Public Policy Analysis

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Edward Page


This course is available on the BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics, BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


GV101 Introduction to Political Science (or equivalent)

Course content

A systematic examination of the policy process in the context of developed nations. This course introduces key theories and models in the study of public policy and encourages a critical appreciation of the main trends in contemporary public policy-making. The course looks at the different stages of the 'policy cycle' (e.g. agenda-setting, implementation and evaluation), the determinants of public policy (for example, public opinion, political parties, technology) as well as central themes in the study and practice of public policy, such as corruption and policy learning.


15 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

There will be reading weeks in Week 6 of MT and LT.

Indicative reading

Frank R Baumgartner and Christian Breunig (eds) Comparative Policy Agendas, Oxford University Press, 2019; Hal Colebatch and Robert Hoppe Handbook on Policy, Process and Governing Edward Elgar 2018; P Cairney, Understanding Public Policy. Theories and Issues, Palgrave, 2012;  BW Hogwood & A L Gunn, Policy Analysis for the Real World, Oxford University Press, 1984;  J W Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies (2nd edn), HarperCollins, New York 1995.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words).



The Class Summary Grade for General Course students will be calculated as follows:25% attendance, 37.5% formative essay (best essay), 37.5% participation

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2018/19: 35

Average class size 2018/19: 12

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
First 20
2:1 72.5
2:2 6.2
Third 0
Fail 1.2