Social Policy Social Work & Social Justice - Public Policy

MPP Public Policy
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)
Public policy making has become more challenging in recent years in the context of the increasing complexity of clients' needs, growing expectations regarding appropriate service quality and diminishing public spending in many countries. The Master of Public Policy is specifically designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to meet these challenges.

We examine the socio-economic changes and political issues which influence policy making, the challenges associated with effective regulation and administration of public services and ensuring that policy decisions are evidence based. If you are interested in public policy research you can take a number of specialist modules on this issue. We also provide a number of optional streams which will enable you to examine different policy fields in depth.

The Master of Public Policy is a 90-credit programme. The duration is one year full time or two years part time. A 60-credit version of the programme is available as a Graduate Diploma without thesis.

Programme Outcomes
• Understand the political, ethical, social and economic factors that influence policymaking, along with the challenges associated with effective policy implementation and regulation
• Take a critical view of policy analysis, recognizing the variety of considerations that shape policy outcomes and the variety of ideas, expectations, and norms that shape debates about appropriate policy solutions and the assessment of policy outcomes
• Demonstrate advanced theoretical and conceptual knowledge of public policy and governance
• Develop an understanding of current debates within public policy and governance
• Critically appraise and reflect on the role of the policy analyst within the democratic and policy-making process
• Apply advanced theory to problem-solving and public policy challenges, drawing on a range of disciplinary approaches and analytical tools
• Systematically analyse public policies comparatively in an international, national, and subnational context, to apply the latest in public policy research
• Critically appraise and reflect on the role of the policy analyst within the democratic and policy-making process
• Articulate concepts, knowledge, debates and research to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences from an inter-disciplinary perspective, contributing to evidence-based policy-making
• Exercise effective group and team-based approaches to learning, research, and presentation
• Articulate concepts, knowledge, debates and research to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences, from an interdisciplinary perspective
• Contribute to evidence-based policy-making
• Source and synthesize different kinds of data, textual and source material
• Engage in independent research and analysis
• Write to a good academic standard

Subjects taught

Core modules introduce you to the key concepts, theories and analytic techniques which underpin public policy analysis.

Stage 1 - Core
Evidence-Based Policy Making - SPOL40450
Data & Methods for Policy Analysis - SPOL41020
Public Administration & Policy - SPOL41060

Stage 1 - Option
Econometrics - ECON41820
Microeconomics - ECON41840
Health and Welfare Economics - ECON42190
Energy Economics and Policy - ECON42360
Behavioural Economics - ECON42660
Tools for Sust Development - ENVP40040
Environmental Economics & Climate Policy - ENVP40100
European Environmental Policy - ENVP40180
Critical Political Economy - EQUL40390
Critical Geopolitics of Europe - GEOG40450
Physical Geography of Cities - GEOG40780
Practical Environmental Assessment - GEOG40860
Gender, Inequality and Public Policy - GS40030
Work & Employment in the Global Economy - HRM40720
Data & Society - IS40840
Social Networks Online and Offline - IS40980
Environmental Law and Policy - LAW40120
Advanced Issues in European Competition Law - LAW40360
Punishment, Prisons & Public Policy - LAW40620
Advanced Criminological Theory - LAW40640
NGOs: Law, Governance and Social Change - LAW40760
Law of the ECHR - LAW40780
Law and Governance of the EU - LAW41040
Climate Change Law and Policy - LAW41090
Online Regulation - LAW41150
Asylum and Refugee: Law, Politics and Rights - LAW41310
Comparative Corporate Governance - LAW42010
Health Policy - NMHS43840
Public Health Practice and Policy - PHPS40040
Health Promotion - PHPS40300
Placemaking: Urban and Rural Design - PLAN40020
Planning, Society and Diversity - PLAN40030
Transport, Environment & Sustainability - PLAN40050
Urban and Regional Development - PLAN40060
Housing Policy and Planning - PLAN40070
Economic and Property Markets - PLAN40080
Geographical Information Systems for Policy and Planning - PLAN40220
Planning, Environ & Public Pol - PLAN40340
Sustainable Cities - PLAN40390
International Political Theory - POL40140
International Political Economy - POL40370
Comparative European Politics - POL40540
EU Foreign, Security, and Defence Pol. - POL40610
Introduction to Statistics - POL40950
Politics of European Governance - POL40970
Politics of Human Rights - POL41020
Theory of Human Rights - POL41030
Qualitative Research Methods for Political Science - POL41640
The Global Political Economy of Europe - POL41650
Political Theory and the EU - POL42000
Quantitative Text Analysis - POL42050
Politics of (mis-)information - POL42070
Policing & Social Conflict - SOC40080
Workshop in Qualitative Research - SOC40330
Social Simulation: Methods and Models - SOC40640
Housing and Social Cohesion - SPOL40440
Comparing Healthcare Systems - SPOL40470
Drug Use, Community & Society - SPOL40530
MPP Thesis - SPOL41040
MPP Internship - SPOL41050
Multivariate Analysis - STAT40150

Entry requirements

Each application is considered on its individual merits. The applicants should have earned a honours bachelors degree (NFQ Level 8) from a recognised university in a relevant social science subject such as Political Science, International Relations, Social Policy, Sociology, Geography, Economics, Global Studies, Public Policy, Public Administration, EU Studies, Law/International Law, Accounting & Finance, Business etc. with at least Upper Second Class Honours, or its equivalent (an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher in the American system). Relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.

Note that meeting the requirements do not guarantee admission. Applicants in their final year of undergraduate study may be admitted conditional on satisfactory completion of their undergraduate degree.

N.B. Click here for the admission requirements for the Economics Policy Stream.

Students meeting the programme's academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD's Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master's Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes.

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:
Master of Public Policy (W279)
Deadline: Rolling*

Master of Public Policy PT (W289)
Deadline: Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.


Master of Public Policy (W279)
Duration: 1 Years
Attend: Full Time

Master of Public Policy PT (W289)
Duration: 2 Years
Attend: Part Time

Post Course Info

Related Programmes
Grad Dip Public Policy FT

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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    Full time,Part time

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