Public Policy MA/PGDip

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
MA Public Policy
Duration
MA: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PGDip: 9 months full-time, 18 months part-time
Entry requirements
2.2 (or international equivalent) in any discipline
Other requirements
IELTS
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September or January
Campus
University Park
School/department
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
 

Overview

Focused on critical issues and key developments relating to public policy, this course examines globalisation, Europeanisation, governance and policy evaluation.
Read full overview

With the current developments around the world, this is one of the most exciting times to be studying the public sector, governance and government, and the delivery of services to meet people's needs. You will have the opportunity to study policy development, implementation and evaluation across a wide range of policy sectors, such as health, food, education and countries.

We aim to provide you with the skills, knowledge and tools to make sense of the world of public policy and management, so that you can critically analyse situations and problems, and use this to improve practice.

This course is designed to blend practitioner and academic perspectives on public policy, and the wide range of modules draw on examples from around the world.

It features international curricula focusing on key public sector developments in the UK, EU, USA and other countries and is informed by world-leading research, reflecting the expertise of staff in the fields of public management, policy analysis and social policy.

Student profile

Zhanar Gabdullina

Academic English preparation and support

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and support.

Our presessional courses take your English language and academic skills to the level you need to progress to postgraduate study without taking IELTS again. If you are looking to study MA Public Policy, MPA Public Administration, or MA International Social Policy, you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts

  • 78% of our research considered world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • 100% of sociology and social policy postgraduates secured work or further study within six months of graduation
 

Course details

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of core and optional modules.

MA students will complete a 60-credit 15,000-word dissertation over the summer, and an appropriate dissertation supervisor will oversee your progress.

Previous dissertation topics include:

  • Aid donorship and poverty in Africa
  • Food policies in China
  • Public procurement and corruption in the Philippines
  • Citizenship in Arab Gulf states
  • Improving education in India
  • Evaluating policies for returning students to settle in Hong Kong
  • Policy evaluation: supporting SMEs in Kazakhstan

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed through a 3-5,000-word essay or report.

 
 

Modules

Core

Dissertation in Public Policy (MA only)

There is no taught element beyond supervision. You will be allocated a suitable supervisor taking into account your interests and professional experience. You have to produce a dissertation of 15,000 words.

 
Dynamics of International Social Policy

This module introduces you to comparative analyses of different welfare state models and approaches to social and public policy; institutions, issues and debates in international social and public policy; and methods of cross-country comparative analysis.

Topics include:

  • Perspectives of international social policy
  • Welfare state typologies and cross-national comparisons
  • International institutions, standards and goals
  • EU policy
  • Welfare in less developed countries
  • Globalisation and welfare states
  • International migration and the boundaries of welfare
  • Discrimination in a multicultural world
  • International cooperation, policy learning and policy transfer
  • Comparative research methodology
 
Economics and Policy Analysis

The module will provide an introduction to the application of economic theories and concepts to policy analysis and provide an overview of public sector economics and of current issues in public sector economic analysis.

Topics covered include public expenditure, competition and market failure/externalities, public goods, discount rates and cost benefit analysis. Although focused on the UK, other countries will be examined as a way of further understanding the ongoing policy developments.

The module is designed for 'non-mathematicians' and does not involve any econometric analyses. No prior knowledge of economics is required.

 
Globalisation, Europeanisation and Public Policy

This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of the concepts and processes of globalisation and Europeanisation, and the impact of globalisation and Europeanisation upon governance and public policy.

In particular, it examines the impacts of globalisation and Europeanisation upon the governance of and the making of public policy in Britain and other countries.

 
Policy Analysis: Concept and Theories

This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of policy-making and policy analysis in government.

It examines key concepts, models and theories of policy-making and policy analysis, and illustrates them by examining policy-making in Britain and other countries.

 
Public Management and Governance

This module will cover models of management and governance in the public sector. 

It will critically examine comparative and historic trends in managerial practices and theory and contextually relevant ideas about management and governance in the public sector, including specific professional contexts.

This will include critically exploring specific debates about the alleged move from public administration to new public management and new public governance, from hierarchical to networked and marketised forms of organisation, and those involving communities in the design and delivery of public services.

 
Research Methods and Research Management

This module provides a general introduction to a range of key issues in the design and conduct of social research, plus guidance on writing both a dissertation proposal and a dissertation. The module combines more formal taught sessions with practical exercises, some of which are group-based.

By the end of the module you will be equipped with the methodological and practical skills to carry out independent research using a variety of research designs and methods.

 

Optional

You will choose 20 credits of optional modules, subject to approval.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Funding

Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.

 
 

Careers

If you have previously studied politics, sociology, law, geography, finance, economics or a science subjects, this course enables you to further your knowledge for a career in the broad policy community. It is also suitable if you are already working in the public or not-for-profit sector and wish to enhance your career prospects.

Graduates have pursued careers in the public and voluntary sectors as public sector managers and policy analysts.

Internships and development

We continue to develop close links with the National School of Government, Nottingham Citizens and other public sector bodies to provide internship opportunities for MA Public Policy students. You will be kept up to date with any upcoming opportunities throughout your time at Nottingham.

I received valuable lessons on economics, governance and globalisation, which helped me to develop a dissertation on Food Inflation and Social Welfare. This helped me to get a project with the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit.
 

Anuja Kar

Our postgraduates move into a wide range of careers following their time in the school. The level of study develops vital skills and can give you a head start in the job market, enabling you to develop self-discipline and motivation that is essential for a variety of fields.

Employability and average starting salary

100% of postgraduates from the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,007 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £52,219.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

 
 
 
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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD
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