From Research to Policy: Part One

Credits: 10


How can we change the world? All too often, it feels like we can’t, and change is a complex process. The thought of trying to make a difference can leave us feeling inconsequential.

But in your first year, you will develop a set of skills that will enable you to approach problems in a way that can bring about real change. Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, you will select a social problem and learn how to explore the complexity of the problem. Part of this involves developing certain skills that can shape our approach, such as:

  • The ability to reflect on ourselves, so that we become more aware of our role, prejudices and power.
  • A willingness to embrace ambiguity, and to revisit a problem continually, even when we have discovered a solution.
  • An openness to exploring a problem from multiple perspectives so that we discover different ways of seeing the world. 

For change to be possible, we need to understand social issues through the prism of complex systems, power and social norms. Through your research, you will consider what kind of change you seek (e.g. individual attitudes or access to resources), what precedents there are, who the stakeholders are and what kind of power is involved, what strategies could bring about change and how to measure the effectiveness of the change you seek.  As part of your research into the problem, you will interview stakeholders and work with real-world organisations.


Approximately 20 hours in total comprising of 10 lectures and 10 seminars.

The module ends with a Dragon’s Den event at which every team will showcase their work to their peers and answer questions from a panel of ‘dragons’ combined of staff and stakeholders.