The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR3025 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

Module Aims

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. The key aims are: - To critically examine the policy process - To develop sophisticated analytical skills for thinking about how to impact real-world policymaking - To understand and practice a wider variety of 'real world' communication skills

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

Syllabus

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

The module consists of 12 2-hour workshops - structured sessions that combine lecturer-led discussion, individual and group activities, and interaction. Full attendance is expected. Students will spend some of this class time working in their presentation groups , and the content of the workshops will be focused on the successive stages of the assignment. At the start of the course, each group will be choose a topic for their briefing. Students will receive guidance on key readings and suggested resources, evidence or data sources to use.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Workshops24
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Group presentation  (10 minutes) 40%
Policy brief  (2000 words) 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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