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Public Policy

The global financial crisis has exposed flaws in the policy making system in Ireland and elsewhere. Part of this relates to the technical capacity of policy makers to do effective public policy analysis. This is something recognised by the Irish state and the European Union as well as other international bodies as they attempt to increase the number of professionally qualified policy specialists working for them.

In response DCU is offering a bespoke, interdisciplinary course designed to suit the needs of a new generation of policy makers. It will be hosted in the School of Law and Government, but builds on links across the University and is a key part of a new Institute for Innovative Government (IIG).

This is a new type of professional degree - in many ways a parallel for those in the policy/government sector to an MBA in the commercial sector. It will have an intellectual base and methodological rigour that reflect the needs of a sector facing more nuanced and complex challenges.


Public policy analysis is the technology to the science of social science. This idea is central to both the delivery of courses and student assessment.

The programme will prepare students to perform, understand and communicate professional policy analysis in the public sector and sectors working to it.

The learning philosophy of the programme will be problem-based learning (PBL). The hybrid of PBL and traditional lectures will allow you learn the state of the art/ science in the relevant discipline, then to see this in operation by working through case studies and finally using the knowledge gained to actively solve set problems.

You will collaborate and communicate with other students, to define the problem, to identify relevant data to solve these and to divide work in fair and efficient ways. The MPP will prepare students for the working environment.

Why Do This Programme?
To join the growing number of professional policy specialists working directly for the state, national and international organisations or those in the private sector who are increasingly interested in public policy.

To develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to become a policy maker or an informed actor in the policy making system. These include quantitative methods, policy design and implementation, research design, communications skills, law, and policy analysis.

To have the opportunity to gain knowledge and specialize in specific policy areas.

To gain real-world experience of policy making through the internship component that allows you to analyse public policies in a variety of fields.

Opportunities to build relationships and contacts with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds, a range of specialists and policy makers that will give you a head start as you build your career

Draw on expertise across Ireland's most innovative university.

Small class sizes with a diverse student body.

Interactive, problem-based teaching style.

High quality teaching staff who are experts in their field.

Links to employers and a network of alumni.

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements
Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent, but applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also, on the basis of the relevant University regulations and procedures, be offered places.

International candidates who are non-native speakers of the English language must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

Queries on completed applications should be emailed to


1 year Full Time, 2 years Part Time.

Careers or further progression

The range of modules delivered in programme will equip graduates with a range of social science skills, such as quantitative analysis, research design, economics and communications methods to develop, analyse, evaluate and communicate public policies. These have been chosen carefully and in consultation with key stakeholders such as senior civil servants and ministers.

The MSc in Public Policy will give students the broad set of skills needed by policy makers. In particular it will equip students to develop innovative public policies that exploit existing knowledge in science, technology, law and social sciences.

Graduates will be informed and critical consumers of scientific evidence, and be able to evaluate advice from a diverse range of sources using this knowledge to develop policies that appreciate complexity, risk and uncertainty.

The degree will equip students with the ability to apply exacting evaluation methods to assess whether policies achieved what was intended. Students graduating will be in a position to become leaders in their field of policy making.

It will be capped with an innovative Internship on which the dissertation will be based. This will give the students a chance to work in teams as consultants, providing advice to a number of public organisations.

We invite applications from intelligent, hard-working and ambitious people from any background seeking a challenging and rewarding experience and career.

Further enquiries

Dr Eoin O'Malley
t: +353 (01) 7006473

Application date

How to Apply and Closing Dates
Make an Application
Dates for Submission of Applications 2018
Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) website as follows:

Full Time - use PAC Code DC648

Part Time - use PAC Code DC649

EU Applicants - Please apply by 31st July 2017 both the full time and part time programmes.

Non EU Applicants - Please apply by 10th July 2017. If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!