• University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Goldsmiths, University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
SOAS University of London Featured Masters Courses
Cass Business School Featured Masters Courses
Kingston University Featured Masters Courses
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
Loughborough University Featured Masters Courses

Public Policy - MSc

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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 (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. The following are suggestions:
-Health, Policy and Reform (15)
-Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Policy and Management (15)
-Policy-Making and Regulation in Europe (15)
-The European Union in the World (15)
-Making Policy Work (15)
-Democracy and Accountability: Holding Power to Account (15)
-British Government and Politics (15)
-International Political Economy (15)
-The Political Economy of Development (15)
-Democratic Political Institutions (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.


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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Policy Adviser, The Law Society
-Economist, Government of Japan
-Policy Adviser, HM Treasury
-Principal Clerk Assistant, Parliament of Kenya
-PhD Political Science and International Relations, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje

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.

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.

Visit the Public Policy - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

John-Paul Salter

"I was able to develop my research interests into a more focussed package, which then helped me enormously when drafting my PhD research proposals."


UCL Graduate Support Bursary - 20+ Awards

UCL is making 93 individual bursary awards available. Each bursary will cover the full tuition fee cost for the programme and provide £10,000 in maintenance funding per year.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The scheme is aimed at supporting traditionally under-represented groups to progress on to graduate study at UCL. All applicants will be required to demonstrate that their annual household income is currently under £42,611. This scheme is open to prospective students domiciled in the UK (that is, UK is your country of "ordinary residence”) who have "Home" tuition fee status.

Application Procedure

This initiative is funded through the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme. The UCL Graduate Support Bursary scheme forms part of UCL’s wider initiative to support graduate Master’s students.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

As a minimum, a strong upper second-class (65%) Bachelor's degree from a UK university; a CGPA of 3.45; or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant practical or work experience in a related field may also be taken into account.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University College London
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X