MDP in Public Choice
Economic approaches to political questions
Programme profile and research at UTA
Degree: Master of Social Sciences
Duration: 2 years
Extent: 120 ECTS
When to apply: 1.12.2016 – 13.1.2017
Start date: August 2017
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students: 10 000 € / year
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Will politicians advance public interest? How do lobbies affect governance? What policies will best provide collective goods? This program is designed to teach students to use economic tools to address these types of social science problems. Issues examined involve strategic behavior ranging from institution design, policy design and implementation to decision-making.
North American Studies programme in Public Choice is a quantitative social science programme. The methods used include social choice theory, game theory, and basic microeconomic intuition/analysis. Following traditional public choice theory, the program examines how and when individual self-interest among politicians, interest groups, etc. can either help or hinder the public interest in policy design and implementation. Coursework will emphasize both practical and theoretical understanding of the issues.
In addition to building quantitative skills, this program incorporates a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective. Issues addressed draw on examples from North America and Europe in terms of evaluation.
Why MDP in Public Choice?
The program provides students with a solid background in quantitative methods used in political science, economics and other social sciences, necessary for understanding key elements of social structures including institutions, policy design and implementation, and the problems related to processes of voting, deliberation and decision making. Coursework will emphasize both practical and theoretical understanding of the issues.
After completing the Master’s Degree Programme in Public Choice you will:
- be able to identify, evaluate, analyze and contribute to the international academic literature
- be able to learn and use quantitative methods from political science, economics and sociology and apply them to social science issues
- be able to address issues that involve strategic behavior ranging from institution design, policy design and implementation and decision making by using quantitative tools
- understand social sciences from a comparative (North America and Europe) and multidisciplinary perspective
The program aims to prepare the students for postgraduate studies, independent research work as well as to develop internationally competitive qualifications for European and international institutions and organizations and for professional activity at various tasks in the society, ranging from policy positions to business positions
Doctoral study opportunities
The programme gives eligibility for postgraduate studies in Social Sciences, for example in UTA’s Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences.
Applying for the programme
Eligibility criteria to the MDP in Public Choice consist of two parts: the University of Tampere general eligibility criteria, and programme specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. Applicants must meet both in order to be considered eligible.
To be eligible to apply for a Master’s programme at UTA, an applicant must have
- a completed university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of the desired programme or in a closely related subject AND
- fluency in English sufficiently advanced for academic studies. For requirements, please see Language requirements below.
The Bachelor's degree or equivalent must be completed by the time the programme begins. If the degree is not completed by the end of the application period, an applicant can be accepted to the programme on the condition that s/he sends the degree certificate to the University by 31 July 2017. Attested copy of the degree certificate must reach the School office by the deadline. A successful applicant will, in this case, first receive a notification on conditional acceptance and later an official letter of acceptance once the degree certificate has reached the School office.
Programme specific eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply to the MDP in Public Choice, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an area appropriate for the content of the Master's Degree Programme. A degree in a relevant field of study, e.g. Economics, Business Administration, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Cultural Studies, English Philology is helpful but not required.
Applicants with a Master’s degree will be admitted to the programme only for well-founded reasons.
Applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.
1. Language tests
We accept the following tests as a proof of a good command of English:
- TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based
- Note: scores from "TOEFL ITP/institutional testing programme" are not accepted.
- IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
- PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62
Please note that the language test score must be valid throughout the application period. This means that if the language test expires even one day before the application deadline, the applicant must take a new language test. Language test results are valid for two years.
We advise all 2017 applicants needing an international language test score to book for a test date well in advance, as test dates are filling up fast in the autumn and it may take several weeks for the test result to reach University Admissions Finland.
For information on how to submit a language test result, please see http://www.uta.fi/admissions/language-requirements
2. Previous studies
If you fulfil one of the criteria below, you are exempt from submitting a language test score.
- A Bachelor's degree completed in English in a university or university of applied sciences in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States, excluding online degrees. The applicant needs to have stayed in the respective country when studying for the Bachelor's degree.
- A Bachelor’s degree completed in a Finnish university in Finnish or Swedish. The compulsory foreign language course included in the degree must be completed in the English language.
- Secondary education in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.
