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Master, Policy Stream: Education and Research

Section #video
Section #objectifs

Description and objectives of the Education and Research policy stream

From the start of the 2024 academic year, Sciences Po's School of Public Affairs will offer a new stream entitled 'Education and Research Policy'. The creation of this stream reflects our conviction that education is a major political and social challenge for the future. It also responds to strong interest from students and to demand from many public and private players in the sector. It is the first in France to cover the entire field of education and research, combining academic knowledge, professional experience and cross-disciplinary skills with the aim of enabling students to embark on a wide range of careers. It is aimed at students who wish to move into the public or private sector in France or abroad. 

The School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po trains experts capable of exercising strategic and operational responsibilities within the Education and Research Policy stream. Through training based on a multidisciplinary and in-depth approach to public policy issues in school education, higher education, research and vocational training, the stream will enable students to acquire fundamental knowledge as well as essential practical skills in the management of educational organisations and project management. The vast majority of courses will be taught in French.

Teachers are Sciences Po researchers specialising in education and in higher education and research, as well as professionals in the sector. Teachers in the stream include Agnès Van Zanten (Sciences Po, CRIS), Christine Musselin (Sciences Po, CSO), Jean-François Chanet (Sciences Po, Centre d'histoire), Marco Oberti (Sciences Po, CRIS) and Bénédicte Robert (Rectrice, Académie de Poitiers).

Section #cours

Courses specific to the Education and Research policy stream

The Education and Research Policy stream can be taken as part of two Master's degrees: the Master in Public Policy or the Master in European Affairs.

  • The Master in Public Policy offers courses that provide in-depth, comparative and cross-disciplinary knowledge in the field of public affairs, combining economic, legal, political and social approaches.
  • The Master in European Affairs offers excellent training for students wishing to pursue careers in Europe, whether in the European public sector, the private sector or European and international organisations. 

The School of Public Affairs' Education and Research Policy stream is based on six multidisciplinary core courses that combine theoretical knowledge and practical skills. 

Fundamental and elective courses enable students to understand and respond to the contemporary challenges facing education and research and all those involved in public affairs - ethics, digital transition, inclusive and sustainable policies, democratic issues.

The Policy Lab enables students to work on case studies and simulations in the incubator, and to design and implement public policy projects. This enables them to develop the practical skills they will need in the future, such as group work, negotiation, leading change and management.

Section #maquettes

Mandatory courses in the Education and Research policy stream

Master 1, semester 1

History and philosophy of education and research (M1) - In French
Major challenges in education, higher education and research policy (M1) - In French

Master 1, semester 2

Governance of the education, higher education and research system (M1) - In French
Sociology of Education (M1) - In French

Master 2, semester 3

Economics of Education and Research (M2) - In French
Comparative Education and Research Policies (M2) - in English

Master 2, semester 4

Off-campus semester

Elective courses in the Education and Research policy stream

  • Learning in the digital age
  • Education, development and international cooperation
  • Public policy challenges associated with urban and school segregation
  • From deindustrialisation to reindustrialisation, the rise of vocational training
  • Youth policies
  • French and European research project management
  • Modernising the HR function to tackle the crisis in the attractiveness of the civil service

Programme of the Education and Research Policy Stream

Section #debouches

These 2-year masters are open exclusively to initial training. The second year can be done as an apprenticeship.

Career opportunities after the education and research policy stream

Graduates of the Education and Research Policy stream can pursue careers in the public or private sector, in France or abroad.

In the public sector, they can take competitive or contract positions:

  • The State civil service within the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of National Education: central administrations, decentralised services (rectorates, academic inspectorates, DRARI, rectorates ESRI) and higher education establishments
  • Local and regional civil servants: education and training departments of county councils, regional council research departments, education and youth departments of major conurbations, etc.
  • Research organisations (INRAE, Institut Pasteur, CNRS, etc.)
  • State agencies and large organisations (ANR, HECERES, SGPI, France Stratégie)

In the private sector, they may work in : 

  • The CSR departments of major groups, corporate foundations, charitable foundations and associations 
  • The voluntary sector and the social economy 
  • Consulting firms 
  • EdTech and business schools 
  • Grandes écoles
  • private groups specialising in education 

Abroad, they can join : 

  • the diplomatic network: embassies and consulates, the network of French Institutes
  • European institutions 
  • Higher education institutions abroad
  • development and cooperation agencies (Campus France, AFD, Alliances françaises, UNESCO, International Bureau of Education, OECD)
  • Positions in France or abroad with institutional conferences (France Universités, CDEFI, CDEFM, CGE)
  • donors and investment funds
  • Journals specialising in higher education (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • public school networks

Events of the education and research policy stream

Coming up: panel discussions, masterclasses, simulations...

Section #conseil

Scientific advisor of the education and research policy stream

Bénédicte Robert has been Rector of the Académie de Poitiers since September 2019. She holds an agrégation in English and a master's degree and doctorate in education, training and change management from Sciences Po. She was appointed Rector after managing the creation of the Institut des hautes études de l'éducation et de la formation (IH2EF) (national education management school) and working at the European Commission as a national expert in the education sector.

As a Fulbright laureate, Bénédicte Robert has also been awarded a national prize for innovation in the civil service.

Section #contacts