MSc Public Policy

University of Bath

Program Description

MSc Public Policy

University of Bath

Rethink public policy from the ground up in this distance learning course. Explore creative approaches for making and influencing policy design and delivery.


This specialist MSc in Public Policy offers you the opportunity to delve into how public policy is made, what shapes it, and how you can make a real difference as a policymaker.

You will explore the political, economic and social dynamics and forces that influence contemporary public policy issues. This will enable you to think creatively about public policy design and delivery, and your role within it.

Highly applied in nature, the course draws on diverse cases from policymaking globally, as well as from Europe and the UK. You’ll work with academics from the Institute for Policy Research, Department of Social & Policy Sciences and Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies with international expertise in this area, and have links to senior and experienced policymakers from around the world.

The course also examines how data, knowledge, and evidence in the digital environment are re-shaping how public policy is analyzed, made and practiced.

You will leave the course with:

  • a robust understanding of the concepts and tools used in public policymaking today, their application and limitations
  • an understanding of the wider contexts and constraints within which public policy is made
  • the confidence to apply different policymaking tools and think creatively about them, identifying new ways to achieve public policy goals
  • the ability to read, critique and develop persuasive arguments about the characteristics of policy problems, the knowledge we have about them, and alternatives for action and inaction

Ideal for those already working in policy, or aspiring to do so, the course offers plenty of opportunities to draw on examples from your own professional experience and to apply the new ideas and skills to your own specific public policy interests.

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered in an inspiring format, that combines:

  • highly structured and interactive online content
  • face-to-face learning and networking at short residentials in Bath and London
  • intensive support from leading Bath academics throughout

Graduate prospects

The specialist teaching and tools you acquire will put you in a strong position for moving forward in any policy-facing or policy-shaping role, whether in analysis, strategy or delivery.

You will be equipped to work as a national civil servant in a policy role, government affairs official, think tank researcher, parliamentary advisor, policy advisor, policy advocate in a large INGO or advocacy organization.

You could also work in regional or local government strategy, public service policy or strategy, or the private sector providing contracted public sector services.

You could also take your studies further to doctoral level.

Course structure

This course lasts 2 years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2020.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.


Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Year 1

  • Public policy: theory, politics, and practice
  • Public policy and economics
  • Knowledge, evidence, and data in public policy

Year 2

  • Public policy case analysis
  • Dissertation or Policy portfolio


Residential events

You must attend four compulsory full-time residential events as part of this course.

Year 1: Residential 1

9 to 14 September 2018

This residential will take place at the University of Bath campus. University accommodation will be available.

Year 1: Residential 2

8 to 10 May 2019

This residential will take place at Pall Mall, London. Accommodation details will be available nearer the time.

Year 2: Residential 3

September 2019

This residential will take place at the University of Bath campus. University accommodation will be available.

Year 2: Residential 4

May 2020

This residential will take place at Pall Mall, London. Accommodation details will be available nearer the time.


Learning and assessment

Learning

Online resources

  • Podcasts and videos
  • Topic overviews with specified reading, key issues, questions and debates
  • Structured online web-discussion with academic staff
  • Blogs and forums
  • Policy Case Study library covering specific areas of public policy, developed by leading experts

Residential resources

  • Practical data analysis and intensive digital data workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Extended seminars with visiting policy professionals on practice-based topics
  • Free attendance at the Institute for Policy Research annual symposium

Assessment

  • Blog
  • Data analysis practical
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Online web-forum contributions
  • Policy brief
  • Policy evidence and data review
  • Presentations
  • Public Policy case report
  • Take-home examination


Case study

Public Policy MSc at the University of Bath from the University of Bath on Vimeo.


Entry requirements

British Qualifications

  • You should have a bachelor’s honors degree or international equivalent, typically a 2:1 or above.
  • To apply for this course you should have an undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject such as politics, political economy, human or political geography, sociology, economics, international relations, security or area studies.
  • We will also consider graduates with an undergraduate degree in other subjects where you have relevant professional experience in any area of public policy.
  • We may make an offer based on a lower grade if you can provide evidence of your suitability for the degree.
  • If your first language is not English but within the last 2 years, you completed your degree in the UK, you may be exempt from our English Language requirements.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.


Fees and funding

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.


How to pay

Tuition fee loans

If you are studying a postgraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.


Scholarships and bursaries

You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. You do not have to pay it back.


Other payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.


Budgeting

You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing, and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of textbooks.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation, and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated June 6, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Duration
Duration
2 years
Part time
Price
Price
5,300 GBP
Information
Deadline
Locations
United Kingdom - Claverton Down, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Aug. 31, 2020
Dates
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - Claverton Down, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Aug. 31, 2020