Experiential Learning

Gain hands-on learning through our global policy project, co-op program, policy practitioner sessions, and various case competitions for real-world impact.

As a professional degree program, UBC’s Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) is designed to prepare you to deal with complex public policy challenges and drive meaningful change in the real world.

Our unique curriculum encourages creativity, innovation and collaboration by seamlessly integrating learning and practical experience. Expect a mix of case studies, field visits, workshops, and other hands-on activities to help shape you as a leading global change-maker.

Global Policy Project

A defining element of UBC’s MPPGA curriculum is an intensive Global Policy Project (GP2) (GPP 590), which provides opportunities for you and your team to engage with policy makers and civil society and apply your creative thinking and strategic design skills to a real-world policy challenge.

Project Overview

GP2 is completed over the course of Year Two through a combination of Design Studio sessions and intensive stakeholder engagements. The project offers you an opportunity to apply methods and skills learned during the core courses taught during Year One.

Various professional development workshops will be incorporated throughout the MPPGA program, with the purpose of preparing you for your Project work, which begins in Year 2. You will enhance your skills in areas such as team collaboration, conflict resolution in a policy environment, report writing and presentations, and develop new skills in policy research design, the strategic design process, and a variety of field research techniques.

In Year 2, GP2 includes regular lectures on specific skills and techniques needed for the project. You will also have a policy studio component regularly throughout Year 2 to work on your Project. The policy studio is a flexible, visual learning space with a focus on collaborative experiences where students, faculty, and clients co-design experiments that integrate creative thinking with scientific methods in problem identification and analysis.

How It Works

  1. You will work in a team under the guidance of a faculty member to complete each step of the Project.
  2. Your client will present a specific challenge facing its organization, providing context to help you understand and define the problem.
  3. Collaborating closely with your client and faculty in class and the field, you will analyze the problem, gather data, and work through possible solutions.
  4. You will present your final policy recommendations in a policy report and symposium at the end of Year Two

Placement and Costs

Some Global Policy Project work will be locally based while at other times may involve national or international travel. The program will cover the cost of travel to your project destination in the form of economy class airfare up to a reasonable amount specified by the program for each project.

Additional project costs such as accommodation, in-country transportation, research costs, food, vaccines, and insurance will vary by project and will be the responsibility of the student. Students will have the opportunity to rank their projects of choice prior to being placed on teams.

MPPGA Co-op Program

The Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs Co-operative Education (Co-op) Program is facilitated by the UBC Arts Co-op Program.

The MPPGA Co-op Program allows you to acquire practical, paid work experience specific to policy-related professions as a compliment to your classroom learning.

Work placements occur during the summer between the first and second years of the MPPGA program.

As a Co-op graduate, you will be well prepared, academically and professionally, for your future careers as policy practitioners in diverse sectors around the world.

Student Placements

MPPGA students secure various Arts co-op positions during their break between terms in the summer. 

Student Placements

  • Aaron Nelson, Junior Project Officer, CowaterSogema
  • Adam Cassady, Research Assistant, The Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI)
  • Adedoyin Luwaji, Research Assistant, Performance Audit, Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia
  • Alex Ash, Intern, Foundation for Innovation at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • Ali Abdullah Bajwa, Economic Research Intern, National Immigration Centre, The Conference Board of Canada
  • Chiamaka Mọgọ, Policy Analyst & Education Programs Assistant, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, UBC
  • Clare Min Jeong Kim, Junior Policy Analyst, International Assistance Envelope Management, International Assistance Policy Division, Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Darren Touch, Junior Officer, Indigenous Partnership Office, Natural Resources Canada, Government of Canada (NRCan)
  • Hadis Siadat, Junior Policy Analyst, Sectoral Policy Division, Infrastructure Canada
  • Juliana Craig, Member Management Trainee, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong
  • Nicole So, Junior Policy Analyst, International Assistance Envelopment Management unit in the Strategic Policy Branch, Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Shaf Noorani, Student Research Assistant, Policy Co-Op with the Viral Hepatitis program, The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
  • Simin Yook, Junior Bilateral (Political/Commercial) Relations Officers, Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Susanne Beilmann, Community Services Assistant, The City of Surrey

MPPGA Co-op student Ali Bajwa is working as an Economic Research Intern with the National Immigration Centre at the Conference Board of Canada this summer. In one of the projects he's addressing, he is analyzing the impact of automation on the Canadian labour market and how it ties into Canadian immigration policy.

Other placements have included the Conference Board of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, the UBC Sustainability Initiative, the Liu Institute for Global Issues, the Conference Board of Canada, Goldcorp Inc., BPI, and the City of Richmond.