UK civil service and London School of Economics launch master’s degree in public policy

By on 15/01/2016

The policy profession in the UK civil service and the London School of Economics (LSE) have launched a master’s degree aimed at “senior and high potential” policymakers.

The Executive Master of Public Policy (EMPP) will, according to the LSE, “equip senior and high-potential civil servants with the cutting-edge analytical tools required to deliver effective policy, in an increasingly complex and inter-dependent world.”

It is the first time that a cross-government policy community has commissioned LSE to deliver and design such a qualification programme.

The degree, currently only available to UK civil servants, is offered through LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs and delivered by the Department of Economics and the Department of Government in collaboration with leading scholars from across LSE.

Chris Wormald, permanent secretary for the Department of Education and head of the policy profession, wrote in his blog this week that “it is essential we improve training for policy professionals right across the Civil Service so that they keep up to date with …new approaches to policymaking, the increasing availability of data, and the development of evidence-based and behavioural insight techniques – all opportunities to make better policies that meet people’s real needs and save money.”

That is why, he said, officials across government are working up a “comprehensive description of what the policy adviser needs to know and do – from beginner to expert level” and “we have launched the civil service and LSE EMPP qualification.”

The part-time degree, aimed at working professionals, includes eight modules to be completed over 19 months and its curriculum “emphasies a core set of skills in economics, policy evaluation and political science, and demonstrates how these can be applied to analyse policies in a broad range of settings,” Wormald wrote.

Graduates will be “experienced in applying the best, most modern and most appropriate approaches to policy development.”

The first cohort of students already started their studies in December 2015 and recruitment for the 2016 group will start in the next few months.

For more information contact the policy profession at Policy.Profession@policyprofession.gsi.gov.uk, go to the Civil Service Learning portal, or contact the LSE EMPP Office on +44 (0)20 7955 7991 or at Execmpp@lse.ac.uk.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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