Please note that in addition to assessing your previous studies in terms of eligibility, we assess them also to determine the level of your English skills based on the grades. If you feel your grades do not give the right impression of your English skills, we strongly recommend you to take a language test to indicate your proficiency.
For information on the documents you need to submit to indicate your language skills with previous studies, please see http://www.uta.fi/admissions/application-documents.
Master's programme application period, 1.12.2016–13.1.2017
A maximum of 10 students are admitted into the programme.
The tuition fee of the programme is 10 000 euros per academic year (non-EU/EEA students) with a scholarship-system for fee-paying students: http://www.uta.fi/admissions/fees-and-scholarships#scholarships
How to apply
Applications are submitted through an electronic application system. A link to the application form is available on the Admissions web page during the application period. All applications are pre-processed by the centralized University Admissions Finland (UAF) service. Applicants must be able to support their application with enclosures related to their educational background, language skills, and other qualifications and merits. The deadline for submitting the application is 13 January 2017, and if needed, applicants can complement their application with documents submitted by 27 January 2017.
Applicants must be able to prove their educational background by means of officially authenticated copies of their documents. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.
In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country-specific requirements for your degree awarding country before applying.
For more information on the required documents, and instructions for applicants, please see How to apply.
If selected, the admitted student will have to present her/his original educational documents upon arrival at the University of Tampere in order to be able to register at the university.
Tuition fee and scholarships
Finnish universities will start collecting tuition fees from non-EU/EEA citizens starting their studies in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes taught in English in August 2017 or after that.
Students do not need to pay the tuition fee if they are:
- EU/EEA citizen or a family member (spouse/child) of an EU/EEA citizen
- equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland)
- already reside in Finland or some other EU country on a permanent basis (continuous A, or permanent P/P-EU residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card
Applicants must submit documents confirming their residence permit status with their application. For more information on the required documents, please see Application documents.
The University of Tampere offers a substantial number of scholarships for the most talented fee-paying students. The scholarship scheme consists of two scholarship categories.
- The University of Tampere tuition fee scholarships cover either 100% or 50% of the tuition fees in a two-year Master’s degree programme.
- The University of Tampere global student award for academic excellence scholarships cover 100% of the tuition fees and include a 7,000 € annual scholarship to cover the student’s living expenses during the two-year Master’s degree programme.
Students apply for the scholarship as part of the application to the degree programme. Admitted applicants who have been granted a scholarship will be informed about this together with the admission decision.
For more information on who is required to pay the fee and on the available scholarships, please see Fees and Scholarships web page.
Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the official admission criteria. Candidates for admission should be well qualified and capable of benefiting from the programme of study.
Student selection is made on the basis of application documents; there is no entrance exam. Applicants are assessed on the following merits:
- the applicant’s motivation to study in this programme specifically, and justification of the application in relation to prior studies and future career plans, judged from the letter of motivation and the CV
- the applicant’s academic quality and the success and the relevance of the applicant's overall study record in the completed Bachelor's degree and other studies, judged primarily from the degree certificate and transcript of records
- the applicant’s personal skills, judged primarily from the reference letters
- the applicant’s English language skills for academic purposes, judged from the certificate provided
In addition, work experience relevant to the programme, and other relevant merits and qualifications may be taken into account.
The programme may arrange interviews to assess the most qualified applicants. The interviews are conducted by telephone or in Skype in February. The interviewees will be contacted using the contact details provided by the applicant on the application form. Prior to the interview, instructions will be sent to the interviewees by email. The purpose of the individual interview in English is to establish the applicant's motivation, and her/his aptitude and ability to discuss the content areas of the programme. An effort is also made to establish the applicant's social skills and language skills in English. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.
Applicants who have not yet completed a Master's Degree or equivalent will be given priority in student selection.
After the assessment, the programme makes a proposal to the Dean on the students to be admitted. The Dean makes the final decision on admission.
Announcement of results and rectification procedure
Admissions results will be announced by 31 March 2017. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.
Please see the University's general instructions concerning rectification procedure: http://www.uta.fi/admissions/selection-students
Applicants may be placed on a reserve list. In case there are cancellations among the admitted students, applicants from the reserve list will be admitted in the order they have been placed.
Coordinator of International Education
Anna.Vahamaki (at) uta.fi