

Programme structure

Core units
-Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy
-Informing and Evaluating Policy: Research Methods and Analysis
-Power Politics and the Policy Process
-Public Management and Organisations.

Optional units - Optional units can vary, but may include:
-The Economics of Public Policy
-Gender and Violence: International and Global Perspectives
-An International Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion
-Social Policy and Social Change in East Asia
-Critical Policy Studies and the Internationalisation of Public Policy
-The State of Labour
-International Analysis of crime, harm and justice
-Environmental policy and social justice
-Migration, asylum and human rights
-EU and global perspectives
-Social Policy and Social Change in East Asia
-Public Policy for a complex and uncertain world

You must complete a dissertation of 15,000 words. The dissertation accounts for 60 credit points. You begin work in late April and must submit by September.


Graduates from our MSc in Public Policy frequently work in roles that focus on strategy, policy development and implementation or policy research. Potential employers include local or central government departments; national or international non-governmental organisations; and international institutions, such as the European Union and the United Nations.

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UBC’s two-year, professional Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) program will equip students with a broad policy foundation of strong analytical and technical skills – plus knowledge in development and social change, sustainability, and global governance. Read more

General Information

UBC’s two-year, professional Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) program will equip students with a broad policy foundation of strong analytical and technical skills – plus knowledge in development and social change, sustainability, and global governance.

The Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs curriculum is designed to emphasize many aspects of being a professional in a policy-making environment: comprehensive knowledge, application of scientific and engineering principles, assessment of alternatives, and problem-solving.

Students will graduate with a deeper understanding of policy networks between North America or Europe and China and other emerging nations in Asia and beyond. The MPPGA program will graduate policy professionals prepared to create boundary-crossing solutions to address urgent issues facing the world in the 21st century.

What makes the program unique?

UBC’s MPPGA degree prepares future policy leaders with an informed perspective, critical and creative thinking skills, and professional networks qualifying them to work effectively with global policy establishments. Together, this toolkit will allow graduates to diversify and enhance their careers. The MPPGA program has a novel and broad approach to governance: going beyond government bodies to include a network of actors - NGOs, social enterprises, international institutions, and the private sector – that are target employers for graduates.

The program’s three streams allow for customization and specialization of global public policy and are reflective of UBC's unique strengths on Asia and sustainability in particular. Students will be exposed to global case studies in the areas of political, socio-economic and cultural change taught by some of the world’s leading public policy experts.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs
- Specialization: Policy
- Subject: Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework only
- Registration options: Full-time
- Faculty: Faculty of Arts


The world is in the midst of major and rapid transformation: dramatic technological change, instability in the system of globalization, dramatic rise of emerging powers and rebalancing of power, increased presence of systemic risk, climate crisis and urgent sustainability challenges. What is required is policy education with particular focus on global-domestic interactions, multi-sectoral interactions, sustainability issues and cross-Pacific functional capacity as well as a “learning-by-doing” environment that increases graduates readiness to enter employment productively from the standpoint of both the employer and employee.

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs curriculum is designed to emphasize many aspects of being a professional in a policy-making environment: comprehensive knowledge, application of scientific and engineering principles, assessment of alternatives, and problem-solving. With relevant training in various sectors, Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs graduates will be capable of:
- working proficiently and efficiently with professionals,
- designing and developing policy solutions for global problems.

The core courses offered in Year 1 will allow students to acquire the necessary multi-disciplinary policy analysis and design skills they will need to understand domestic and global policy processes, manage organizations, and communicate effectively across organizations and cultures. Over the course of the program, students will acquire knowledge and skills in development, sustainability, and global governance through:
- core and elective courses,
- related policy events, and
- development cases.

Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs students will integrate tools with policy through field-based and hands-on professional experience within internships, professional workshops, and Capstone projects.

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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. Read more

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.

Course Structure

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.

