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Albany Rockefeller
American SPA
ANU Crawford
Arizona State SPA
Beijing Normal
Berkeley Goldman
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Canberra SGP
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Michigan Ford
Michigan State PS
Moncton DAP
New Mexico SPA
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NYU Wagner
North Carolina
Northwestern SPS
Ohio Glenn
Oregon PPPM
Ottawa GSPIA
Ottawa SPS
Oxford BSG
Pennsylvania Fels
Pittsburgh GSPIA
Princeton Wilson
Queen Mary SPIR
Queen's SPS
Rutgers SPAA
Ryerson DPPA
Sac State PPA
Sask-Regina JSGS
SciencesPo Paris
SF State DPA
Simon Fraser SPP
Singapore LKY
Stanford GPPP
Sydney GIR
Sydney GSG
Syracuse Maxwell
Tenn State CPSUA
Texas Johnson
Tokyo GraSPP
Toronto SPPG
UCLA Luskin
UC London SPP
USC Price
Victoria SPA
Vic Wellington
Virginia Batten
Warwick PAIS
Waterloo MPS
Washington Evans
Western LGP
York Glendon
Carleton Paterson
Columbia SIPA
Toronto Munk
NYU Wagner MPA with Int Spec'n
Rutgers (Bloustein)


MPP and MPA Programs

University of Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government


University: University of Oxford

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Degree: Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Marketing Approach: "The Blavatnik School of Government is a global school pursuing a vision of better government, stronger societies and richer human opportunities across the world. ...The School is committed to excellence in leadership and public policy education. Our teaching, research and partnership activities lead us to forge extensive networks to enhance the spread of best practice and improve local policy making. Our innovative, multidisciplinary and practice-focused curriculum is delivered by world-class faculty and practitioners. We aim to prepare our students for current and future leadership challenges, building vital skills and strengthening insight across a wide range of sectors. With a global outlook at the heart of everything we do, the School builds on Oxford’s outstanding strengths in international research. The School offers a full-time one-year Master of Public Policy with a curriculum drawn from across the University’s four divisions: humanities; medical sciences; social sciences; and mathematical, physical and life sciences" ( accessed 8 April 2014).

Degrees Awarded per Year: 38 (2013), 70 (2013-2014), up to 120 per year

Academic Unit within University:  Blavatnik School of Government

Posted Tuition:  £32.760 for students entering in 2013 (at 8 October 2013)

Concentration/Curriculum Overview: The MPP program is a one year (50 week) graduate degree. The MPP program is completed in three academic terms and one summer term involving a policy project. Students begin with an intensive induction week module in which they are immersed in a major policy challenge, such as natural resource management, as they get to know their fellow students, faculty, and Oxford. Over the course of three academic terms, students complete five core modules grounded respectively in: history and philosophy; economics; science and medicine; politics and international relations; and public law. Students also complete intensive week-long practical modules taught by expert practitioners to develop the skills needed for a successful career in public policy, including strategy, communication, negotiation, delivery, budgeting and finance, and evaluation. Throughout the academic year students also attend a suite of practical sessions that aim to equip them with the key transferrable skills that they will need to work successfully in public policy. Having completed the compulsory modules, students then hone their acquired knowledge in two Policy Options. These cover contemporary policy problems and may be chosen from a diverse list likely including such issues as challenges of democratization, climate change, delivering infrastructure, education, economic development, energy, global health, international migration, humanitarianism, information and computing technology, media, security and taxation. In the last component of the MPP, students apply their skills in a summer project, completing either a placement in a governmental or non-governmental organisation, or a field study conducted in association with a research institute.

Degree Requirements

Summary:  Within one academic year, students complete three academic terms taking Core Modules, Practical Modules, and two Policy Options modules. The last component of the MPP is the 6-8 weeks long Summer Project. (See

Duration:  1 year (50 weeks)

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 12

Note 1: As noted in Credit Requirements and Course Equivalents, any Master's course in England requires a minimum of 180 CATS credits, and 15 CATS credits are equivalent to 1 one-semester course.  If we assume that the Blavatnik MPP has 180 CATS credits then the this would be allocated among the modules and the summer project. From the chart at illustration of the 2014-15 curriculum at (accessed 30 September 2014) suggests that one could divide the program in to 20 blocks, 15 for the modules and 5 for the summer project. This would make each module worth 180/20 = 9 CATS credits = 3/5 one-semester courses.

Number of Required Courses: 16 modules plus summer project deemed equivalent to 6 modules

Note 2: The number of required modules implied by the illustration of the 2013-14 curriculum at (accessed 8 April 2014) is 4 core modules (Core I - IV); 3 other foundation modules (Decision and Data Analytics; and a 2-module length Evidence and Evaluation); 4 Applying Policy modules; 3 Practical Skills modules; and 2 Policy Challenge modules. (The Policy Options modules are considered to be electives, see Note 4.)

Number of Electives Typically Taken:  8 modules

Note 4: If the total number of potential modules is 24 (3 x 8) and there are 16 required modules (see Note 2) and the modules are all of comparable weight, this implies that a student could take 8 (24 - 18) elective modules beyond the required modules. 

Number of Electives Offered within Program:  8 modules

Note 4: There are eight modules listed as "Option Examples" at (accessed 8 April 2014).  

