Marshall Institute Lecture Series audience

Teaching and learning

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Our goal is to support the leaders and future leaders of private action for public benefit in all its forms.

Teaching lies at the heart of the Marshall Institute. Our goal is to support the leaders and future leaders of private action for public benefit in all its forms. Whether by introducing cutting-edge thinking in impact evaluation or intervention design, or by facilitating critical reflection upon the role, place and ethics of private action in catalysing social change, we seek to develop the capacity of social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, corporate and nonprofit leaders and policymakers in resolving the toughest social problems.

All our teaching is infused by core Marshall Institute principles: an interdisciplinary approach; a commitment to pioneering and innovative teaching and learning; teaching by both academic experts and expert practitioners; exposure to the latest and most rigorous research, including that of the Marshall Institute’s research team; and the nurturing of a learning community within which all the Institute’s stakeholders – academics, students, practitioners and alumni – engage together in the coproduction of knowledge and expertise.

The Marshall Institute is developing a diverse range of courses and programmes, from a ground-breaking Executive MSc in Social Business and Entrepreneurship to non-degree short courses. Our programmes and courses will be valuable to philanthropists and social entrepreneurs, to those working in foundations and nonprofit organisations, to corporate leaders seeking to develop social purpose within their firms, to leaders of nonprofit or mutual organisations that have emerged from the state sector, and to policy-makers working in collaborations and partnerships with private actors. 

Please explore the sections below for more detail about our current programmes.   

Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship

The Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship integrates social purpose and social impact with the highest level of business and management training. The programme is delivered in a flexible modular format enabling you to continue working full-time whilst studying.

This ground-breaking new programme at the LSE puts social purpose at the heart of executive business education, making it an excellent alternative to the MBA. The Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship provides students with analytical and practical skills to create and lead organisations that have a double or triple bottom line: profit, social impact and environmental sustainability. 

Guided by expert LSE faculty and leading practitioners from the field of private action for public benefit, you will get the knowledge, skills and entrepreneurial mindset to pursue a career in social business. 

Read more about the programme and apply here

MPA in Social Impact

The Master of Public Administration is an interdisciplinary two-year degree covering the broad field of public policy and administration in a global context. The MPA Social Impact specialism reflects the growing importance of private action in tackling persistent social problems and concern that such action should have maximum social impact. 

The MPA provides rigorous empirical training in core subjects, such as economics, econometrics and political science. The Social Impact stream provides you with a specific set of skills, knowledge and critical understanding which will enable you to improve the effectiveness of private action for the public good. In particular it offers you a critical understanding of both intervention design and the emerging institutions, organisations and collaborations within this field. 

The policy stream will be of interest to talented professionals who have embarked upon, or wish to switch to, a number of career trajectories:

  • Designing a social enterprise, charity or social business
  • Working in the philanthropy and family office sector
  • Impact investing
  • Consultancy in the social impact sector
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • NGO and development work
  • Policy-makers working in partnership with social enterprise or philanthropy

The MPA in Social Impact (Marshall Institute Stream) consists of two compulsory courses:

Applying Behavioural Economics for Social Impact: Design, Delivery, Evaluation and Policy taught by Professor Nava Ashraf in Michaelmas term. 

New Institutions of Public Policy: Strategic Philanthropy, Impact Investment and Social Enterprise taught by Professor Sir Julian Le Grand, Dr Jonathan Roberts and Stephan Chambers in Lent term.

Read more about the MPA programme and apply here 

Marshall Institute Lecture Series

The Marshall Institute Lecture Series aims to provide you with a critical understanding of the essential questions in the field of private action for public benefit. It is open to LSE students, staff and alumni. 

Improving the world, making it more just and more sustainable, is fundamental to most of us irrespective of the career path we take. Knowing how to make a positive impact is difficult. Tough questions of measurement, impact, the relationship between private and public actors, market and state failure, rigour and experimentation proliferate. The sheer scale of the problems often seems overwhelming.

In the Marshall Institute Lecture Series we ask academics and practitioners to help us answer these questions and give us an idea of how we can build a better future for all. 

Watch the 2016/2017 Lecture Series here

BSc and MSc Courses

The Marshall Institute supports BSc and MSc courses at the LSE. The first of these is Effective Philanthropy: Ethics and Evidence

Effective Philanthropy: Ethics and Evidence is an option course in the Department of Philosophy taught by Professor Luc Bovens. The course is only available for certain BSc and MSc programmes.

For BSc availability see here
For MSc availability see here 

The course addresses key questions in philosophy and social science concerning philanthropy, including:

Which motives actually drive philanthropy and which motives should drive it? What is the nature and extent of our moral obligations to philanthropy? Is the proper aim of philanthropy to ‘do the most good’? How should the good aimed at be conceived of and measured? How, if at all, should people’s rights and the risks of causing harm constrain the pursuit of the good? What are a charitable organisation’s duties of accountability towards its stakeholders (e.g. donors and employees) and those whose lives it aims to affect? Which career and personal choices should one make in order to further philanthropic aims?

Marshall Institute Director, Stephan Chambers, hosts the practitioner sessions on the course. Past visitors have included top people from Acumen, the Indigo Trust, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Global Innovation Fund, and the Behavioural Insights team. 

Student Competitions

The Marshall Institute supports LSE students participating in the MIINT Competition and the Hult Prize.  

The MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) is designed to give students at graduate schools a hands-on education in impact investing. The winning team is rewarded with a potential investment of up to $50,000.

The Hult Prize Foundation is dedicated to launching the world's next wave of social entrepreneurs. Students compete in teams to solve the planet's biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises. The winners can make their ideas reality with the help of $1,000,000 in seed funding.

The Marshall Institute has mentored this year's LSE entrants in both competitions.