MPA Urban Innovation and Policy

  • DeadlineStudy Details:

    MPA 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course Description

This Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) is designed for professionals who want to lead change in urban policy and to understand the wide range of innovations that are reshaping cities as economic, environmental, social and physical systems. Students will have the opportunity to undertake a major project focused on a real-world policy challenge, in partnership with an external partner organisation.

Cities are now recognised as critical levers for social, economic and environmental change. They are home to more than half the world’s population and account for nearly seventy per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.

Increasingly, cities are seeking new innovations and policy strategies to solve urban challenges and tackle pressing issues such as growth, climate change and social inequality. However, the practice of enabling change and deploying innovation is challenging. Urban policy professionals need specific skills and expertise on how change happens, and the processes by which innovations or experiments can be piloted, evaluated and scaled.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Students are encouraged (but are not required) to have work experience prior to enrolling on this programme.

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Programme Funding

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Student Destinations

MPA graduates can go on to work in a range of organisations, including national and local government; government offices of innovation and development; transportation and planning agencies; NGOs; corporate and institutional sustainability offices; public utilities.


Graduates are equipped with key skills, including problem-structuring, policy analysis and experimentation. Students study conceptual frameworks for innovation and urban transitions, and master policy tools and analytical methods to implement, evaluate, and revise urban policies and innovations. They are taught how to bridge gaps within government and in the public and private sector, and how to gather evidence to support decision-making.

Module Details

Compulsory modules

  • Urban Innovation and Policy
  • Analytic Methods for Policy
  • Evidence for Decision Making
  • Policy Making
  • Public Administration
  • Foundations in Urban Innovation and Policy

Optional modules

  • Development, Technology and Innovation Policy
  • Climate, Innovation and Sustainability Policy
  • MPA Group Project
  • Science Diplomacy
  • Clean Energy and Development
  • Emerging Dilemmas in Digital Technology Policy
  • Risk Assessment and Governance
  • Science Funding and Governance
  • Health Innovation and Public Policy


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