Experiential Learning

Gain hands-on learning through our Global Policy Project, the Co-op program, and other experiential learning opportunities.

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.

We provide customized support to help you gain the professional experience and skills you will need for real-world impact.

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 to directly 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 lectures, Policy Studio sessions, and intensive stakeholder engagement. The project offers you an opportunity to apply methods and skills learned during the core courses taught during Year One.

We offer various professional development workshops throughout the 20-month program, where 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.

You will also regularly participate in a policy studio component  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 work in a team under the guidance of a faculty member to complete each step of the Project.
  2. Your client presents 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, your team analyzes the problem, gathers data, and works through possible solutions.
  4. You 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 is locally based while at other times may involve national or international travel. The MPPGA program office covers 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 varies by project and is the responsibility of the student. Students have the opportunity to rank their projects of choice prior to being placed on teams.

Customized Support

We offer Work Term placements to all students.

We provide each MPPGA student with individual and customized support to help them find the professional experience that is best for them.

Whether it is through our popular and robust Co-operative education program, UBC’s Work Learn program, assisting a professor with research, or an independent option, you will gain meaningful, professional experience during your first summer in the program.

MPPGA Co-op Program

The MPPGA 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. 

Past 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

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, Goldcorp Inc., BPI, and the City of Richmond.