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Comparative Applied Social and Public Policy, Evaluation and Research (MPA)

Course Description

The Masters of Public Administration in Comparative Applied Social and Public Policy, Evaluation and Research (MPA CASPPER) is aimed at mid-career professionals who wish to obtain advanced study and placement experience and who currently work as or intend to become: policy advisors and analysts, project leaders, policy consultants, policy researchers and evaluators.
This 21-month full-time programme specialises in social and public policy analysis and social research, building upon the University of York's well-established MPA, social research and comparative analysis programmes.
Applicants to the programme have included individuals with Chevening Scholarships, and those sponsored by national Government.

Who is the programme for?

*Mid-career professionals from government agencies and international NGOs.
*Those with an interest in comparative analysis, policy-transfer, and innovations in policy delivery.
*Those wishing to understand the debates and challenges around emerging forms of governance.
*Those wishing to be mentored by experienced academics, evaluators, administrators and managers.
*Those who currently work as or wish to become: policy advisors, policy analysts, project leaders, policy consultants, policy researchers and evaluators.

Themes and content

The curriculum is strongly international, reflecting the research interests of staff based within SPSW (globalisation, East Asia, Asia-Pacific, and Europe). The international focus is reflected in a number of the core modules: Comparative Social Policy Methods, Comparative Social Policy: Governance, Management and Delivery, and Globalisation and Social Policy. The international focus of the programme is also encompassed within the Applied Policy Transfer Project.
The CASSPER programme is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training modules. In the Autumn Term you are provided with a broad introduction to comparative social policy theory and methods and grounding in key social policy analysis themes, issues and theories. In the Spring Term, you undertake more detailed comparative analysis of governance, management and delivery and combine this with study of the impact of globalisation on social policy.
Following completion of these modules, you will embark on your Policy Transfer project during summer term under the advice of your learning mentor and attend a series of master-classes. You will also have the opportunity to present your research in progress to a wider audience during a programme of dissertation workshops During summer and in the following Autumn, you will begin your placement activities. Autumn and Spring terms of Year 2 allow you to undertake methodological training in qualitative and quantitative methods. During Summer Year 2 you will produce a 12,000 word systematic review linked to your placement and undertaken with the guidance of your own individual learning mentor. You will also complete an applied policy research placement report.
Read more here: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/mpa-caspper/#tab-2

Learning mentor

Each student will be assigned a ‘learning mentor’ to assist them in tailoring a programme of training activity. The mentor will allow individuals to fully utilise the opportunities offered by the 2-year programme: including site visits and on-the-job experiental learning and reflection.
The research mentor will have a number of roles: involvement in the scoping review, overseeing the systematic review, arranging further activities within the research placement, and supervising the research training budget. The research training budget allows each student in the 2nd year of study to access specialised research courses and activities, offered within the University of York; or nearby specialist centres and organisations.


Working under the supervision of their mentor and specialising on a specific policy issue, students complete a Policy Transfer Project (8,000 words) in which they examine cross-national evidence to identify potential ‘policy lessons’ that might be transferred from one set of countries/one country to another.


As part of the programme, all students undertake a study placement selected, where possible, to match the interests, expertise, and career aspirations of the student.
Read more here: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/mpa-caspper/#tab-5

Our calibre

In the latest national research evaluation exercise (REF 2014) our overall research performance was ranked third in the UK, with 54% of research activity rated as world leading. We were also ranked joint first in the UK for research impact.

The QS World University Rankings included a separate subject league table for Social Policy & Administration for the first time this year and our department was ranked 25th in the world.

The QS World University Rankings also ranked us 4th in the UK for social policy.

Talk to us

Our Virtual Open Days are the ideal way to find out more about postgraduate study at York. At the live event you can chat online with academic staff and current York postgraduate students as well as watch talks on finance and student life. Go to https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/open-days/virtual-open-day/ to find out more.

Visit the Comparative Applied Social and Public Policy, Evaluation and Research (MPA) page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Entrants to CASPPER will have at least 3-years professional experience in a public sector or NGO setting, in addition to an upper second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification. However, if you have relevant work experience with good academic potential you may also be considered.

Course Fees

Home/EU: £16,290 - International: £16,290

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Recipient: University of York

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