Full Time: 12 months | Part Time: 24 months | Flexible: 72 months
Start date: September 2020
Gain the tools to understand and assess public policy with our MA Public Policy degree.
Domestic and international public policy decisions affect all areas of our lives, including:
On this interdisciplinary course, you will use traditional and modern insights from both economics and politics to develop the essential skills needed in policy making and policy administration.
You will work with experts from the School of Politics, Economics and International Relations. Our academics are specialists in their fields and bring the results of their own cutting-edge research to the programme. For example, many of our economists conduct applied research that influences economic policy formation at the local, national and international levels, while other academics are commissioned by the government and international agencies to produce policy solutions – and this work directly informs what you’ll study.
You will gain exposure to policy makers, with many classes led by analysts from the UK government. We also run seminars that feature politicians and government officials.
Here at Reading, you will be just a 30-minute train journey from London, a major hub of political, financial and policy making activity. Reading itself is home to a number of financial services businesses and has the highest density of digital tech businesses of any UK town or city. Our location makes it very easy for us to arrange trips to relevant organisations and institutions during your studies.
This master’s course is designed for graduates with a good understanding of core economics and quantitative methods.
Flexible study options for MA Public Policy students
In addition to core taught modules, the programme also includes three flexible components:
1. Specialist pathways that reflect major public policy challenges.
There are five different pathways within MA Public Policy. You can combine modules from different pathways, or choose to specialise in one:
Global and Regional Governance and Institutions
International Security Studies
International Development and Emerging Markets
Welfare and Social Policy
The pathways are designed so you can tailor your studies to reflect your personal or national interests, as well as provide an issue-based focus for further in-depth analysis.
This component enables you to apply your academic knowledge in a practical way. You can also receive formal credit towards your degree for placement learning.
You have the option of completing 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. If you choose to do a Capstone project, you will have to submit an individual report after the project is complete. If you choose to do a placement, you will have to share a report about your research and other projects carried out during the placement.
3. Research dissertation.
You can choose to undertake a dissertation in conjunction with the pathway component of your studies.
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.
Examine the key micro-economic and macro-economic tools used to analyse and evaluate public policies. You will apply threshold concepts and tools to a range of public policy problems, and during seminars you will apply critical analysis to current public policy issues.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £7,735 per year
New international students: £16,450 per year
New UK/EU students: £3,868 year one
New international students: £ 8,225 year one
Fees and funding information
The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated, and relate to courses starting in September 2020. 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.
Scholarships and financial support
We have a number of scholarships available for students studying MA Public Policy or one of the other courses offered by our School of Politics, Economics and International Relations. These include:
6 scholarships of £3,000 each for international students
4 scholarships of £1,500 each for UK/EU students
For more information about these scholarships, as well as the University of Reading’s other master’s scholarships, please visit our master’s scholarships page.
You can apply for a scholarship once you hold an offer of admission for your course. If you are eligible for a scholarship, we will contact you to guide you through the process.
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?
Careers for MA Public Policy graduates
This programme is designed for people who want to work in public service or non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including international agencies. It is particularly relevant for people who wish to pursue a career in the international sphere of public service, or with the domestic or foreign service of their home state.
Our graduates pursue careers in a wide range of areas in government, civil service, business, research, journalism, and teaching. A number also go on to further postgraduate studies at PhD level.
Read more about where our MA Public Policy graduates are now
Vepa Rasulow is in the final stages of joining the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Turkmenistan office) as a national programme officer.