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Curriculum Information

The Craft of Government

I always wanted to come to the LSE; it’s a terrific university. It is one of the world’s leading universities and the diversity of students is great.

Rodrigo Anguilar, 2015 Graduate of the School of Public Policy

 

Our one-year MPP degree teaches the ‘craft of government’: the knowledge, understanding, and experience you need to accelerate – and thrive in – your career.

Our Master of Public Policy (MPP) is aimed for mid-career professionals, who are seeking to advance their careers and address the world’s most pressing policy challenges.  

The one-year MPP degree offers our trademark core curriculum aimed at strengthening your existing skills in the fundamental areas related to public policy, including economics and econometrics, political science, public management and philosophy. Our multi-faceted teaching combines legal, financial, and ethical perspectives, with the intention of providing you with the ability to understand – and to challenge – conventional public management policies.

The MPP offers an intensive one-year schedule, allowing you to take a career break, develop your skills, and return to your profession quickly. 

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the one-year MPP programme must have at least three years of policy-related experience, while the majority of students will possess five or more years of professional experience.

In addition, applicants must possess a 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline.

Applying to the MPP programme

All applications are made through LSE’s Graduate Admissions Office. Full details of how to apply are available on the MPP how to apply page. This includes information about the entry requirements and the documents applicants are required to submit with their application.

The MPP programme does not have a set deadline for applications. The LSE School of Public Policy considers applications to the MPP programme on a rolling basis. There are a limited number of offers to make each year and once this limit has been reached, no further applications can be considered.

To find out about current programme availability, go to the LSE Graduate Admissions homepage and click "Available programmes" in the menu on the left of the page.

We recommend that applicants submit their applications as early as possible to maximise their chance of being considered.

Introductory Course

Prior to embarking on the one-year MPP degree, you have the option to attend a series of non-assessed development sessions, which will ensure that you have a common understanding of the skills required for the core courses affiliated with the programme. 

Programme Structure

The MPP degree is comprised of eight half-unit courses. It is designed to ensure that you learn foundational public policy subjects, as well as topics of personal, academic, or professional interest. As an MPP student, you will be required to complete the following six core courses:

Political Science for Public Policy (PP401)

(0.5 Units)

You will learn how to understand and analyse the political context of policy making. You’ll look at the dynamics of political behaviour and institutions, including electoral systems and elections, preferences and voting behaviour, political parties, interest mediation and lobbying, and how these shape public policy

Quantitative Methods for Public Policy (PP402)

(0.5 Units)

You will be introduced to some of the key principles and tools of the quantitative evaluations, which underpin policy interventions and outcomes. This course emphasises the practical application of these tools to real-life situations, including the difference between correlation and causality, the use of randomised experiments, and understanding of how and when difference-in-differences regressions can be effectively used.

Public Management (PP403)

(0.5 Units)

Applied to both developed and lesser developed world contexts, you will learn about public sector reform, coordination and collaboration, bureaucracies, professionalism and motivation, implementation challenges, performance management and evaluation, citizen engagement and collaborative governance. Your teaching will be paired with insights to the success, or otherwise, of different models and approaches.

Economics for Public Policy (PP404)

(0.5 Units)

You will learn the key principles of economic policy-making. Both micro- and macro-economics will be covered, including price theory, understanding markets, externalities, public goods, principal-agent problems, economic growth, inflation business cycles, unemployment, and fiscal and monetary policies.

Public Policy Applications (PP405)

(0.5 Units)

This course will introduce students to the application of social science literatures to concrete policy issues. The precise policy topics will be decided each year, depending on the academic and practitioner availability. Speakers are selected from the highest levels or the cutting edge of a particular research topic, or those who are working directly on a topic area.

Philosophy and Public Policy (PP406)

(0.5 Units)

This course will help you to develop the skills and insights to apply philosophical reasoning to the design and evaluation of public policies. You’ll receive a strong grounding in moral and political philosophical principles and learn how their application can be an integral part of the modern policy-making toolkit.

Option Courses (Electives)

2 x (0.5 Units)

Other than these required core courses, you can select two half-unit option courses (electives) from a wide range of subjects related to public policy, including political science and economics. Courses will analyse a wide variety of topics related to public policy, including behavioural public policy, law and regulation, politics of international trade, policy entrepreneurship, and the delivery public services.

If you are interested in learning more about option courses, please consult the list below:

Michaelmas term:

  • Designing and managing change in the public sector
  • Fiscal governance and budgeting
  • International political economy of development
  • Financial markets
  • Development economics (both terms)
  • Advanced empirical methods for policy analysis
  • Welfare analysis and measurement (half unit across both terms)
  • Policy paper (a structured class for your own research)

Lent term:

  • Innovations in the governance of public services delivery
  • Transparency and accountability in government
  • Making governments and policies deliver for development
  • Comparative political economy and development
  • Managerial finance
  • Institutions and global trade
  • Decisions, biases and nudges
  • Public economics for public policy
  • Globalisation and economic policy

Teaching and assessment

Courses are taught in a range of formats depending on the teaching objectives and the subject. Some courses will follow a traditional format of lecture (one large group being taught together) and seminar (smaller groups the study of concepts in a more informal style).

Other courses will operate in a hybrid format, with the whole class in one space and the teaching method adapts to facilitate discussion, debate and for students to express their views and experiences. You should expect a variety of teaching methods such as class exercises, team presentations, individual or group work, or case study discussions.

Careers

With a graduate degree from the LSE School of Public Policy, you will be in an excellent position to provide leadership and management within governments and public organisations. At the LSE School of Public Policy, we offer individualised career appointments, networking receptions with world-renown private companies and public organisations, and host career advice seminars. You will also gain access to the LSE School of Public Policy’s vast alumni network, offering you a substantial network to learn from others and solidify your own career progression.

Outside the LSE School of Public Policy, you are able to access the LSE Careers Services, which exists to facilitate your career transition and give you guidance on employment opportunities and the skills needed to succeed in the marketplace. Careers consultants will be at hand for one-to-one meetings in the LSE School of Public Policy to provide help in developing your CV and cover letter. In addition, LSE Careers Service runs regular careers fairs, seminars, conferences and presentations. These events will provide you with the opportunity to meet employers and recruiters on LSE’s campus. 

 

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