Learning Approach

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:

  • to understand the fundamental mechanisms operating in the environment and the principles underlying the tools for sustainable environmental management
  • to specialise in particular chosen areas
  • to develop the ability to conduct independent rigorous research into environmental problems with confidence
  • to be able to employ a knowledge from range of subjects necessary to understand and resolve practical sustainability and environmental problems
  • to develop interpersonal and transferable skills, quantitative and qualitative skills

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.

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The Master Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy (SEEP) is an innovative, internationally unique program that equips participants with the necessary theoretical background and factual information about the interconnected dynamics of economic and social systems and the physical environment. Read more
The Master Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy (SEEP) is an innovative, internationally unique program that equips participants with the necessary theoretical background and factual information about the interconnected dynamics of economic and social systems and the physical environment. The program also enables participants to use appropriate analytical tools to engage in decision processes and longer-term policy on multiple spatial levels.

Visit the website: https://www.wu.ac.at/en/programs/masters-programs/socio-ecological-economics-and-policy/overview/

Course detail

Rapid environmental change, population dynamics, poverty, and exclusion are interrelated processes that challenge human development. To tackle these complex issues, traditional disciplinary approaches to analysis and policy formulation are not sufficient. Instead, integrated and interdisciplinary approaches to studying the working of the human-environment system are needed. The Master Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy presents integrated approaches to development and human well-being that go beyond the usual polarization between socioeconomic development and environmental goals.


The program offers training in socioeconomic analysis and focuses on the interfaces between environmental, economic and social challenges. This interdisciplinary and internationally oriented approach is based on three major pillars: theory, methodology, and application. The theory courses include concepts from a variety of disciplines, chosen for their relevance to global challenges. The methodological courses offer an integrated introduction to qualitative and quantitative methods and thus illustrate how they are best combined in empirical analyses. Relevance for policy making and organizational practice is emphasized throughout the program.

Our main focus lies on providing a thorough internationalization at the home university by attracting a diverse set of students from all over the world. The “international classroom at home” thus created is meant to allow students to experience foreign (academic) cultures, languages (especially English), and an international renowed faculty without having to leave the campus.


The program offers four concentration areas of which you can choose two: Environment, Population, Multi-Level Policy and Social Policy.

- Semester 1 -

- Contemporary Global Policy Challenges
- Methodology for Interdisciplinary Research
- Growth, Well-Being, and Development
- International Institution, Governance, and Policy Evaluation
- Service Learning 1

- Semester 2 -

- Actors, Behaviors, and Decision Processes
- Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
- Service Learning 2

Concentration Area 1 and 2 – choice of two:

- Environment
- Population
- Multi-Level Policy
- Social Policy

- Semester 3 -

- Qualitative and Quantitative Methods 2

Concentration Area 1 and 2 – continuing the chosen two areas from 2nd semester:

- Environment
- Population
- Multi-Level Policy
- Social Policy

- Semester 4 -

- Research Seminar
- Master Thesis

Career Prospects

The program has been designed to provide students with the necessary understanding of global sustainability issues, an ability to work in interdisciplinary teams, and sound training in socio-economic concepts and methods.

The MSc program prepares graduates for:

- Employment as policy analysts, program managers, consultants, civil servants, project managers, and advisors who provide an insight into and support decision processes relating to sustainability issues by, for example, undertaking risk and uncertainty analyses in the social and environmental sectors; analyzing long-term developments relating to climate change, population development or aging in society; undertaking sustainability appraisals at company, regional or policy levels; helping design social, environmental, economic or educational policies; designing and facilitating participatory processes

- Working in international organizations, consultancies, companies, ministries, national and international NGOs, and research institutes where interdisciplinary skills and knowledge about the interactions of sustainability issues are needed

- Doctoral studies in the social sciences, in particular in economics, social policy, environmental studies and demography

How to apply: https://www.wu.ac.at/en/programs/masters-programs/socio-ecological-economics-and-policy/application-admission/


Information on funding and scholarships can be found at the following webpage: https://www.wu.ac.at/en/students/my-degree-program/masters-student-guide/grants-and-scholarships/

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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. Read more

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.

About this degree

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).

