SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

MSc and PhD study

At SPRU we are teaching the next generation of innovation leaders and policymakers through our Masters courses and PhD programmes

Study at a leading institution

The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) is one of the world’s leading centres of research on science, technology and innovation policy and management. Our work has a global impact on decision making for sustainable futures and we are internationally recognised as pioneers in our field. [See Key Facts]

Help shape the future

Everything we do is driven by a desire to tackle real-world challenges such as climate change and inequality. We passionately believe that innovative science policy solutions can help create more sustainable, secure and equal societies. With our courses, you will be in a great position to help to shape the future. [see Careers / Profile: A career in Science Policy]  

Experience a truly multidisciplinary research environment

SPRU courses attract students from a wide range of backgrounds, in line with our inter-disciplinary approach, so previous study in a related field is not always essential. Our emphasis on problem-led academic study has created a unique SPRU style, consisting of inter and intradisciplinary study, strong empirical research, and an emphasis on developing new analytical tools, theoretical frameworks and policy approaches. [See Research - Research Highlights under each theme]

Be part of  SPRU’s leading research initiatives

We encourage interaction, collaboration and creativity. Working closely with our academics, you will have the opportunity to learn and contribute directly to SPRU research as part of your training, and to tailor your studies in line with your interests. With two weekly seminar series, you can broaden your knowledge and participate in lively discussions and present your own research. [See Seminar listings] 

Access to an extensive range of expertise

Our academics are world-class researchers in their respected fields of study who pioneer new understandings and approaches in the governance of science, technology and innovation. SPRU engages with a wide range of partners and stakeholders, including governments, policymakers, academics, industry and civil society around the world to find practical solutions to global challenges. [See our Impact case studies]

Work Experience

Through our extensive networks we provide opportunities for research in science, technology and innovation policy institutions, firms, governmental departments, or not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations. [See Employer Endorsements]

Get a flavour of studying at SPRU

Find out more about postgraduate study at SPRU, with short videos from:

MSc Energy Policy

MSc Sustainable Development

MSc Science and Technology Policy

PhD research studies at SPRU (David Eggleton, PhD Student)

Key Facts

  • University of Sussex ranked number one in the top 100 universities in the world for development studies in the QS University World Rankings by Subject 2019, above Harvard (2), Oxford (3) and Cambridge (5). The ranking includes our MSc in Sustainable Development.
  • The 'Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2018' places SPRU 1st in the UK in its listing of Science and Technology think tanks, 3rd globally.
  • A 2012 study published in the journal 'Research Policy' ranked SPRU second only to Harvard University in terms of its research impact in innovation studies.
  • Founded in 1966 by Christopher Freeman, a pioneer of what is now known as innovation studies, SPRU was one of the first interdisciplinary research centres in the field of science and technology policy and management.
  • SPRU’s MSc in Science and Technology Policy is the world’s longest-established and most comprehensive introduction to this important field. 
  • All SPRU Masters courses are recognised as providing research training that meets ESRC requirements, and so eligible applicants wishing to take a one year Masters followed by a three year PhD (1+3) may apply for an ESRC 1+3 scholarship.