Programmes

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

  • Graduate taught
  • School of Public Policy
  • Application code L2UN
  • Starting 2023
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a two-year degree programme designed to equip early-stage professionals with the core analytical skills, practical tools and professional experience to be able to confidently address real-world policy challenges.

The programme combines methodological discipline and practical application, giving students the opportunity to develop foundation skills in empirical methods, political science and economic analysis. Students will then apply their skills to real-world scenarios through completion of a six-month Capstone Project with an external client.

Graduates will be equipped with the analytical and professional skills to effectively understand and address the challenges of contemporary governance and make an immediate impact for employers in public, private and non-profit organisations around the world.

Key features:

  • Academic core skills (Year 1) - rigorous empirical training, particularly in micro- and macro-economics, political science and quantitative methods of analysis.
  • MPA Capstone (Year 2) - an opportunity to work on a real-world policy challenge as part of a six-month consultancy style project hosted by an external client.
  • A broad curriculum -  allows you to identify your key interests and strengths from core-courses and a range of option courses (electives).
  • Choice of specialism (Year 2)- an opportunity to choose a specialism to be a part of your degree title.
  • A global outlook – be a part of LSE’s international community as well a network of prestigious policy schools around the world as part of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN).

Programme details

Key facts

Master of Public Administration (MPA) 
Start date September 2023
Application deadline

None – rolling admissions however we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

Please note the funding deadlines for LSE scholarships. SPP specific scholarships have a deadline of 23 Jan 2023.

Duration 21 months full-time only
Applications 2021 538
Intake 2021 84
Tuition fee Year one: £29,064 (2023/24 entry) 
Year two: £29,064 (2024/25, continuing students)
Financial support Graduate support scheme - deadline 27 April 2023. SPP specific scholarships - deadline 23 Jan 2023 (see 'Fees and funding')
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline. There is no formal requirement for previous professional work experience, but students starting the MPA normally have one year of professional experience and many have two or more years of experience. 
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London and optional study abroad locations
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 Administration (MPA)

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline.

There is no formal requirement for previous professional work experience, but students starting the MPA normally have one year of professional experience and many have two or more years of experience.

 

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)
- relevant professional experience
- 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.

We receive a high number of applications early in the admissions cycle (from November to February) and would encourage you to apply as early as possible to allow for necessary processing and preparation time.

In addition, 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. 

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 2023/24 for the Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Home students, first year: £29,064 (2023/24) 
Overseas students, first year: £29,064 (2023/24) 
Home students, second year: £29,064 (2024/25, continuing students)
Overseas students, second year: £29,064 (2024/25, continuing students)

Table of fees

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. However, any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a home or as an overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Fee reductions

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 generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

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 offer for a place and submitting a Graduate Financial Support application, before the funding deadline. Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 27 April 2023.

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. The School of Public Policy (SPP) offers programme and country specific scholarship awards which have an application deadline of 23 January 2023Find out more about SPP specific awards and how to apply

Find out more about financial support.

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

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page. 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

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 Welcome & Introductory Teaching 

From mid-September (exact date TBC) you will need to attend MPA Welcome events and introductory teaching sessions. These will take place prior to the start of the LSE Autumn Term dates. The welcome sessions include campus enrolment, a programme introduction and compulsory introductory teaching in mathematics and statistics.

If you have not studied mathematics and statistics for some time, the MPA introductory teaching provides a challenging but accessible introduction to some of the key skills and techniques required for the degree. For other students, it serves as a refresher course.

 

First year

In the first year, you will take three compulsory courses, in micro- and macro-economics, political science and quantitative methods of analysis. These provide a rigorous foundation to support you in your second year.

You will also select optional courses (electives) to the value of one unit from a range of options.

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. 

Option courses (electives) - Year one

In addition to your required core courses, you will take full unit or half-unit option courses (electives). The SPP offers a wide range of courses as options.

You can review this current year’s (2022/23) option list here. 

 

Second Year

The key features of the second year are the MPA Capstone and the option to choose a specialisation to be a part of your degree title.

You will also choose a range of option courses (electives) from the School of Public Policy (or elsewhere in LSE, subject to permission and availability).

The MPA Capstone 

The MPA Capstone is a compulsory one unit course. You will carry out analysis and research, as part of a team, in order to address a practical policy issue relevant to a real-life client organisation. It allows you to extend your capabilities by applying what you have learned in the MPA core courses in a professional context. 

Option courses (electives)

Your remaining second year course units will be made up of option courses (electives) from a wide range available in the School of Public Policy or (with permission and subject to availability) from elsewhere in LSE.