Core modules

  • Theories and Actors of the Policy Process (30)
  • Public Policy Economics and Analysis (PPEA) (15)
  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods or Advanced Qualitative Methods (15)
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods or Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)

Optional modules

  • Choose one of the following 15 credit modules (the other two remain available as options):
  • Law and Regulation (15)
  • Public Management: Theories and Innovations (15)
  • Agenda Setting and Public Policy (15)
  • Choose further modules up to a value of 30 credits in total from a list available on the departmental website
  • The following are suggestions:
  • Health, Policy and Reform (15)
  • Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Policy and Management (15)
  • Energy and Climate Policy (15)
  • Making Policy Work (15)
  • Policy-Making & Regulation in Europe (15)
  • The European Union in the World (15)
  • Public Ethics (15)
  • British Government and Politics (15)
  • International Political Economy (15)
  • The Political Economy of Development (15)
  • Democratic Political Institutions (15)
  • Foreign Policy Analysis (15)
  • Gendering the Study of Politics: Theory and Practice (15)
  • Democracy and Accountability: Holding Power to Account (15)


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:

  • 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.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Economist, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance
  • Implementation Manager, NSPCC
  • Research Analyst, World Bank Group
  • Strategy and Communication Officer, Labour


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.

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 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.

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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. Read more

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.

About this degree

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.

Core modules

Students undertake three core modules with students from sister MPA programmes, and a specialist module focusing on their degree topic.

  • Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy
  • Analytical Methods for Policy
  • Energy, Technology and Climate Policy
  • Evidence, Institutions and Power

Optional modules

Students select one optional STEaPP module from the following:

  • Science, Technology and Engineering Advice in Practice
  • Risk Assessment and Governance
  • Communicating Science for Policy
  • Negotiation, Mediation and Diplomacy

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:

  • gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in energy and climate policy and technology
  • develop an understanding of the knowledge systems underpinning successful policy-making processes
  • learn how to communicate with scientists and engineers, policymakers and technology experts
  • develop the skills to mobilise public policy, and science and engineering knowledge and expertise, to address societal challenges relating to energy and climate policy.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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.

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Study Diplomacy and Foreign Policy to acquire a unique understanding of how the world of global governance works, and develop the skills necessary to pursue a career in it. Read more
Study Diplomacy and Foreign Policy to acquire a unique understanding of how the world of global governance works, and develop the skills necessary to pursue a career in it.

Who is it for?

The MA in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy is designed for those planning, or already engaged in, a career in the diplomatic service, journalism, international organisations (such as the United Nations or the European Union) or non-governmental organisations (such as Amnesty International and Oxfam). It will also prepare you for a career in political risk, international finance and think tanks.


In this Diplomacy and Foreign Policy MA, you will develop your analytical capacities and your ability to examine and critically evaluate the role of foreign policy, diplomacy and decision-making in relation to complex issues such as:
-The capacity of states to meet their economic and political foreign policy goals.
-The role of foreign policy and diplomacy in global conflict.
-The relationship between human rights, foreign policy, and diplomacy.
-The evolution of international organisations as diplomatic and foreign policy forums.

You will explore the significance of risk and change in contemporary foreign policy and diplomacy, and develop your ability to critically evaluate foreign policy tools and diplomacy in the contemporary world.


You may have the opportunity to undertake a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage students to create their own, by fostering connections offered by the Careers Service. There is also the International Politics Careers Day, which explores career opportunities with international politics related degrees and includes:
-Talks by speakers within the field (including alumni now working within the UK Department for International Development, the UK Ministry of Justice), UNESCO and the EU Commission.
-Talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators.
-Drop-in sessions with careers professionals focusing on CV writing, applications and volunteering.

Teaching and learning

The staff within our Department of International Politics are research active, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Often this research and influence leads to policy change and many media appearances. Find out more about International Politics staff.
You can follow our staff’s activity through their Twitter feed: @cityintpolitics

In taught Diplomacy and Foreign Policy modules you will be assessed on written coursework (100% of the module mark), with the exception of Strategy, Diplomacy and Decision-making where - due to the module’s more practical nature - the assessment will also include performance in class exercises.

