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MSc Public Management and Governance

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Programme overview

The MSc Public Management and Governance is a one-year programme designed to provide an in-depth interdisciplinary education. Its core courses are taught by public management specialists and draw in particular on economics and political science. These courses are directed at enabling our students to understand how to assess costs and benefits of policy options, examine the roles of hierarchies and regulated markets in running governments, and design and manage change in the public sector.   The programme builds on the School’s international reputation across its  departments on the principles and practice of  public management and governance.

Compulsory core courses show you the relevance of concepts from economics and political science in assessing costs and benefits of policy options, examining the roles of hierarchies and regulated markets in running governments, and designing and managing change in the public sector. A broad range of elective courses allows you to customise your programme and explore your own interests through the LSE’s wide range of departments concerned with the principles and practice of public management and governance.

The core courses include group work on real-world projects with sponsors such as the World Bank, KPMG and the English Department of Health. Students also benefit from a broad curriculum through a wide range of optional elective courses from departments across LSE.

You will develop a conceptual framework that enables you to work out practical responses to a variety of policy problems and managerial challenges. The teaching of the two core courses draws on research by faculty on major areas of public services in the UK and international trade. The way you will learn how to use concepts is by studying case studies of particular services to illustrate general principles, and, through comparative analysis, to understand the importance of context through differences in the types of service (e.g. hospitals, schools, universities, water) and country (developed and middle-income countries). You will explore the importance of these differences are explored in discussions in lectures and seminars.

Much of the research and evidence on what does and does not work in governance of public services is from studies of health care.  This is because health care is so problematic for all governments: none has successfully achieved the three objectives of cost control, equity of access and high quality. Our aim is for students to know this literature on governance in health care and learn from it by being able to generalise its findings to other services. The English National Health Service is used as a laboratory to examine principles and evidence of using hierarchies and regulated markets in the search to achieve these three objectives.

The programme attracts strong early-career applicants with a high level of academic achievement, as well as mid-career applicants with significant accomplishments in public service. Our students value highly the opportunity our programme offers to make friends with, and learn from, others from different cultures and disciplines.


The programme is designed around two compulsory core courses, along with a 3,000-word Capstone project. 

Students also customise their programme according to their own interests, and benefit from a truly interdisciplinary learning experience, by choosing up to three optional elective courses from the wide range of world-leading academic departments across the LSE.

Students can expect to receive at least 165 contact hours (lecture and class time) during the programme.

Compulsory core courses (2.5 units)

Please note that the PMG core courses for 2016-17 have recently been reviewed, to ensure they are up-to-date and relevant for current challenges in public management.

The updated core courses for 2016-17 are listed below, and applicants holding an offer to join the PMG programme in 2016 will also be sent an email with full details.

Optional elective courses (1.5 units)

You will customise your programme according to your own interests with optional elective courses to the total value of 1.5 units from the wide range of options listed below.

View full list of optional elective courses >

European studies
Employment relations and organisational behaviour
Information systems
Social psychology
Social policy

Students may also take a graduate-level course which is not on this list, subject to approval from the Programme Director. Please refer to the full list of graduate level courses

Student profile

Fahad, Qatar
PMG Class of 2015-16

The MSc Public Management and Governance programme attracts a diverse range of students each year, from a wide variety of employment backgrounds and international locations.

The programme is designed around the diversity of its students, bringing together a variety of real-world experience and international perspectives to form a close-knit academic community.

The programme is well suited to mid-career professionals with industry experience to share. Our students vary in age, and applications from early-career graduates are also welcomed.

Current class profile (2015-16)

22 nationalities:


Programme Director

Professor Gwyn Bevan

Professor Gwyn Bevan

Professor of Policy Analysis and Deputy Head of Department (Strategy and Resources)


Teaching team


Professor Michael Barzelay 

Professor of Public Management 

(On sabbatical leave 2015-2016 academic year)

Image of Dr Simon Bastow

Dr Simon Bastow

Senior Research Fellow (LSE Public Policy Group)

Christine Cote

Dr Christine Cote 

Visting Fellow



Career development with the MSc Public Management & Governance

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Upon graduation, MSc Public Management and Governance students will be prepared to enter staff and junior managerial positions in governments, multilateral organizations, consultancies and NGOs engaged in public action. 

Over time, students should be able to reach executive positions in public service organisations inside government; senior management positions in organisations contracting with governmental bodies, including consultancies; senior staff positions in multilateral organisations; and expert advisers to professional bodies concerned with public management.

LSE Careers

LSE Careers will provide tailored individual support with your professional development and job search throughout the programme. They offer one-to-one Career Consultant sessions, access to employers with career fairs, seminars and workshops, a vast database of employment opportunities via the LSE Career Hub, and help with job hunting, CVs/resumes and interviews.

Graduate destinations

Here are some examples of the companies, organisations and governments which our alumni now work for:

Company Names


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