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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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General Description

The Master's in Public Policy (MPP) is a nine month practice oriented programme that was launched by the department in October 2013. The course runs from October to June. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on the realities of policy making, whether that is within government or in the third sector. This practice focus is reflected in the number of invited speakers from government and international organisations, the extended case approach to teaching, as well as the work placement that students undertake which forms the basis for their final paper for the course.

The course aims to strengthen the interconnections between science, research and innovation in public policy. Integral to these aims, the MPP will promote better awareness within policy circles of scientific developments and emerging technologies, which in turn will encourage long-term thinking and better strategic planning. Beyond the formal course there is a strong and growing policy community in Cambridge, through other masters level courses focused on government and policy, via the open lectures of Cambridge Public Policy and through the activities of the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP).  

The MPP programme will qualify its graduates to:            

  • Cope with different forms of information, qualitative and quantitative with varying degrees of precision, relevance and uncertainty
  • Consider issues from a range of disciplinary perspectives
  • Spot what is missing, and how to recognize when the picture is incomplete
  • Critically appraise information from different kinds of experts
  • Integrate different forms of thinking
  • Consider the implications of complexity, risk and uncertainty in policy-making
  • Be effective policy makers in an increasingly complex world

The course seeks to attract students who want to build careers in public policy whether in government at national and international levels, or in the third sector or in the private sector. The MPP will provide students with a thorough intellectual grounding and practical experience in the processes of policy making, as well as an understanding of the range of knowledge and skills they need to be effective in the world of policy.

Candidates for the MPhil in Public Policy take a range of modules and case studies across the course of the year.  In addition they will complete independent essays and a report on their work placement, as well as a professional development course.


Click here to view the full Course Structure  


Photo: MPP 2021-22 class and teachers at the 2021 Annual Public Policy Lecture