In addition, as a student in the Diplomacy and Foreign Policy degree programme, you will have to complete a dissertation (60 credits or one-third of your overall mark). There are no exams at the MA level. Coursework for Diplomacy and Foreign Policy modules typically is a 4000-word essay for 30 credit modules and 3,000-word essay for 15 credit modules.

Elective modules open to Diplomacy and Foreign Policy students offered by other Departments/Schools may have different sets of assessment requirements.


The structure of this MA includes both compulsory and optional modules to combine optimal training in the fields of diplomacy and foreign policy and significant student choice. There are three core modules:
-Strategy, Diplomacy, and Decision Making
-Economic Diplomacy
-Foreign Policy Analysis

You may then choose from a wide range of modules offered by the Department of Sociology and The City Law School. Students complete a total of 180 credits: 60 core, 60 elective, 60 dissertation.

Core modules
-Strategy, Diplomacy, and Decision Making (30 credits)
-Economic Diplomacy (15 credits)
-Foreign Policy Analysis (15 credits)
-Research Workshop

Elective modules
Typical modules offered by the Department of International Politics:
-US foreign policy (15 credits)
-Theories of International Politics (30 credits)
-Understanding Security in the 21st Century (15 credits)
-International Organisations in Global Politics (15 credits)
-Development and World Politics (15 credits)
-Religion in global politics (15 credits)
-Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future (30 credits)
-Political Economy of Global Finance (15 credits)
-The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)
-International Politics of the Middle East (15 credits)
-Global Governance (15 credits)
-Global Financial Governance (15 credits)
-Global Political Economy: Contemporary Approaches (30 credits)
-Global Ethics: Power and Principle (30 credits)
-Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by the Sociology Department:
-Developments in Communication Policy (30 credits)
-Transnational Media and Communication (30 credits)
-Criminal Minds (15 credits)
-Crime News (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by The City Law School:
-Arbitration (30 credits)
-Civil Dispute Resolution Options – Strategy, Risks and Costs (30 credits)
-Energy, Environment and Security (30 credits)
-Law and war (30 credits)
-Mediation and Negotiation (30 credits)
-International Dispute Settlement (30 credits)
-Law of Treaties (30 credits)

Career prospects

The skills you will take away from this programme – those of research, analysis and presentation – are highly valued by employers. Current graduates now work within the following organisations:
-Amnesty International
-The Open Rights Group
-The Grass Roots Group
-The United Nations
-US Embassy
-International Crisis Group
-Ministry of Economy and Finance
-European External Action Service
-Peace Network
-MN Alliance with Youth

From government agencies to NGOs and human rights organisations, the course gives you the perfect foundation to prepare for a career in a wide range of fields. You will graduate with the ability to undertake in-depth research, challenge received explanations of topics in social and political life and to examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between governments, transnational actors, transnational networks and intergovernmental or governmental organisations.

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The MRes Social Policy programme is designed for;. - those developing careers as policy analysts or applied researchers in national or international social or public policy organisations or government departments. Read more


The MRes Social Policy programme is designed for;

- those developing careers as policy analysts or applied researchers in national or international social or public policy organisations or government departments
- prospective PhD students in social or public policy.

The programme combines the academic study of social policy with a comprehensive exploration of research methods. Students develop experience and skills through analysing, comparing and evaluating social and public policies. Within an active research community (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/research-students/) students are supported in identifying, investigating and realising their own original research. We encourage diversity of intake regarding experience, qualifications and interests to stimulate the mutual experience and learning.

The excellence of the research undertaken within the Department of Social & Policy Sciences has been recognised most recently by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

- South West Doctoral Training Centre
This MRes is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). It forms part of the Social Policy Discipline-specific Pathway.

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway, where successful graduates could proceed onto an MPhil or PhD in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences.

If applying for an MRes + PhD (the 1 + 3 programme) you should indicate on the Application Form, your preferred PhD route.

