Taught course

Science and Technology Policy

University of Sussex · SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research

Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in social or natural sciences, the humanities or engineering. Applicants with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

No-one can predict with certainty the future trajectories of genomics, material science, artificial intelligence or the internet, but there is little doubt that advances in science and technology will continue to transform the way we live, create new industries, and help us to tackle tomorrow’s social and environmental problems.

This makes designing effective policies and institutions for science and technology a priority for governments worldwide. The challenge is not just to advance science and technology but to set directions and priorities for their development. At the same time, scientific advice and evidence to inform public policies is in high demand. From climate change to cyber-security, food technologies to fracking, controversies continue to erupt at the boundaries between science, politics and society.

Our globally renowned MSc in Science and Technology Policy is Europe’s longest-standing course in this field. It provides students with a wide range of perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for science and technology in both the developed and developing world. Students will engage with the key concepts, theories and debates and apply these to the analysis, design and evaluation of different policies.

SPRU has trained successive generations of policy makers who now occupy senior roles in governments, businesses and NGOs. The course provides a foundation in the language, logic and tools of policy analysis, enabling students to investigate specific science and technology policy challenges and to evaluate and recommend policy solutions. With learning delivered through a mix of seminars, group discussions and work experience, there is no better foundation for a career in science and technology policy.

Our approach is critical and interdisciplinary, drawing upon ideas from economics, political science, innovation studies and the sociology of science and technology. Masters and PhD students are integral to life at SPRU. We welcome students from a diverse range of backgrounds, and believe this encourages new thinking and different approaches.


Modules are assessed by a combination of analysis assignments, project presentations, extended essays, and a dissertation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

Autumn term: you take Science, Technology and Innovations: Markets, Firms and Policies. Additional modules are dependent on which pathway you are following:

On the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy pathway, you also take Science, Institutions and Power.

On the Science, Technology and Sustainability pathway you also take Sustainable Development: Perspectives, Policies and Practices.

Spring term: you take Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Development • Sustainable Development: Perspectives, Policies and Practices. You also take two options from Information and Communication Technology: Policy and Strategy • Innovation for Sustainability • Energy and Development • Energy Policy and Sustainability • The Political Economy of Science Policy • Governing Energy Transitions • Managing Knowledge • Infrastructure and Innovation • Entrepreneurship • Management of Risk. Not all options may be offered every year and additional modules may be available.

In addition, in the spring term, you take Introduction to Statistical Research Methods • Perspectives, Methods and Skills for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies.

Summer term: you carry out supervised work on a 20,000-word dissertation relevant to your degree.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit:www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 872717