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Launch of new MA Government Studies

The insider’s view of how government really works

Update from Professor Jon Davis OBE:

I have waited fifteen years to write this: applications are now open for our first full Masters programme, the ‘MA Government Studies’ – an evolution of our innovative academic-practitioner, theory and practice approach to the contemporary history of British Government, and the first education offering of the Policy Institute at King’s College London.

The programme builds upon our long-running and hugely popular postgraduate modules: ‘Prime Ministers & No.10 Downing Street’, in unique partnership with No.10; ‘Chancellors and the Treasury: Managing the British Economy’, again in exclusive partnership this time with HM Treasury; ‘London: Governing the Global City; and ‘The New Labour Years: The Blair Brown Revolution’.

Students with David Cameron in 2023

To these we are adding three all-new modules: ‘The Conservative Years: Governing in an Age of Turmoil’, focusing on the governments from 2010, which continues our reputation for ultra-contemporary history; ‘The History of The Civil Service: Evolution of the Machinery of Government’, in partnership with the Cabinet Office, which will examine our impartial Civil Service from the Northcote-Trevelyan Report of 1854 right up to the present day; and ‘Making Modern Britain: Pivotal Prime Ministerial Decisions’, which will utilise Kennedy School-style case study learning to focus upon leadership and decision-making through declassified Cabinet minutes to explain how Britain became a nuclear weapons nation under Clement Attlee through to the Huawei panic under Boris Johnson.

Enthusiastic and expert teaching has always been core to our activities with a team which alongside me includes Professor Ed Balls, Dr Jack Brown and Dr Michelle Clement, with practitioners such as former Prime Ministers and Chancellors, Cabinet Secretaries and Permanent Secretaries.

There will be other excellent dimensions to the new MA: Professor Sir Michael Barber, Head of the Delivery Unit under Tony Blair and first Chair of the Office for Students, will join us to help oversee the dissertation component – no-one knows how governments work both in the UK and internationally better than him; The Independent’s John Rentoul will formally join us to provide not only his encyclopaedic political knowledge but also a journalist’s eye for clear communication with writing tutorials; and all will be underpinned by the unrivalled network of civil servants, politicians, and those from the media and industry who have made the Strand (previously Mile End) Group events so successful over the past twenty years.

Admission is being limited to only thirty places in order to create a true cohort feel and all teaching classes will be face-to-face. There will be some fully-funded studentships from partners such as Amazon Web Services. This new website explains all this in more detail and you can apply for the MA here.

I personally am so excited for this new MA Government Studies – the insider’s view of ‘How government really works’ (as Blair once explained to us). Come and study with us – beginning September 2024!

Jon Davis OBE

Professor of Government Education

Director, The Strand Group
The Policy Institute, King’s College London

Tony Blair speaks to students