Taught course

Public Policy

University of Bath · Department of Social and Policy Sciences

Entry requirements

You should have a bachelor’s honours degree or international equivalent, typically a 2:1 or above.

To apply for this course you should have an undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject such as politics, political economy, human or political geography, sociology, economics, international relations, security or area studies.

We will also consider graduates with an undergraduate degree in other subjects where you have relevant professional experience in any area of public policy.

We may make an offer based on a lower grade if you can provide evidence of your suitability for the degree.

If your first language is not English but within the last 2 years you completed your degree in the UK you may be exempt from our English Language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

Rethink public policy. Explore creative approaches to contemporary public policy strategy, design, and delivery in a global context.

This specialist master's course is specifically designed for working professionals. It combines online and intensive residential teaching.

By exploring how public policy is made, what shapes it, and how public policy professionals can make a difference, you’ll prepare for a range of policy-related roles in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Learn about contemporary public policy from real-word researchers

You’ll learn from academics with real-world experience in the formulation of public policy, as well as staff from the wider Department of Social & Policy Sciences community. Their teaching will be influenced by contemporary UK and worldwide case studies and research to give you an up-to-date global perspective.

On the course, you will:

  • investigate the political, economic and social dynamics that affect contemporary public policy
  • examine how data and evidence in the digital environment are re-shaping how public policy is analysed, made and practised
  • learn how to combine theory and practice to advance creative approaches for policy design and delivery
  • develop your own policy specialism with the option to undertake work-related projects as part of your studies

Learn within a global network

Throughout the course, you’ll be immersed in a global network of policy-making researchers. This will give you opportunities to learn from a range of academics actively working in the field. This includes staff from:

Many members of these communities have international expertise in their areas, and links to senior international public policy makers and experienced policy analysts.

The distance learning format of this course puts you among a diverse and global group of peers. You’ll be able to draw on your own experiences and learn from your classmates through online group sessions and discussions. During the in-person residentials at our Bath campus, you'll also have opportunities to expand your network across current cohorts, as well as doctoral level students and staff.

Gain important career skills

You will leave the course with:

  • an advanced understanding of the concepts and tools used in public policymaking today, as well as their application and limitations both in the UK and internationally
  • in-depth critical understanding of the political, economic and social dynamics that shape public policy development and outcomes in specialist field(s) of public policy
  • a deeper knowledge of the contexts and constraints within which public policy is made on a global level
  • the confidence to creatively apply different policymaking tools, identifying new ways to achieve public policy goals

The specialist teaching you will receive and advanced skills you will acquire could put you in a strong position for moving forward in any policy-facing or policy-shaping role, whether in analysis, strategy or delivery.

Graduate prospects

This course typically helps people in the roles below to advance their careers:

  • national civil servant in a policy position
  • government affairs official
  • think tank researcher
  • parliamentary advisor
  • policy advisor
  • policy advocate in a large NGO or advocacy organisation

Some recent graduates of this course have gone on to secure the following roles:

  • Co-founder & Manager, GovTech Lab (Lithuania)
  • EU Regulation Expert, PSE: Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A. (Poland)
  • Housing Strategy (Policy) Officer, Cardiff City Council
  • Policy Lead, Ofsted
  • Project Consultant, Inter-American Development Bank (Peru)
  • Widening Access and Inclusion Manager, HEFCW

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll also be equipped with the relevant skillset for doctoral-level studies or advanced international policymaking.

Fees and funding

View available funding opportunities.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Taught Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)1225 385 115