Public Policy Making

Subject POLS20008 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty contact hours per semester. 2 x one hour lectures and 1 x one hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points at first year in Politics and International Studies, or one of the Faculty of Arts' Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects.
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: Firsty year Politics and International Studies
Non Allowed Subjects: 672-372 Public Policy Making
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:


Dr. Tom Davis

Subject Overview:

Who makes the public decisions that impact on all aspects of society? How do they make them? Is our society better off for the policies that result? These are the sorts of questions public policy analysts (government policy advisers, NGOs, and academics) must struggle with daily. In Public Policy Making students are introduced to the various attempts to resolve these issues. They examine how public policy has been conceptualised by the academics, and are then taken through the "practical" processes of policy making in the real world of government and non-government actors. By the end of the subject they will have an improved, critical understanding of what public policy is and how it comes about. For some students this will be the beginning of a long engagement with public policy in both study and work. all students will have expanded their understanding of the political and social world in which they live.

  • have a thorough grasp of the political economy of policy making.
  • understand the formation and role of policy institutions.
  • have skills in policy research.
  • have the ability to undertake case studies.
Assessment: A Policy Research Paper of 3,000 words (75%) due in early October, and a 1000 word Take-home Exam (25%) due in the examination period.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

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
Generic Skills:
  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays.
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations.
  • be able to communicate knowledge ideologically and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion.
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision.
  • be able to participate in team work through small group discussions.
Notes: Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Bachelor of Public Policy and Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development Studies
Development Studies
Development Studies Major
Environmental Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics && International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Socio-legal Studies Major

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