SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

MSc Public Policy and Management (2019 entry)

On-Campus Programme

Select year of entry: 2019

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Please note that this degree will NOT be running in 2020/21

Our MSc Public Policy and Management programme will enable you with the conceptual understanding of the core principles of public policy and public management and with the tools to apply knowledge to solve problems in the public sector.  

These competences and skills are extremely important to cope with the challenges that governments, public sector agencies, NGOs and businesses face nowadays.

From migration to the eradication of poverty, from unemployment to the development of energy power, the many issues that societies encounter call for the capacity to analyse, understand, and formulate interventions to bring about improvements to the living conditions of the many. The core modules of this programme will provide you the means to tackle issues of policy-making and implementation, strategy in the public sector, and managing organisational change.

Why study MSc Public Policy and Management at SOAS

  • we're ranked 11 in the UK and 2 in London for Business and Management by the 2019 Guardian University league table
  • programmes are delivered by a multicultural and international teaching body, who regularly publish in top international journals
  • you will develop an excellent understanding of key issues shaping international business strategy
  • we are specialists in the delivery of more that forty African and Asian languages. As the economies of the Global South continue to expand, knowledge of another language and other cultures will be a big asset in the world of commerce and international trade
  • you will be joining our thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
  • you will be able to flexibly structure your programme using our optional modules and/or optional modules from other departments, including the opportunity to learn a regional language

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

One calendar year (full-time) Two or Three calendar years (part-time)

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2020/21 entrants. This is a Band 4 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page



Introducing the MSc Public Policy and Management
Alberto Asquer

Successful managers, politicians and professionals running public organisations need to display a range of skills and knowledge.  Alberto Asquer, Lecturer of Public Policy and Management at SOAS, outlines some of the challenges that face them and which are addressed on the MSc Public Policy and Management.

What does the course involve?

The MSc Public Policy and Management provides students with an international perspective on current issues in the management of the public sector.

From the fight against climate change to the one against tax havens, and from the issues that arise from poor water and sanitation services to those that originate from youth who do not work or study (so-called NEET or Not in Education, Employment and Training), making and implementing public policies is a pivotal aspect of managing the public sector, which impacts the lives of many.

This MSc programme will look at the general issues that are encountered in designing and executing public policies. We do not focus on any particular policy domain or countries in the world. Rather, we look at the general issues of the policy cycle – how public policies are agreed on, how resources are allocated to implement the policies, and how we can ensure that policies are executed as intended. In addition, we look at several countries and regions in the world, because local context matters a lot – in such terms as the institution, history and cultural traditions. Students will have the opportunity to learn from policy experiences across countries and to contrast and compare how policy tools work under different conditions.

What kind of students will the course appeal to?

The programme will interest students who aim to have a career in the public sector including central governments, sub-national government, international organisations like the World Bank, and public agencies. The programme may also attract the interest of people who work or aim to work in business and in the third sector, because of the growing relationships between government and other actors within society and the economy.

Some of our students have some work experience, either in government or in private or non-profit organisations. Other students do not have any work experience but have just recently completed their undergraduate studies.

What is special about the course at SOAS?

SOAS is uniquely positioned with its concentration of expertise on Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This feature is partially reflected in the course contents where attention is placed on public policies in developing countries, although part of the contents also covers experiences in more industrialised countries and regions of the world.

A particular feature of the MSc Public Policy and Management is the combined attention to both public policy and public management issues. On the one hand, we pay attention to the making and design of public policies; on the other one, we also pay attention to the implementation or execution of policies – like the formulation of strategy of public agencies, organisational design issues, HR, management control, and the financial management of public sector entities. We aim to provide students with a broad perspective from ‘where public policies come from’ to ‘how the public sector delivers services to citizens and users’.

What do students do after graduating?

Most students enter or continue a career in the public sector, mainly in central government but also in the non-profit sector.


Students must take 180 credits.  These are composed of 120 taught credits comprising core and optional modules and a 60 credit dissertation.

The 10,000-word dissertation is worth 33% of your final mark. During term 2 you will submit your dissertation proposal and be allocated an academic supervisor. Over the ensuing months you should meet with your supervisor at least three times before the end of term 3 for guidance. The bulk of your dissertation will be written over the summer to meet the mid-September deadline.


15PFMC989: Dissertation in Public Policy and Management - to the value of 60 credits.

Taught Component
Core Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Public Policy: Perspectives, Issues and Strategies 15PFMC094 15 Term 1
Public Policy and Strategy 15PFMC095 15 Term 2
Innovation and Organisational Change 15PFMC089 15 Term 2
Research methods in management 15PFMC062 15 Term 2
  • PLUS choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the list below:
List of modules (subject to availability)
Module Code Credits Term
Public Financial Management: Planning and Performance 15PFMC090 15 Term 2
Public Financial Management: Revenue 15PFMC092 15 Term 1
Macroeconomic Policy and Financial markets 15PFMC087 15 Term 1
Managerial Accounting 15PFMC088 15
International human resource management 15PFMC078 15 Term 1
Cultural Intelligence and Global Business Communication 15PFMC076 15 Term 2
Blockchain and Distributed Electronic Ledgers 15PFMC099 15


Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning


In the School of Finance and Management, modules are typically made up of one or two hour lectures and a one hour seminar every week. Lectures and seminars are often taken by different teachers to provide a variety of angles on the subject.  The majority of the student’s time will be through their own independent study. Students become more active in class seminars through their reading and essay-writing and this should greatly enhance their participation in discussion groups.


Its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It is assessed by a single 12,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 4 tuition fee.

Fees for 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second & subsequent years of study will be higher. Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
13,065 21,880 £6,535 £10,940 £4,355 £7,290

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2020-06-05 15:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


Building on the distance learning version of the programme, the Department of Financial and Management Studies (DeFiMS) maintains close links with employers in both the United Kingdom and abroad. We expect that many of our graduates will be employed as civil servants in central government administrations, governmental agencies, local governments, NGOs, super-national organisations, and consulting firms.


How to apply

Please note that this degree programme is no longer accepting new applicants, the information is still available for current students who have previously enrolled on it.

You might be interested in our other Finance and Management degree programmes instead.

Find out more