Public Policy & Management MSc

Scottish parliament seating

This programme combines courses that examine the policy making process, policy analysis and evaluation and real world public policy challenges, with professional management courses It aims to develop future public sector leaders who understand both the organisational contexts and challenges that face governments.

Key facts

  • MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • PgDip 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time
  • Contact:

Why this programme

  • Glasgow is an inspiring place to study problems of public and urban policy, both as a laboratory of many profound challenges, and providing many examples of leading and innovative approaches to tackling such issues.
  • You will benefit from professional management courses, delivered by the Adam Smith Business School, providing an insight into practical challenges facing all successful organisations.
  • The programme involves expert contributions from those working in a range of policy fields and field trips to study policy initiatives on the ground.

Programme structure

This programme combines core courses in public policy and management with a range of options, designed to allow you to develop expertise in core public policy fields. Over the summer months, you will undertake an independent research project where you can research an issue of interest to you in more depth.

Core courses

  • Understanding public policy
  • Managing strategic change
  • Governance and markets
  • Project management
  • Evaluation, evidence and policy
  • Methods of social research
  • Managing innovation and creativity.

Optional courses 

  • Understanding health policy
  • International urban challenges
  • Urban theory and research
  • Sustainable housing development
  • Regenerating cities.

Subject to timetable and agreement with the programme director, you may also choose from the wide range of postgraduate courses available within the School of Social and Political Sciences.

What our students say

Suzana Chiriac, graduated 2011

Suzana Chiriac "The programme had much academic, but also practical input. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the core focused on both public policy and management. For the latter, new and inspiring theories regarding change management constituted the main body of courses.

The programme is flexible, offering students the chance to choose from a wide range of options. Taught modules have a variety of teaching methods, most based around student input i.e. presentations, case-studies, as well as individual preparation. This is combined with the dedication and contribution of staff, who were always available for further guidance. There were also contributions from outside experts through lectures and study-visits.

If you decide to join the MSc in Public Policy and Management, you should expect to become an enriched postgraduate student, able to deal with complex issues, while also gaining insights from specialists in the area."

Alina Sandulescu, graduated 2011

Alina Sandulescu"The University of Glasgow was an amazing experience. I enjoyed the programme which was well structured and gave lots of opportunity to choose classes that fitted with my personal interests. Assignments were very well explained and the feedback was helpful. University staff were very supportive, yet I also had a lot of studying to do by myself, encouraging me to be more proactive.

Staying on the University campus and sharing a flat with other international students (from Czech Republic, Italy and India) was a wonderful way to understand other cultures and develop the ability to communicate with various people. Moreover, getting to live in Glasgow makes it worthwhile. There are endless opportunities to have a good time in the city and it was a fantastic chance for me to travel around and explore the splendor of Scotland!

I would recommend the University of Glasgow for students who want a good education and a prestigious degree from a respected university."

Septimiu Szabo, graduated 2011

Septimiu Szabo "I liked the fact that the programme combined the public policy field with the management field. We were able to attend lectures from the MBA classes. Lecturers combined the theoretical notions with practical visits to different locations.

I enjoyed living in Glasgow since Scotland is different from any other place – although I found the University flats expensive compared with the regular flats you can find in the city!"

Academic staff

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject.

Good candidates from other disciplines are also considered.

Candidates with extensive relevant professional experience, but with a lower degree, may also apply and will be considered on an individual basis.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£15250


Home and EU
Full time fee£4633
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£10167

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

Career opportunities include working within central or local government, policy advice and development roles, or policy evaluation and assessment. Core management skills equip students for a wide range of roles across the private and public sector.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now