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Course content

This programme is designed for graduates who want an advanced professional qualification that will provide a launch pad for a career in the public sector, nonprofit sector or international policy community.

The programme aims to:

  • develop analytical and conceptual skills to enable critical evaluation of major policy issues, policy processes, policy implementation and policy linkages
  • examine in detail the political, economic and social context of policy-making at the local, regional, state and international levels
  • develop an in-depth knowledge of specific policy issues
  • provide a thorough training in analytical methods and approaches (qualitative and quantitative) used for policy development and implementation
  • develop an understanding of practical and ethical issues in policy-making
  • enhance knowledge and professional skills for public sector careers
  • provide professional experience through the work placement component

Programme structure

You will be taught using a variety of innovative teaching methods with a focus on providing a strong practice-oriented element to provide you with the skills necessary for a career in the public sector.

The types of assessment used will include:

  • writing short policy briefs of memos
  • problem-solving tasks
  • individual and group presentations
  • writing analytical reports
  • self and peer assessment
  • developing skills portfolios
  • other varied oral and writing tasks

Work placement

This programme offers an opportunity to undertake a work-based placement (approximately 8-10 weeks) with a policy organisation. Students undertaking a work placement are required to produce a professional analytical report, based on their placement, which explores an existing public policy problem faced by a real-life public or non-profit sector organisation and your recommendations for a strategy to address it.

Such places are not guaranteed and are dependent on a students overall academic performance as well as the availability of suitable placements. Students not undertaking a work placement will complete an analytical report in which they will be expected to engage with a policy problem, collecting data, and presenting policy recommendations.

Career opportunities

An MPP is a recognised professional qualification. The combination of academic excellence and practical experience ensure that MPP graduates are well placed for careers in public policy, government, think tanks, consulting firms, NGOs, party politics, and advocacy/lobbying organisations, among others.

The transferable skills you will gain from the programme, and the experience and networking opportunities from the Capstone placement, will give you a competitive edge in the employment market whatever your eventual career.


Visit the Public Policy - MPP/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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