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No but students submit a final project of 5,000 words or more.

Internship Required: No internship, but a 6-8 week Summer Project in which students are expected to combine their theoretical and practical skills while engaging in policy-related work.

International Study Required: No, but students may complete their Summer Project abroad.

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree:  None specified on School website.

Professional Development and Career Support:  School matches students with mentors, and has recruited career advisors and creates possibilities for students to network with public policy leaders.  MPP students also have access to the wider University of Oxford career services.

Student-run Journal: No

Applied Projects:  Summer Project

Pro Bono Consulting:  No

Courses Offered: The full list of modules offered by the Blavatnik School of Government is available at: modules have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below.

Course Material Online: Short course descriptions but no syllabi are available to the public online.

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): For the purposes of the instructional distribution calculations, it is assumed that all students take all the modules. The distribution of instruction offered is as follows:


I. Courses Required and Offered

a. Number of one-semester courses required for degree


b. Number of required courses


c. Number of elective courses taken (a - b)


d. Number of elective courses offered


e. Enrolment weight of elective courses (c/d)


Number of weeks (classes) per semester


II. Distribution of Courses (Enrolment-Adjusted) among Atlas

     Domains and Subjects

Tools and Skills


  - Strategy and Structure


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative Methods and Management Sciences


  - Leadership, Communication, Professional Practice


Institutions and Context


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics and Accountability


  - Social, Political, Global and Local Contexts


Management Functions


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sectors


  - Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




III. Number of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student in NASPAA Required Competency Domains

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Total Course Equivalents taken in Required Competencies


IV. Ratio of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student to Estimated Requirement for Competency

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Ratio of Total Instruction in Competencies to Amount Needed



Commentary: The Blavatnik School of Government was founded in 2010, and began accepting students in 2012. This is a twelve-month, full-time MPP. Among the programs yet examined, the Blavatnik MPP's proportion of instruction in the Tools and Skills domain is in the mid-range (53% compared with, for example, 47% at NYU, 44% at Toronto, 46% at Princeton, 52% at Harvard and Carnegie, 58% at Duke and 74% at Berkeley). It is in the lower mid-range in the Institutions and Context domain (10% compared with Berkeley at 7%, Carnegie at 10%, NYU at 14%, Princeton at 15%, Harvard at 23% and Toronto at 31%) and in the upper mid-range of instruction in the Management Functions domain (at 13% it is higher than Harvard and Berkeley at 3% and Duke at 8% but lower than Carnegie at 17%, Indiana at 20% and NYU at 20%). Its proportion of instruction in the Policy Sectors domain is in the mid range (at 23% it is higher than Berkeley at 16%, Michigan and NYU at 19%, Indiana and Duke at 20%, Carnegie and Harvard at 22% and lower than Toronto at 24% and Princeton at 36%). See Curriculum Comparison Tables, accessed 8 April 2014. 

Source: At, also: (accessed November 2013 and April 2014).

Page Created By: Khilola B. Zakhidova on 8 October 2013; updated by Ian Clark 15 November 2013 and 8 April 2014. The content presented on this page, except for the assignments of courses to Atlas subjects, the Instructional Distribution analysis, and the Commentary is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

Blavatnik School of Government 
 C o u r s e s  O f f e r e d  l i s t e d  b y  P u b l i c  M a n a g e m e n t  S u b j e c t

Tools and Skills
for Public Management

 Strategy and Structure for Public Management

  Applying Policy: Strategy and Communications
  Applying Policy: Delivery and Management

 Economic Analysis for Public Management

  Core II: Economic Analysis for Public Management

 Quantitative Methods for Public Management

  Decision and Data Analytics

 Management Sciences for Public Management

  Core IV: Science and Public Policy

 Leadership for Public Management

  Applying Policy: Negotiation

 Communication for Public Management

  Policy Option: The Media and Public Policy

 Professional Practice for Public Management

  Practical Skills (3 modules)
  Summer Project (equivalent to 6 modules)

Institutions, Processes and
Contexts of Governance

 Democratic Institutions and the Policy Process

  Core I: Foundations
  Core III: The Organization and Practice of Government
  Policy Option: The Challenges of Democratization

 Ethics and Accountability

 Social and Political Context

 International and Global Context

 Intergovernmental Context

 Civil Society and Advocacy Groups

Management Functions
and Governance Instruments

 Budgeting and Financial Management

Applying Policy: Public Budgeting and Private Finance

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Evidence and Evaluation (two modules)

 Oversight, Risk Management and Control

 Human Resources Management

 Information Management and Technology

  Policy Option: Information and Computing Technology and Policy

 Service Delivery and e-Government

 Regulation and Compliance

Policy Sector Applications
of Public Management

 International Development

  Policy Option: Economic Development
  Policy Option: The Politics and Practice of Humanitarianism

 Economic Policy and Tax

 Social Policy and Welfare



 Employment, Labour and Immigration

  Policy Option: International Migration and Public Policy

 Indigenous Peoples Policy

 Cities and Urban Development

 Regional Development


 Agriculture and Resources

  Policy Challenge: Natural Resources - Curse or Blessing

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  Policy Option: Delivering Infrastructure Cheaper and Faster

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  Policy Option: Security

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Financial Sector and Pensions

 Other Policy Sectors

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance