MPP course overview

The MPP is an intensive course: teaching and learning is concentrated over 50 weeks, beginning in late September and ending with a professionally focused Summer Project experience during July and August. Two of the three terms extend beyond the eight-week terms typical of the University of Oxford. The course features a mixture of lectures, seminars, and case studies (some developed by our Case Centre on Public Leadership) as well as workshops and professional skills sessions, which are led by established and emerging experts in their field, including practitioners. The MPP is a professional degree and therefore does not prepare students for doctoral study.


Induction is your introduction to life at the Blavatnik School – your intellectual home for the next year and hopefully for the rest of your lives. Induction has three goals:

  • become familiar with your fellow students, members of faculty, the School, its staff and its facilities; and also with your College, the University and the City of Oxford;
  • become familiar with the intellectual environment at the Blavatnik School, which is driven by the spirit of inquiry and debate in the pursuit of truth and excellence; and
  • become familiar with the values of the Blavatnik School community, which are motivated by respect, integrity, and learning from diversity. 

Core modules

The six core modules draw on insights and approaches found within a range of academic disciplines. The core modules for 2017-18 are:

  • Policy Challenge I – this is the induction experience described above together with leadership development activities throughout the first term.
  • Economics for Public Policy – you will prepare for constructive engagement with professional economists by developing the skills necessary to become a critical consumer of economic thinking.
  • Evidence and Public Policy – you will explore the contribution that evaluation can make to effective public policy and gain tools allowing you to be a critical consumer of research evidence.
  • Foundations – you will be introduced to philosophical concepts and ethical dilemmas facing governments around the world.
  • Law and Public Policy – you will explore legal systems, legislation, and law both as a constraint on government and as applicable beyond the nation state.
  • The Politics of Policymaking – you will learn how to think politically, so as to be able get things done and effect meaningful change in policy and in government.
  • Policy Challenge II – this is an opportunity for you to apply the lessons from the MPP to real-world policy problems through a series a series of simulations and interactive discussions.

Applied Policy modules

You will also select four Applied Policy modules, which enable you to apply your theoretical understanding, build module-specific sets of skills and knowledge, and understand the principles involved in decision-making by different groups of stakeholders.

Option modules

You will also select two Option modules thereby allowing you to specialise on policy issues of particular interest.

Summer Project

The Summer Project is the last assessed component of the MPP, and gives you the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge to a real-life policy challenge. See the Summer Project section for more information.

Professional Skills

Complementing the MPP and its learning outcomes, the School offers a range of professional skills sessions designed to help you acquire, develop and enhance practical and transferable skills necessary for a successful career in public policy. See the Professional Skills section for more information.

Course completion

Once you have successfully completed the MPP, you will be invited to return to Oxford in the autumn to take part in the School’s end-of-course event and to graduate in person with your College. We also hope that you will join the Blavatnik School Alumni community and continue to participate in the School’s intellectual life after you graduate.