Public Affairs MSc – 2023 entry
Start date: September 2023
- Study mode and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
Why choose this course
The international political landscape has undergone remarkable changes in the past 50 years. Politics continues to affect life in every area of society, and it is only through study that we can begin to make sense of the global political landscape and create real change.
Our Department of Politics is home to a lively community of energetic minds who closely examine how power operates and how it affects people’s lives. This new and innovative masters course is unique in the UK and focuses on the active role that citizens can play in shaping politics at local, national and international levels.
What you will study
Our MSc in Public Affairs will enhance your existing knowledge of political science, public policy and international affairs. A distinctive feature of this programme is its applied nature, and emphasis on political and social change.
This course will strengthen your research skills, allow you to study politics in a cross-disciplinary manner, provide you with insight into the creation of public policy, and enhance your understanding of the workings of public affairs.
Your modules will cover topics such as:
- Global governance
- International politics and public affairs
- International trade
- Negotiating and lobbying
- Political communication and campaigning.
You’ll also complete a year-long dissertation, or a project-based report linked to a three-month work placement, which makes our MSc unique.
Past students have worked in various departments in local and national government, charities and NGOs, public relations and media, think tanks and international organisations.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
Whatever your plans, our MSc in Public Affairs is a great stepping stone in your career development.
Students from our Department of Politics have gone on to a wide range of employment choices. These include working for international organisations, national and local government, lobby groups and non-governmental organisations, as well as private businesses and media organisations.
Find out more about what our students go on to do with their MSc in Public Affairs.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7
Students must choose two options out of the available modules in semester one and two in semester two to obtain 60 credits per semester. Additional 60 credits will be either obtained through the placement (placement report) or alternatively through a dissertation. A student will take POLM031 OR POLM010 as a Compulsory Module.
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in a relevant social science or humanities subject, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
Relevant work experience may also be considered.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (email@example.com) with any queries.
Fees per year
Start date: September 2023
Full-time - 1 year
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
- If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Students in receipt of a tuition fee loan: Will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a tuition fee loan: Are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
- If you are sponsored: You will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
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Public Affairs MScFull-time, 12 months, September 2023
Closing date: Thursday 1 June 2023
Please note that we may have to close applications before the stated deadline if we receive a high volume of suitable applications. We advise you to submit your application as soon as it is ready.
Our postgraduate admissions policy* provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.
Course location and contact details
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
University of Surrey Admissions
- Phone: +44 (0)1483 682222
University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH