MSc Policy Analytics
Full time 1 year|
Part time 2 years
Policy-making in all sectors has become more data driven and advanced training in issues of data use, data sharing, transparency, and accountability are important for both the public and private sectors. Unlocking the potential of collecting, sharing and analysing massive amounts of administrative and economic, social and political information to bring economic and social benefits requires individuals trained in both policy analysis and data analytics.
The MSc in Policy Analytics provides training for graduates who want to develop the ability to apply data analysis techniques to a range of substantive and policy related questions.
The MSc in Policy Analytics offers rigorous data analytic training alongside a specialisation in a policy subfield (e.g. social and family policy, economic and public policy, environment, criminal justice, security). It equips students with the technical understanding of a range of data analytic techniques and the practical software and programming skills to implement these methods to address their own research questions. The programme is designed to enable students to carry out their own research and to equip them to pursue other professional research activities subsequently.
This MSc is an extension of the successful Q-Step programme training social scientist undergraduates in quantitative methods and is one of three data science MSc delivered at Exeter.
Employability and work placements
All students enrolled on our Q-Step undergraduate and postgraduate programmes have the opportunity to undertake a work placement with one of our industry partners. A work placement will allow you to get hands-on analysis experience for a period of typically 3 to 6 weeks.
Work placements students will also receive a bursary of up to £2,000 to support them during the placement.
There is a wide variety of placements to choose from locally, nationally and in Europe with a variety of public sector organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and industry.
The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits in total, and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits.
Each taught module is normally taught through seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Learning and teaching
With the exception of the dissertation, each module on this programme is normally taught through academic lectures expanded through seminar discussion, presentations, group work, reading and essay assignments. A large component of the MSc programme will include guided and independent study. You will learn a range of different analytical techniques and their application to policy-making.
You will also be able to evaluate the suitability of these methods and the rationale for using them. There is a strong emphasis in this course on the practical skills associated with accessing data and using a range of statistical software including R and Python.
You will also develop the communication of the findings of your work to a range of audiences using effective data visualization tools.
You will develop a number of skills that are valued in professional and managerial careers: the ability to research and analyse information from a variety of sources along with written and verbal skills needed to present and discuss your opinions. The understanding you will gain of complex political and cultural issues, often in continually changing environments, can also be relevant to both business and public sector appointments.
Consequently, University of Exeter Politics postgraduates have been highly successful in securing interesting career opportunities and progressing to PhD level study.
Employment and professional development
Our excellent Employability and Graduate Development Service provides invaluable support, advice and access to graduate employers. Visit the employment and professional development pages for more information, including podcasts and profiles, about the range of support available.
Students can take advantage of our seminar series and its long-running and highly successful annual postgraduate conference which brings together researchers from across all humanities and social sciences disciplines.
Our research is funded by leading research councils and is used by governments and networks around the world.
Exeter Q-Step Centre brings together international research-focused social scientists with an interest in a growing number of topics such as media, climate change, migration, terrorism, political representation, electoral competition and social media.
Normally a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree (or international equivalent) in an appropriate subject from a recognised university.
You will be required to produce some evidence of exposure to data analysis training, this can include a undergraduate research methods module or numerate social science discipline eg. psychology and economics.
Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
English language requirements
Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.
Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
Pearson Test of English (Academic)
58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.
Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2019/20
- UK/EU: £7,800 full-time; £3,900 part-time
- International: £17,200 full-time
The Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships website has information on all available options for funding open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.
Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.
UK government postgraduate loan scheme
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Global Excellence Scholarship
We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.
Please contact us if you would like more information about this programme, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.
University of Exeter
Postgraduate Taught admissions
For all enquiries relating to this programme, please contact:
SSIS Student Recruitment Office
Tel. +44 (0)1392 723192
Web: Enquire online
Where to find us
The University of Exeter Q-Step Centre
Q-Step is a UK-wide £19.5 million programme to promote a step-change in quantitative training in the British social sciences education.