Taught course

Public Policy

University of Warwick · Department of Politics and International Studies

Entry requirements

2:1 (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in Politics and International Studies or a closely related subject; however, all serious applicants from other disciplines will be considered; a strong personal statement

Months of entry

October, September

Course content

Why do bad ideas become policy and good ideas languish for years? Does democracy get in the way of policy, or is the policy profession itself anti-democratic? Can citizens even have much influence on policy in a globalising, networked world? Governments are facing more, and more complex, demands every day. Their ability to deliver on those demands is increasingly circumscribed.

If we want to make a difference in the world, we need to understand the limits and possibilities of policy making in modern democracies.

Programme content

This programme combines an understanding of descriptive and normative theory with the practice of policy analysis and PAIS’s world-leading work on transnational policy-making. You will identify and analyse the main traditions of policy studies, the core concepts of policy analysis, and theories of policy change. By combining the core module with other topical modules in PAIS, you will be able to specialise your policy analysis expertise through the lens of a particular region, development, political economy, security, gender, democratisation, etc. It is thus ideal for students wanting to pursue advanced conceptual studies in Politics but who want to give those studies an applied focus.

The core module, Theories and Traditions in Public Policy, identifies and analyses the main traditions of policy studies, the core concepts of policy analysis, and theories of policy change.

Information for international students

Non-native speakers of English must have an IELTS score of 7.0, with a maximum of 6.0 or 6.5 in up to two categories, or equivalent score on another acceptable test (see Admissions for more information).

Fees and funding

UK students
Fees for 2018/19: £11,950
International students
Fees for 2018/19: £19,560

There are many funding opportunities for postgraduate students at the University of Warwick. For more information, please visit: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/study/studymasters/funding/

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


full time
9 months

Further details of qualification

In the first 2 terms students take taught modules: one core module, Theories and Traditions in Public Policy (40 credits), and a choice of optional modules in PAIS or selected departments (80 credits). In the summer term students who have met the required standard proceed to the dissertation (60 credits).

Course contact details

Postgraduate Office
+44 (0)24761 50145