Public Policy MSc

2 years part-time distance learning, starting in September 2019

You can apply for this course from September 2018.

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 policymakers can make a difference.

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, Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies and Department of Economics 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 analysed, made and practised.

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 opportunity 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 organisation.

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 brochure

Download the course brochure

Course structure

This course lasts 2 years. It starts in September 2019 and ends in 2021.


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.

Units

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

Compulsory course units

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

Year 1: University of Bath residential 1

Attendance at the 8 to 13 September 2019 residential week is compulsory.

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

Year 1: London residential 2

Attendance at the three day May 2020 residential is compulsory.

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

Year 2: University of Bath residential 3

Attendance at the September 2020 residential week is compulsory.

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

Year 2: London residential 4

Attendance at the three day Spring 2021 residential week is compulsory.

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
‘Students can work full-time, apply their work experience in public policy, and learn from senior policy stakeholders.’
Emma Carmel Senior Lecturer in Social Policy (2018)

Entry requirements


Origin of qualifications

Select the country where your qualification comes from.

British qualifications

You should have a bachelor’s honours 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.

Chinese qualifications

A four year bachelor’s degree with a final overall score of at least 80% depending on the institution attended.

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.

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.

French qualifications

A licence with a final overall score of at least 12 out of 20 (assez bien).

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.

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.

German qualifications

A bachelor’s degree, diplom or magister artium with a final overall score of at least 2 (gut).

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.

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.

Ghanaian qualifications

A bachelor degree with a final overall result of at least B (Good, 3.5 or 60%).

If within the last 2 years, you completed your degree in a country where English is the official first language, you may be exempt from our English language requirements.

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.

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.

Greek qualifications

A university bachelor degree (ptychio) or diploma with a final overall score of at least 7 out of 10.

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.

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.

Hong Kongese qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a final overall score of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 (B or 2:1).

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.

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.

Indian qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a final overall result of at least a First Class.

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.

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.

Italian qualifications

A laurea with a final overall score of at least 103 out of 110.

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.

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.

Kenyan qualifications

A bachelor honours degree with a final overall result of at least a 2:1.

If within the last 2 years, you completed your degree in a country where English is the official first language, you may be exempt from our English language requirements.

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.

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.

Nigerian qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a final overall result of at least a 2:1.

If within the last 2 years, you completed your degree in a country where English is the official first language, you may be exempt from our English language requirements.

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.

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.

Pakistani qualifications

A 4 year bachelor’s degree from a high ranked (HEC) university with a final overall result of at least a First Class (Division 1).

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.

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.

Taiwanese qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a final overall score of at least 75-80% (GPA 3.3-3.5 or B) depending on the university attended.

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.

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.

American qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a final overall score of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 (B).

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.

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.

Other qualifications

We welcome applications from graduates from all countries so if you can’t see your country in the list, please contact our admissions team for advice about your specific entry requirements.

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.

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


Fees

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

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for postgraduate courses.

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.

Read more about tuition fee loans

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.

Read more about bursaries and scholarships

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.

Read more about your payment options

Budgeting

Each year of the course has two full-time residentials:

  • 1 week in Bath (usually early September)
  • 3 days at the University of Bath at Pall Mall, in central London

You will need to budget travel, accommodation and some meals for these residentials. For the residentials in Bath, University accommodation can be booked.

Application information


Course enquiries


Apply now for 2019 entry

Apply now