Are you a change-maker at heart and are you dedicated to having an impact on our societies? Then a master’s degree in public policy is a golden opportunity to hone your skills, knowledge, and increase your impact. Such programmes delve into economics, security studies, socio-legal fields, and many other areas of governance and society. In this article, EDUopinions introduces you to the best European master degrees in Public Policy.
Are master degrees in public policy worth it?
Degrees in public policies (MPP) and policy analysis (MPA) delve into the creation of political processes and how those can change societies. There are policies for almost every single part of society, which all need to be thoughtfully created, reviewed and updated. A few examples of topics are conflict resolution, human rights, health care, foreign policy and peacebuilding. Therefore, if you are driven by the desire to make a change and have a positive lasting impact, such programmes will provide you with a lot of valuable insights.
What can you do with a masters in public policy?
MPAs and MPPs give you access to a variety of career paths in very different sectors (governmental, nonprofit, or for-profit). Throughout the programme, you will study how to resolve practical issues. Moreover, you will become acquainted with great challenges in various fields. Therefore, you can trust that you will acquire will be of great value to your future employers, and mostly to you as a change-maker.
Whether directly working in governments or not, you will be interacting with its agencies on numerous occasions. You could find yourself lobbying for a new policy to be implemented, you could be advising governors and CEOs, or even just run your own NGO. In any case, you will have a career throughout which you will interact with numerous institutions to achieve societal goals, set up political agendas, and draft the world of tomorrow.
What are the best MPP/MPA programmes?
Master of Public Policy at London School of Economics and political science
In order to work in public policy, you need to understand the tools and approaches used in public management. The London School of Economics and Political Science offers a master´s degree that will enhance your knowledge of public services. Furthermore, you will acquire skills to successfully face challenges and critically assess decisions and advice from experts.
This master’s degree lasts 9 months full-time and attracts individuals with at least three years of relevant work experience. In other words, you can see this degree as a short break in your professional life to boost your career and hone new competencies.
Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford
The University of Oxford offers an MPP for outstanding students who do not wish to pursue a career in policy research. Indeed, this programme aims to recruit at people who want to take on other policy-related careers. Through this 12-months programme, you will study the core fields found in public policy and will also take part in two Policy Challenges to sharpen your skills.
The University of Oxford offers several options for you to personalise your experience. You can follow courses in negotiation, entrepreneurship, private finance and many other fields to prepare for your dream career.
Master of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Amsterdam
With a balanced mix of research and practice, the MPP at the University of Amsterdam encourages you to critically analyse public policies. In fact, the programme bases itself on the premise that policies are often created in controversial settings.
In addition to studying theoretical concepts and cases, you will learn from inspirational guest speakers. Moreover, you will find yourself in the largest department of political sciences in the country. Hence, you will be at the best place to lead successful research projects and start expanding your network.
Master in Public Policy at Sciences Po
During your two years at Sciences Po, in France, you will follow a multidisciplinary curriculum with a wide range of electives. Therefore, you will gain substantial knowledge and competencies in economics, law, public policy and leadership whilst being able to tailor the programme to your more specific interests by choosing electives and specialise in one of 11 tracks. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to take part in a Public Innovation Laboratory and enjoy more practical learning experiences. Finally, you will be responsible for shaping your final semester by choosing between writing a thesis, doing an internship, going on exchange or working on a personal project (Science Po also offers the opportunity to follow a dual degree in partnership with a few other universities).
It is also worth noting that Sciences Po’s fees depend on the resources of the tax household of which you depend. The minimum fee is EUR0 and the maximum fee is EUR18,000.
Master in International Public Management and Policy at Erasmus University Rotterdam
This master’s degree at the Erasmus University Rotterdam focuses on the national and global levels. However, a stronger focus is put on the EU and the place of the European continent on the international scene. The vast majority of classes are taught as lectures, yet with room for discussions and small group work. Additionally, the school will assess your work in a variety of ways (tests, presentations, group projects, etc). You will also follow training in basic negotiation skills from internationally renowned professionals.
Erasmus University Rotterdam also offers outstanding career support by linking you with a personal coach. This person will accompany you throughout the preparation of your professional development.
Master’s in International Development & Public Policy at Nova School of Business and Economics
The Nova School of Business and Economics is, as suggested by its name, a business school. Hence, its public policy programme, called the International Development & Public Policy Master, focuses on economic policies and development.
It attracts a diverse pool of students with a background in business, politics, engineering, and the humanities. You will get to know your peers through field labs, skills modules and seminars that will take place each semester. Finally, you will take part in a policy analysis project during which you will work with private, non-profit, and public organisations to assess policies and resolve issues.
This programme lasts 18 months (90 ECTS) but it can be extended by one semester to become a 120ECTS degree.
MSC in Public Policy and Management MSc SOAS University of London
The SOAS University of London offers a more theoretical programme than most other universities. Therefore, you will deepen your critical outlook on several topics that you will study through six different modules. Each module lasts ten weeks during which you receive support from a personal academic tutor. Moreover, you have the option to follow each module at two different times of the year so that you can best adapt your schedule to integrate it into your professional, family and personal life.
Conclusion about the Best Masters in Public Policy in Europe
Studying an MPP or MPA is a great investment into your career as a policy analyst/maker and change maker. Most importantly, it is a great way to get valuable insights into important topics that shape our societies and impact so many people. Master’s degree in international relations and business law touch upon similar topics to MPPs/MPAs, but from different perspectives. Therefore you might be interested in reading about the best master in Business Law and International Relations.