Alternatively, you may choose to write a Policy Paper (6,000 words) or a Dissertation (10,000 words) as an option course. ‘You will choose your own topic if you decide to write a Policy Paper or Dissertation, which you will develop in consultation with your allocated supervisor  

Specialisms

You can either choose to pursue a general MPA or you can request that one of the following specialisms is added to your degree title.

The current specialisms are:

  • Economic Policy
  • International Development
  • Inequality and Poverty
  • Social Impact
  • International Political Economy

Each specialism has one or more courses attached to it (please refer to the programme regulations for details). To be eligible for a specialism to be added to your degree title, you must meet the requirements to be eligible for the overall degree and pass the courses attached to your chosen specialism. You can only choose one specialism but you can take courses from other specialisms as option courses (electives).

 

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.

MPA Dual Degree

LSE's School of Public Policy is a member of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN). During your first year at LSE, you can apply to spend the second year of your MPA at three other selected GPPN member institutions. Students in their first year at one of these partners can also apply to enter directly into the second year of the LSE MPA.

By combining study on the LSE MPA with study at another internationally-renowned university, you will experience the challenges and processes of public policy-making and analysis from different academic and cultural perspectives thus equipping you with a high-demand professional skill-set and providing the international exposure frequently sought by top employers.

The SPP's dual degree international partner schools and their corresponding programmes are:

* Note that the programme length for students studying at the University of Tokyo is 24 months with graduation no earlier than December of the second year. 

The application process for the dual degree scheme takes place during Year 1 and further information will be provided during the first term. 

Successful applicants will spend their second year of study at one of the above partner institutions and will receive two degrees: one from LSE, and one from the partner institution at which they studied. 

Find out more about GPPN dual degree

 

SPP Double Degrees

LSE SPP also offers three double degree programmes with Toronto University, Sciences Po and Columbia SIPA. Applicants for the double degree programmes will need to apply via the standard school admissions process prior to commencing their studies and cannot apply as part of the MPA dual degree scheme. You can find out more about the double degree programmes and the application process here.  

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

You will normally have two to three hours of classroom-based teaching each week for each course that you take. This will usually add up to around 12-15 hours per week in class. As the MPA is a full-time programme, you would be expected to spend the equivalent number of hours studying as you would spend working if you were in full-time employment (35-40 hours per week in total). For the MPA Capstone and (for those who choose to do one) the Policy Paper or Dissertation, there is less classroom-based teaching. Capstone groups determine how and when they are going to work on their project and the majority of Policy Paper and Dissertation work is done independently.

Teaching hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

Teaching methods

We use a variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status, including LSE faculty, teaching fellows, guest teachers and practitioners. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide

Assessment

All taught courses include formative coursework which does not contribute towards the final grade. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. We use a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

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

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt 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.

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small, there are a range of people you can speak to who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service – they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – they are experts in long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme and arranging exam adjustments. They run groups and workshops. 

IT help – support is available 24 hours a day to assist with all your technology queries.  

LSE Faith Centre – this is home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre – the Centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in nine languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication; and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­– with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and is a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment’). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy – this is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice – this offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre – based in Pethwick-Lawrence House, the Centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advocates and advisers – we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

LSE student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from.

 

School of Public Policy groups, networks and development opportunities:

Association of Public Policy Students (APPS)

The Association of Public Policy Students (APPS) is an elected body of SPP students that serve as a resource for the student community. Throughout the academic year, the APPS’s numerous committees and initiatives provide opportunities for students to engage with other classmates in professional and social activities.

 

Womxn’s Network

The School of Public Policy’s (SPP) Womxn’s Network is a student-run organisation focused on the advancement and empowerment of students within the SPP and broader LSE community who are marginalised by the intersectionalities of gender and/or sexuality. The Network aims to further encourage the inclusion of marginalised voices within policymaking through various events and forums designed to promote learning and open discussion.

 

Turner MBA Investment Impact Network and Training (MIINT)

The Turner MBA Investment Impact Network and Training (MIINT) Competition gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in impact investing by sourcing and conducting due diligence on real-world, early-stage impact investment opportunities. The MIINT is supported by LSE's Marshall Institute. Find out more about the experience from our 2022 participants.  

 

Global Public Policy Network (GPPN)

The Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) is a partnership between 7 prestigious universities in public policy. GPPN is a platform for institutional partnership, research collaboration, and student exchange. Members of the GPPN have organised an annual international conference for the students and deans from member schools to meet and discuss pressing issues of global public policy. GPPN members have also established exchange and dual degrees programs, allowing students to benefit from this international network of the most prestigious public affairs schools in the world.

