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Work Placements

A key element of the Cambridge MPP is the work placement that students undertake within governments, NGOs, or multilaterals, in fact in any organisation with a policy responsibility or influence. The work placement is a 14‐week programme that takes place during the Easter vacation and through the Easter Term. Students will work with an organisation external to the University, for whom they will deliver a policy document addressing a key issue. This is an incredibly important part of the MPP and its impact on our students – to provide them with a real policy analysis experience that helps integrate their learning and make strong decisions about where they want to go next in their careers.

Past placements have included:

  • What should government policy be towards clusters, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
  • Social impact bond feasibility studies, Cabinet Office
  • Addressing the Global Burden of Dementia: Lessons from National Dementia Strategies, World Health Organisation
  • Rethinking Skills & Productivity, HM Treasury
  • Behavioural insights and social enterprise, Acumen
  • The changing landscape of humanitarian assistance, UN World Food Programme
  • The Future of Hydropower on the Mekong River, International Energy Authority

The placements are structured in 2 parts – 4 weeks onsite with the organisation and 10 weeks back in Cambridge to complete the research and writing of a policy paper. This serves as the students final paper for the MPP and as a product for the organisation to use.

The placement will enable students to integrate and apply the core technical and managerial skills and specialist knowledge they have gained on the course. Students will work with their client to define the problem then design a strategy to address it, gather the relevant data, formulate and evaluate options and report recommendations. This work will form the basis of a final work placement report.

Finally, there is the MPP Work Placement conference, where each student has the opportunity to present their work in progress and to get feedback on their policy recommendations. This is an all-day affair followed by a dinner. The audience is made up of MPP students, faculty, and supervisors from the host institutions.

Want to know what a work placement is really like? Why not read our blogs: