MSc Public Policy Analysis (Distance Learning)

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New programme for 2022

Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

What is public policy? Who is it shaped by? Which institutions are involved? What impact does it have on an economic, social and cultural environment that is increasingly globalised?

In the 2022/2023 academic year, the School for Policy Studies are launching this distance learning version of the popular MSc Public Policy (MPP) programme. Seven core units from MPP have been tailored to online teaching modes, providing an opportunity to study topics such as those above without relocating to Bristol. The online learning environment will include bespoke lecture videos, live online seminars with dedicated preparation tasks, individual personal tutoring, online social events, and individual dissertation supervision.

This programme engages with contemporary policy concerns and the increasing complexity of the policy environment. It explores the contested dynamics of policy making and policy implementation and provides students with the skills to understand, critically evaluate and develop policy alternatives in a local, national and international context. The programme seeks to prepare the next generation of policy makers to address a range of policy issues and understand the role and impact of different stakeholders including business and the voluntary sector as well as international and regional organisations.

It is intended for those who aspire to pursue professional career options, including policy planning, policy consultancy and policy officer positions for local and national government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, and policy consultancy.

As well as considering generic policy concerns and theoretical literature in units such as Power, Politics and the Policy Process; Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy; and The Economics of Public Policy, the programme develops empirical research skills in Informing and Evaluating Public Policy and the Dissertation. The programme also gives students an opportunity to explore  a range of substantive policy issues, including Corruption and Public Policy; and Public Management and Organisations. Every set unit considers policy in an international and comparative context.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

There are six set units for this distance learning programme, which will run from late September to early May. You must also complete a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words, which normally begins in late February and is submitted in September.

The set units are:

  • Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy
  • Power, Politics and the Policy Process
  • Informing and Evaluating Policy
  • The Economics of Public Policy
  • Public Management and Organisations
  • Corruption and Public Policy

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content of our MSc in Public Policy Analysis (distance learning).

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant social science discipline, such as sociology, social policy, social welfare, public administration, social administration, demography/population studies, accounting and finance, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy and law. Other academic backgrounds will also be considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile E
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


Graduates from our MSc in Public Policy Analysis will seek roles that focus on strategy, policy development and implementation, or policy research. Potential employers include local or central government departments; national or international non-governmental organisations; and international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.

Expected application closure date

Applications for 2022 have now closed and will reopen for 2023 entry in October 2022.

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

School website: School for Policy Studies

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


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