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Insider knowledge for the next generation of political leaders

4 September 2017

For politics students and future policymakers, understanding the practicalities as well as the theory of working at the centre of government is a vital but often uncharted aspect of learning.

As part of the MA in Public Policy and the MA in Politics and Contemporary History, The Strand Group and the Department of Political Economy offer four postgraduate modules which invite past and present practitioners into the classroom to offer their unparalleled insights and perspectives.

The opportunity to regularly pose questions to such prominent figures is something that nobody could take for granted

– Matthew Corden, Public Policy MA student

Centred on key aspects of contemporary British history and the machinery of government, the courses help bring to life the day to day workings of politics, putting students in a unique position to engage with first-hand experience of government process.

During 2016/17, special guests including David Cameron, Sir Jeremy Heywood, George Osborne, Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court, Baroness Vadera and Alastair Campbell have helped the students to blend theory and practicality to provide an in-depth understanding of political procedure and policy making.

Matthew Corden, an MA student who studied these modules said: ‘It’s not often students of contemporary history get the opportunity to listen to first-hand accounts from the sort of figures we normally only read about or see on the television. Dr Jon Davis and his team have forged a unique partnership between education and the centre of government – principally with No. 10 and the Treasury. The opportunity to regularly pose questions to such prominent figures is something that nobody could take for granted.’

The courses also benefit from invaluable government partnerships with the module entitled ‘No. 10 Downing Street & the History of the Prime Minister since 1945’ being run in partnership with No. 10 and seeing classes taught on location, around the Cabinet table.

The Blair Years’ is co-taught with John Rentoul, Chief Political Commentator for The Independent, and visiting professor at King’s. ‘The Treasury and Economic History Since 1945’ is run in partnership with HM Treasury, and sees serving officials take the class alongside King’s students.

Dr Jon Davis, Director of the Strand Group said: ‘Academic and practitioner co-teaching provides both the theory and practice in understanding British government. Having David Cameron or Ed Balls explain how decisions and policies are made and implemented at the highest level is an extraordinary experience and privilege for the students taking our modules.’

For more information about the Strand Group modules or studying the MA in Public Policy or the MA in Politics and Contemporary History at King’s, please visit the website.


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