This course provides rigorous training in the analytical frameworks and methods required in the study of public policy.

It’s ideal for those wanting professional skills to become a policy practitioner, analyst or to proceed to a PhD.

You’ll explore the various methodological tools and their connections to real-world problems facing governments and related organisations. You’ll learn a range of key skills:

  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Research Management
  • Data Analysis
  • Report Writing & Presentation

You can study this course full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months.

You’ll study

The MSc in Public Policy is organised into core and optional classes. The core classes provide an introduction to the theory and practice of public policy, as well as a range of skills and methodologies to design, conduct and report on social research.

After the coursework, you’ll also complete a traditional MSc dissertation supervised by an academic from the School of Government & Public Policy. The MSc in Public Policy also offers students the opportunity to write a Field Dissertation on a selective basis.

The Field Dissertation differs from the regular MSc Dissertation in that the student has two dissertation advisors:

one academic from the School of Government & Public Policy and a Professor of Practice: Professors of Practice are senior practitioners with a wealth of experience from the public and private sectors who are affiliated with Strathclyde's International Public Policy Institute (IPPI).

IPPI's Professors of Practice provide important links between the University's academic research and the world of practice in national and international organisations in the public and private sectors.

Learning & teaching

The MSc in Public Policy comprises of core and optional classes and a dissertation. The core classes provide an introduction to the theory and practice of public policy, as well as a range of skills and methodologies relevant to designing, conducting and reporting on social research.

All classes are taught in small-group seminars. You’ll receive considerable time and attention from our staff in the seminars and individual supervision sessions.

If you’re studying part-time you’ll attend classes across two academic years. You’ll work on a dissertation over 10 months.

Classes average 20 contact hours, with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes. Part-time students attend classes across two academic years. They then work on their dissertation over the course of 10 months.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Semester 1

  • Policy Analysis

Semester 2

  • Comparative Public Policy

You'll also choose two classes from the following:

  • Principles of Research Design
  • Quantitative Methods I
  • Quantitative Methods II
  • Qualitative Methods

Elective classes

Choose two classes.

  • European Governance
  • European Political Economy
  • International Institutions & Regimes
  • Principles of Research Design (if not taken as core)
  • Quantitative Methods I (if not taken as core)
  • Quantitative Methods II (if not taken as core)
  • Qualitative Methods (if not taken as core)

Entry requirements

First or upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in social science.

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigration (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (Non-EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 - £4,800 full-time
  • 2017/18 - £2,400 part-time

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £4,800 full-time
  • 2017/18 - £2,400 part-time


  • 2017/18 - £13,500 full-time
  • 2017/18 - £6,750 part-time
Program taught in:

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2019
1 - 2 years
4,800 GBP
Scotland/EU full-time
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Start Date
Aug 2019
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Aug 2019

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