Policy Incubator

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Miriam Sorace CBG 6.07 and Prof Christopher Anderson CBG 6.05


This course is available on the MSc in European and International Public Policy and MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is not available as an outside option.


Students must have completed Engaging with Europe: Professional Skills (EU450) and Evidence and Analysis in Policy-Making (EU490).

The Policy Incubator is a group project available to students on the MSc European and International Public Policy who wish to research a current policy issue instead of submitting a dissertation.

Course content

Student will work on an applied group research project related to a public policy problem in lieu of a dissertation. This policy problem can be situated at the international, European or national level. Thematically, it can be related to a range of policy fields such as international trade, social policy, environmental policy, or justice and home affairs and migration. The workshops will cover the various stages of the policy cycle in detail as well as theories of policy-making. Students will have regular group meetings with their supervisors. At the end of Lent Term, there will also be an opportunity to present an outline of the project to peers and academic staff. While working on the Policy Incubator, students will be able to draw on the methodological skills they acquire in EU490 (Evidence and Analysis in Policy-Making) and on the practical writing and communication skills taught in EU450 (Europe: Professional Skills).


3 hours of workshops in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of workshops in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 projects in the LT.

Indicative reading

Useful preliminary reading:

Charles E. Lindblom and David K. Cohen, Social Science and Social Problem Solving (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979;

Martha S. Feldman, Order Without Design: Information Production and Policy-making (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989);

Ray Pawson, Evidence-based Policy: A Realist Perspective (London: Sage, 2006);

Howard White, Theory-based Impact Evaluation: Principles and Practice (3ie, 2011);

Curtis Cook, Just Enough Project Management (McGraw-Hill, 2004);

J. E. McGrath and F. Tschan, 'Dynamics in Groups and Teams: Groups as Complex Action Systems', chapter three in M. S. Poole and A. H. Van de Ven (eds) Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2004).


Research project (100%) post-summer term.

Students are asked to present a group report in the form of a policy advocacy brief (3000 words, 30% grade). They are then asked to, individually, submit a full policy report in which they discuss alternative policy options and evaluate their suggests policy solutions (7000 words, 70% grade).

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills