Politics and Public Policy (MSc Econ)
1 year (Full-time) / 2 years (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
What governments do - public policy - has a huge impact on the economy, society and the way we live. This programme is designed to enable you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature of public policy, how public policy is made, and how the power to make public policy is won and lost. Integral to this is the development of skills necessary to conduct advanced research in these areas. You will also have the opportunity to focus on areas of particular interest at Welsh,national, EU and/or international levels. The course is taught by leading experts and is intended to help prepare you for careers in government and in organisations that deal with government on a regular basis, such as business firms and NGOs. It also opens the way to study for a PhD.
To enable you to develop advanced expertise in public policy and political analysis, as well as sophisticated research skills.
- Vocational relevance
- Covers Welsh, British, European and global levels of governance
- Develops advanced research skills
- Small classes.
This programme of study is designed to enable you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature of public policy, how public policy is made, and how the power to make public policy is won and lost, along with the skills necessary to conduct advanced research in these areas. This involves:
- A core of modules designed to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding
- Specialisation in areas of politics and public policy of particular interest to you at Welsh, national, EU and/or international levels
- Learning by means of small group sessions designed to assist you to analyse and evaluate ideas and information from guided reading and integrate what is valuable about these into your model of the world. Student presentations develop communications skills. Questions, discussion and debate hone logical skills and enable deeper insight into the subject matter. Group problem solving helps to develop collaborative skills
- Assessment by coursework and unseen written examinations, accompanied by personalised feedback designed to enable you to improve your performance over the course of the programme
- Researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation, which gives you the opportunity to investigate a topic of particular interest to you and develop your research skills
On completion of the programme you will be able to describe, analyse and evaluate:
- A broad range of public policy issues
- The main theories about how public policy is made
- The main features of government and policy making in Britain in historical context
- The dynamics of elections and party systems in Western democracies
- The main approaches to conducting political research
- Developments in politics and public policy in selected areas at Welsh, national, European and/or international levels
- Applied social science research designs and methodologies, as demonstrated by your completion of a dissertation.
Full time: The first semester programme for full-time students consists of four modules. These cover the main approaches to political analysis, research design, political parties, and British politics. In the second semester you take four optional modules. The dissertation, which is researched and written over the summer and comprises a third of the overall assessment, provides an opportunity to undertake research in an area of politics and public policy of particular interest.
Part time: Part-time students in the first semester of their first year of study take two modules. These cover public policy, and British politics. In the second semester you take two optional modules. In the first semester of your second year you again take two modules, this time on research design, and political parties. In the second semester you take two optional modules before researching and writing a dissertation, which comprises a third of the overall assessment and provides an opportunity to undertake research in an area of politics and public policy of particular interest.
Semester 1 Modules
- The Public, Parties and Democracy
- Public Policy
- Research Methods: Approaches To Knowledge
- Governing and Policy-Making in Britain
Semester 2 Modules
- Dissertation Preparation
- Devolution & Public Policy in Wales
- Parties, Party Systems and Democracy
- Constitutionalism & Governance
- American Foreign Policy
- State Crisis – Changing Governance In Italy
- European Economic Governance And Policies
- European Political Economy
- EU Law and Governance
- Global Climate Governance
- Human Rights & Global Justice
- Public International Law
Please note that module availability varies from year to year for reasons including staff availability. Modules with fewer than three students enrolled do not normally run.
- Research design
- Collection and analysis of information
- Presentation skills
For employers a Master's degree in Politics and Public Policy means that you have an excellent understanding of government that will be of use whether you work in government or in the private and voluntary sectors, both of which need staff who know how to deal with government. It also means that you have sophisticated analytical, research and communications skills. For these reasons the degree opens the way for careers in a wide range of fields. These include public service at local, Welsh, national, EU and international level, business (including multinational corporations), journalism, and policy research and consultancy. The stress on research skills means that graduates are also well-placed to undertake PhDs.
Successful applicants will usually possess an initial degree in Politics, or a cognate subject with a strong Politics component, such as Business & Management, European Studies, Human Geography, Law and Social Sciences. Students are normally required to have a 2:1 Honours degree classification or equivalent qualification.
In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components, or an equivalent English language qualification.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
Cardiff University Masters Excellence Scheme
This course is included in the Masters Excellence Scholarship 2015 (Pathway to PhD) scheme. If you are looking at applying for a Masters degree with the intention of going on to study at PhD level then you are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The application will ask you to consider your research area and future sources of funding. It is recognised, however, that in making this application there is not a commitment to undertake further study, or to undertake further studies at Cardiff University. Similarly, in making an award, Cardiff University is not committing to making an offer for further study or for a further award.
UK & EU Full Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
UK & EU Part Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
International Full Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
International Part Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
Next intake: September each year
Name: Admissions Team MScEcon Politics & Public Policy
Telephone: +44 (0)2920 875406