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Course Profile

Pictures of political events.

The MA Politics, Governance & Public Policy locates state-of-the-art academic research and theory within the contours of ‘real-world’ policy dilemmas, and emphasises policymaking as a multi-level phenomenon.

Governance and public policy are core political concerns. The MA in Politics, Governance and Public Policy will give you rich theoretical and empirical insights into the policy process, as we analyse in depth how 'real government’ works.


On this degree, you will explore the policy process across a range of regional, national and international settings; and in doing so, you will develop a critical understanding of the relationship between input and output dimensions of governance and policymaking. You will also acquire important tools of policy analysis and a detailed practical understanding of the political, economic and social drivers that shape governance from agenda-setting through to implementation and evaluation.

The Department of Politics enjoys an international reputation in the field of governance, and you will study alongside academics with unrivalled expertise in policy analysis, democratic governance, Europeanisation, global governance and multi-level governance to develop a thorough grounding in the main theoretical debates in the field.

The core themes covered in this programme include:

  • Governance and multi-level governance
  • Institutions and institutionalism
  • Agenda-setting
  • Policy implementation
  • Political participation

Other course information

  • Standard duration is one year full-time
  • Find the tuition fee for this course here
  • Can be studied part-time over two years
  • Comprises a mixture of course-specific modules and optional modules
  • Culminates with a Dissertation in Politics, Governance & Public Policy

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.


On the MA Politics, Governance & Public Policy, you will study three core modules:

You will have a choice of any of our two option modules, which includes:

Your studies will culminate with your postgraduate dissertation:

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Global and Career Experience

The Faculty of Social Sciences (of which the Department of Politics is a member) has many exciting opportunities specifically for postgraduate students to develop their careers and gain valuable global experience.

Postgraduate Advantage Scheme

This provides internship bursaries for postgraduate students to gain graduate-level work experience whilst studying. Through this scheme, our students have engaged with over one hundred community organisations, charities and small-medium enterprises, with internships taking place around the world, from Sheffield to South Africa.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Advantage Scheme

Global Learning Opportunities in the Social Sciences (GLOSS)

This exciting programme provides you with unique opportunities to understand your course in an international context, to actively engage with international policymakers, stakeholders and partners, and to become involved in the international research undertaken within the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Find out more about GLOSS

Global Leadership Initiative

This gives you the chance to attend major international summits taking place during the academic year. You will have the opportunity for you to gain first-hand experience of international policy debates at the highest level, to attend press conferences and produce outputs visible to an international audience, thereby enhancing your research skills and employability.

Find out more about the Global Leadership Initiative

Entry Requirements

We are looking for inquiring students who have a strong academic track record and will enthusiastically take part in our research community.

Academic Qualifications
  • We require a good degree (first-class or strong 2:1 honours degree) in a relevant social science, arts and humanities or related subject.
  • We require equivalent attainment in an overseas qualification.
English Language
  • We require a good standard of English so you can fully take part in our course.
  • If you speak English as a second language, the requirements for IELTS are 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in all components.
  • You can find out more here.
Application Requirements
  • You will submit a good personal statement (at least 300 words) and receive two good academic references.

More information about applying