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School of Politics and International Relations

POLM092 Theories and Concepts of Policy Making

Credits: 30 credits

Semester: Semester A

Timetable: Tuesday 10:00-11:00 (Lecture) & 11:00-12:00 or 12:00-13:00 (Seminars)

Contact: Karl Pike

Availability: Compulsory module for MSc & MRes Public Policy and MSc International Public Policy students


The module introduces students to theories and concepts associated with the analysis of the contemporary policy-making process. It will explore the main approaches to policy-making by firstly focussing on the rational school of public policy. After exploring the limitations of this approach, we will then analyse some alternative perspectives. The remainder of the course is dedicated to exploring the different theoretical perspectives on key themes within the analysis of public policy including: agenda setting; networks; and institutions. By the end of the course successful students will have an understanding of their own position within the field. The course will also provide you with the opportunity to develop skills in applying theoretical concepts to empirical work and vice versa.

Assessment: 100% Coursework (Critical Review & Research Essay)