Public policy is the intervention in and the design of political reality. Therefore, having our students work with practical examples and professional partners and solve real-life problems is an important part of our teaching philosophy and prepares them for their future careers.
Project group (3rd semester)
During the third semester, all MPP students participate in a project group. Under the supervision of an academic staff member, a group of around ten students completes an assignment by an external partner ("client") on a real public policy problem or question. The objective of the project groups is that students can put their acquired knowledge into practice. Students work on a specific project task to gain experience in project planning and management and in organizing effective teamwork. The projects can range from drafting business cases for new policy initiatives to writing background reports on an important policy issue, or crafting scenarios for future or hard-to-measure policy options. The project group is worth 9 credit points (ECTS) – i.e., a workload of approximately 270 hours over the course of six months (October to March).
Throughout the project students engage with the external ‘clients’ in an entrepreneurial and professional way. The clients help defining the final deliverable of the project and the students plan the implementation. Occasional meetings between students and clients might take place to define the main motivation, score, terms of reference, and milestones of the project. The clients usually host the student group for a physical presentation of the final project at the host institution (capacity constraints and the pandemic situation permitting). Past clients include development agencies such as the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), climate consultancies such as adelphi, nonpartisan and charitable organizations such as the Aspen Institute, or philanthropies such as the Open Society Foundations.
Project group examples
Critical minerals: Options for diversifying German raw material supplies
An internship, usually completed between the second and third semester, is a requirement for the completion of the degree. Students collect experience and start or expand their professional networks in government agencies, international organizations, NGOs or other non-profit or for-profit organizations. Designed to be an integral part of our student's education, the internship's primary purposes are:
to offer students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned from the classroom in a work setting
to give students a practical perspective on and experience in policy analysis and public management
to help them compare their abilities and interests with requirements in particular fields of public policy
Applying for and securing internship positions is the individual responsibility of each student and part of the training experience. The Brandt School provides assistance with application formalities, recommendations, contacts to alumni, information on current openings and previous internship placements.
To get an idea where our students have done their internships in the past, you may browse the following document: