BSG Co-founders wanted!

(c) John Cairns

Students and staff at the ground breaking of our new building.

Our newest MPP and DPhil classes have now safely arrived and a new BSG year has started. As always this means that the Admissions Team has passed on the incoming classes to our very competent colleagues in the Programmes Team and I will now start focusing exclusively on preparing for our Classes of 2015.

The year ahead will be a ground breaking one for several reasons. The classes of 2015 will be the first in our new state of the art facility being constructed in the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and will as such play a pivotal role as co-founders of the next phase of BSG development. Moving into the new building also means that we will be offering 120 MPP places and approximately five DPhil places for entry in 2015.

In preparing for our new building, we have also thoroughly evaluated our admissions process and worked on clarifying the information we provide you. A brand new admissions website has been created by the central Graduate Admissions team of the University, that hosts all necessary information on how to apply and on the selection criteria for our DPhil and MPP programmes. This site is the single authoritative source for all such information. The BSG website provides supplementary information to the selection criteria and introduces you further to life at BSG.

No new ground can however be broken without individuals to break it, so if you want to be a part of building the future of BSG now is the time to apply! I hope the new website will help you in answering all your questions concerning what programmes we offer, why you should study with us and how to do so.

For further information on what the key changes to our programmes are please read below:

Key MPP changes compared to last year consists of changes in the supporting materials required to apply:

  1. We will no longer be seeking GRE/GMAT/LSAT scores and you should therefore not submit these scores as part of your application.
  2. Our policy analysis essay has been reduced from 2,000 to 1,500 words. As always these are maximum, not minimum limits.
  3. We have clearly published our three main selection criteria of academic excellence, commitment to public service and demonstrable leadership/impact for you to address in your supporting materials.

Key DPhil changes compared to last year consist mainly in clarification of our language concerning what the characteristics of a successful research project are. Generally your proposed research project and the motivation for doing it should fulfil the following three overarching criteria:

  1. You should investigate a topic drawing on more than one academic discipline, but with a firm research skills base in one core academic discipline.
  2. You should investigate a topic that poses a current or future challenge to Public Policy.
  3. You should use your research to advance and improve public service.

Overall, we have firstly clarified our language on the amount of guidance we can offer prospective applicants. By clearly stating our selection criteria we hope to have given you all the information necessary to determine whether your application would meet them. If in doubt, apply rather than contacting us. The only way we can fairly comment on your application and suitability for either our MPP or DPhil is through the outcomes of our assessment process. In particular for the DPhil, then, unlike many other programmes, you should not contact faculty directly for guidance, but rather judge your suitability yourself.

Secondly, we have also updated our English language policy in that you must submit an English Language Test Result or a waiver request explaining the reason why you cannot submit one before your application can be assessed. All our courses are very high paced and meeting our English Language requirements are essential for on course success and hence also the success of your application

Finally, I would encourage you to apply early, as our initial assessment will start before the deadline, although no final decisions will be made until after we have the complete field. By applying early you also give yourself the time for any mistakes in your application to be identified and where possible corrected.

The start of a new admissions year is always just as exciting for me as it is for you. Through my two years at BSG, I have had the privilege of engaging with what must be some of the strongest applications in the world. I am sure that this year will be no different and I cannot wait!

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