Public Policy Making

Subject POLS20008 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours per semester. Two x 1-hour lectures and one x 1-hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Level 1

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Mr Scott Clarey


Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on one of the tangible outcomes of the political process, with public policy often at the centre of contests for and over political power. Public policy has traditionally been designed and implemented by governments but increasingly market actors, non-government organisations, policy communities and networks are key actors, while many policy problems are global issues and beyond the purview of a single national government. Within governments, political advisors, lobbyists and interest groups are arguably usurping the influence of public servants, while politicians are answerable through the media and to the party and cabinet rooms, and less so to the parliament. Finally, the ‘public’ is not a homogenous group and certain forms of action privilege some groups over others. Using cases of both innovative and failed policies, this subject considers how problems are effectively framed and how ideas and evidence can be practically applied to policy solutions. The aim of this subject is to provide a professional grounding for future policy officers and analysts, political advisors and government relations practitioners as well as preparing students for undertaking internships.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • be able to explain, deconstruct and evaluate policy debates in terms of political interests, forms of evidence and media agendas;
  • be able to structure policy problems to resonate with different publics and politicians;
  • be able to assess and critique the power and influence of a range of political actors and institutional structures and how they can impede or facilitate effective policy making;
  • be able to identify, examine and appraise competing theories and models of policy making;
  • be able to design innovative policies and identify implementation challenges.

  • A policy brief of 1,500 words (40%) due mid-semester.
  • A policy research paper of 2,500 words (60%) due in the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Althaus, C., Bridgman, P. & Davis, G. (2012) The Australian Policy Handbook (Fifth edition), Sydney, Allen & Unwin.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Development Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies

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