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Online science policy masters

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

  • Association of Business Schools)

Advances in science and technology continue to transform the way we live. This makes designing effective policies for science and technology a priority for governments worldwide. The challenge is not just to advance science and technology, but to set directions and priorities for their development.

On this MSc, you’ll learn about the language, logic and tools of policy formulation and analysis. You’ll be taught by world-leading researchers and scholars, and benefit from the global networks enjoyed by the University of Sussex Business School and SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit.

You’ll investigate science and technology policy challenges, and learn to evaluate and recommend policy solutions. This includes:

  • frameworks and tools to understand the complex dynamics of policy development
  • critiquing and contributing to science, technology and innovation policy and industrial strategy
  • analysing science, technology and innovation policy using an array of methodologies, from a number of perspectives.


You’ll join the EQUIS-accredited University of Sussex Business School. Find out more

We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, we may need to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Pathway to doctoral study

This Masters is recognised by the ESRC-funded South East Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership as a pathway to doctoral study.

My Masters gave me the ABC of science policy – the edge to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.”

Director of International Affairs
The Royal Society, UK


Meet us on campus or online



Degree requirementsYou should have a lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above.
Subject-specific requirementsYour qualification can be in any subject but undergraduate degrees in the social sciences, natural science, humanities or engineering are particularly suitable. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Admissions information for applicants

How to applyYou apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system
Personal statementYes. You must submit a personal statement as part of your application. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

For details on any additional costs, check out the Fees and scholarships section.

Application deadlines

1 August 2021 (international), 1 September 2021 (UK)


Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and personal life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact us at [email protected]

We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2021/22. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, or due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

It may not be possible to take some module combinations due to timetabling constraints. The structure of some courses means that the modules you choose first may determine whether later modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown below.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Autumn teaching
Spring teaching
Summer teaching


Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Spring teaching
Summer teaching

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Challenge

Develop novel science, technology and innovation policy ideas. Compete for a prize for the idea with the most transformative potential. Our Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Challenge helps you develop skills in:

  • presenting
  • communication
  • critical thinking.

You can work on your own or in a small team. At the end of the year, you’ll pitch your idea to a panel of industry experts and a live audience.

The Challenge is optional. It’s designed to enrich your academic studies and give you the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from the course. It’ll also allow you to explore essay and dissertation topics.


How much does it cost?


Home students: £12,450 per year for full-time studentsChannel Islands and Isle of Man students: £12,450 per year for full-time studentsInternational students: £22,500 per year for full-time students

Receive a £3,000 award towards your international tuition fee

If you study part time over two years, you’ll be charged 50% of the equivalent full-time fee in each year of study. Your second-year fee – if you continue your studies without a break – will be subject to a 3% increase (subject to rounding).

Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis. Find details on our tuition fees page

If you’re a self-funded international student, you’re required to pay a tuition fee deposit. Find out more about Masters tuition fee deposits

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work


Scientific advice and evidence to inform public policies is in high demand. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking – controversies continue to erupt at the boundaries between science, politics and society. Across many countries, methods for scientific advice are being actively debated. We see a growing willingness to acknowledge uncertainties and experiment with new governance processes.

The skills you gain on this MSc will equip you for a range of careers. This includes public-, private- and charitable-sector organisations working to tackle society’s most important economic, social and environmental challenges. This course will also open up opportunities in a wide range of businesses and NGOs all over the world. And it’s an ideal grounding for PhD-level study and a career in academia.

I needed to understand science, technology and innovation policies, public policy, economics, finance – I couldn’t find another place where this diversity was available.”

Assistant to the President

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