PP4B3E      Half Unit
Executive MPP Capstone Project

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Daniel Sturm and Dr Sara Hagemann


This course is available on the Executive Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.


There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Course content

The Capstone project facilitates application of analytical tools developed on the programme. Students will undertake a group project (in teams usually of 3 to 5 people) relating to a public policy problem faced by the Civil Service. The group will have one week to work on an issue identified jointly by the Civil Service and LSE academics, investigating and developing a workable solution to the problem. They will then deliver a presentation, followed by a policy memo and two articles. 


A one-week modular teaching block. This year some or all of this teaching may be delivered by interactive virtual meetings with the project supervisor and expert contributors.

Formative coursework

Feedback will be provided on work-in-progress during the project duration and on the presentation on the final day of the module.

Indicative reading

Readings that are specific to project work will be distributed at the beginning of the course.  Useful preliminary reading includes: 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); Office for Government Commerce Common Causes of Project Failure (London: OGC, 2004); Strategy Survival Guide (London: Prime Minister's Strategy Unit. July 2004; C. R. 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).


Presentation (20%), project (50%) and coursework (30%).

The project work is conducted in teams, and the assessment is based on a collective group mark for each component except in exceptional circumstances.

1. Presentation (20%) on the final day of the module.

2. Policy memo (50%), summarising the proposal for the relevant minister, which incorporates the feedback from the presentation, due three weeks after the module (1500 words).

3. Two standard-length newspaper articles (30%), due three weeks after the module.

In the two articles (500 words each), the students should consider how their policy proposal would be reported in two different media outlets.


Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication