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Electives on the MPhil in Technology Policy

Students on the MPhil in Technology Policy choose six electives:

  • four electives from the “sectorial & skills” or “enterprise” streams (the enterprise stream focuses on both the public and private sectors)
  • two “open” electives (these can also be drawn from the “sectorial/skills” or “enterprise” lists)

Students on the MPhil in Technology Policy programme choose four electives from the sector-specific/skills-based and the enterprise streams:

Sectorial & skills electives

This module introduces you to two essential and complementary ways of dealing with future uncertainties. On one hand we have diversification, the intuitive notion that you should “not put all your eggs in one basket”, which is ubiquitous in modern management. This exemplifies passive risk management. On the other we have the real options paradigm. This emphasises that future value depends on both unfolding uncertainties, which you cannot control, and the flexibility of your future responses. By investing in research and development projects, for example, companies buy the option to launch a product, which they may or may not exercise, depending on the level of success of the R&D effort and on market conditions at the time of launch. However, flexibility also costs money: R&D expenditure, for example in the biotech industry, can be huge. So how much flexibility shall we build into the system? This is the realm of project design for active risk management. System designers and project managers need tools that help them decide if added flexibility is worth the money. This course gives you a mindset and a suite of tools to tackle such problems. All participants are expected to be familiar with probability and statistics at the level of an introductory undergraduate course.

This course provides a firm foundation in modern electricity policy with an emphasis on the UK, introducing you to a wide variety of mature and emergent electricity generation and demand-side technologies. It also exposes you to the local, regional and global environmental effects of energy use. The course introduces the key considerations of energy policy and develops frameworks by which progress against policy goals may be achieved. Furthermore, it discusses issues with electrification of heating and transport.

You will be able to analyse scenarios for the future UK electricity system out to 2050, evaluate and compare the efficacy of different electricity generation technologies, understand current and future electricity policy options, and appreciate how economics and engineering interact in a sustainable electricity system.

The course equips you with negotiation and strategic skills relevant to high technology organisations, such as negotiations relevant to technology startups (e.g. between investors and firm founders), within the firm (e.g. between management and labour), between firms (as occurs in the building of industrial consortia), and those between firms, government agencies and other stakeholders from civil society. Strategic issues covered include situations of conflict and cooperation under a range of assumptions about timing of actions and the kind of knowledge available to decision makers. We cover bilateral and multilateral negotiations across a range of contexts including cross-cultural and multi-national settings. The course takes the form of a series of workshops based around simulated negotiations that gives you the opportunity to practice and improve your negotiation techniques and strategies.

This module enables you to understand how linear regression and associated statistical techniques are used to estimate causal relationships from primarily cross-sectional, observational data. You are introduced to the principles and methods in data analysis, and their application. By the end of the course you should understand how linear regression and associated statistical techniques are used to estimate causal relationships from cross-sectional data. You will be also able to specify, estimate, test, interpret and critically evaluate single equation regression models, with applications in a variety of subject areas of management, finance and business economics. It is expected that students will be equipped to read and critically evaluate empirical papers in research journals in management.

The module runs twice per week. All Technology Policy students are required to pass a qualifying test based on a summer reading list at the beginning of Michaelmas Term.

Enterprise electives

A circular economy model requires firms in different sectors across the value chain to integrate disruptive technology and design business and financial models that are based on longevity, renewability, reuse, repair, upgrade, refurbishment, serviceability, capacity sharing, and dematerialisation. Organisations still have to take into consideration cost management and control, but they have to think about the financial impact – rethinking products and services and designing end user value propositions that offer increased efficiency, effectiveness, and performance. Despite the importance and potential benefits of the circular economy, the private sector is yet to adopt this new approach at either the strategic or operational level for many different reasons. The circular economy model applies to innovation and entrepreneurship, and government need to create the policy condition to make it develop and thrive and contribute to economic growth and development.

The course links circular economy concepts to entrepreneurship, finance,  innovation and government policy.

This course provides an overview of the innovation process and delves into the steps required to create systemic innovation. The course introduces an over-arching framework through which we can better understand all of the factors involved, see how they interact and diagnose areas of concern. The course then delves deeper into the specific components of the innovation process. The course is taught through a series of readings, case studies and experiential exercises.

In this course you learn how technologies and platforms are developed and leveraged by firms to attain competitive advantage. The course also examines various other challenges that firms currently face including monetisation of online communities, overcoming strategic advantages provided by winner-take-all networks, multi-sided markets, direct and indirect network effects, role of complementors and much more. We discuss real-life cases of a range of industries. Through the application of analytical tools and frameworks in a wide variety of situations you’ll become familiar with the various situations in which managers have to craft strategies and the process that they follow to do it.

You must also choose two open electives in consultation with the Technology Policy faculty. These can be selected from the “sectorial/skills” or “enterprise” streams or, alternatively, from other selected courses offered by Cambridge Judge Business School and the Department of Engineering.

The following is a sample of such courses that students have recently taken:

  • Management of Technology
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Policy, Legislation & Government
  • Resilience of Infrastructure Systems
  • Business Innovation in a Digital Age
  • Business & Social Impact
  • Organisations & Strategic Innovation
  • International Business

Please note that the specific content of the programme varies from year to year. The Student Handbook provided during the Orientation week will show the full list of available modules for your academic year.