Approaches and Issues in Public Policy and Administration

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Edward Page CON3.05


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University) and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course is designed to introduce MSc students to major issues in understanding public administration and policy. Students will be divided into two classes and each class will be taught for the whole 24 weeks by the same tutors. 20 of the lectures will reflect the topics to be covered in the classes which remain the focus of the course and some of the lectures may be given by other colleagues teaching on the MSc degree as well as by outside speakers. Additional Visiting Professor lectures will be arranged for the Lent term. The core of the course will consist of 20 classes (+3 revision) that will deal with key themes in Public Policy and Public Administration. Compulsory for students on MSc Public Policy and Administration and the LSE-PKU Double Degree in Public Administration and Government.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the MT and the LT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

Three formative essays, two in the Michaelmas Term and one in the Lent Term and a mock examination.

Indicative reading

BG Peters (2009) The Politics of Bureaucracy; CC Hood (1998) The Art of the State; M Howlett and M. Ramesh (1995) Studying Public Policy; W Parsons (1995) Public Policy; CC Hood and M Lodge (2006) The Politics of Public Service Bargains; P Cairney (2012) Understanding Public Policy.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words).

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 9.9
Merit 62.8
Pass 27.3
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2014/15: 46

Average class size 2014/15: 15

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 91.1%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)