Public Policy (MA) (2023 Entry)
Explore our Public Policy taught Master's degree.
Warwick's Public Policy MA provides you with an interdisciplinary understanding of theories and concepts of policy making, combined with the practice of policy analysis and evaluation, to build an understanding of how governments respond to global challenges such as pandemics and climate change.
Why do some issues grab the attention of policy-makers and others do not? How do governments decide which problems to focus on? Why do bad ideas become policy and good ideas languish for years? Why do governments respond differently to global policy challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic? Governments are facing more complex demands every day. If you want to make a difference in the world, you need to understand the limits and possibilities of how policies are developed, implemented, and evaluated.
This programme will give you an advanced understanding of the major theories and concepts of governance, public management, and public policy. You will work with world leading experts on transnational policy making and gain a practice focused understanding of why and how ideas are turned into public policy; whose interests make the biggest impact and how; and why some policies are more difficult than others to implement.
Our Double Degree programmes enable you to combine the study of this MA programme in PAIS with a Master’s programme at any one of our partner universities:
- American University, Washington DC, USA
- University of Waterloo, Canada
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
- University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
- Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Learn more about our Double Degrees
General entry requirements
2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.
Visit our PAIS web pages for department-specific advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.
Postgraduate FAQs (PAIS specific)
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:
- Band B
- IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
Theories and Traditions in Public Policy
Public Policy has undergone rapid transformations as a field of study over the past two decades. It was once seen as the preserve of national and local governments. Today, however, we talk of policy made by networks that transcend national borders, government departments, and traditional hierarchies. This module introduces you to the interdisciplinary field of policy studies. It provides you with a grounding in the key theoretical approaches to public policy. It is focused on the practical application, giving you the opportunity to apply techniques of policy analysis to some of the most pressing global challenges.
Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:
- The EU as an International Actor: Engaging with the Neighbourhood
- East Asian Development Policies
- Issues and Actors in Global Economic Governance
- Comparative Politics
The optional module lists are updated regularly.
You may select up to 40 CATS (normally two modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40-80 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules for a total of 120 CATS of taught modules.
Modules are taught via one 2-hour seminar per week. Seminars give you the opportunity to interact with leading scholars as well as with your peers to explore a set topic each week. Every seminar will be based on extensive guided reading you will do each week, but there is no strict pattern to how sessions are run. This may include mini-lectures followed by discussion, Q&A sessions, organised debates, peer presentations, policy briefs, small group work, case studies, simulations, and other projects.
You can also choose to study part-time with us. Find out more about part-time study on our PAIS web pages.
Normally a maximum of 18 per seminar group in PAIS delivered modules.
Typical contact hours
6 hours of Seminars per week for 9 weeks in Terms One and Two plus advice and feedback hours when requested and Dissertation supervision in Terms Two and Three.
Assessment methods include research essays and other (written) assignments throughout the year, culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation at the end.
Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.
Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules in a module pre-registration process about which you will receive information at the beginning of September.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Action Aid; World Bank; UN agencies; UK and other universities; Deloitte; Japan Ministry of Defence; Nationwide Building Society; and the UK Cabinet Office. They have pursued roles such as: communications officers for major INGOs, business and financial project management professionals; economists; finance officers; policy analysts and public services associate professionals.
Our Department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Your future awaits - the many things you can do after your degree in the PAIS Department
- Careers in Government and Politics
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- After your PAIS Master’s – What Next?
- Assessment Centres and Interviews: an overview of what to expect for PAIS students
Politics and International Studies at Warwick
Join an innovative, creative and passionate department with a lively and interactive culture. Stretch and challenge yourself with the support of friendly staff and your peers.
Find out more about us on our website.Link opens in a new window
Our Postgraduate courses
- International Development (MA)
- International Political Economy (MA)
- International Politics and East Asia (MA)
- International Politics and Europe (MA)
- International Relations (MA)
- International Security (MA)
- Politics and International Studies (PhD)
- Political and Legal Theory (MA)
- Politics, Big Data and Quantitative Methods (MA)
- Public Policy (MA)
- United States Foreign Policy (MA)
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Taught course fees Research course fees
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.
Additional course costs
Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Scholarships and financial support
Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.
PAIS Funding Opportunities
Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available in our department.
Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.
Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.
Taught course applications
Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.
Research course applications
Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.
After you’ve applied
Find out how we process your application.
Track your application and update your details.
See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.
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Postgraduate Open DayOur Postgraduate Virtual Open Day will help you find out more about your course of interest, as well as general topics like applying to Warwick, accommodation, careers and funding.
Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.
Every week, you can connect directly with representatives from Warwick, who will be answering your questions on applying to and studying postgraduate studies at Warwick.
Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.
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