Why Are Capstone Projects Important to MPS Students at Dyson?

The problem-solving project is the signature learning experience of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Economics and Management program. This project provides students with the opportunity to explore problems through a behavioral, quantitative, or qualitative lens. The objective of the capstone project is for students to understand how business problems can be addressed with empirical methods. Students start their problem-solving project planning in September and regularly make presentations demonstrating progress and obtaining feedback. They execute their project in the spring semester. The final output is an in-depth report that is presented to the class, a faculty panel, and external clients (if any) in May.

Goals of the Capstone Projects

The primary outcomes for the course can be expressed as four main abilities.

  • Teamwork ability to work effectively in small groups with equitable allocation of work among group members.
  • Problem Focus ability to select and define a project problem demonstrating relevant knowledge and articulating its significance.
  • Project Design and Workplan ability to develop and execute a methodologically rigorous research design and identify and carry out key project tasks and outputs.
  • Presentation of Progress ability to write about, present, and discuss the project in class with analytical rigor.

An overarching objective is to help students approach problem-solving projects critically by drawing on the principles of social sciences to assess the integrity of research and judge the validity of findings.

Featured Capstone Projects

Food Waste + Grocery Shopping Habits

Circular Economy: Food Surplus in Consumer Grocery Shopping Decisions
The project relates to consumer education impacting buying habits; relates to environmental concerns, and is a good example of “economics is everywhere” and how it relates to the general public.

Telehealth Adoption During/Resulting From COVID-19

Telehealth Adoption
The project ties to technology and healthcare, addresses a global issue at a local level, involves consumer sentiment, and involves a real-life project sponsor.

Impacts of Land Quota in System in Chongqing (China)

The Impacts of Chongqing Land Quota System: A Comparison Study
The project ties to agribusiness and international development (and as it relates to economic growth) and how research can impact policy. It highlights the challenges of urbanization on rural farmers and illustrates shows how students can use existing data resources to pursue comparative research.

Monetary Rewards in Exchange for Data & Gen Z

Effect of Monetary Rewards and Data Privacy Levels on Gen Z’s Willingness to Share Data

The project ties to fintech and showcases another partner relationship (FreedomPay). This timely and relevant topic touches on the rise in concern over internet privacy and focuses on demographics and consumer behavior.

COVID-19 & Movie Distribution in the U.S.

The Effect Of COVID-19 On Movie Distribution Within The U.S.

The project looks at how an industry responds in real-time to a global pandemic. This case study is a good example of how economics relates to everyday consumer decisions.

Currency Neglect & International Purchase Patterns

Currency Neglect and Its Effect on International Consumers’ Purchase Patterns
The project studies consulting and consumer packaged goods (and retail in general) and focuses on using consumer behavior to inform global pricing strategies.

Through the MPS problem-solving project, students may collaborate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, large and small companies, and startups generating innovative approaches and fresh perspectives to business challenges. If you are interested in working with a student team, we encourage you to contact the Dyson MPS program through the link below.