Dr David Reiner (Associate Professor in Technology Policy): “So the MPhil in Technology Policy, which is based at Cambridge Judge Business School, is a really unique opportunity for students who have had a very strong technical background – whether that’s in the sciences or engineering or perhaps even in some of the social sciences – to come to Cambridge for a year to learn about economics, to learn about policy, to confront some of the really toughest issues of our age. I think there are a number of real benefits of coming on the course that really are fairly unique globally if you look at the landscape of programmes in this area.
“We aren’t narrowly focused on a specific sector. The name ‘Technology Policy’ is intentionally meant to bridge a range of sectors which share some really interesting and confront some really interesting challenges. So whether that’s a big tech, whether that’s the energy sector and meeting the challenges of achieving carbon neutrality and net zero, or whether that’s biomedical policy and the challenges that we’ve all faced over the course of the global pandemic in 2020 and 2021. I think these sort of policy areas often operate in silos. And one of the things that we try and do here is bridge those different silos, bring together the lessons across sectors and I think also uniquely bring together insights from around the world.”
Zara Cheema (MPhil in Technology Policy alumna): “I decided to do the MPhil in Technology Policy as I have a background in technology management. And I wanted to see how involved the government would be when regulating technology such as autonomous vehicles or nonfungible tokens. The programme also offers electives from the Engineering Department so you are able to really personalise the course to whatever you’d like to study. And you can dive deeper into the elements that interest you the most.
“The Technology Policy programme has taught me how to maintain professional working relationships. As part of our course, we had to undertake a Final Group Project, which kind of acted like a consultancy project. So we had to come up with a solution for an established firm. And that taught me how to think creatively which is something that I wanted to achieve when I started this programme.”
Jonathan Chan (MPhil in Technology Policy alumnus): “I applied to the MPhil in Technology Policy programme because I knew that it would help me make the transition from scientist to policy maker, and also provide me with valuable perspectives and frameworks for dealing with really complex emerging issues like climate change, regulating big tech, and guarding our civil liberties in the digital age. So students in the Technology Policy programme take a series of interdisciplinary modules that provide solid grounding in economics, policy analysis, and business strategy. And through these modules, I really felt that I was able to develop a strong foundation for approaching a wide variety of policy issues, such as evaluating a government’s decarbonisation strategy, as well as learn some useful practical skills for identifying business opportunities created by new technologies.
“I feel so grateful to have met such incredible people through the programme and to have developed close friendships with many of my peers who have such an incredible range of interests and backgrounds and talents. I’ve definitely made lifelong friends here, and I’m just really excited to see how each of us makes a positive difference in the world after we leave Cambridge.”
The MPhil in Technology Policy is an intensive masters programme for those with science or engineering backgrounds. Over nine months, you’ll develop skills in integrating technology, management, economics, and policy.
With a focus on business-government interaction, you will learn to:
- Anticipate technology trends
- Analyse and influence legislative developments
- Identify business opportunities created by policy initiatives, regulation, and legislation
- Understand wider political and institutional context.
You will be supported throughout by Cambridge Judge Business School faculty working in operations, strategy, marketing, finance, and especially in economics and policy.
Applications for entry in 2022/23 have now closed.
Applications for entry in October 2023 will open in September 2022.
A life-changing year at the nexus of business and government
We take scientists and engineers from the engine room to the bridge, giving you deep insight into dynamic sectors like energy, ICT, biomedicine, and logistics.
Learning to operate at the intersection of the public and private sectors, you’ll address questions like:
- What’s the future of our digital economy?
- How will we meet the challenges of big data, privacy, and the digital divide?
- How do we develop new models for education provision, collaboration, and banking?
- How will artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics impact the economy and employment?
- How will our energy systems transform to balance security, competitiveness, affordability and sustainability?
- Can society get better at dealing with natural and man-made emergencies?
- How will shifting demographics impact social cohesion?
- What tools can best help us anticipate emerging technology trends?
- How do governments formulate policy, and how do businesses react?
Alumnus Ed Klinger explains what made him choose the Cambridge MPhil in Technology Policy.
Why did you choose the MPhil in Technology Policy?
I’ve taken this MPhil in Technology Policy because I have a background in engineering science. And I wanted to better understand the social and political dimensions of technology more generally. So this course allows me to understand how governments, and how businesses, can use technology to make the world a better place.
What it’s like being based in a business school?
So I’m really happy that the course is based in the business school. It’s got fantastic resources available. The library is amazing, the staff are really, really helpful. It’s a great social hub as well. It brings together a whole range of different courses, business and otherwise.
It’s also a fantastic location in Cambridge itself. It’s right in the centre of town. It’s a two-minute walk from King’s Parade, and it’s really close to a bunch of restaurants and cafes. And it’s just a lovely place to be.
What are the classes like?
So the teaching is of a very high quality, I would say. It’s fantastic having some of the world experts lecture you about what they know and love. The classes are incredibly interactive as well. So we often end up having furious debates which last hours amongst students and amongst teachers as well. So that’s one of the things that I like the most about this course actually.
… and the electives?
So the programme offers a wide range of electives. You can focus on engineering electives, on more political electives. So for example I’ve been focusing on autonomous vehicles, drones. There’s the options take nanotechnology courses. There’s the option to learn about the EU.
It gives a very broad understanding of technology generally. I think that’s among the most impressive parts of the programme. I like the fact that it’s based both in Cambridge Judge Business School and in the Engineering department. It gives a very broad understanding of technology and society.
Why do you think that technology policy is important?
I basically think that technology is a unstoppable force. And it’s up to us — governments, businesses, individuals — to understand it as best we can, and use it to be a force for good in the world.
The MPhil in Technology Policy is an intensive nine-month programme, including three academic terms and requiring study in both the Christmas and Easter vacations. The emphasis throughout the year is on group and coursework.
The MPhil in Technology Policy programme consists of:
- six core courses (plus a pre-term Introduction to Microeconomics module)
- six electives (two sectorial/skills electives, two enterprise stream electives and two open electives)
- a written group project report and PowerPoint presentation based on work with a major technology-intensive organisation
- Technology Policy guest speaker events
The MPhil in Technology Policy programme is linked up with the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP). We are delighted to offer students guest speaker sessions with CSaP Fellows throughout the academic year. Visit the CSaP website to find out more.
Please note that the precise content of the programme is subject to change.
Your MPhil in Technology Policy degree corresponds to 12 modules of equal weight, and a Final Group Project which is double-weighted.
In order to obtain the degree you will need to attain:
- 60% on the Final Group Project
- 60% as an average over the required core modules
- 60% as an average over the elective modules
- an average of 60% overall
The core modules are assessed primarily by formal examinations. Electives may be assessed by formal examinations, term papers, regular written assignments, and some form of class participation. Some team grading is used, as appropriate.