Applied Policy Project

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Christopher Anderson CBG 6.05


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

This course is only available to European Institute Students.


The Applied Policy Project is 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

Students will work on an applied policy project related to a public policy problem in lieu of a dissertation. This policy problem can be situated at the international, European, national, or sub-national level. Thematically, it can be related to a  wide range of policy fields (e.g., international trade, social policy, environmental policy, or justice and home affairs and migration). The workshops will provide overviews of different styles and types of policy analysis writings and dissemination. Students will have regular meetings with their supervisors. While working on the Applied Policy Project, students will be able to draw on the methodological skills they acquire in MY451A (Introduction to Quantitative Analysis) or, exceptionally, MY421A (Qualitative Research Methods) or MY452A (Applied Regression Analysis). Students will produce a set of two applied policy papers: see below for details.


This course is delivered through workshops totalling a minimum of 4.5 hours across both the Autumn and Winter Terms.  Some of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of in-person and/or virtual help sessions with an assigned Supervisor, as well as student presentations. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of the Autumn and Winter Terms

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 condensed summary of the policy brief and 1 presentation in the WT.

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);



Policy brief (30%) in the ST.
Policy paper (70%) in the post-spring term.

The assessment consists of two parts:

1. A 3,000 word policy brief; policy advocacy for the solution to a specific policy problem in/for the real world (not a theoretical or empirical question suitable for a conventional academic dissertation)

2. A 7,000 word policy study; exploring policy options and engaging in policy analysis

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 19

Average class size 2022/23: 19

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

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