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The Curriculum

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The programme is taught over two academic years. The programme comprises a range of core compulsory courses, courses that are compulsory to students’ chosen specialisation (called a policy stream), and option courses, as described below.

Pre-sessional course 

In September prior to the start of Year One, students attend a compulsory pre-sessional refresher course at LSE in maths and statistics. This course updates and refreshes students’ knowledge of maths and statistics in preparation for the programme.


Year One

In the first year, students take three core compulsory courses which provide them with strong foundational knowledge and skills in political and economic analysis. These will support students in their chosen specialisation in the second year of the programme.

Core Compulsory Courses   

  • GV478: Political Science and Public Policy – Students will learn game theoretical concepts and apply them to a variety of political contexts; these tools should be useful both for explaining existing political outcomes and for designing interventions to achieve desired future outcomes.
  • EC440: Micro and Macro Economics for Public Policy – Students will learn macro- and micro-economic concepts, models and methods suitable for      appraising policy, applicable in a wide variety of contexts.
  • EC455: Quantitative Approaches and Policy Analysis – Students will learn skills for the quantitative evaluation of public policies, with the help of regression based evaluation methods, cost-benefit analysis and computable general equilibrium modelling.

Option Courses

In addition, students choose a fourth course in Year One from a wide range of options available across LSE’s academic departments. Students’ choice can be based on their strengths and interests.

 

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Year Two 

At the beginning of the second year, students choose a policy stream from a range of five which allows them to specialise in a particular area of public policy and administration. Each policy stream has a number of associated compulsory courses. In addition, students participate in a Capstone Project, which is a compulsory core course of the MPA, and also take option courses. 

The five MPA policy streams are: 

  • Public and Economic Policy, including the associated compulsory course EC406 Economic Policy Analysis

    This stream focuses on the economic and political analysis of public policies. Typically, graduates from this policy stream pursue careers in economic policy-making.


  • Public Policy and Management, including the associated compulsory course MG419 Public Management: Strategy, Innovation and Delivery or GV4E4 Public Budgeting and Financial Management 

    This stream focuses on understanding decision-making and management in the public sector and budgetary processes. Typically, graduates from this policy stream pursue careers in public management or public sector consulting.


  • International Development, including all three associated compulsory courses DV448 Political Economy of Development I, DV449 Political Economy of Development II and EC454 Development Economics 

    This stream focuses on the analysis of economic and public policies for developing countries by teaching analytical tools and how to apply them to development policy. Typically graduates from this policy stream pursue careers in international development organisations, government development agencies, NGOs, or private sector companies.


  • European Public and Economic Policy, including the associated compulsory course EU452 Political Economy of Europe

    This stream focuses on the economic and policy analysis of Europe, broadly understood.
    Typically, graduates from the policy stream pursue careers related to public policy making working with EU institutions, regional organisations, national administrations and the private sector.


  • Public and Social Policy, including the associated compulsory course SA4X6 Welfare Analysis and Measurement 

    This stream focuses on the analysis of public and social welfare. Typically, graduates from the policy stream pursue careers related to public service at local, national and international levels in the fields of with education, employment, health policy and social protection. 

MPA Capstone Project

Students will learn, as part of a group project, to carry out analysis and research in order to address a practical policy issue or problem relevant to a client organisation. It allows students to extend their capabilities and apply what they have learnt in the MPA core courses in a professional context. 

Option Courses 

Finally, students pursue a number of option courses from a wide range of options available across LSE’s academic departments. Alternatively, students may choose to write a MPA Policy Paper (6,000 words) or MPA Dissertation (10,000 words) as an option course. This choice is based on each student’s strengths and interests.

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