University of Edinburgh

College of Humanities and Social Science

Master of Public Policy


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Public Policy

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is a professional 12-month degree dedicated to training future public leaders.

Joining a world-leading university, you’ll draw on the research and teaching expertise of academics who are working on a whole range of challenges confronting policymakers around the globe. You’ll also benefit from our close relations with the Scottish Government and parliament and you’ll gain hands-on experience as you take part in a 3-month placement within a policy-focused organisation. 

As the program progresses, you’ll develop skills in leadership as you engage in a series of workshops on issues such as communicating with impact and working effectively with others. You’ll also be trained in quantitative methods and you’ll sharpen your analytical capabilities and knowledge base. By the time you graduate, you’ll have the confidence, judgement and skills required of a successful public servant in the 21st century.

Programme structure

Students complete two intensive semesters of academic courses and skills workshops.

The first semester gives students a robust foundation in public policy, economics, and various analytical methods. The second semester allows students to select from a wide range of optional courses, offered by Schools across the University, focused on specific policy areas. Students can thus pursue their own interests in semester 2 using the broad-based skills and knowledge acquired in semester 1. The focus is on policy specialisation.

Following this, students complete a project where the focus is on the application of the skills acquired in a professional policy environment. This project consists of a placement in a public policy organisation (typically 8-10 weeks in length) and a period spent writing up a 10,000-word Analytical Report. Students then present their research orally to Academy faculty and students.

Teaching philosophy

As a student on our MPP you will be taught and assessed in a variety of innovative ways. The focus is on providing a strong, practice oriented programme. Teaching sessions in the first semester are three-hours and typically divided into three components. The first is academic-led, the second is student-led, and the third is practitioner-led.

An academic lecture will build on readings, which students will be expected to have completed before class, and identify key issues for debate and discussion. The student-led hour will pick up on these themes and develop further debate either through a classroom discussion, presentations, group exercises, or practical activities/simulations. The practitioner-led hour will put the learning into practical context, using specific case studies where possible and appropriate.

The MPP is assessed through a variety of mechanisms, including written policy briefs, short policy memos, problem-solving tasks, individual and group presentations, written analytical reports, self and peer assessment, and crisis response simulations.


Learning with the Academy of Government- The University of Edinburgh

This program is offered by the Academy of Government, a well-established research and teaching unit within the University of Edinburgh. The Academy of Government hosts some of the world’s leading researchers and analysts working on government at Scottish, UK, European and global levels. Their work covers key policy challenges our societies need to confront: on health, education and welfare, on the environment, energy and climate change, on international security and international development.

The University of Edinburgh is world-renowned, ranked within the world’s top 25.


The University of Edinburgh is a globally recognised Higher Education institution accredited to award graduate level qualifications.

International Student Requirements:

Our website provides detailed information on which international qualifications meet our entry requirements. Students whose first language is not English must also provide proof of their English language proficiency. Details on the required English lang

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Out State Tuition (per year): 19700 (British Pound Ster GBP

Classification: Higher Education Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Midsize City

Find Schools