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The University of Southampton

PAIR2016 Public Policy Analysis

Module Overview

This module introduces key theories and models in the study of public policy and seeks to encourage a critical appreciation of the main trends in contemporary public policy-making. It links policy theory with practical skills of analysis and advocacy.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Identify and evaluate the processes involved in developing policy in its different stages
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use the critical tools of policy analysis to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of specific policies and how they were developed
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use a sophisticated understanding of the policy process to promote practical policy solutions


The study of public policy has been one of the key fields in political science, drawing however on many other social science disciplines, such as economics, law, sociology and social psychology. The past two decades have witnessed considerable changes in public policies, whether in the field of economic, law and order or social policy. This course pays particular attention to underlying theories of policy-making and policy analysis rather than substantive policy domains and encourages cross-national and cross-sectoral comparison. The syllabus covers topics such as: - Agenda-setting and policy framing - Evidence-based policymaking - Participation in the policy process - Implementation - Multi-level policymaking - Wicked policy problems

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Independent Study126
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Presentation  (10 minutes) 40%
Policy brief  ( words) 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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