Progression from the MRes to the MPhil or PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/mres-soci-poli/

Programme structure

Core Units

- Short research apprenticeship project (MRes)
- Quantitative methods 1: introduction to quantitative methods
- Long research apprenticeship project
- Research for policy: concepts, methods and values
- Qualitative methods 1, Principles & skills of social research
- MRes Dissertation

Optional units

- Comparative European social policy
- International family policy
- Globalisation & economic insecurity: social policy challenges
- Comparative research methods
- Quantitative methods 2
- Qualitative methods 2

View Programme & Unit Catalogue (http://www.bath.ac.uk/catalogues/2015-2016/sp/sp-proglist-pg.html#FB) for further information.

Learning and teaching

Our programmes are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, classes and seminars. Lectures are quite formal, whereas classes and seminars involve interaction between the lecturer and a small number of students for study skills and discussion.

Methods of assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of coursework essays, class exercises, projects, oral presentations and examinations.

We also place strong emphasis on developing presentation and discussion/communication skills, which in many units is part of the assessed work.


The Social & Policy Sciences department is committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their training.

Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations, such as:

- Social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations.
- Public policy analysis at local, national and international levels.
- Public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.

About the department

The Department of Social & Policy Sciences (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/) includes academics from social policy, sociology, social work and international development.

The international excellence of our research (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/) was recognised by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research. Our Department collaborates with a wide range of users at the local, national, European and global levels.

Postgraduate programmes:
We offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes. Our postgraduate teaching strongly reflects our research and our links to policy-makers and development institutions at the national, European and global level.

Our Department also has an active MPhil/PhD research programme. We take great pride in fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Seminar series:
We run a lively and well attended postgraduate research seminar series. Each of the Research Centres run seminar series and conferences associated with their research activities. The University of Bath also has a Research in the World public lecture series where key national and international academics are invited to speak.

Main areas of research

We are an internationally-recognised research-intensive department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social wellbeing and social justice.

We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics, and Health.

We also have an active and vibrant community of research students (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/research-students/) undertaking their own research alongside our academic staff.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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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. Read more

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.

Research insight

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (Social Policy) 60 credits
  • Researching Culture and Society 30 credits
  • Social Policy Analysis 15 credits
  • Policy and Programme Evaluation 15 credits
  • Understanding Society and Culture 30 credits

Optional modules

  • China's Development 15 credits
  • Environmental Assessment 15 credits
  • European Human Rights 15 credits
  • Human Resource Management: An International Perspective 15 credits
  • Managing Change 15 credits
  • Understanding and Managing Effective Groups and Teams 15 credits
  • Social Media Marketing 15 credits
  • Management of Finance for Health 15 credits
  • Policing Post-Conflict Cities 15 credits
  • Development Management Techniques 15 credits
  • 'Race', Identity and Culture in the Black Atlantic 15 credits
  • Disability and Development 15 credits
  • Contested Bodies 15 credits
  • Que(e)rying Sexualities 15 credits
  • Social Policy Debates 15 credits
  • Quantitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Qualitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Power, Critique & Global Transformations 15 credits
  • Standards and Tools for Business, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility 15 credits
  • Climate Change Mitigation 15 credits
  • System Dynamics: Modelling Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Social and Public Policy MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Social and Public Policy MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Careers support

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.

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Discover how to change the food system for the better on this unique MSc in Food Policy at City. From artisanal bakeries to Ministries of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Read more
Discover how to change the food system for the better on this unique MSc in Food Policy at City.

Who is it for?

From artisanal bakeries to Ministries of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Our students come to study the MSc in Food Policy from around the world, across the food landscape and go on to develop their careers in a variety of ways once they graduate.

The course is for students who are passionate about food policy and are open to challenging their own assumptions. We want you to graduate from this Masters with a more disciplined and rigorous approach so you can be more effective in pursuing your passions within the food domain.


How does a coconut growing in Malaysia become a coconut drink in the UK? On this programme we explore how policy influences the trajectory of food not just from field to fork but across time and territory.

