Preparation before your arrival
Prior to your arrival at LSE you will receive details about optional readings and online learning materials which are designed to help you to prepare for the programme.
MPA-DSPP Introduction and Programming Bootcamp
Prior to the start of the Autumn Term in September, you will need to attend a four-week introductory programming bootcamp from late August.
This bootcamp serves not only to introduce and review technical material but also to build camaraderie within the cohort and facilitate the transition to the more collaborative work and learning environment which differentiates graduate studies from many undergraduate programs. These introductory sessions are designed to accommodate and challenge students with various levels of prior experience in data science.
Class sessions will equip students with foundational computer programming skills and review key concepts in statistics and mathematics. Through a mix of lectures and open-study exercises, students will learn how to conduct independent data analysis across a range of public policy challenges they will study throughout the MPA and in their future careers.
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In the first year, you will take four compulsory courses. These are in micro- and macro-economics, political science, quantitative methods of analysis and data science for public policy. The first three of these courses will be shared with the SPP’s MPA programme.
Micro and Macro Economics for Public Policy
You will learn macro- and micro- economic concepts, models and methods suitable for appraising policy, applicable in a wide variety of contexts. This includes the study of demand and supply, the labour market, public goods, market failure, inflation and monetary policy, fiscal policy and debt, and exchange rates.
Political Science and Public Policy
You will learn concepts and models for understanding the behaviour of political actors and why they lead to particular outcomes. This includes the study of voting, political parties, interest groups, legislative politics, corruption, democratisation and ethnic conflict. These tools are essential for designing policy interventions to achieve desired future outcomes.
Quantitative Approaches and Policy Analysis
You will learn skills for the quantitative evaluation of public policies, such as causal relationships; randomised control trials; difference-in-difference estimation; instrumental variables; regression discontinuity designs and cost-benefit analysis.
Data Science for Public Policy You will learn key technical skills and tools in data gathering, management and visualization as well as the main types of (non-causal) predictive models in Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence and related concepts with an emphasis on implications and applications for public life.
The second year includes one and a half units of core courses and two and a half units of optional courses (electives). The one and a half units of core courses include the one-unit MPA-DSPP Capstone and half-unit course, Technology, Data and Policy.
You will also choose 2.5 units (*denotes a half unit) from a range of option courses (electives) from the School of Public Policy and elsewhere in LSE, subject to permission and availability.
MPA-DSPP Capstone is a compulsory one unit course. You will learn to carry out reproducible analysis and research, as part of a team, in order to address a practical policy issue relevant to a real-life client organisation. You will submit both a written report and the code used for quantitative analysis. The capstone allows you to extend your capabilities by applying what you have learned in the MPA-DSPP core courses in a professional context.
Technology, Data Science and Policy*
This compulsory half unit course presents a comparative and historically informed perspective on policy issues in technology, data science, and emerging technologies. The course has a non-technical, interdisciplinary approach that considers policy issues from the point of view of governance, security, ethics, and the law.
Option Courses (electives)
In addition, you will also take 2.5 units of option courses (electives) to focus your studies in particular technical or non-technical areas in policy or data science. These electives may be chosen from a wide range available in the School of Public Policy or (with permission and subject to availability) from elsewhere in LSE, especially the Statistics, Methodology and Mathematics departments.
For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.
You must note, however, that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that 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 events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. 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.