This course is ideal for professionals in the public sector, in not-for-profit organisations or in for-profit organisations involved in public policy or the delivery of public services.
During your studies you'll develop the skills and knowledge required to influence policy and how policy decisions are translated on the ground. You'll deepen your understanding of policy-making and its intersection with public management. You will prepare yourself for more strategic roles and help your organisation operate more effectively in complex and challenging environments.
By choosing this part-time online course you will be able to combine your study with your career and family. You'll also be studying with one of the top universities in the world, with teaching and support from experienced academics and practitioners. Our Department is ranked 25th in the world, and 4th in the UK (QS World Rankings 2016). All our courses are run directly by us, so you can always count on coherent and strong support from your academic tutors, personal supervisor and our dedicated support team.
You'll study alongside your peers working in similar organisations around the world. You'll be able to actively engage with them and share your ideas, learning and experience as you progress through the course. You'll also be in a position to immediately apply your learning and insight to your work and your organisation.
I deeply enjoyed the MA. The coursework was stimulating and the online platform and tutorial support were excellent, making it feasible to pursue the degree while working full time.Kate Lancaster, Public Affairs and Communications, OECD
Our online Social Policy courses scored 100% for student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016 (response rate: 25%)
This masters course will develop your knowledge of public policy, so you'll gain a better understanding of how policies are made and then implemented on the ground. You'll also acquire skills in public management, and learn to analyse and influence how public services are run and how organisational change can be best managed.
The first year of the course will ensure you have a foundation in all key aspects of public policy and management. In your second year you can choose areas of study that are most interesting or most applicable to your own work
Towards the end of the course you'll start to prepare for your dissertation which will allow you to explore an area of particular interest with support from a dedicated dissertation supervisor.
You can also study for a shorter period of time and graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma. See our brochure for details.
To graduate with a masters degree, you will need to take 140 credits of taught modules and complete a dissertation worth 40 credits.
You'll study these modules to a schedule. This will allow you to participate online with academics and fellow students from around the world.
In the first year you'll study 80 credits with the following modules:
In your second year you'll study a combination of taught modules and work on your dissertation. You will choose one of these modules:
You'll then choose to study one of these modules:
You will also need to complete a dissertation, as well as modules designed to develop your professional and research skills:
These modules will run during 2016-18. Modules may change in later years in light of student feedback and ongoing research.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Throughout your studies your assignments will help you to apply theory to practice and to combine academic work with case studies or examples relevant to your work.
One of your taught modules, the Dissertation Workshop, will help you prepare for your dissertation. You'll learn how to plan and schedule your independent literature-based research project. With the help of your dissertation supervisor you'll work on finding the appropriate scope and focus for your project, and develop a workable structure. You'll also receive feedback on draft chapters and guidance on conducting your literature review and any further research.
Your dissertation is worth 40 credits and will be 12,000 words long.
Previous dissertation titles have included:
|Part-time, distance learning (2 years)|
Higher band fee. Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
|Part-time, distance learning (2 years)|
This lower band fee applies to student based in developing countries, employers sponsoring more than one student per cohort, CIMA certified applicants, CIPFA members, City of York Council employees and Ministry of Defence personnel. Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
The thing that's worked well for me is the online learning environment and working full-time while studying. It works fantastically well because you can apply the knowledge straight away, and literally go back into the organisation and say "hey, I understand that now – that makes sense".
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
You will study online and can therefore study from wherever you are. It should take you about 15 hours per week to complete all your reading and tasks. You can decide when you work on these weekly tasks; all activities can be completed around your schedule.
The three main kinds of activity you will be asked to do are:
You will be supported by:
You will take part in exercises and other tasks as you progress through each module. This will allow you to receive feedback on your progress and understanding.
At the end of each 20 credit module you'll complete an assignment. Normally this will be a 3,000 word assessment. For the 10 credit modules you will work on a journal (or another practice exercise) or will complete a dissertation plan.
All the professors and tutors I have had the chance to interact with have shown a high professionalism and have been great facilitators for students. Because of their academic and personal support I could manage to do a full time job and studies in parallel.Dorina, Albania
This course is ideal for people working in the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as people working in for-profit organisations that deliver public services. It will allow you to develop the skills required for management in a large and complex organisation. You'll also gain a thorough understanding of public policy so that you can analyse and influence policy-making and implementation.
Almost all of our current students and alumni are in employment. They work in roles in:
My current position has really been the highlight of my career, and the educational background my masters degree provided me with was exactly what I needed to be successful in this position.Rachel, Canada
You should normally have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. If you don't have experience of undergraduate study we may consider your application if you have a suitable professional background.
You should also have professional experience in the public service field. This could be in roles in local or national government, or in non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, the voluntary and charitable sector, and private sector roles which support or deliver public services.
You will also need to ensure you have:
When you apply you'll need to write a personal statement, answering all the questions on this template and acknowledging the Requirements of Study.
If your native language is not English you will need to show evidence of your English language ability. Some exceptions apply, but the standard accepted qualifications are listed below:
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.