The MSc in Food Policy is about analysing, researching and informing the future of food policy from the local to global scale. It is run by the Centre for Food Policy, which has pioneered an integrated approach to food policy since 1994.

The ways in which we produce, process, distribute, market, prepare and consume food have important consequences for our health and that of the planet. We look at the positive and negative impacts of food, from the health, environmental, political, socio-economic and cultural perspective.

This Masters promotes genuine interdisciplinary because we think you need to look at the subject from all angles to make the most holistic evaluation. It draws on social sciences (sociology, politics, economics, anthropology, psychology) as well as health sciences and epidemiology. We look at the latest food policy debates and place them in a historical context.

You will be taught by a team of specialist food policy specialists who are leaders in the field. Our academic staff are actively involved in research and in policy-making on the local, national and global stage. Our teaching reflects this engagement.

Students are exposed to conflicting narratives about the problems facing the food system and the best ways to resolve them. We address important questions of our time, such as:
-Are we producing too much or too little food to feed the world population?
-How have we ended up living in a world where there are more overweight and obese people than under-nourished people?
-Why is a third of the food produced globally lost or wasted?
-How can we deal with the massive impact of agriculture on climate change?
-How do lobbyists and the media influence what we eat?

Academic facilities

As a food policy student at City, University of London you can learn from experts at leading institutions across the UK through the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) initiative.

Created for postgraduate students, the initiative aims to address an urgent skills shortage in the food industry and tackle systematic failings in the food system by combining resources and knowledge. The network, which is made up of five leading higher education institutions including City and the University of Oxford, gives you the opportunity to take part in research and internship placements during your degree.

When it comes to studying food policy, London is an amazing location. Giving you one of the most sociologically diverse laboratories, it offers a wide range of accessible resources. From the myriad centres of policy and media to the endless range of public events, at City you can become a researcher in a global city and hone your focus towards your own area of interest and/or expertise. As part of the University of London, you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

We are a passionate and engaged team who will help you understand how to change the food system for the better. You will learn through a mixture of lectures, small group activities, whole class discussions, workshops and independent study. There are a lot of group discussions in class. We encourage you to ask questions, contribute your own experiences and apply your own perspectives to the issues we explore. The programme also encourages a strong peer-to-peer community through social media.

For the distance-learning mode you will be able to watch the lectures online, which are supplemented with written exercises and one-to-one Skype tutorials with the teaching staff.


Each taught module is assessed by two pieces of written work. The first is handed in during the middle of term so that you receive useful feedback before moving on to the second assignment. In each case you will choose the topic. You will also be asked to write different kinds of documents (briefing papers, memos, reports as well as essays) that correspond to those you would have to write in policy-making organisations. Then you work on your dissertation, which is a longer (15,000 word) piece of work, enabling you to delve into a food policy topic of your choice in depth. You will gain support from a personal supervisor who is a senior academic from the Centre for Food Policy.


The course consists of four core taught modules (worth 30 credits each) and a dissertation (worth 60 credits). The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake research on a topic of your choice that is relevant to food policy. The course has been designed to enable you to pursue your own interests and passions. In every assignment you have the opportunity to engage with the issues you care about.

The course is flexible to fit in with your work commitments so you can study this Masters on a full-time (one year), part-time (two years) or on a distance-learning basis (two years). The taught modules take place in the first and second terms, and the dissertation starts in the third term and continues until September (December for part-time students). For each taught module there are approximately 10 three-hour teaching sessions. In addition you are expected to undertake around 270 hours of independent study. For the whole programme, you should expect to study for around 1800 hours (35 hours per week for full-time students, 17.5 hours for part-time students).

Taught modules
-FPM001 - Food and public policy (30 credits)
-FPM003 - Food, culture and society (30 credits)
-FPM002 The political economy of food (30 credits)
-FPM004 Food, public health and the environment (30 credits)

Career prospects

We are very proud of our alumni. Our employability stats – the highest within the School – reflect the range of opportunities available to our graduates. For example, our alumni run NGOs and progressive food businesses, work in government and UN agencies, and have established great careers in health advocacy, journalism and academia.

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