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School of Environment, Education and Development

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MSc International Development: Public Policy and Management
Acquire skills in public policy formulation and implementation, with a solid development economics underpinning.

MSc International Development: Public Policy and Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

The MSc International Development: Public Policy and Management seeks to provide an interdisciplinary training and education that will enable policy-makers, economists, planners, managers and researchers to be fully conversant with current issues of public policy and management, in an international development setting.  In doing so the programme will provide participants with the conceptual and analytical tools needed to understand and critically review issues relevant to public policy and public sector reform.

While the programme was conceived primarily for those already working in the public sector environment, it has evolved into a highly successful multidisciplinary programme that is appropriate to modern professionals, from a wide variety of backgrounds, who have an interest in issues of public policy.

Informal enquiries, prior to applications, are welcomed. Please contact: Dr David Lawson (Programme Director) | Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 0415 | Email:


By the end of the programme students will have:

  • An understanding of the different conceptual and theoretical perspectives applied to public policy and management, and public sector reform An understanding of the principles and practices underlying the implementation of public policy processes, and have acquired knowledge of `real world' examples of public policy/sector reform from leading experts An understanding of the role and importance of institutions for public policy and management Developed skills and acquired a significant cross disciplinary (development economics, public policy, management and development studies) skill set that will enable you to critically analyse and communicate your analysis effectively.
  • Excellent awareness and knowledge of a variety of global public policies and how they are implemented.
  • A good command of current theory, policy and practice in relation to some of the following specialist areas; public policy process and methods; public sector economics; development and economic policy; privatisation and public enterprise reform; public sector accounting and organisational change.
  • Developed independent research skills through a supervised dissertation research project.

Teaching and learning

Part-time Study 

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director first and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off.  Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of the programme, carrying 120 credits overall is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (project based reports, essays), involving largely individual submissions, but also elements of group work.

Participants must also complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice approved by the Programme Directors.  Students are encouraged to base their dissertations on topics of direct professional concern to themselves.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Public Sector Reform and Management MGDI60081 15 Mandatory
Research Skills for Economic Development MGDI60300 15 Mandatory
Economic Development MGDI60711 15 Mandatory
Economic Analysis of the Public Sector MGDI61091 15 Mandatory
Water and Sanitation Planning and Policy in developing countries BMAN72192 15 Optional
Industrial Competitiveness and Global Transformation MGDI60002 15 Optional
Global Political Economy MGDI60072 15 Optional
International Management MGDI60101 15 Optional
Human Resource Development: Key Concepts MGDI60151 15 Optional
Globalisation, Trade and Development MGDI60271 15 Optional
Trade Theory and Development MGDI60291 15 Optional
E-Government MGDI60311 15 Optional
Microfinance MGDI60362 15 Optional
The Politics and Governance of Development MGDI60391 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Information and Information Systems MGDI60481 15 Optional
Political Analysis of Development Policy MGDI60522 15 Optional
Development Macroeconomics MGDI60581 15 Optional
Anti-Poverty Transfers MGDI61512 15 Optional
Human Resource Practice 2 MGDI70432 15 Optional
Human Resource Practice 1 MGDI70661 15 Optional
Organisational Change Strategies MGDI70882 15 Optional
Planning and Managing Development MGDI70992 15 Optional
International Finance for Development MGDI72121 15 Optional
Economics of Governance and Development MGDI72152 15 Optional
Contemporary Issues in Development Finance MGDI72162 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 25 course units


The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: