MA Public Policy
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 health, welfare, housing, education, security, international development, energy and climate change.
On this University of Reading’s 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.
There are five different pathways within MA Public Policy that reflect major public policy challenges. You can combine core and optional modules from different pathways, or choose to specialise in one:
- Global and Regional Governance and Institutions
- International Security Studies
- International Development and Emerging Markets
- Sustainable Environments
- 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 means you can also choose to undertake a dissertation in conjunction with the pathway component of your studies.
Connect with industry whilst you study
We are one of the few universities to offer an optional Capstone Project module, which is designed to give students hands-on experience. Working in small groups and overseen by a faculty member, you will contribute to your degree by completing a project on behalf of an external organisation, such as:
- business companies
- government agencies
- not-for-profit organisations
- non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Past projects have included: impact assessment of policy and business options, cost benefit analysis and advice to a local economic partnership on how to develop a strategy in response to the UK government’s new Industrial Strategy White Paper.
You can also choose to apply your academic knowledge in a practical way with an applied research placement project or an internship with an external organisation specifically related to the general sphere of public policy. Based on this work experience, you’ll complete a research report which will help develop your capacity for independent, critical research in a specialised domain.
You will receive formal credit towards your degree for placement learning.
Your learning environment
This programme strongly aligns with the research and teaching expertise of the Department of Economics and Department of Politics and International Relations, which is mostly in applied and policy-focused topics directed towards improving the quality of life in the UK and around the world.
Our research has real-world applications and has informed policy decisions by governments, major multinational organisations, and agencies such as the UN and the World Bank.
It’s natural that our teaching is also research-led and relevant.
Learn from policy experts
We strengthen and explore our research through an active guest speaker programme, which offers a different perspective and keeps you updated with the latest global developments and challenges.
In the past, we have run seminars that feature politicians and government officials. Our students have also experienced classes with policy makers and analysts from the UK government.