Study Public Policy in the UK: Best Universities and Careers

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 04 May 2023 & Read Time 8 minutes



Do you dream of having a positive impact on your country’s governance? If you are the type of person that is good at strategy and likes to plan, to study public policy in UK would be the best choice for you. In this blog, we will demonstrate why this is the most sensible choice and list the best universities and careers for those looking to get into public policy roles.  If you are still considering what subject you want to study, we urge you to read this blog and consider getting a degree in public policy.


What is Public Policy?

Public policy is a system of regulations and guidelines regarding how a government should address a problem on the public’s behalf. It is the government’s position on whether to react to an issue or not, and how they should if they choose to do so. These policies are made by policy makers in consultation with politicians and experts, with governments deciding when to enact them. In simple terms, public policy is what decisions the government makes and actions it takes or doesn’t take when representing the public. Public policy is thus an essential part of governance and politics, and has widespread impact on many levels within a nation.

Why Study Public Policy in UK?

The United Kingdom is one of the best places to study a course of such relevance and importance. The UK government’s history is long, making it a place with several real-world examples of the effects of public policy. Aside from this, to study in UK is to broaden your perspective of the world due to the exposure you get living in a diverse multicultural hub. Universities in the UK offer some of the highest quality education in the world, with top-notch facilities and expert professors.


They also provide students with various opportunities for hands-on experience in the field. The price of higher education in the UK is reasonable and Indian students in UK can also work part-time to manage their costs. Furthermore, graduating from a UK university in the field of public policy opens up a variety of opportunities for employment. Before we discuss the best career options for UK public policy graduates, let us take a look at the top universities to study public policy in UK.

Top Universities to study Public Policy in UK

Is the search for the right university too daunting for you? We can help with that! Mentioned below are the best universities to study public policy in UK according to the QS World University Rankings 2023:

University of Cambridge

The second-highest ranking university worldwide, the highly competitive University of Cambridge offers an interdisciplinary MPhil in Public Policy to students. This course entails learning about policymaking in both political and legal contexts, as well as theories of economics, policy implementation, policy analysis, and statistics. This professional Master’s course combines theory with practical learning by providing students with all of the skills needed to create and enact policies. University of Cambridge’s MPP program also gives students necessary 1 to 1 supervision to ensure they graduate with all the tools they need to be leaders in government.

The tuition fee is estimated to be £37,200, but there are certain scholarships available for international students. To know more, check the university website.


University of Oxford

Home to students from over 160 countries, making international students 69% of the student body, University of Oxford is a diverse dreamland. This institution offers 3 intensive degrees in Public Policy. These are:

  • MPP – Master of Public Policy
    Type: Taught master
    Duration: 1 year
    Fees: £49,080

  • MSc in Public Policy Research
    Type: Research master
    Duration: 1 year
    Fees: £38,900

  • Public Policy 1+1
    Combined degree of the two mentioned above which requires applicants to submit two separate applications for the MPP and MSc programmes. They need to meet admission requirements for both and state clearly in their personal statements that they wish to apply for the 1+1.
    Duration: 2 years
    Fees: £49,080 + £38,900

  • DPhil in Public Policy
    Type: Doctorate
    Duration: 3 years (full time) or 6-8 years (part-time)
    All of these public policy degrees offered by the University of Oxford are highly competitive and require proven academic excellence, high English proficiency test scores, advanced writing skills, strong motivation, references, and relevant work experience to demonstrate commitment to public service. If you are an outstanding scholar and all-rounder, this institution is perfect for you. The university also offers funding to internationals by way of scholarships, to make sure students don’t miss out on this learning experience.


University College London

Many students dream of living in the city of London where there is a place for everyone. Those who want to study public policy in UK would be thrilled to know that University College London offers courses in this subject. This institution also requires applicants to be highly motivated, with relevant work experience and competitive academic backgrounds. If you think that is exactly who you are, consider these UCL public policy degrees:

  • MSc Public Policy
    Duration: 1 year
    Tuition fees: £29,000

  • MSc International Public Policy
    Duration: 1 year
    Tuition fees: £29,000

  • Data Science and Public Policy (Political Science) MSc
    Duration: 1 year
    Tuition fees: £32,100


University of Edinburgh

Are you debating between opting for an MA or MSc in Public Policy? University of Edinburgh offers both! Located in Scotland, this institution is one of the best public research universities in the world. It is home to some of the greatest thinkers of all time, including Nobel laureates and Olympic athletes. With its rich cultural history, Edinburgh would be the right place to study public policy. The degrees offered include:

  • Public Policy MSc
    Duration: 1 year
    Tuition fees: £27,100

  • Comparative Public Policy MSc
    Duration: 1 year (full time) or 2 years (part-time)
    Tuition fees: £27,100

  • MA Government, Policy and Society
    Duration: 4 years
    Tuition fees: £24,500


We hope this blog gives you a good understanding of the top universities to study public policy in UK. Aside from these, there are many more options to pursue this subject in the UK, as mentioned below:

University of Manchester, KCL, LSE, Bristol, Warwick, Glasgow, University of Portsmouth, University of Exeter, Cardiff University. SOAS University of London, Lancaster University

Before applying to any of these universities, it is highly recommended that applicants ensure that they will be able to meet the entry requirements for these courses. In the next section we will give a basic overview of what is needed.

Entry Requirements

Do bear in mind that entry requirements vary depending on which specific university and program you apply to. Applicants must check the course website for their desired study in order to know the detailed requirements. Here are some of the general requirements:

  • IELTS Academic Score of at least 7

  • Academic references

  • CV / resume demonstrating relevant experience

  • Transcript

  • Statement of Interest 

  • Some courses may require samples of your writing about topics such as relevant policy issues

Now that we’ve shown some of the things you need to apply for a public policy program in UK, let’s take a look at what the future holds in store for graduates.

Future / Job Prospects

 Studying public policy in UK opens the door to a wide variety of careers for those wishing to make a change in the world. They can work in government in the public sector or take it further and work for international organisations and become highly respectable officials. Depending on the degree, graduates can go into research or into fieldwork. With the communication skills and wisdom people gain from studying public policy, they can even work for NGOs or in the private sector. Some of the best public policy jobs include working as:

  • A member of your local government

  • Researcher in a social research institute

  • Civil service member

  • Policy advisor

  • Community organisation member

  • Think tank member

  • Public policy intern

  • Policymaker


The United Kingdom is a wonderful place to study public policy as the degrees are held in high esteem and are globally recognised. This choice is perfect for strong, enthusiastic applicants who desire to see a difference in their governments and be part of effecting positive changes. For those who wish to study public policy in UK, there is a world of opportunities for them to make a good impact on society.


We hope this blog gives you an overview of the best universities and careers if you choose to study public policy in UK. If you are still unsure or require further guidance, feel free to contact our expert counsellors at any nearby branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best support throughout your application and visa process. You can also get one-on-one free online counselling via our website. Contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

blog meet

Get the best study abroad guidance

blog meet

Get the best study abroad guidance

Meridean overseas whatsappChat