Public and Social Policy

MPA Public and Social Policy

This policy stream focuses on the measurement and design of policy for public and social welfare.

Welfare systems and welfare reform are recurring themes in the public policy debate.An ability to develop effective policy interventions in this field requires expertise in understanding, measuring and analysing the particular nature of individual and societal welfare. Students will learn to use the main tools for measuring, monitoring and analysing data of individual and societal welfare, with illustrative real-world examples. Students will also develop skills for assessing academic research and official statistics.

Core courses

All students taking the Public and Social Policy stream have one full unit compulsory course:

Welfare Analysis and Measurement (PP4X6)

(1.0 units)

The first half of the course focuses on monetary measures of economic wellbeing, primarily in the context of OECD countries but also in the context of approaches used in middle- and low-income nations. The topics covered include: the measurement of inequality, poverty, and mobility; setting poverty thresholds and equivalence scales; data sources and their quality; and empirical illustrations considering assessments of trends within countries, cross-national differences and global poverty and inequality.

The second half of the course broadens the perspective to consider a range of non-monetary, multidimensional, and subjective measures of welfare for individuals and societies. Examples include: occupational and socio-economic status; anthropometric measures; the Human Development Index and related indices of development; and measures of happiness and life satisfaction.

Core faculty 

Dr Berkay Ozcan

Dr Berkay Ozcan

Assistant Professor
Department of Social Policy

Stephen Jenkins

Professor Stephen Jenkins

Professor of Economic and Social Policy
Department of Social Policy


Graduates from the MPA in Public and Social Policy have pursued careers in government administration and governmental agencies, including the Ministerio de Desarollo Social (Chile), National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) (Mexico), the Departamento Nacional de Planeación (Colombia) and Public Health England. Other graduates from this stream have worked extensively in the development sector, including European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, Save the Children and the Inter-American Development Bank. 

Alumni stories

Anina Maeder

Anina Maeder

Partnerships Assistant, United Nations Office for Project Services
Class of 2013