Taught course

Public Policy (Distance Learning)

University of Bristol · School for Policy Studies

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant social science discipline, such as sociology, social policy, social welfare, public administration, social administration, demography/population studies, accounting and finance, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy and law. Other academic backgrounds will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

What is public policy? Who is it shaped by? Which institutions are involved? What impact does it have on an economic, social and cultural environment that is increasingly globalised?

In September 2022, the School for Policy Studies launched this distance learning version of the popular MSc Public Policy (MPP) programme. Seven core units from MPP have been tailored to online teaching modes, providing an opportunity to study topics such as those above without relocating to Bristol. The online learning environment will include bespoke lecture videos, live online seminars with dedicated preparation tasks, individual personal tutoring, online social events, and individual dissertation supervision.

This programme engages with contemporary policy concerns and the increasing complexity of the policy environment. It explores the contested dynamics of policy making and policy implementation and provides students with the skills to understand, critically evaluate and develop policy alternatives in a local, national and international context. The programme seeks to prepare the next generation of policy makers to address a range of policy issues and understand the role and impact of different stakeholders including business and the voluntary sector as well as international and regional organisations.

It is intended for those who aspire to pursue professional career options, including policy planning, policy consultancy and policy officer positions for local and national government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, and policy consultancy.

As well as considering generic policy concerns and theoretical literature in units such as Power, Politics and the Policy Process; Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy; and The Economics of Public Policy, the programme develops empirical research skills in Informing and Evaluating Public Policy and the Dissertation. The programme also gives students an opportunity to explore a range of substantive policy issues, including Corruption and Public Policy; and Public Management and Organisations. Every set unit considers policy in an international and comparative context.

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Enquiries Team
+44 (0) 117 394 1649