Public Policy MSc

2 years part-time distance learning, starting in September 2020

You can apply for this course from September 2019.

Rethink public policy from the ground up in this distance learning course. Explore creative approaches for shaping public policy strategy, 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 public policy professionals can make a difference.

On the course, you will:

  • investigate the political, economic and social dynamics that affect contemporary public policy
  • examine how data and evidence in the digital environment are re-shaping how public policy is analysed, made and practised
  • learn how to combine theory and practice to advance creative approaches for policy design and delivery
  • develop your own policy specialism with the option to undertake work-related projects as part of your studies

Highly applied in nature, the course draws on diverse cases from policymaking globally, as well as from Europe and the UK. You will 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 links to senior public policy makers and experienced policy analysts.

You will leave the course with:

  • advanced understanding of the concepts and tools used in public policymaking today, their application and limitations
  • deeper knowledge of the contexts and constraints within which public policy is made
  • confidence to apply creatively different policymaking tools, identifying new ways to achieve public policy goals

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered in an inspiring format:

  • highly structured content, fortnightly online discussions and regular interactive webinars with academic staff
  • face-to-face learning and networking opportunities at short residentials in Bath and London
  • state-of-the-art course material designed and taught by expert academic staff, teaching on their research specialisms
  • practical applications that can draw on examples from your own professional experience
  • intensive support from expert Bath academics throughout

Graduate prospects

The specialist teaching you will receive and advanced skills you will acquire could 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 pursue or advance your career as (indicatively):

  • 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
  • regional or local government strategy
  • public service policy or strategy
  • private sector providing contracted public sector services

Academically, the successful completion of the course will prepare you with skills to further your academic studies to doctoral level, in pursuit of a career in academia or advanced policy research.

Course structure

This course lasts 2 years. It starts in September 2020 and ends in 2022.


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

The course combines four compulsory residential events with in-depth and structured online learning facilitated by academic staff who are experts in their subject areas. 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 6 to 11 September 2020 residential week is compulsory.

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

Year 1: London residential 2

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

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

Year 2: London residential 4

Attendance at the three day Spring 2022 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
‘This course is designed for professionals who are working full time either already in public policy, or who want to advance their careers further in public policy.’
Emma Carmel Director of Studies, MSc Public Policy (2019)

Entry requirements


Origin of qualifications

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 and funding information for Public Policy MSc part-time distance learning


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

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 2020 entry

Apply now