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.
Why do bad ideas become policy and good ideas languish for years? Does democracy get in the way of policy, or is the policy profession itself anti-democratic? Can citizens even have much influence on policy in a globalising, networked world? Governments are facing more, and more complex, demands every day. Their ability to deliver on those demands is increasingly circumscribed.
If we want to make a difference in the world, we need to understand the limits and possibilities of policy making in modern democracies.
This programme combines an understanding of descriptive and normative theory with the practice of policy analysis and PAIS’s world-leading work on transnational policy-making. You will identify and analyse the main traditions of policy studies, the core concepts of policy analysis, and theories of policy change. By combining the core module with other topical modules in PAIS, you will be able to specialise your policy analysis expertise through the lens of a particular region, development, political economy, security, gender, democratisation, etc. It is thus ideal for students wanting to pursue advanced conceptual studies in Politics but who want to give those studies an applied focus.
The core module, Theories and Traditions in Public Policy, identifies and analyses the main traditions of policy studies, the core concepts of policy analysis, and theories of policy change.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Public Policy (Extended) at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in Public Policy is designed to provide a high level training in the study of public policy and policy making at international, national and sub-state levels.
The MA in Public Policy provides a solid grounding in the key theoretical approaches to the study of public policy, and seeks to develop the knowledge and skills of those wishing to engage in further academic study. At the same time, the Public Policy MA focuses on the necessary skills involved in working in a public policy landscape now increasingly characterised by change and interdependence. Consequently, it will also develop the knowledge and skills of those wishing to, or already, pursuing a career in public policy research, policy advice, lobbying, public sector management or journalism.
The full-time Public Policy course structure is split across the year with three modules taken in each academic semester (a total of six modules) and then a dissertation over the summer. Students study four compulsory modules and two optional modules. The dissertation is written on a specialist research topic of the student's choosing.
Part-time study is available.
The Swansea programme in Public Policy is uniquely placed to offer students a comprehensive knowledge of public policy in multi-level and comparative settings, with staff well-versed in the theoretical, empirical and methodological understanding of public policy, with specialisms including European Union policy, multi-level governance, political economy, development studies and British and regional politics.
The Extended MA (EMA) in Public Policy is a 240-credit postgraduate qualification that is equivalent to 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and is thus a recognised Masters qualification throughout the European Union. The EMA is a standard UK MA plus an additional 60 credits (30 ECTS) and this additional coursework is undertaken in one semester at a partner institution overseas. The EMA is therefore not only an EU recognised postgraduate qualification it also adds a study abroad experience thus enhancing the qualification’s employability credentials.
The partner institution for EMA Public Policy is The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Founded in 1997, the Bush School is ranked in the top 12 percent of the
266 graduate public affairs schools in the USA, according to rankings published in U.S. News & World Report. Located in College Station, Texas, the School’s programmes are housed in the Robert H. and Judy Ley Allen Building, which is part of the George Bush Presidential Library Center on the West Campus of Texas A&M. This location affords students access to the archival holdings of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, invitation to numerous events hosted by the George Bush Foundation at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, and inclusion in the many activities of the Texas A&M community. Texas A&M is the sixth-largest university in the USA with 50,000 students. It holds membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, one of only 61 institutions with this distinction.
Modules on the MA in Public Policy typically include:
• Governance,Globalization and Neoliberal Political Economy
• Comparative Politics in the New World Order
• The Policy Making Process
• Politics and Public Policy in the New Wales
• Approaching Political Theory: the challenge of democracy
• Politics in Contemporary Britain
• Violence, Conflict and Development
• Critical Security Studies
• Civil Society and International Development
• War, Technology and Culture
• State of Africa
• Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention
- To develop and advance practical and academic knowledge and understanding of public policy
- To develop critical, theoretical and analytical skills, and to improve written and oral communication skills.
- To acquire research and practical skills in public policy relevant to academic, public- and private sector careers in policy-related areas.
Students interested in politics, international relations, development studies, law, humanities, social science, International business or a related background. Professionals interested in public policy and administration. Students interested in preparation for postgraduate research, MPhil or PhD, or who wish to develop skills and knowledge related to Public Policy.
Career expectations are excellent for public policy graduates, who are well-placed for careers in a variety of sectors in the UK, Europe or internationally. MA degree holders may move on to doctoral study or enter employment sectors such as government and politics; the public sector; journalism; the diplomatic corps; the armed forces; intelligence and risk analysis; relief and humanitarian organisations; law and finance and international business.