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MPA Public and Social Policy


StudentsThis MPA stream focuses on the policy and economic analysis of public and social welfare. Core training in political science, economics and quantitative methods is complemented by a compulsory course in welfare analysis and measurement and further option courses across two years.

The programme particularly equips students to pursue careers related to public service at local, national and international levels, in areas including consultancy and analysis as well as policy making and implementation in international organisations, primarily those with health policy, education, employment and social protection departments.

The MPA Programme

Student DiscussionThe LSE MPA is an innovative, interdisciplinary degree programme, comprising five streams run collaboratively by five academic departments across the School: Government; Economics; International Development; Social Policy and the European Institute.

Staff drawn from these five departments, plus the Departments of Management and Accounting, work closely together on the teaching of MPA courses.

In addition students have dedicated facilities, and an extensive programme of extra-curricula activities including networking seminars and career development events.

The Programme is taught over two academic years. In the first year, students take a set of core courses in political science, economics and quantitative methods, which develop the skills required for in-depth political and economic analysis. During their second year, students work in groups on a Capstone project in which they advise a public sector organisation, international body, or private sector consultancy on a current policy challenge, and also prepare a dissertation.

In addition to the core courses, each student undertakes further compulsory courses specific to the MPA stream they enrol on, and chooses options from a wide range of courses.   

Core curriculum for all MPA streams


First yearStudents

  • Macro and Micro Economics for Public Policy 
  • Quantitative Approaches and Policy Analysis 
  • Political Science and Public Policy
  • Stream-specific core and/or option courses

Second year

  • Group Working and Leadership
  • MPA Capstone (Group Consultancy) Project
  • Dissertation
  • Stream-specific core and/or option courses

MPA Public and Social Policy: stream-specific curricula

First yearLecturer

Welfare Analysis and Measurement

Second year

Options to include at least 1 unit falling within the broad range of social policy related courses included in the MPA options list.

Dissertations to be submitted within the broad area of social policy.


Option Courses

MPA students develop an area of specialisation during their studies, choosing from over 100 courses found in the subject areas listed below.

  • Development Policy
  • Economic Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Europe, including:
       Institutions, Politics and Policies of the EU 
       Central and Eastern Europe Transition and Reform
       Regional courses
  • Governance
  • International Policy
  • Management of Organisations
  • Regulatory Policy
  • Urban Policy
  • Welfare State Policies

Additional options may be taken with agreement of the course teachers.

Visit the LSE MPA website for more information.