Institution / Queens University Belfast

Public Policy

The MSc in Public Policy at Queen's provides a high-quality and multidisciplinary programme of teaching, professional and personal development for public servants. Recognising both a more complex policy environment and advances in the study of public policy, it will provide a platform for Queen's and international researchers to present and engage with civil and public servants across a host of contemporary public policy issues, and to help students develop new skills and fields of expertise. The programme is tailored to fit within public service employment patterns, and will make a considered contribution to the quality of public governance in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Why Queen's?
• Bespoke Leadership Skills Masterclasses provided by the William J Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen's.
• Leading academic experts as guest speakers
• State-of-the-art facilities such as our award-winning McClay Library and new Graduate School.
• A study trip to Brussels is included as part of the programme.
• Students have use of the University's new Trading Room, based in Queen's Management School.
• One-to-one supervision, with Dissertation supervision by leading academic in subject field
• Students may choose exit options (PG Certificate/PG Diploma in Public Policy)

The teaching and learning methods used across the MSc modules will include: lectures and presentations; problem-centred seminars; practitioner workshops; case studies; computer/software demonstrations; field trips; and research methods and data analysis classes. The final stage of the MSc in Public Policy programme involves a written portfolio project or dissertation of 15,000 words. The work will be an academically informed and policy-relevant piece of original research agreed between the participant and their Queen's supervisor.

Programme Convenors
Dr Lee McGowan:

Dr Dieter Pesendorfer:

Dr Graham Brownlow:

Dr Rossella Ciccia:

Dr Graham Ellison:

Dr Gemma Carney:

Dr Brendan Murtagh:

Entry requirements

Normally at least a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any discipline. Applicants must have suitable experience in policy management within the civil or public service, which will be assessed by the Programme Director to determine if an offer of admission can be made.

In line with the University's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy, applicants who do not meet the above academic requirements will be considered on an individual basis. Attendance at interview may be required.

Please visit for information on the RPL Policy and on application procedures. Attendance at interview may be required.

Additional Information for International Students
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

For additional information, please visit our website.
• English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.
• Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English
• See Also The Into Graduate Diploma In Finance Which Combines Academic Study, Intensive English Language Teaching And Study Skills To Prepare You For Entry Into A University Masters Degree.


2 Years (part-time)
Learning and Teaching
Morning / Afternoon / Evening.

Teaching to be delivered in block 2- and 3-day modules, usually Thursday-Saturday.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Graduates of this multidisciplinary MSc degree at Queen's will have acquired leading knowledge of international developments in policy-making research and practice across numerous policy fields, as well as a unique set of leadership and cognitive skills to advance their public service careers.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh
School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy
Tel: 9097 3886

Subjects taught

Modules include:
• Comparative Public Policy
• Divided Societies
• Economics of Public Policy
• Environmental Policy and Planning
• European Policy Making
• Health and Social Care
• Justice Management
• Policy Evaluation
• Public Policy Management and Performance Governance
• Regulatory Governance
• Social Policy, Ageing and the Life Course

The Programme incorporates four half-day leadership masterclass at the William J Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen's, as well as a study trip to Brussels and Leuven, Belgium.

Assessment method

Assessments will be through a combination of individual written assignments, group assignments, presentations and a dissertation.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply. See application weblink below.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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