Public Policy


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 1 year, Part time 2 years


Why Lancaster?

  • Learn through real-life case studies, work alongside policy practitioners, and confront problems surrounding public policymaking
  • Look at the world of policy through a critical lens and apply your skills to complete a portfolio project where you’ll create policy recommendations
  • Be surrounded by experts who work with UK parliament, make regular media appearances and want to shape the future of policymaking
  • Join a community that cares about ethical policymaking, focusing on an applied approach that drives change

How is public policy made? What challenges do policymakers face? And how do we construct policy solutions to policy problems? Study with us to explore these vital questions and confront the puzzles of public policymaking.

Fresh ideas to meet big challenges
Conflict, climate change, cost of living. Global crises cannot be solved by one individual. To make a change, we need to take collective action – and without policy that wouldn’t be possible. The world needs good policymakers with new ideas and a fresh approach to tackle the stalemate that policy has reached.

If you want to work in the world of international, national or local policy, you need to know how it’s made. This programme unpacks policymaking and gives you the skills to research, evaluate and create policy.

You might recognise some of our teaching team from their media appearances, perhaps talking about maritime security or the Middle East. You might have picked up their books in a shop – one academic has recently published on Labour's immigration policy.

Learn the skills to create policy
You'll hear from our expert academics on different domains, from local government to national defence. Our aim is to also hear perspectives from policy practitioners in different roles.

Instead of a traditional dissertation, you’ll complete a portfolio module. You’ll look at a specific area, use policy evaluation tools and create policy recommendations. Then showcase your work at a conference which will be attended by our community of practitioners and academics.

Whether you’re interested in environmental, immigration, defence, foreign, or EU public policy, or the broader politics of policymaking, we’ll help you hone your specialism and sharpen the skills employers are looking for.


We’ve designed this course to help you develop knowledge and transferable skills relevant to a range of different future careers.

Armed with this master’s degree, you’ll be the perfect fit for roles in:

  • NGOs
  • Civil service
  • Political parties
  • Local government
  • International charities
  • International business

We’re home to the Richardson Institute for Peace Studies, which undertakes peace and conflict research. As a student on our Master's in Public Policy, you will have the opportunity to apply for an internship to undertake a research project with an external organisation via the Richardson Institute.

Another option following your Master's is to continue your studies and further your research interests via a PhD programme.

Not sure what’s next? We’ll help you determine your direction and support you in getting there with support both from academics who work in the world of policy and specialist careers advisers.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 degree in a related subject is normally required. We will also consider applications where you have a degree in other subjects, have a 2:2 or equivalent result and/or extensive relevant experience. In these cases, you should clearly demonstrate how your experience and skills have prepared you for postgraduate study.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.



Fees and funding

Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
Home £11,500 £5,750
International £23,875 £11,935

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.