The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Capstone project offers organisations a professional, high standard, fresh thinking consultative service, free of charge. The students participating in the Capstone are highly qualified, some with impressive previous work experience and many are also bilingual.
Each project is supervised by a member of the MPA's faculty, who provide guidance and advice and monitor group progress. Furthermore, the MPA supports students through several 1.5 hour seminars, which provide guidance on planning, writing and presenting the report. The projects earn a collective grade and students are expected to manage the division and development of work amongst themselves. Students are asked to take part in the Professional Development exercise designed to support effective and fair group work.
The MPA Capstone organisational procedures are designed to make minimal demands on clients and to allow project teams to work effectively within the constraints on their time. Typically, clients meet with their Capstone groups around three times. The main purpose of the first meeting is to reach an agreement with the client about the scope of the project and to discuss the methodology and main activities. During the second meeting, the group presents their preliminary analysis and solicits feedback from the client. In the third meeting, the Capstone group delivers their final presentation to the client. Our London-based clients prefer to meet their project teams more than twice to provide regular feedback and discuss project progress. Depending on the project needs, clients tend to maintain regular email contact with the Capstone group.
We do not have an application form as such; instead, we request prospective client organisations to get in touch with us and indicate their interest in collaborating with the MPA. They will then submit a project proposal, with an overview of what a potential project may involve, including what the client organisation seeks to learn from the work, the project deliverables and the resources in terms of literature and evidence that the client expects to be used in the project. We will consider these project proposals alongside other possible projects that we have.
If the project proposal is accepted, a member of the MPA faculty and the client organisation will collaborate over the summer to develop and refine the project proposal and produce a detailed “Terms of Reference” (ToR) for setting specific objectives, tasks and deliverables. Clients and the MPA faculty work towards having this draft ToR ready by the beginning of September.
If you represent an organisation and would like further information on collaborating with the MPA on the Capstone project, or would like to arrange an appointment to discuss the Capstones and how to get your organisation involved, please contact us.