MSc Public Policy
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?
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, and non-governmental organisations.
As well as considering generic policy concerns, the programme gives you an opportunity to choose from a range of substantive policy issues, which might include the international analysis of poverty and social exclusion; public management and organisations; migration, asylum and human rights; the economics of public policy; and corruption and public policy. Every unit considers policy in an international and comparative context.
To find out more, take a look at these videos exploring scholarships, international studies and the student perspective.
There are three core units and a choice of optional units. You must also complete a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words, which normally begins in late February and is submitted by the end of the summer.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content of our MSc in Public Policy.
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.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level E.
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £11,600 per year
- UK: part-time (two years)
- £5,800 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £26,500 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
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 2023/24
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
Graduates from our MSc in Public Policy frequently work in 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.
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