Social Impact

Given the failure of both states and markets to resolve persistent social problems, there is growing interest in the problem-solving potential of private action for social purposes.

The Social Impact specialism develops students’ capacity to create social impact and to maximise the effectiveness of such private action for public benefit, whether as social entrepreneur, impact investor or policy maker. It critically explores both intervention design and evaluation, and also the emerging institutions, organisations and collaborations within this field. 


To be eligible for the Social Impact specialism you must pass the following courses:

Applying Behavioural Economics for Social Impact: Design, Delivery, Evaluation and Policy (PP452)

(0.5 unit)

This course delivers insights from cutting edge research in psychology and economics, and asks students to use these insights to design solutions to significant social challenges. Students learn how to diagnose, design, deliver, and rigorously test products and services using the principles of behavioural economics and the methods of field experimentation. 

*Please note that there are prerequisites based on the first year MPA economics courses that students will have to meet to be eligible to take this course.

New Institutions of Public Policy: Strategic Philanthropy, Impact Investment and Social Enterprise (PP4J2)

(0.5 unit)

Private actions for public benefit have long been significant within socities. This arena of private action is currently experiencing both resurgence and disruption. This course takes a policy-oriented approach toward these new dynamics of private social action.

Potential Careers

Graduates who have specialised in Social Impact have pursued careers in international organisations, NGOs, and international trade and development, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AmFam.