• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    2 years part-time or 1 year full-time

  • Attendance:

    2 evenings a week part-time or 4 evenings a week full-time

    October to June

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

This Master's degree in politics, policy and management is ideal if you are working, or seeking a career, in public policy research and implementation. You will gain an advanced understanding of the ideas, interests and institutions that contribute to the making of policy across a wide range of areas, including healthcare, society and social care, migration, the environment, education and macroeconomics. This programme will give you insights into how policy choices are made in comparison to policy developing by default, without clear choices or the establishment of priorities and strategies. Alongside this, you will also consider management in the public sector, analysing the issues involved in making decisions about how public services are managed. You will explore how the different parts of national and local government interact and how the private sector is involved in the implementation of public policy. Overall, you will acquire the essential skills needed for the systematic analysis of government policies and for the professional practice of policy formulation and implementation. The programme is highly topical, considering up-to-the-minute concerns and real-world debates within contemporary UK politics.

The first core module explores how individuals, institutions and interest groups, inside and outside of government, drive, formulate and implement public policy. You will consider case studies of real-world policy issues and the processes by which key decisions are reached and applied. The second core module looks at theories of, and innovations within, public management. You will explore the history of public management and consider how public administration has been revolutionised in the last 20 years. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

How to apply

Application deadlines and interviews

Applications from January.

Most applicants will be interviewed and interviews are usually held between March and September.

Online application

Public Policy and Management (MSc) (Part-time)

Public Policy and Management (MSc) (Full-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • This Master's degree will equip you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the central issues and current trends that face professionals working in public policy, whether as advisers, civil servants, managers or campaigners.
  • The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
  • Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
  • You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
  • Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
  • The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
  • Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
  • Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.
  • Find out more about why you should study with us.
  • Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.

Course structure

You take 2 core modules and 2 option modules (all 30 credits) and write a 60-credit dissertation.

Option modules are normally available in:

  • British, US and European government and politics
  • International relations, international security and US foreign policy
  • Politics of globalisation and international political economy
  • Politics, policy and administration of the EU
  • Political theory and political sociology
  • War, conflict, nationalism, politics and religion
  • Comparative public policy
  • Research methods.

Year 1 full-time

Year 1 part-time

Year 2 part-time

MSc Public Policy and Management Dissertation

Sample timetable

PDF document icon postgrad-timetable15-16-for students.pdf — PDF document, 267 kB (274421 bytes)

Entry requirements

A good undergraduate degree in a related area, or relevant experience combined with an adequate academic background (subject to interview).

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7600 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14200 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

Finishing your undergraduate degree this year? Current Birkbeck students are eligible for a £10,000 scholarship to fund a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015-2016.

Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

Careers and employability

Graduates go on to careers in local and national government, the voluntary sector, policy research and journalism.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

Birkbeck offers a wide range of free careers support and advice for students.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

A mix of lectures and seminars for taught modules, employing a variety of formats.

Find out more about teaching and attendance.

Assessment

You submit formative and assessed essays and take examinations.

Find out more about how MSc/MRes programmes are assessed.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.

Further study opportunities

If you are interested in further research, we offer an MPhil/PhD in Politics.