Postgraduate Course: MPP Capstone Project (PGSP11316)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The MPP Capstone Project is an integrative project that explores an existing public policy problem faced by a real-life public sector organisation. It is offered in place of a standard 'masters dissertation'. Students will base their policy analysis on professionally relevant experience, which is provided by an 11-week placement with a public or nonprofit sector organisation. During the placement, the student will work on a substantive policy issue, investigating and developing a workable solution to the problem. Upon completion of the placement, students will develop a professional analytical report for the host organisation with specific policy recommendations, of 8000-10000 words in length. In the report, students are expected to identify and frame a policy problem, design a strategy to address a given policy problem, collect data and information on a given policy area, formulate options and evaluate these to solve a policy problem. This report will be formally presented to the MPP group and host organisation, demonstrating the student's skills in verbally communicating policy recommendations in a clear and concise manner to a group of peers, practitioners and academics.
The Capstone is the culminating experience for the MPP programme. Students undertake an integrative project that explores an existing public policy problem faced by a real-life public, non-profit or private sector organisation, with a view to designing a strategy to address that problem.
The Capstone may but does not have to involve a work-based project/placement, lasting c. 8-12 weeks with a public, non-profit or private sector organisation approved by the MPP Programme Director. During a placement, students will work on a substantive policy issue or project, drawing on the specialised knowledge and analytical skills gained from the MPP core courses. Upon completion of the placement, students develop a final analytical policy report of 10,000-words.
If students do not complete a work-based project/placement then students will work with their academic supervisor on an applied public policy issue and complete a 10,000-word analytical report.
The analytical report is a chance to undertake an extended piece of scholarship. It gives students the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge gained across the courses in the MPP programme to a particular policy problem or issue, and to extend their knowledge and understanding of a specific policy issue.
a. Academic Description
The Capstone enables students to develop and present a major policy design and implementation plan using a real-life situation in an existing public, non-profit or private sector organisation. By the end of the Capstone, students will be able to:
identify and frame a policy problem in a real-life situation
design a strategy to address a given policy problem
collect data and information on a given policy area, formulate options and evaluate these to solve a policy problem
write a professional analytical report with specific policy recommendations
apply theories and insights from scholarly research to practical issues
verbally communicate policy recommendations in a clear and concise manner to a group of peers, practitioners and academics
gain practical professional experience through the placement component (if applicable)
appreciate practical and ethical issues in the process of policy-making
verbally communicate policy recommendations in a clear and concise manner to a group of peers, practitioners and academics.
b. Outline Content
The Capstone lasts for c. 4 months (May-August). During this time students will meet 4-5 times with their academic supervisor.
If the student undertakes a work-based project/placement then they will spend between 8 and 12 weeks on placement with a policy organisation. That placement may be in the UK or international. During this time students work practices will vary. Some organisations may require the student to be present for 35-40 hours a week, working as part of a team and combining a broader internship experience with their work-based project. Other organisations will be more flexible, allowing students to work remotely and attend for periodic progress reports and meetings. These arrangements will be clarified before any placement commences and agreed by the University in a Memorandum of Understanding.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The Capstone is assessed through three components: the 10,000-word written report (70%); an oral presentation of the final report (20%); and the successful completion of either the work-based project/placement or an independent project evaluating a public policy issue. The work-based project/placement and the independent policy project are both assessed by a research diary, appended to the analytical report (10%).
||Students have the opportunity to receive feedback on a draft chapter of their analytical report from their academic supervisor. Before their oral presentation students have the opportunity to receive feedback on a presentation plan and power point slide pack.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- identify and frame a policy problem in a real-life situation
- design a strategy to address a given policy problem
- - collect data and information on a given policy area, formulate options and evaluate these to solve a policy problem
- write a professional analytical report for a real-life client with specific policy recommendations
- appreciate practical and ethical issues in the process of policy-making
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Daniel Kenealy
Tel: (0131 6)50 4080
|Course secretary||Mr Lee Corcoran
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