GV478E      Half Unit
Political Science and Public Policy

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simon Hix CON3.07 and Dr Andrew Eggers


This course is compulsory on the Executive Master of Public Administration and Executive Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.


There are no pre-requisites, but recommended advance reading is given below.

Course content

This course introduces a range of theoretical and empirical tools to analyse the politics of public policymaking. The main focus is on political institutions and political behaviour in modern democracies and how they relate to public policy. This includes topics such as elections, representation, bureaucracy, delegation, accountability, interest groups, legislatures, executives and decentralisation.


A one-week modular teaching block.

Formative coursework

One mock examination will be provided.

Indicative reading

Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior and Instititutions by Kenneth Shepsle (W.W. Norton, 2nd edition, 2010) is an excellent starting point and reference for many topics. A full reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the course.


Essay (50%, 2000 words) and online assessment (50%).

Please note that online examinations take place on the third Friday after the module teaching concludes. Assessed essays are due on the sixth Friday after module teaching concludes. Further details will be provided at the Executive MPA programme induction.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Communication