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18 March 2020

Postgraduate students bring research and policy expertise to benefit charities in King's boroughs

Experiential module allows students to develop their careers while having a real-world impact

An aerial eastern view of London from above the River Thames with notable landmarks like Westminster, Big Ben and the London Eye present.
10 Public Policy & Management MSc students are taking their research skills from the classroom and applying them across London.

Partnering with charities and think tanks in King’s home boroughs and beyond, 10 Public Policy & Management MSc students are taking their research skills from the classroom and applying them to real-world problems.  

As part of an assessed module, the students spend two days a week working alongside permanent staff at the partner organisations, leading focussed research projects that support the organisation’s work.

Partners include the Young Westminster Foundation where students Shrooq Khan and Devika Thapa are working with under-25s in the borough to identify the social problems they want to see tackled and draw on their insight to develop potential solutions.

Phil Barron, CEO of the Young Westminster Foundation explains:

“Over the last couple of years we have been developing a close partnership between King’s College London and Young Westminster Foundation (YWF). This year the partnership evolved, with YWF taking advantage of the exciting opportunity to host two interns from the Public Policy & Management Programme.  We were able to interview and shortlist interested students which helped us select those with the best skills match. Shrooq and Devika are supporting YWF with a real live research project: a needs analysis of young people in Westminster. Their input is supporting the academic rigour of our research and is a fantastic addition to the project.”

The other partner organisations are:

  • The 999 Club in Lewisham, which provides shelter and services to homeless people in south London.
  • Mental Fight Club, which helps reduce social isolation for those with mental health conditions
  • Basic Income Earth Network, a group that connects academics and activists interested in ways of delivering a ‘basic income’ for all citizens
  • Adfam, a national charity that helps families affected by alcohol and drug abuse
  • The Education Policy Institute, a think tank dedicated to promoting high quality education for all social groups
  • The Creative Society, an arts and employment charity that helps young people who want to work in the creative industries and advocates for fair access to opportunities in the sector

Dr Susan Trenholm, Programme Director of the MSc Public Policy & Management (PPM), explains:

“We have worked with some of these wonderful organisations previously, as part of the PPM programme, with students applying new knowledge and developing practical solutions for the organisations. We’re delighted to be deepening our relationship with those organisations, and to add new ones to our network.”

“The module is a great chance for our partners to gain fresh perspectives and insights, and it is a fantastic opportunity for our students to put theory into practice. They develop the professional skills they will need to build careers in the social sector, while having a real-world impact at the same time.”