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Electives on the MPhil in Technology Policy

Students on the MPhil in Technology Policy choose six electives:

  • two “sectorial & skills” electives
  • two “enterprise stream” electives (focusing on the public or private sector)
  • two “open” electives (drawn from either the “sectorial/skills” or “enterprise stream” lists, or from a select list of other electives)

Students on the MPhil in Technology Policy programme choose two electives from the following sector-specific and skills-based electives:

Strategic Valuation: Uncertainty & Real Options in System Design

This course introduces you to the real options paradigm as a project design and evaluation tool. This paradigm emphasises the value of flexibility in project design and appraisal. For example, a small plant with an expansion option as opposed to building a big plant from the start gives the project manager the flexibility to expand if demand is high, without committing to high capacity a priori, thus avoiding “white elephants”. Thus, flexibility has value. Flexibility also, however, costs money. So how much flexibility shall we build into the system? This course gives you a mindset and a suite of tools to tackle such problems. We expect you to be familiar with probability and statistics at the level of an introductory undergraduate course.

Electricity & Environment

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 technologies and exposing you to the local, regional and global environmental effects of energy use. The course also introduces the key considerations on the pathway towards a fully decarbonised electricity system.

Negotiation Skills

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.

Students on the MPhil in Technology Policy programme choose two electives from the enterprise stream electives (focusing on the public or private sector):

Circular Economy: Entrepreneurial Environment & Policy Implications

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 has been gaining attention on different levels, business, finance, and government policy especially that it is seen as an enabler to achieving sustainability targets in economies.

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

Managing the Innovation Process

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.

Competitive Strategy in the Digital Age: Platform Markets, Network Effects & the New Rules of Strategy

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 other two elective lists on this webpage 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 & Hazard Mitigation in Future Cities
  • Business Innovation in a Digital Age
  • Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Organisations & Strategic Innovation

Please note that the specific content of the programme varies from year to year.