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What do Institute of Public Affairs graduates do?

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The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a two year-long interdisciplinary programme run by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and is well suited to the ever changing challenges of public policy.

The MPA equips students with a range of professional and professional knowledge. The MPA programme provides rigorous interdisciplinary training in economics and political science, complemented by a wide range of electives, to prepare students for professional careers related to public policy. Students are able to specialise through 5 different streams offered by IPA and are able to deploy their higher level research skills and consultancy skills through the Capstone Consultancy projects in the second year. As a result MPA students are heavily targeted by a range of employers in particular Management Consultancies, the Public Sector and International Organisations/NGOs.

In 2012/13 86% of leavers from IPA were in employment, completing further study or taking time out just six months after graduation.

Typical employment sectors include:

  • national and regional government
  • international organisations such as the UN
  • health services
  • management consultancies
  • charities

The average starting salary of graduates from IPA in 2012/13  was £44,500.

To find out more about LSE graduate destinations by specific Sociology degree programmes, see graduate destinations by programme|

Employability skills

Studying within the Institute of Public Affairs you will have the opportunity to develop specific subject knowledge alongside a set of highly valuable and transferable employability skills, including: 

  • Political awareness: using specialist subject knowledge to identify and investigate problems arising in public policy and political economy
  • Strong IT skills: using communication and information technology to retrieve and present information, including statistical and numerical information
  • Excellent communication skills: effective communication in speech and writing and experience of presenting projects verbally
  • Advanced analytical thinking and problem-solving skills: applying a methodical approach to analyse information critically, assessing all aspects of a situation and evaluating possible solutions
  • Comprehensive research skills: ability to gather, organise and assess data from a variety of primary and secondary sources
  • Independent thinking and team work: experience of working independently as well as in groups, demonstrating an ability to collaborate with others to achieve common goals
  • Analytical skills: identify, investigate and analyse problems, demonstrating logical thinking and analytical ability
  • Group and Organisation skills: in addition to seminar work groups the small team based Capstone projects provide a an excellent opportunity to develop the skills for effective group work organise your time and work efficiently
  • Client skills: managing client relations during the Capstone process provides a great opportunity to develop negotiation, personal impact skills while at the same time market testing future career opportunities.
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