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Public Policy and Management (MA)

Course Description

Why is this course for me?

* You work in the public sector or in a non-profit organisation, or you work in the for-profit sector in support of public policy or delivery.
* You want to be able to influence how policy is made and how policy decisions are translated into effective outcomes on the ground.
* You want to deepen your understanding of how policy-making and public management intersect, and to prepare yourself for more strategic roles.
* You want to understand the current ‘big picture’ of reforms and challenges within public services, and to help your organisation operate better within this complex environment.
* You want to continue working while you study, drawing on a range of module choices to suit your personal needs, and to be able to translate your learning directly into your work.
* You want to study part-time and online whilst maintaining your full-time employment.

Professional Development

This programme provides professional development for practising managers who work in either policy development or the delivery of public services. It will be of particular interest to those with an interest in the fields of social welfare, social security, employment and related areas, but it also looks more widely at the issues and pressures for managers in organising and delivering public services.
The programme is distance-based and materials are made available via a web-based virtual learning environment. Students are closely supported by on-line tutors and there is a strong emphasis on highly interactive collaborative, small-group working, and on shared learning.

Themes and content

The programme addresses four broad themes:
*The policy process: how policy-making works and what influences this process
*The implementation and delivery of public services
*Issues that affect both policy making and delivery - for example globalisation and information age government
*Policy making in a number of specialised areas - for example work and welfare, social security and international development. Within these areas the programme adopts a social policy perspective, and draws upon the latest thinking and research.

Have a look on our web page for the details of our modules: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/ma-ppm/#tab-4

Online learning - how does it work?

Our approach to online learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about this mode of study.

These are not self-study programmes which leave you on your own. You will be part of an active learning community with regular contacts and activities.

While the e-based approach means that our programmes are very flexible - you can study at any time or location - they also involve a structured approach to learning. You will be asked to take part in some activities each week.

As well as interacting with fellow students you will also have regular and structured contact with a dedicated and friendly academic and administrative team at York.

Read more about our distinctive approach: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/ma-ppm/#tab-6

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. In the meantime please contact us with any questions and we will respond within two working days.

Visit the Public Policy and Management (MA) page on the University of York website for more details!

Student Profiles

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships - 5 Awards

The University of York is hoping to be awarded Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSCUK) for students joining the online Masters in Public Policy and Management programme, or the MPA in International Development, commencing their studies in September 2017. The Commonwealth Scholarships are administered by CSCUK, working as the UK arm of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). The awards themselves are funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). The CSFP are working towards partnerships between developed and developing countries aimed at combining academic excellence with the desire to make a real difference in some of the world’s poorest countries.Please note: due to the high demand for these scholarships candidates will only be considered if they have a strong academic record at undergraduate level and clear evidence of a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrated through their Future Career Plans and Home Country Benefit statements on the application form.Please visit our website for up to date information about the scholarships.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Standard fee: £11,410 per year - Lower band £9,470 per year


1. have not previously had the opportunity to study at post-graduate level
2. are living and working in developing countries of the Commonwealth
3. are working in or with public organisations, including NGO’s, aid agencies and local/national government departments, and can demonstrate throughout their application that they are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals
4. can dedicate at least 15 hours each week to their studies with a number of study sessions being over 2 hours in length
5. meet the University Entry Requirements for the programme
6. Some countries have an English language requirement

Application Procedure

Full instructions for the Electronic Application System (EAS) are contained on the Scholarship Commission's website: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/distance-learning/info-candidates/please see further details on our website - link below

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A good second class undergraduate degree. Applicants without undergraduate-level academic experience may also be considered. Professional experience in the public service field. IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any element. A personal (home) computer with an internet connection (minimum 0.5MBPS). Sufficient study time: at least 15 hours per week including the capacity to take part regularly in the online weekly discussions.

Course Fees

Standard fee (1st year): £5,700; Discounted fee: £4,735

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of York

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