The course provides either postgraduate study for those who have studied disciplines at undergraduate level which offer a good base for policy studies (politics, sociology, law, geography, finance, economics and pure science subjects) and now see their future in the broad policy community, or those who already work within the public or not for profit sectors and wish to enhance their career prospects.
Graduates of the MA Public Policy have successfully pursued careers in the public and voluntary sectors as public sector managers and policy analysts.
Conducting postgraduate work fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market. Studying at this level allows you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.
A postgraduate degree from an institution such as The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.
I have enjoyed my experience of the MA Public Policy and broadened my knowledge because it gave me the chance to critically analysis the process of policy implementation and delivery, while focusing on my field of interest, social policy. I was able to study welfare policy, understanding important concepts and theories underpinning many Contemporary policies. With the guidance of academic staff I produced a dissertation using primary and secondary data. The level of support was ideal for independent research analysis while ensuring conformance to the University's approved methods and guideline.
I enjoyed the structure of the MA course with a variety of lectures and group work. I explored new study areas such as economics and public finance, which complimented my undergraduate degree in Social Policy. I was able to make the most of my time when not at university by undertaking work experience in an NHS partnership Trust strategy and development unit. This enabled me to put my learning into practise. I am now working for the council, and hope that my academic and practical insights into public policy will enable me to progress further.
The MA in Public Policy program opened a new horizon for my intellectual as well as professional development. I received valuable lessons on Economics, Governance and Globalization from the school, together which helped me to come-up with a Dissertation on Food Inflation and Social Welfare that helped me to get a project with the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit. Our teachers are extremely helpful and approachable, which help the academic environment conducive for international students.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2014, 95% of postgraduates in the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,692 with the highest being £30,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.
Career prospects and employability
The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.
Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.
Career planning and development
We have developed and are developing close links with the National School of Government and other public sector bodies to provide internship opportunities to MPA and MPP students. The School of Sociology and Social Policy is developing close links with Nottingham Citizens. We will inform you of these internship and other opportunities throughout the course.
The Careers Group of the University of London provides much information on internships and careers in government and politics in its Looking for Jobs and Internships in Politics guide.
The Graduate School also provides internship and placement opportunities, as well as providing a range of opportunities for postgraduate students to develop their skills and enhance their employability. View details of these opportunities.
The University and the University's Students' Union also run a variety of student volunteering schemes.
The UK government, via the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), has established a Graduate Talent Pool, designed to offer internships to graduates.
The Guardian provides an alert email service for graduate jobs in the UK public sector.