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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


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
  • Childhood Studies
  • 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 Work Placement Advisor based in the School’s Student Development Office coordinates placements. In 2018/19, offered over 70 placements were offered 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 organise their own placement - following consultation with their Programme Director and the Work Placement Advisor (student-led placements)  

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