 

Public Sphere Journal (PSJ)

The Public Sphere Journal (PSJ) is a journal of international policy studies produced by SPP students which features evidence-based research in economic policy, public management, international affairs, development studies and social policy. The PSJ offers students an opportunity to combine their unique professional and personal experiences to create a journal of international policy studies, from the initial call for papers through to the print and launch.  

 

Policy in Practice (PiP) seminars

We run regular seminars through the year to connect you with policy practitioners in a range of fields, either to learn more about the work of particular organisations and sectors or to develop new skills. These seminars provide students with an opportunity to connect classroom learning to real world scenarios. 

 

SPP Professional Skills Programme

The SPP also offers an extensive and tailored programme of Professional Skills for Public Policy which is especially designed to complement the skills and insights that you gain as part of your programme curriculum and equip you with the necessary skills for the next step in your career.  

You will benefit from a series of training workshops with experienced practitioners and experts in key areas of professional development such as leadership, negotiation and persuasive communication.

 

Life in London 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget

Student and alumni profiles

Victoria Suarez Rubio, MPA Class of 2021
Parliamentary Assistant at the Cabinet of MEP Luis Garicano at the European Parliament

Victoria Suarez Rubio
The best part of the SPP was my classmates: smart individuals from all around the world with diverse backgrounds and levels of expertise, each always ready to share with and learn from the rest.

Read profile

Oluwagbemileke Joy Jegede, MPA Class of 2020
Ecosystems Research Lead for the Government of Sierra Leone in the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation

Oluwagbemileke Joy JegedeSQ

I gained the confidence to branch out into new areas, and loved doing the research for my dissertation which helped me to discover new interests and possible life paths.

Read profile

Akash Mehta, MPA Class of 2020
Environmental Analyst for the World Bank

Akash

I am now equipped with the necessary theoretical and empirical skills to engage in rigorous analysis of public policies

Read profile

Careers

Support for your career

Studying the LSE MPA is an excellent career decision with many global employers attracted to both the intellectual rigour and the practical applications of the course. The MPA produces well-rounded professionals who make an immediate impact for employers in the public sector, private companies, non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations around the world, including government departments and agencies, consultancies and international development agencies. 

LSE Careers Consultants make sure that you get the best possible support in developing your career plans during your time studying. Whether you know already the career you are aiming for, or simply the general direction you want (or perhaps you have no idea at all!) they can help guide and develop your ideas to present your skills and experience to employers in the best possible way. 

In particular, students at LSE have access to: 

  • careers discussions with the School of Public Policy's Careers Consultant

  • a Careers Impact Day which takes place early in year 1, followed by a networking evening with employers in relevant sectors
  • a weekly SPP Careers newsletter, compiled by a student employee, with relevant short-term and long-term opportunities

  • SPP-only discussions to employers including through visits to offices to discuss career options and learn about different employment sectors 

  • specialist careers seminars run by LSE Careers, including sessions on CVs and cover letters, career management, networking, interviews and advice specific to particular employment sectors 
  • access to LSE Careerhub, with thousands of short-term and long-term opportunities including internships

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year. LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available.

SPP Professional Skills Programme

The SPP also offers an extensive and tailored programme of Professional Skills for Public Policy which is especially designed to complement the skills and insights that you gain as part of your programme curriculum and equip you with the necessary skills for the next step in your career.  

You will benefit from a series of training workshops with experienced practitioners and experts in key areas of professional development such as leadership, negotiation and persuasive communication.

Graduate Destinations

Our graduates go on to pursue careers in a wide range of sectors with popular destinations including; Government and PoliticsConsultancyFinancial Services, NGOs & Charities, Data, Research & Think TanksInternational Development and Aid, Public Policy, and International Finance and Trade. 

Find out more about our alumni and their career journeys after graduation. 

Contact us

Programme and admissions enquiries

If you have any programme or admissions queries which are not answered on the website, please contact the team.

Admission queries: Contact Graduate Admissions (lse.ac.uk)

Programme specific queries: Master of Public Administration Email: spp.admissions@lse.ac.uk

 

Find out more about LSE

Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home. 

Experience LSE from home

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus. Experience LSE from home

Visit LSE

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour. Find out about opportunities to visit LSE

LSE visits you

Student Marketing, Recruitment and Study Abroad travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders. Find details on LSE's upcoming visits

Request a prospectus

  • Name
  • Address

Register your interest

  • Name

Speak to Admissions

Content to be supplied