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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


MSc in Public Policy

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The application deadline for this programme is 6 July 2020.

A message from the Director 

Welcome to the MSc in Public Policy!

Our well-established programme caters for a diverse range of students, with varied academic and professional backgrounds, from many different parts of the world, studying full-time or part-time, and seeking to go on both to further study and to employment in the public, private or voluntary sectors. All share a passion for gaining a better understanding of policy, which impacts on almost all aspects of life in modern societies.

Our pages can tell you more about the aims and structure of the programme, the kind of opportunities it can lead on to, and what previous students have taken from Policy Studies and done with the skills they acquired.  If, after looking through these and our FAQ database, you still have questions, don't hesitate to e-mail me at the address below.

Prof. Richard Freeman

What our students say

As a civil servant, undertaking a mid-career Masters degree in Policy Studies has been an exceptionally useful means of sharpening my critical analytical skills. It was, simply put, great fun and inspiring to try to make sense of the insights gained from years of work experience. I am definitely better equipped than before in my day to day work. 
Solveig Crompton 2015

I chose Edinburgh [for] its excellent academic reputation and long tradition.
J.Y. Woo, South Korea

Contact Us

Dr Jay Wiggan
Senior Lecturer in Social Policy
School of Social and Political Science
The University of Edinburgh
15a George Square
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3939

Application deadlines

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.*

Round Deadline Response By
1 9 November 2020 18 December 2020
2 11 January 2021 19 February 2021
3 22 February 2021 19 March 2021
4 29 March 2021 16 April 2021
5 19 April 2021 21 May 2021
6 31 May 2021 11 June 2021
7 14 June 2021 16 July 2021

*(Revised 23 September 2020 to include application deadlines.)

If you have received an offer but are no longer able to take up your place, please decline your offer via your Applicant Hub portal, or contact so that your place may be offered to another applicant.  

Further guidance on how to apply and entry requirements, etc. is available on the Graduate School website.

Fees and Scholarships

  • Full fees information, including part time fees, is available here.
  • Information on how to pay is available here.
  • Information on funding and scholarships is here.

Bologna Compatibility

Like all University of Edinburgh Masters programmes, the degree is fully Bologna compatible, and is recognised across Europe and beyond under the principles of the Bologna framework. The programme comprises 180 Edinburgh credits, which are equivalent to 90 ECTS credits.


Edinburgh4Learning offers an intuitive and easy to use funding information tool which allows students to search using a series of handy drop-down lists. Students can access the Edinburgh4Learning portal direct from the Scholarships and Student Funding Services website. Registration requires a valid university of Edinburgh e-mail address and in a matter of moments students can access numerous funding opportunities to help them during their studies.

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