Master of Science in International Public Policy


Program Description

Want to advance the public good, influence public policies, and start a career in an international organisation, NGO or private sector? Then this course will provide you with an in-depth analysis of the concepts, stakeholders and processes involved in international public policy.

Course Overview

The International Public Policy course can be studied flexibly online at Masters, Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) level.

It combines the specific theories, concepts and cases of public policy with international relations studies to ensure you gain a firm grasp of the decision-making and implementation processes involved in international public policy.

During this course, you'll explore the development, possibilities and limitations of international policy-making, including cooperation issues, the impact of international law and norms, and the role of international organisations and non-state stakeholders in policy-making.

After successfully completing the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Critically analyse the processes, problems and possibilities of policy-making at an international level
  • Apply concepts and theoretical arguments to concrete cases of international public policy
  • Assess and explain the successes and failures of international public policy
  • Deal with the complex processes of international public policy-making in a creative and systematic manner, and make informed and substantiated judgements
  • Combine conceptual, theoretical and empirical materials in the analysis of international public policy
  • Pursue a meaningful career in public policy at an international organisation such as the UN, WHO, IMF, or foreign offices

Why study with QMUL online?

As a member of the prestigious Russell Group, our School of Politics and International Relations is world-renowned as a major school for the study of global politics and is led by a team of industry-leading researchers providing thought leadership and unique insights in local and global politics.

The team is committed to developing, maintaining and supporting teaching and research excellence and innovation amongst its faculty, and to fostering independent learning and critical thinking amongst its students.

It’s this team of leading academics that will teach and support you throughout your studies – ensuring you’re well-equipped with the in-depth knowledge and skills you need to understand and confidently contribute to public policy-making.

As an International Public Policy student with QMUL online, you’ll benefit from:

  • An innovative approach to policy-making within the field of international politics
  • The freedom and flexibility to study when and where it suits you and to choose from a wide variety of optional modules
  • World-class teaching from industry-leading experts in cutting-edge areas such as the politics of global health, World Bank policy, and the rise of emerging powers in the developing world
  • Our close links to leading practitioners in UK politics
  • The opportunity to attend networking events at our Mile End Institute – a major policy centre at QMUL bringing together policymakers, academics and diverse local communities to address major political challenges in the UK.


Our online students enjoy the same status as those who attend the Queen Mary campus. You will have access to our extensive online resources and if you are able, are welcome to attend any of the extra-curricular events run by various research centres to complement your studies.

In addition, you will benefit from dedicated tutor support, enhanced online material and a range of interactive features. There will be lively online discussions with your peers and webinars led by members of the academic staff, all accessible in a time that suits you.

A Student Adviser will be appointed to you when you first enrol. They will help you with any non-academic questions and will ensure your experience with Queen Mary Online is positive and stress-free.


The International Public Policy MSc combines public policy knowledge and skills with broad and advanced knowledge of international relations today.

There are 3 award options available for our International Public Policy programme:

  • MSc International Public Policy – 4 modules plus dissertation
  • PGDip International Public Policy – 4 modules without dissertation
  • PGCert International Public Policy – 2 modules

There are 3 study blocks of 12 weeks each per year. Each course module runs for 1 study block, except for the dissertation which runs over 2 study blocks.

Depending on which course intake you enrol in (May or September), you’ll cover the following core modules:

May intake

  • Contemporary World Politics: Theories, Concepts, Themes
  • Theories and Concepts in Public Policy
  • Evaluation and Delivery in Public Policy
  • Themes and Cases in US Foreign Policy
  • Dissertation – 12,000 words (MSc Only)

September intake

  • Theories and Concepts of Public Policy
  • Evaluation and Delivery in Public Policy
  • Contemporary World Politics: Theories, Concepts, Themes
  • Globalisation and The International Political Economy of Development
  • Dissertation – 12,000 words (MSc only)

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you should have:

  • A minimum 2:1 degree in politics or a related discipline and/or appropriate professional experience*
  • An IELTS 7 score (with 6.5 in the writing component) if your first language isn’t English *We may consider applicants with academic and/or professional experience outside this requirement if your experience and motivation demonstrate your ability to complete the programme.

