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 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 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.
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.
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.