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Public Policy education in the heart of London

The LSE School of Public Policy prepares the policy and political leaders of tomorrow to transform people and societies.

Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy






The LSE School of Public Policy was founded in August 2018 with Professor Andrés Velasco appointed as its inaugural Dean.

Our mission Our mission
Professor Andrés Velasco | LSE School of Public Policy


The history of public policy and public service has been at the heart of LSE since its inception. LSE was founded in 1895 “to understand the causes of things” and “for the betterment of society”. The original prospectus, from 1895, calls for “a further provision for systematic training in economic and political science, and the promotion of original investigation and research”. About 125 years later, there could be no better way to describe the mission of the School of Public Policy and strengths of our curriculums.


Despite being a relatively new School, we trace our particular origins back to 2003, when LSE founded a stand-alone two-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) with just 18 students, thought to be the first of its kind in UK. Professor George W. Jones and Professor Patrick Dunleavy were instrumental in the creation and early years of our MPA. The scale of that initial cohort of students stands in contrast to the thriving community of over 350 students now enrolled in our degrees.

In 2011, LSE established the Institute of Public Affairs as the forerunner to the School of Public Policy, to act as a co-ordinating and umbrella structure for MPA students.

The creation of the Institute of Public Affairs enabled, in 2013, the launch of our Executive Master of Public Administration, for students with significant work experience to accommodate study alongside full time employment.

In 2014, the Institute of Public Affairs successfully bid for a contract to co-design and co-deliver an Executive Master of Public Policy for the UK’s Civil Service Learning, targeting senior civil servants. The Executive MPP enrolled its first students in 2015 and the contract was extended in 2018 and a further four years of the contract were awarded in 2019.

In 2015 the Interim Director of LSE, Professor Julia Black, established a Task Force to review the teaching of public policy at LSE and make recommendations for its further development. The Task Force worked for two years, resulting in a proposal to the LSE’s Academic Board, and latterly the LSE Council as our governing body, to establish the School of Public Policy from September 2018. The Academic Board and the LSE Council approved the creation of the School of Public Policy without the need for a vote. 


Our Ethos

Our education focuses on rigorous and empirical skills and tools that underpin evidence-based policymaking. We combine this with an application of these skills to real-world problems and contexts. We are inclusive and supportive of our diverse student community, open to all enquiring minds.  

Our Advantage

Our location within a world-class social sciences institution at the heart of a leading global city gives us particular advantages among other schools of public policy and public affairs. This position gives us the unparalleled capability to deliver education which advances the frontiers of understanding in public policy through an integrated application of economic, political and social factors in which policy actors operate.