Policy@Manchester Student Academic Day – Monday 23 March 2020

by | Feb 25, 2020

Policy Training Session for University of Manchester Students – open postgraduates and undergraduates – Monday 23 March 9.30am – 4pm, Barnes Wallis Building, North Campus

Are you interested in understanding the ‘policy’ world? How decisions that affect us all are made? How research is used to inform politicians’ views?

Policy@Manchester is holding a one day training session on 23 March aimed at University of Manchester students across all subjects and disciplines. The session will be led by Andy Westwood, Professor in Government Practice with Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Public First.

This intense and interactive day is based on the UoM 2019 Policy Boot Camp format. It will begin with a mix of the theory from Andy Westwood’s An Introduction to Policy Making module interspersed with real life case studies presented by GMCA policy officials. You will then role play how policy makers might respond to example pieces of research before Public First guides you through designing your own ‘focus group’ and ‘poll’ to help answer the questions from your analysis of piece of research.

Be prepared to learn by doing and work in teams – this is not a lecture format and you will get out of this what you put in. The only prerequisites are that you interested in the policy process and willing to actively participate. You do not need to have a politics education or expertise in the case studies – this is aimed at any academic background.

Still interested?

Great! This is what we expect you to do before the session:

  • Email policy@manchester.ac.uk letting them know you would like to attend – booking is essential
  • Take 10 minutes to complete the application form that will be emailed to you.
    Skim over some of the pre-course reading that will be sent out to you after you complete the application form. This shouldn’t take too much time out of your normal routine.
  • Google GMCA and Public First – if you’re aiming to impress them, asking what they do or how they work might not help.
  • In early March, research papers that are associated with the challenge you’d like to focus on will be sent out to you. Have a read of them before 23 March – perhaps do some digging around if those papers pose any questions – this shouldn’t take more than 45 to 60 mins.

Venue: Barnes Wallis Room, Barnes Wallis Building (next to Manchester Meeting Place), North Campus.

Time: 9.30 (tea/coffee available) for a prompt 10.00 start to 16.00 [tea/coffee and lunch provided]

Equipment: Bring something to connect to the internet for research and completing some of the exercises (fully charged if possible, but there should be power points around the room) If you can’t bring a device or you run out of battery, there’ll be paper versions available.

Registration: Email policy@manchester.ac.uk


  • I can’t attend the whole session, can I still come along? The course is designed as a sequential session so priority will be given to those who can do the whole day. If you can’t attend for the whole session, let us know and if there’s space, we’ll let you know.
  • Will there be a certificate at the end of the course? No, this is not a certified module. It’s aimed to give you some practical experience. Stelify or UCIL (if you want something accredited) are both great initiatives to get involved with too.
  • Are you running the course again? We’re not planning on running this course again, but if there’s strong demand we will consider it
  • Will you be circulating the course material or be recording the session? No, this is an interactive session and the materials and any recordings will not make sense as standalone materials.
  • Can I select a different research paper to look at during the course? No. The papers will be associated with each case study. We’re specifying which ones so we can be prepared to help you analyse it.
  • Is this different to the 2019 Policy Boot Camp? The morning will be based on some of the elements of the Policy Boot Camp. The afternoon will focus on practicing developing a focus group and polling methodology rather than a policy briefing.
  • I’m a reflective, rather than instinctive thinker and this session sounds too fast paced. Will it be useful for me? Definitely! If you are a reflective thinker, then you might find it helpful spend more time reading over the research paper. The pre-course work is also developed for reflective thinking.
  • Where’s the application form? Email policy@manchester.ac.uk letting them know you would like to register and they will send you one out.
  • Will there be internship opportunities available on completion? No, not through this one day session.The 2019 Boot Camp was designed to provide participants with insights into the policy process in order to apply for internships. This one day session is designed to provide you with an insight on how research is used in a policy context, and this will stand you in good stead for an application for a policy organisation. Public First do take on interns, and they’ll outline how to apply at the end of the session.