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
Output: News Post "Brandt School students present capstone report on diversifying German raw material supplies"
Digitalization Strategy Recommendations for the State of Thuringia
Output: News Post: The Project Group on Digitalization Strategy Recommendations for the State of Thuringia visited the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin
Incentivizing Social Entrepreneurship
Output: News Post: The Project Group, Incentivizing Social Entrepreneurship, visited the BMW Foundation’s office in Berlin
State Armed Actors and Transitional Justice
Global Anti-Corruption Campaign (GACC)
Output: News Post: The Global Anti-Corruption Campaign (GACC) Project Group visited the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin
The Ball 2022-23 - Football and Climate Change
Partner: Spirit of Football e.V. (SoF)
Output: News Post "One Ball, One World": Spirit of Football’s Journey to the Qatar Men’s World Cup and the Women’s World Cup in Australia
Prospects for green hydrogen. How climate diplomacy can support German and global energy transition
Partner: Adelphi („a leading independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development“)
Output: Zable, A., Nunez, A., Kumar, A., Martins, B., Rayo,E., Kilpp, G., Raasch, G., Maximova, L., Abubakari, L., & Koto, N. (2021, June 16). Beyond Sahara, green hydrogen transition could lead to unexpected partners for Germany. Climate-Diplomacy Magazine
Eine Welt Netzwerk Thüringen – Sustainability Definitions
Partner: Eine Welt Netzwerk Thüringen (EWNT) ("Engagement Global” and “Nord-Süd-Brücke”, the “One World Network”)
Assessing Policy Alternatives to the Incumbent EU Migration Regime
Peace and Policy: Innovations in Peace Missions
Partner: Zentrum für internationale Friedenseinsätze/ Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in Berlin
Conflict and Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region
Partner: Aspen Institute in Berlin
Output: Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. (2020). Report to the Aspen Institute on the future of work
Community and Urban Development
Partner: NGO Oikodrom, the Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability and the communications agency Oikoplus
Harmful Tax Practices, Tax Avoidance and Tax Administration in Developing Countries
Partner: Tax Justice Network
Output: Bajrovic,A., Cook,B., Levario, E., Ens, K., Brackin, M., Geusser, M., & Leon Ibarra, R. (2019). How to Fight Excessive Tax Competition and Harmful Practices – The Case of Ecuador. Working paper World Economy,Ecology and Development (WEED), 30.04.2019
Shaping EU Policy-Making: ECIPE Consulting Project on the Sharing Economy and the Future of Work
Partner: European Centre for International Political Economy
Internship (between 2nd and 3rd semesters)
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:
Public Policy Practicioneers
...start their career, here.
Find out more about applications, requirements, deadlines and scholarships in the section on
If you would like to learn more about life as a student at the Brandt School, feel free to contact the
Brandt School Student Government
If you are interested in finding out more about possible careers or research areas, please contact our