Home > Study > Graduate > Taught Programmes 2016 > MSc Public Management and Governance

MSc Public Management and Governance

About the MSc programme

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. The taught 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. 

The programme builds on the School’s international reputation across its wide range of departments on the principles and practice of public management and governance by offering a broad range of elective courses. This enables you to customise your programme and explore your own interests. One of the core courses is a Capstone project that involves working as a group on real-world projects with sponsors such as the World Bank, the UN, BCG, the English Department of Health, and the London Assembly. 

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 highly value the opportunity our programme offers to make friends with, and learn from, others from different cultures and disciplines.

Programme details

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 taught 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 (eg hospitals, schools, universities, water) and country (developed and middle-income countries). You will explore the importance of these differences 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.

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

In addition to the compulsory courses, students also customise their programme to their own academic interests by choosing courses to the value of one and a half units from a wide range of options provided by departments across the School, including Management, Accounting, International Development, Law, Social Policy and Sociology.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc Public Management and Governance in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School's Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the Updated graduate course and programme information page.

Graduate destinations

The programme is designed with employers in mind, and our students have gone on to work in government and the public sector in their home countries, international agencies and professional services firms.

Upon graduation, MSc Public Management and Governance students will be prepared to enter staff and junior managerial positions in governments, multilateral organisations, 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 become expert advisers to professional bodies concerned with public management.


Application code: N2U7 (check availability)

Start date: 22 September 2016

Duration: 12 months full-time only

Intake/applications in 2014: 41/345

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 or equivalent, preferably in social sciences. Preference will be given to applicants with some work experience or student involvement in activities relevant to this degree (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £24,936; overseas £25,440

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support), plus some scholarships

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions

Yang Zhou