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Public Policy MSc

2 years part-time distance learning, starting in September 2021

Rethink public policy from the ground-up and explore creative approaches to contemporary public policy strategy, design and delivery.

Specifically designed for working professionals, this course combines online and intensive residential teaching.

This specialist MSc in Public Policy offers in-depth study of how public policy is made, what shapes it and how public policy professionals can make a difference in diverse contexts.

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 online seminars with academic staff
  • face-to-face learning and networking opportunities at short residentials
  • 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.

2021/22 Academic Year


Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, information about courses starting in September 2021 may be subject to change. We continue to improve your teaching and learning experience so you gain skills and understanding which are valuable to you and sought after by employers.

Before you apply for a course, please check the website for the most recently published course detail. If you apply to the University of Bath, you will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

During the 2020/21 Academic Year, our courses are being delivered through a blended learning approach. The Bath Blend has been designed to be flexible in the face of possible changes in law or official government guidance, including measures on social distancing which may occur through the course of the next academic year and other changes to the operating environment for Universities which may be caused by the pandemic.

Information for students on our plans for the 2020-21 academic year.

Course structure

This course lasts 2 years. It starts in September 2021 and ends in 2023.


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 September 2021 residential week is compulsory. Exact date TBC.

This residential is likely to take place at the University of Bath campus. University accommodation can be booked. Provisions are in place for this to take place online if necessary.

Year 1: Residential 2

Attendance at the three day May 2022 residential is compulsory. This may be delivered online or in Bath with accommodation details will be available nearer the time.

Year 2: University of Bath residential 3

Attendance at the September 2022 residential week is compulsory.

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

Year 2: Residential 4

Attendance at the three day Spring 2022 residential week is compulsory. This may be delivered online or in Bath with accommodation details will be available nearer the time.

Learning and assessment


Learning

Online resources

  • Podcasts and videos
  • Extensive topic overviews with key reading, questions and learning activities, written by staff with research expertise
  • Structured online web-discussion with academic staff
  • Regular online seminars with leading academic staff
  • Policy Case Study library covering specific areas of public policy, developed by leading experts
  • Cutting edge policy case study library developed by leading researchers
  • Personal tutors, individual research supervision and peer mentoring
  • Access to professional writing skills support

Residential resources

  • Interactive lectures and seminars
  • Extended seminars with visiting policy professionals on practice-based topics
  • Policy scenario: planning and decision-making in real-world contexts
  • Intensive digital data workshop
  • Research and writing skills
  • Group work on specialist areas
  • Informal networking/social opportunities across year groups

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

Recognition of professional qualifications


As well as being recognised as a higher academic qualification, a number of our degrees are also accredited by professional bodies in the United Kingdom. An accredited degree may entitle you to work in a specific profession within the UK, and abroad (where there are reciprocating arrangements with professional bodies in other countries).

The requirements to practise a profession vary from country to country. If you wish to practise your profession outside the United Kingdom, you are advised to confirm that the UK professional qualification you seek is valid in the country in which you are intending to work.

‘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 13 out of 20.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Taiwanese qualifications

A bachelor’s degree with a final overall score of at least 75-80% 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.

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, 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. These may be held virtually or on location. Further details will be confirmed as soon as they are available.

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 title
    Public Policy
  • Final award
    MSc
  • Mode of study
    Distance learning, part-time
  • Course code
    THSP-ADM32
  • Department
  • Location
    University of Bath
    Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY
  • Home application deadline
    31 July 2021

    We recommend you apply early as we may close applications before the deadline if a course is full.

  • Overseas application deadline
    31 July 2021

    We recommend you apply early as we may close applications before the deadline if a course is full.

  • Application eligibility
    Home and Overseas students are eligible to apply
  • Regulator

Course enquiries


Apply now for 2021 entry

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