Master of Public Policy (MPP)

  • Graduate taught
  • School of Public Policy
  • Application code L4UT
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) will teach the “craft of government” by combining the School of Public Policy’s specialist core of economics, political science, philosophy and quantitative analysis, with a focus on the management of contemporary public organisations.

This degree will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and experience you need to accelerate – and thrive in – your career. 

In particular, the MPP offers you:

  • an in-depth study of public management: the tools and approaches needed to reform and enhance public service provision
  • a comprehensive understanding of the public management profession from financial and ethical perspectives, allowing our graduates to understand – and to challenge – the advice received from experts
  • an intensive nine-month schedule, allowing you to take a career break, develop your skills, and return to your profession quickly
Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

Start date 16 September 2020  
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Nine months full-time only
Applications 2018 New programme 2019
Intake 2018 New programme 2019
Tuition fee UK/EU: £33,800
Overseas: £33,800
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline. In addition, applicants must have at least three years of policy-relevant experience. We expect the typical work experience of our cohort to be five or more years. 
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London 

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline. In addition, applicants must have at least three years of policy-relevant experience. We expect the typical work experience of our cohort to be five or more years. 

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Programme structure and courses

Curriculum overview

The MPP has a core curriculum of economics, political science, quantitative methods and philosophy for public policy, combined with an in-depth review of contemporary theories and practice for the management of public organisations. It is these skills and competencies that you will need to take the next step in your career in public management.

The degree also includes a term-long course on applying leading scholarship to policy-making, thus ensuring your immersion in the richest and most innovative research in this field. The MPP has been developed to harness LSE's expertise in the global social, economic and political environment. This degree will provide you with a unique understanding of the complex challenges of contemporary governance, providing a real-world context to the policy-making skills you will develop.

Introductory teaching (non-assessed)

Prior to the start of the degree, you are strongly encouraged to attend introductory classes in early September 2020 to ensure that you have a common foundation of knowledge needed for the analytical core courses.

Programme structure

In addition to the compulsory courses, listed below, you will choose two options from a range of courses from within the School of Public Policy. This allows you to tailor the MPP to your own interests and career goals. Some of the optional courses will require prior study in economics, and would require the permission of the Course Convenor. Indicative options are listed below.

(* denotes a half unit)

Political Science for Public Policy*
On this course you will learn how to understand and analyse empirically the political context of policymaking. This will include how political behaviour (such as voting behaviour, elections and lobbying), interacts with political institutions (such as electoral systems, different models of government or central banks) to create political outcomes (such as economic policies, development aid and ethnic conflict).

Quantitative Methods for Public Policy*
This course will introduce you to some of the key principles and tools of quantitative evaluations which underpin policy interventions and outcomes. The emphasis is on 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*
This course offers an intensive introduction into key literatures and themes in the study of public management. Applied to both developed and lesser developed world contexts, you will learn about public sector reform, coordination and collaboration, bureaucracies, professionalism and motivation, performance management, crisis management, leadership, institutional capacity building, cutback management and organisational learning. Your teaching will be paired with insights to the success, or otherwise, of different models and approaches.

Economics for Public Policy*
On this course, 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*
This course will introduce students to the application of social science literatures to concrete policy issues. The course will be organised around topics which are being actively discussed in both the policy and academic spheres/realms/domains. This course will emphasis illustrating how different theoretical and disciplinary approaches analyse a particular policy topic and problem. The precise policy topics will be decided each year, depending on the academic and practitioner availability. We are confident in attracting speakers at the highest levels from either the cutting edge of a particular research topic or those who are working directly on a topic area.

Philosophy for Public Policy*
This course has been designed to help you develop the skills and insight to apply philosophical reasoning to your understanding and practice of the 'craft of government'. It includes a strong grounding in moral and political philosophical principles and emphasises their application in modern policy-making toolkit. You will study a range of philosophical theories and concepts, then discuss and learn to evaluate them by focusing on specific policy proposals. Taught by leading LSE philosophers, the emphasis is on applying theory and concept in practical and policy-relevant ways.

Courses to the value of one unit from a range of options.

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 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. 

Teaching and assessment

The learning experience

The depth of study and the intensity of the curriculum make the MPP a highly demanding graduate degree programme. You will be expected to read, understand and critically assess the highest levels of research in disciplines ranging from economics to management theory. You will need to contrast and evaluate different approaches and theories to reach your own independent opinions, developing your arguments to compare perspectives with other MPP students.

You will spend approximately 12-15 hours per week in classroom-based teaching, and it will be absolutely essential to supplement this with your own private study. The total commitment is likely to be at least 40 hours per week.

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 (sometimes called a ‘Harvard’ 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. 

Many of the option courses (electives) have formal examinations, which are held in the Summer term.

You can view indicative details of hours, teaching staff, and assessment in the Calendar within each course guide.

Academic support

You will be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

You will also benefit from the support offered by LSE LIFE – the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. LSE LIFE can help you to hone your skills in effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; adapting to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.


Career development with the Master of Public Policy

The MPP is designed for early to mid career professionals seeking to enhance their skill set and set themselves on a course for rapid career progression in their field. Applicants include government officials, political advisers and those navigating the interface between the private and public sectors. Whether based in the public or private sector, with your enhanced skills, you will be able to make formidable contributions to policy development. 

LSE Careers

LSE Careers will provide tailored individual support with your professional development and job search throughout the programme. They offer one-to-one Career Consultant sessions, access to employers with career fairs, seminars and workshops, a vast database of employment opportunities via the LSE Career Hub, and help with job hunting, CVs/resumes and interviews.

LSE Careers Consultants make sure that you receive  the best possible support in developing your career plans during your time studying. As a student of the School of Public Policy, you will have access to an expert Careers Consultant who will understand your field of work and your future career plans. Your LSE Careers Consultant can guide and develop your ideas to present your skills and experience to employers in the best possible way.

Graduate destinations

At the time of this information being published, the MPP does not yet have any alumni as it is a new degree in 2019. However, graduates from LSE’s School of Public Policy have gone on to successful careers in a range of industries and leading organisations worldwide.

Here are some examples of the companies and organisations which our alumni now work for:

  • UK Civil Service

  • Reserve Bank of Australia

  • State and City level governance in the USA

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Government of Canada

  • Ghanaian Ministry of Education

  • Indian Railways

  • Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

  • Banco de México

  • Adam Smith International

  • Fundación Avanza Chile (Climate Change)


Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2020/21 for the Master of Public Policy (MPP)

UK/EU students: £33,800
Overseas students: £33,800

Fee status

The tuition fees for this programme is the same regardless of your fees status.
However any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 
Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 27 April 2020.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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Programme and admissions enquiries

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