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MA Governance, Development and Public Policy

MA Governance, Development and Public Policy

Different course options

Full time | Institute of Development Studies | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Development Economics Development Politics Government / Parliamentary Studies

Course type


Course Summary

This degree provides you with a theoretical and practical understanding of debates on political change and how public authority is created and exercised. With this master’s in public policy based at IDS, you’ll build your critical and analytical skills, and improve your ability to develop and implement policies across state and non-state organisations.

Who is the degree for?

We welcome applicants with a broad range of career trajectories. Successful applicants will have some practical experience in development alongside an interest in critical academic enquiry. Most of the MA Governance, Development and Public Policy students are experienced professionals, having worked in government, private sector, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donor and lending agencies, as well as UN agencies. Our students bring a vast diversity of cultures, experience, and perspectives – alumni from this course have come from over 70 countries and work or have worked in over 150 countries.

Assessment criteria

You’ll be assessed through term papers, coursework assignments, presentations, exams, practical exercises, and a 10,000-word dissertation.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are well prepared to go on to work in academic research, and as managers and policy advisors on governance and public policy issues for:

  • government ministries
  • UN agencies
  • bilateral and multilateral agencies, including international finance institutions
  • national and international NGOs
  • professional services networks

Recent IDS students have gone on to jobs including:

  • senior adviser, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  • assistant director Foreign Service, Department of International Relations and Cooperation
  • consultant, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization


This module belongs to autumn term. This module provides an important foundation to the MA in Governance and Development course. It introduces you to key issues, concepts and theories related to 'governance' and helps you to understand why it has become such an important but contested issue in practical development discourse. The module discusses the nature of the state, the relationship between the state, the market and civil society, and the impact of globalisation on state authority. It also enables you to appreciate what is involved in 'doing political analysis', and to think more comprehensively and consistently about the ways in which politics affects public policies in the development field.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Successful applicants will have a first or upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree in the social sciences or related subject, and preferably at least one year of development-related work experience. Applications must be accompanied by a CV and detailed two-page personal statement, explaining why you are applying for the degree, the relevance of your previous experience, and what will you contribute to the cohort.