Programmes

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

  • Graduate taught
  • School of Public Policy
  • Application code L4UT
  • Starting 2023
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is designed for early to mid-career professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and analytical skills to effectively address complex public policy challenges, and advance their career in any policy-relevant sector.

The intensive 9-month programme enables students to take a short career break to join an experienced global cohort, gain new perspectives and develop an understanding of the “craft of government”. This integrates theory and analysis, politics, and implementation of policy.  

Students will develop a unique understanding of the complex challenges of contemporary governance across core discipline perspectives including economics and econometrics, political science, quantitative methods, public management and philosophy. This offers tools and knowhow to understand and address the world’s most pressing public policy challenges. 

Whether moving into public, private, international, or non-profit roles, our graduates will take with them enhanced knowledge, expanded thinking and elevated skills to be able to make formidable contributions to public policy and advance in the next stage in their career.

Key features:

  • A strong disciplined focus core, plus room to specialise.
  • Opportunity to build your professional network and learn from a diverse cohort all with well-established policy-relevant experience.
  • Be able to better understand and challenge the advice received from experts.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the public management profession and the tools and approaches needed to reform and enhance public service provision.
  • An intensive nine-month programme to prepare you for the next step in your career and help you to return to your profession equipped and confident to take on new challenges.

Programme details

Key facts

Master of Public Policy 
Start date September 2023
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration Nine months full-time only
Applications 2021 556
Intake 2021 84
Tuition fee £38,020 (Fees are subject to change until 12 December 2022)
Financial support Graduate support scheme (see 'Fees and funding')
Minimum entry requirement

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline. In addition, applicants must have at least five years of policy-relevant experience, though exceptions may be granted for outstanding candidates with slightly less experience.  

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 five years of policy-relevant experience, though exceptions may be granted for outstanding candidates with slightly less 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, and professional policy-relevant experience. This is irrespective of an applicant's 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)

- 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 programme 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 Policy (MPP)

Home students: £38,020 (Fees are subject to change until 12 December 2022)
Overseas students: £38,020 (Fees are subject to change until 12 December 2022)

Table of fees

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 or 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 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 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. 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

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 you to the next step in your career in public policy.

The core courses of the programme all apply leading scholarship to policy-making, thus ensuring your immersion in the richest and most innovative research in the field. The MPP has been developed to harness LSE's expertise across these disciplines and fields central to public policy. 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.

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.  

Welcome & Introductory Teaching 

From mid-September (exact date TBC) you will need to attend MPP Welcome events and introductory teaching sessions. These will take place prior to the start of the LSE Michaelmas 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 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.

Programme structure

The programme consists of four units in total – including three units of core courses, listed below, and a further one unit of options courses from a range of courses from within the School of Public Policy. This combines a fundamental grounding in core disciplines that are central to public policy, and allows you to tailor your options to your own interests and career goals. Some of the option 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 attract 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.

Option courses (electives)

You will also select 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 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 seminars (smaller groups the study of concepts in a more informal style). Other courses will operate in a ‘Harvard’ format, with the whole class in one space and the teaching method adapts to facilitate discussion and debate. You should expect a variety of teaching methods such as class exercises, team presentations, individual or group work, or case study discussions. 

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

Toluwalola Kasali, MPP Class of 2020
Operations Officer (Creating Markets Advisory) at the IFC Nigeria (World Bank Group)

Tolu

The MPP programme was immensely beneficial in helping me combine the theory, politics, and tools of policymaking - key elements in making governments and policies work for development.

Read profile

Yohann Sequeira, MPP Class of 2021
Senior Consultant at Dalberg Advisors

Yohann Sequeira

 

The LSE MPP met and exceeded what I was looking for in a program. First, it gave me the ability to tailor my time at the SPP to my professional interests while meeting my educational objectives within nine months. Second, the programme had a multidisciplinary approach: pulling in expertise from the departments of government, political science, and philosophy, among others. And finally, all of this was delivered through a world-class institution with professors and peers from all over the world, who would complete the experience and provide a unique and diverse set of learnings.

Read profile

Careers

Support for your career

Studying at the LSE School of Public Policy is an excellent career decision with employers across the globe attracted both to the intellectual rigour and the practical applications of our curriculums.We understand the particular needs of early to mid-career policy professional seeking their next career step or looking to change direction, and the need to assess and reflect on your skills and experiences to date; the breadth of our curriculums will allow you to widen the perspectives through which you view your working life. At this level, career development is through networking with peers as well as advice and we can offer you: 

In particular, students at SPP have access to: 

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

  • a Careers Impact Day to audit your current career position and the next steps open to you
  • recruitment events specifically targeted at experienced hires
  • 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 

  • Networking opportunities with SPP alumni
  • 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 from LSE Careers.

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. 

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

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 Policy Programme Email: mpp@lse.ac.uk

 

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