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Public Policy Making

Module code: POPP 3401

Module description

Education, health, housing, climate change, social care, corporate governance, youth employment, security... Policies are all around us and shape our everyday lives. But have you ever wondered how they are made? And what makes some policies work and others fail? This module answers these questions, exploring the 'how' and 'why' behind public decision-making and the formulation of public policies. Using a range of theoretical approaches and working with real-world case studies, it considers how different political forces, ideas and ideologies, policy instruments and institutional pressures, interact to shape the way in which public policies are formulated, implemented and evaluated. In the first semester, the module critically examines the challenge of addressing policy controversies, exploring different accounts of the policy cycle, and why policies succeed or fail. In the second semester, its attention turns to questions of policy design and the different tools and instruments open to policymakers as they strive to make more effective and better policies.

Contact hours per student per year

  • Workshops: 60 hours


  • Essay: 35%
  • Reflective diary entries: 10%
  • Group presentation: 20%
  • Unseen exam: 35%

Additional costs: No extra costs other than purchase of books