The International Public Policy course can be studied flexibly online at Masters, Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) level.
The course 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:
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.
To apply for this course, you should have:
A minimum 2:1 degree in politics or a related discipline and/or appropriate professional experience*
*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 your first language is not English, you should also have one of the following:
Taking your English language requirement test at home
For the May 2021 start date only, the following tests are also being accepted:
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:
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 whether you start your course in May or September, you’ll cover the following core modules:
1)Contemporary World Politics: Theories, Concepts, Themes This module is designed to provide you with a command of key concepts and theoretical traditions in international relations and an understanding of their relevance to contemporary themes in world politics.
We will evaluate political developments and statements and analyse critical themes in world politics. Through a close reading of advanced theoretical texts, you will expand your conceptual and theoretical knowledge and begin to think critically about competing interpretations of events, and longer term developments in international relations. Online discussions will encourage you to compare and critically evaluate theoretical knowledge and to express your arguments effectively.
2)Theories and Concepts in Public Policy This module will provide a structured introduction to key issues and concepts in policy analysis. It will give you a solid grounding in theories of the policy-making process while enabling you to apply those insights to practical case-studies of policy formulation and implementation in the real world.
The module will also provide you with background on the key traditions and approaches to public administration and policy-making in countries around the world, both developing and developed states.
3)Evaluation and Delivery in Public Policy This module aims to provide a critical overview of the theory and practice of two of the crucial ‘end’ stages of the policy process: delivery and evaluation. It will examine how governments and public agencies around the world have sought to upgrade their delivery and evaluation capacity in recent decades. The module will explore the development of theoretical and empirical academic literature and provide opportunities for students to apply this material to selected case studies relevant to the group. Practitioners will be encouraged to reflect on their practices and experiences.
4)Themes and Cases in US Foreign Policy In this module, we will consider the principal forms in which US foreign policy has been practised and interpreted since the foundation of the Republic. Amongst these are American Exceptionalism and Anti-Americanism, ‘spheres of influence’, liberal interventionism and protectionist isolationism, Cold War containment, the ‘War on Terror’ following 9/11, and the strains on uni-polarity in the early 21st century.
Case studies linked to these themes will allow us to consider the role of Native Americans and immigration, the war of 1898, gunboat diplomacy in the Caribbean, the ideas of Woodrow Wilson, the Vietnam War, the consequences of the 9/11 attacks, and the challenges posed by China.
5)Globalisation and the International Political Economy of Development This module provides you with a detailed examination and critique of theories of globalisation, an assessment of contemporary globalising processes, and how these particularly influence the developing world.
We will examine the analysis of contemporary manifestations of ‘globalisation’, including neo-liberalism, US hegemony and contemporary imperialism, capital flows, global commodity chains, state-market relations, patterns of global inequality, international institutions, and questions of cultural homogenisation/imperialism. The module also looks at the ways in which ‘globalisation’ is resisted, focusing on the rise of transnational social movements and NGOs, and the politics of ‘anti-globalisation’, and how this relates to an ostensibly ‘post-development’ era.
In addressing these issues, the module concludes by asking the most important question: how do we think of ‘development’ in an era of ‘globalisation’, US hegemony, neo-liberalism and imperialism?
6)Dissertation (MSc only) The title and subject of your dissertation will be agreed by your assigned tutor. A dissertation is only required if you study the full masters programme