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Course content

About the MSc programme

The MSc Philosophy and Public Policy provides a solid foundation in the conceptual and normative questions underlying public policy formulation.

This programme is based in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, which has come to occupy a leading place as a world-class centre for teaching and research in philosophy of science, moral and political philosophy, and decision theory and social choice. Along with the closely related Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, it enjoys an international reputation for its cutting-edge research, bustling seminar series and distinguished faculty and visitors. The Department was rated #8 globally in the 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject, and the 2017 Guardian University Guide placed LSE Philosophy at number 5 in the country with a score of 84.2/100.

This unique degree approaches philosophical issues in public policy through the lenses of historical and contemporary developments in ethical theory and political philosophy. From this programme’s specialised selection of courses you will acquire a thorough background in moral and political theory, while learning to apply this knowledge to issues in public policy. In addition, you will take part in the non-assessed dissertation seminar, which will prepare you to complete your dissertation of 10,000 words on philosophical aspects of a public policy issue. 

LSE’s distinctive approach to philosophy and public policy is one in which philosophical analysis is continuous with the scientific study of political, social and economic problems. Topics span an enormous range of policy areas, including health care, development, social security and climate change. You will engage with science policy topics like the nature of evidence, objectivity and theory choice, and will examine different approaches to the study of society such as rational, social and public choice, in addition to classic topics of political philosophy such as democracy, liberal neutrality, equality, human rights, punishment and just war.

This programme provides the ideal springboard for employment in the public and governmental sectors, whilst equipping you with the skills needed to succeed in an incredibly broad range of careers, as well as further graduate work in philosophy.

You may also apply to the LSE Internships schemes in Parliament, or discuss internships and work experience opportunities in various institutions across London with LSE Careers.

Graduate destinations

The programme prepares you for PhD work in philosophy as well as for policy-oriented careers in governmental, non-governmental or international organisations. We have a very good record of students moving on to good PhD programmes and to high-level jobs with think tanks, in government, or in business. Our graduates are currently working or studying in the following branches: non-government organisations and think tanks, governmental organisations, PhD programmes, law school or legal practice, commercial enterprises, banking and finance, consultancy, international organisations, academic research and teaching.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme


Visit the MSc Philosophy and Public Policy page on the London School of Economics and Political Science website for more details!

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