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to apply, please contact our course advisors to check your eligibility.

International applicants

At QMUL, we’re proud of our global community and have a long history of welcoming students from around the world. Over the years, many thousands of our international graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers. All QMUL applicants must meet the relevant academic English language standards for admission into their chosen course.

If your first language isn’t English, you need to provide evidence that you meet the IELTS requirements for the course, as outlined in the entry requirements above. Please check our guidelines for English language requirements for further information on the English language levels required.

If you haven’t achieved the required English language level yet, you might be eligible to take a pre-sessional English course, or you can continue to take English language tests in your country to reach the level needed. For any questions about our English language requirements or about entry qualifications specific to your country, please contact our course advisors who will be happy to help.

Tuition Fees

Masters: £10,000 (2 years part-time, including dissertation)

As an MSc International Public Policy student at QMUL, you might be eligible to receive a postgraduate loan.

Postgraduate Diploma: £6,700 (2 years part-time, no dissertation required)

Postgraduate Certificate: £3,350 (1 year part-time, no dissertation required)

We have several payment options and possible discounts available to help you find your studies.


The next intakes for our International Public Policy programme are:

  • April 2019
  • September 2019

A complete online application is required for a fair assessment and decision to be made.

Each applicant is considered on their merits and on receipt of all relevant application documents, including a detailed CV and evidence of academic and professional qualifications where relevant.

We aim to process your application within 2 weeks. To avoid unnecessary delays with the application process, please ensure all required documents are uploaded at the time of application.

How you are assessed

All assessments for the course are based on coursework and submitted online. Assessments will be primarily in the form of research essays, report-writing and a dissertation.

As a student at QMUL, we encourage you to play an active role in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. We use a mixture of online tutorials, discussion forums and group webinars designed to generate informed and engaging discussions.

Module leaders will set assessments appropriate to the content of their module, which will usually take the form of a research essay or critical evaluation. They will also be available to advise and support you throughout the course.

The final dissertation (MSc only) will involve more in-depth study and independent research on a topic agreed on with your supervisor.

Independent study

At QMUL, we take your studies seriously, and in return, we hope you’ll do the same.

Each week, you’ll need to invest additional time in individual study. This could be spent preparing for or following up on formal study sessions, reading, producing written work, completing projects, or undertaking research for your dissertation.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. We expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your knowledge, understanding, and critical ability.

Independent study helps foster the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill that will help you throughout your working life.

Course content developed by leading academics

The content of the programme is dynamic and flexible with our research-active staff responding to the latest global events to create the course modules.

Module leaders are the subject experts responsible for developing academic content. Tutors lead on the day to day delivery of this content via webinars and discussion forums.

Where we could lead you

Graduates from our programmes progress to diverse positions of responsibility in government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and the not-for-profit sector as well as broader roles in the media and finance sector. They also go on to careers in academia and our programmes help students develop the required research skills.

The combination of theoretical understanding, rigorous debate, independent research, self-reflection and critical evaluation make graduates from the School of Politics and International Studies very attractive to a range of prospective employers.

To make it more concrete, here are a few examples of where our students have been employed:

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Moody's
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society
  • Volkswagen
  • Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • United Nations – Perú

You’ll also have access to QM Careers, helping you throughout your time as a QMUL student. You’ll be able to access advice on career choices and on how to maximise the career opportunities available to you. The QM Careers office also provides a service for internships, part-time work, and volunteering while you study.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

QMUL Online offers you world-class teaching delivered by leading academics and professionals at the top of their game.

QMUL Online offers you world-class teaching delivered by leading academics and professionals at the top of their game. Read less