Graduation in December 2016


Ms Vanya Sargent (Ireland, Graduated in 2016)

I chose to undertake the Master of Public Policy in UCD part-time over two years as a support to my work in consulting to the public and not-for-profit sectors. I was interested in exploring the theory and practice of policymaking both in Ireland and elsewhere. The course was excellent, providing both interesting and informative core modules with a very wide range of elective choices to allow students to explore their areas of interest in more depth. The multidisciplinary nature of the MPP meant that topics were explored from a range of different perspectives, which broadened my knowledge base and understanding of other disciplines considerably.

The standard of teaching was very high, with the lecturers encouraging and challenging us as students. Lectures were enjoyable and informative, with plenty of debate and discussion of different viewpoints.

Whilst it is always a challenge to combine study with work and family commitments, the support from the lecturers and faculty staff was extremely helpful, in particular over the course of writing the dissertation. It has been a very worthwhile course, which exceeded my expectations and pushed me to do better than I anticipated, and has also been useful in equipping me with additional skills and knowledge for the work that I do, enabling me to take on new types of projects and bring added value to our clients and the firm.

Mr James McGrath (Ireland, Graduated in 2016)

I enrolled in the Master of Public Policy programme at UCD with the aim of gaining a thorough understanding of the policy-making process, whilst being given the opportunity to concentrate on a policy area of interest. Having completed the course and reflecting on my experience, I can say without hesitation that this was an incredibly rewarding year for me. The core modules complement one another very much, drawing from a range of disciplines and the role each plays in the various aspects of policy. Each module was engaging and provided a platform for class discussion and presentations in a very relaxed style, allowing students to explore topics on a deeper level through assignments. These experiences were enhanced by the diverse backgrounds of my peers and lecturers in each module. Being exposed to multiple perspectives broadened my understanding and outlook on public policy, allowing me to approach each piece of work in a very considerate way.

The Master of Public Policy course has given me a foundation of transferable skills in a variety of areas, supplemented by expertise in my own area of interest – health policy. Most importantly, I have become confident in my ability to engage these skills and develop them further. I felt supported, valued and appreciated throughout my academic efforts. I found the programme to be an incredibly enriching, empowering and inspiring process. It has provided me with many new opportunities and a deep appreciation for public policy and the potential it holds.


Ms Nmeli Nnoromele (USA, Graduated in 2016)

As a girl from small-town USA, I never dreamed I would end up pursuing my Master’s in Public Policy in Ireland. I always thought I would be one of the many Americans to attend law school in the US, and was fully prepared to leverage a lot of debt to pay for it. It never dawned on me to consider other avenues and after an epiphany my senior year, I realised law school wasn’t the path for me. What actually interested me about law was its cross section with governance and policy, and I knew I wanted to make my impact that way. Now that I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in public policy – my only question was where?

As globalisation continued to shrink cultural boundaries and increase the interchange of world views, I decided I wanted a program that was comparative in focus and provided me an international framework to work within. University College Dublin provided me with just that, was all I ever wanted and more. Not only does this program provide its students a global perspective, the program is also interdisciplinary – allowing you to pick the concentration that is perfect for you. Further, the program staff provided one-of-a-kind opportunities for students, including helping me land an internship with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. I am so grateful for this experience, and know this program has well prepared me for a successful career analysing and managing policy.

Ms Megan Curran (USA, Graduated in 2014)

I came to this degree with experience in child and family service provision and policy, inside and outside of government, in the US and abroad. As such, I was looking for a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) course that would offer an international policy context and flexibility in my areas of research. Comparative public policy is a core component of the University College Dublin (UCD) programme, and was key to my decision to enroll.
It is a decision I have been more than pleased with. Through coursework and professor guidance, the UCD MPP provided me with the research and analytic tools to craft, compare, and evaluate policy responses to social and economic issues facing children and families across countries – precisely what I was looking for in this degree.

Ms Shauna Preston (Ireland, Graduated in 2014)

I really enjoyed the MPP course and it has definitely been of great benefit to me in my career so far. The core public policy modules were interesting, while also applied in focus, which gave me a strong grounding in the issues relevant to policymaking and governance today.
The ability to specialise in a chosen policy stream was a huge attraction. I chose the economic policy stream which allowed me build on my undergraduate economics knowledge. It provided opportunity to study diverse modules such as health economics which subsequently helped me obtain employment in this field.
The dissertation allows you to research a topic that genuinely interests you while being mentored by a leading academic in the field. Your supervisor truly does mentor and advise you during these research-led months.
Since the masters I have worked in the pharma industry, in an independent policy think-tank and now in the Department of Finance, showing that the course equips you with valuable skills applicable to a variety of career paths. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone interested.