MSc Public Policy

The MSc Public Policy programme enables students to build the critical skills to examine the impact of public policy on our economic, social and cultural environments. We focus on identifying and comparing policy structures within global, regional and local contexts. Our staff expertise enables students to learn how to effectively apply theoretical and policy analysis tools in real-world settings.

This multi-disciplinary programme with a vibrant UK, EU and international student community is delivered within Bristol’s School for Policy Studies, a research intensive school. In 2020, the School’s global excellence in teaching and research has been highlighted by its top 20 ranking in the QS World subject rankings.

MSc Public Policy can be studied one year full-time or two years part-time.

The programme is designed for students who want to pursue professional careers in policy analysis, programme management, policy consultancy, and policy advocacy within the public, private, or non-profit sectors. We recognise that many students will be joining with relevant, albeit varied, experience. Some have no prior knowledge of the field, while others come to consolidate their undergraduate studies. Many of our students already working in a policy environment are sponsored by their employer to complete the course, improving their skills and career prospects. The programme also attracts Chevening scholars and other international scholars sponsored by their respective governments. This gives students the opportunity to not only to draw on their own experiences in the policy field but also to share these with other participants on the programme. 

The teaching team are renowned policy experts including economists, sociologists, historians, social policy analysts and human geographers. In addition to core units that cover: governance, political economy, power and policy evaluation, students are able to choose from a range of popular optional units arising from the world-renowned research undertaken within our School, such as: The international analysis of poverty and exclusion; Corruption, Gender and violence; Public management, Economics of public policy, Environmental policy and social justice and Social and public policy in East Asia. Our curriculum was designed to ensure that students have the key building blocks of public policy learning, while also having a broad array of choice in areas of key interest.

Who is the programme designed for?:

UK and international students who:

  • Have experience or interest in working/volunteering for decision-making organisations
  • Want to explore the impact of these decision-making structures on social outcomes
  • Want to gain a better understanding about how key evidence in the policy field is constructed and framed (any why some policy issues make it onto the agenda, while others do not)
  • Have an interest in exploring what constitutes good public administration at state and supra-state levels
  • May be interested in pursuing a research career in the field of public policy
  • Want to flourish in their careers and contribute to better, more considerate and more rigorous policy making at all levels of decision-making

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International students

Find out what its like to study for an MSc Public Policy as an international student.

Contact us

School admissions:
sps-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk,
+44 (0)117 954 6785

School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
8 Priory Road
Bristol, BS8 1TZ

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