Full Time: 12 months | Part Time: 24 months | Flexible: 72 months
Start date: September 2019
Public policy affects all areas of our lives including decisions on health, welfare, housing, education, security, international development, energy and climate change, to name but a few. Furthermore, public policy is not just a domestic concern, but the ability of countries to control their own destinies is heavily influenced by the decisions of other countries and international agencies. Our MA in Public Policy will give you the tools to understand and assess every public policy issue.
The one-year degree is interdisciplinary: it uses traditional and modern insights from both economics and politics to develop essential skills needed in policy-making. The teaching staff are specialists in their fields and will bring the results of their own cutting-edge research to the programme, including work that has been carried out for governments and international agencies. One of the distinctive features of our programme is the synergies that arise from involvement in a School that specialises in both Economics and Politics.
During your studies, you will gain excellent exposure to policy makers, with many classes led by analysts from the UK government, while seminars feature politicians and government officials. The University is just a 30-minute train journey to London, a major hub of political, financial and policy making activity. The short distance makes it very easy for us to arrange trips to relevant organisations and institutions during your studies.
The programme is based around core taught modules, specialist pathways that reflect major public policy challenges, a research dissertation and a choice between applied research project with placement or Capstone module. The core modules provide a range of threshold concepts and key tools for a critical analysis of the Economics of Public Policy and the Politics of Public Policy. The programme allows you to combine modules from different pathways or choose to specialise in one of the following pathways:
Global and Regional Governance and Institutions
International Security Studies
International Development and Emerging Markets
Welfare and Social Policy
The pathways are designed to allow you to tailor your studies to reflect personal or national interests as well as provide an issue-based focus for further in-depth analysis. In conjunction with this, you can also undertake a dissertation. You have the option of choosing between an individual Applied Research project with placement or a Capstone project, where you will work in teams to deliver a project for an external organisation, after which you will have to submit a related individual report. It's a great way for you to apply your academic knowledge in a practical way, and you can also receive formal credit towards your degree for placement learning.
We are a partner of Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community), which is Europe’s largest climate innovation initiative. This partnership provides Reading students with many opportunities for free and significantly discounted Climate-KIC short courses and summer schools.
6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5
Entry requirements: You are normally required to have a good first or second class honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) with a good understanding of core economics and quantitative methods.
What will you study?
Economics of public policy
Politics of public policy
Dissertation or work placement and project
This course offers a variety of optional modules relating to the specialist pathways available.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £7,545 per year
New international students: £16,045 per year
New UK/EU students: £3,775 year one
New international students: £ 8,025 year one
The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated, and relate to courses starting in the 2019/20 academic year. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Financial support for your studies
You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK and other EU countries may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.
The fees given are for entry in the academic year starting in September 2019, and will be confirmed in your offer letter.You can find more information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.
What career can you have?
What career can you have?
The programme is designed to appeal to those wishing to follow careers in the public service or in NGOs, including international agencies. Students with a postgraduate degree in Public Policy will look to pursue careers in a wide range of areas in government, civil service, business, research, journalism, teaching and the work of non-governmental organisations. This degree is of particular relevance to those wishing to pursue a career in the international sphere of public service or with the domestic or foreign service of their home state. A number of students also go on to further postgraduate studies at PhD level.