Public Policy Making

Subject POLS20008 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty contact hours per semester. One x 2-hour lecture 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 120 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:


Dr. Scott Brenton

Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on how government makes policy in Australia while also considering and evaluating the influence of other institutions and key actors in the policy process. Australia's contribution to developing innovative policy is assessed, as well as critically comparing Australia's policy responses to those of other countries. The roles of the individual, the state, the market, non-government organisations, communities and networks are contrasted and critiqued. While theories and models of public policy making underpin the subject, there is an emphasis on the practical application of ideas to solve policy problems in the real world. The subject is designed to provide a professional grounding for future policy analysts, policy advisers and policy practitioners as well as preparing students for undertaking internships.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject should:

  • be able to understand, explain and engage with the policy process and to follow and contribute to policy debates.
  • have a solid understanding of the institutional structures and key actors in the Australian policy process.
  • be able to understand and critically apply competing theories and models of the policy process to actual policy problems.
  • be aware of the political economy of policy making.
  • be able to argue a considered position in oral and written presentations.
  • develop professional skills in policy research, analysis and advice.

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

Hurdle Requirement: This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

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. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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
Generic Skills:

Students who complete this subject should:

  • 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.

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

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development Studies
Development Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Socio-legal Studies Major

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