Public Affairs MPA – 2019 entry
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 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 unique integrated masters programme will give you in-depth knowledge of political science, public policy and international affairs. A distinctive feature of the course is its applied nature, and its emphasis on political and social change.
Over the four or five years of the course (depending on whether you choose to take a Professional Training placement) you’ll be introduced to a variety of social and political issues, and be able to tailor your degree with specialist modules that match your interests. In your final year, you’ll follow masters level modules and complete a dissertation project.
Your masters-level modules will cover topics such as international politics and public affairs, negotiating and lobbying, political communication, campaigning and global governance, and international public administration.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|MPA||48 months||L430||View KIS data set|
|MPA||60 months||L431||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Public Affairs placements
You’ll have the option to take a Professional Training placement on this course after your second year. You can either take a politics and economics-related work placement, or study politics and economics overseas, or do a combination of the two.
Your placement will allow you to apply and develop your understanding, as well as discover new approaches and elements.
Additionally, we also equip you with the skills you need to find a placement. The aim of our Professional Training placement programme is to provide you with a chance to experience first-hand how politics operates in the real world, at a voluntary sector organisation, a government or local authority department, an MP or MEP's office, or an international organisation.
Current and previous placement partners for our existing BSc courses include:
- Save the Children
- Ipsos MORI
- Cape Town Refugee Centre
- Transport for London
- Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin)
- Access Madagascar Initiative (Madagascar)
- École Bilingue de Haute-Savoie (France)
- Shadow Defence Secretary's Office
- A range of political parties, including the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Socialist Workers Party
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
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.
Over the last few years, graduates of our existing BSc Politics and BSc International Politics courses have secured roles in:
- The Houses of Parliament
- Snapdragon Consulting
- City Year
- The International Institute for Strategic Studies
- Surrey County Council.
After you graduate from this course, you can expect to enter inter-governmental roles across the globe, due to the international appeal of the MPA.
This course is also designed to stimulate your interest in research, so you might find yourself considering taking on a PhD after your MPA in your areas of interest to become an academic scholar in your own right.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
Politics research seminars
The Department of Politics sponsors a regular research seminar series, which meets every two weeks during term-time and brings together academic staff and postgraduate and undergraduate students from the University.
The purpose of the research seminars is to provide a forum for the presentation of cutting-edge research papers and to increase awareness among our students about developments in diverse themes of research in the field today.
We regularly invite high-profile UK and international scholars to present their work, and we encourage discussions with the audience. All members of the University and wider public community are welcome to participate.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and 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 generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will 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 vary to take into account specifics of your course.
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 more.
"Surrey can open doors for you because it is a great course at a fantastic university."
"I relished the challenges and adventures my placement brought. This job and time in Cape Town taught me so much about the practical realities of politics and how the international theory we learn about in lectures plays out in reality."
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.