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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


MSc Placement-Based Dissertations

MSc Placement-Based Dissertations

Graduate students on selected MSc programmes are eligible to apply to an 8-10 week placement with an external organisation. During this placement, students will undertake a specific, short-term research assignment, which will then inform their MSc dissertation.

Eligible programmes:

  • African Studies
  • Africa and International Development
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Global Environment, Politics and Society
  • Global Health Policy
  • Health Policy
  • International and European Politics
  • International Development (on-campus & online)
  • Management of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Nationalism Studies
  • Policy Studies
  • Public Policy
  • Science and Technology in Society
  • Social Research
  • Sociology and Global Change

The Placement Advisor based in the School’s Student Development Office coordinates this activity. In 2018/19, over 70 placements took place with organisations based in Asia, Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom. 

Putting Learning into Practice

Placement-based dissertations provide excellent opportunities for students to think through theoretical ideas in real-world contexts and to gain transferable skills through applied, practical experience with host organisations. 

Students can either:

  • Choose from projects that have been organised by the University of Edinburgh (advertised-placements)


  • Propose and arrange their placement - following consultation with their Programme Director and the Work Placement Advisor (student-led placements) 

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