SSST Subjects

PS340 Public Policy


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BA in Political Science and International Relations

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications



Module Code



Module coordinator

Maja Savic-Bojanic


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • This module is designed to introduce students to the main concepts and issues in the study of public policy and the fundamentals of policy analysis.
  • The module gives an overview of the public policy field, the main theories and concepts applied in the study of public policy, the policy process and its actors, as well as tools used for policy analysis.
  • The module has an extensive practical focus, which will enable students to understand the public policy cycle, from problem definition and agenda setting to policy implementation and monitoring and finally evaluation.
  • Special focus will be on policy writing and advocacy, as core skills that all students will acquire on completion of the module.
  • It is designed in such a way as to allow for students’ reflection on the contemporary public policy development by advancing both their knowledge of the subject matter and their analytical skills.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • Introduction to public policy

  • Defining public policy and policy content

  • The public policy community

  • Mapping a problem space

  • The policy cycle and the policy network

  • Power, people and pluralism

  • The Rational Policy Model / Critiques of the Rational Model

  • The Non-Rational (Political Model)

  • The five step method (methodologies, data gathering, etc.)

  • Policy options

  • Public problems and policy alternatives

  • Analysis of select policy case studies


Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time
Lectures 15 2 hours 30 hours
Tutorials 15 2 hours 30 hours
Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 140
Total Contact Hours 60
Total Engagement Hours 200

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline

Final Exam


3 hours


End of semester

Mid-semester test


2 hours


Week 8

Policy study and written brief (paper)


2000 words


Week 13

Seminar work 


1 hour


Each week


Module Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Evaluate the main concepts in the study of public policy

  • Analytically engage with issues related to public policy development

  • Critically understand the main actors, processes and stages involved in public policy development

  • Evaluate the relevance of the study of public policy in the wider context of contemporary political praxis, and effectively communicate ideas in a group settings.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course readings and class discussions allow in-depth analysis of topical material(ILO: 1-4)

  • Set in-class exercises, practical case-study evaluation and group seminar work allow students to exercise communication skills in a class setting, and explore key topics with tutor-lead support (ILO: 1-4)

  • Lectures provide core information and are complemented by tutorials (seminars)(ILO: 1-3)

  • Students will research, prepare and write a policy brief as part of this module allowing them to gain a good understanding and engage more thoroughly in the topic of Public Policy. (ILO:

Assessment Strategy:

  • Mid-term exam (ILO:1-4)

  • policy study and brief (ILO:1,2)

  • Seminar work (case study exercises) (ILO:1-4)

  • Final Exam (ILO:1-4)

Practical Skills:

  • Interpret public policy related processes and practices using the tools and concepts of public policy study

  • Interpret and reformat information relating to public policies in basic terms

  • Distinguish key techniques of policy data-gathering, their advantages and disadvantages

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Practical case-study exercises with tutor-lead support (PS:1-3)

  • Policy brief (PS:1,2)

  • Lectures (PS: 1-2)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Mid-term exam (PS:1-3)

  • policy study and brief (PS:1,2)

  • Seminar work (case study exercises) (PS:1-3)

  • Final Exam (PS:1-3)

Transferable Skills:

  • Presentation skills

  • Communication skills: oral and written

  • Team working skills

  • Analytical thinking

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course readings and class discussions (TS 2-4)

  • Lectures and in-class exercises (TS:2-4)

  • Seminar work (TS: 1-4)

  • Public policy papers (TS: 2,4)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Mid-term exam (TS: 2,4)

  • policy study and brief (TS: 2,4)

  • Final Exam (TS: 2,4)


Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Clemons, R., McBeth, M., (2016)., Public Policy Praxis: A Case Approach for Understanding Policy and Analysis. 3 Edition, Pearson Longman.

  • Young, Eoin & Quinn, Lisa. (2003). Writing Effective Public Policy Papers. A Guide for Policy Advisers in Central and Eastern Europe. Open Society Institute.

Supplementary Resources

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.

The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : June 2016

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee: 19th April 2017

Date approved by School Board of Study : 26th April 2017

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee: 10th May 2017

Date of Annual Review: 31st December 2018


Visit us

Hrasnička cesta 3a, Sarajevo, 71 000

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Entrance Exams are held at SSST, from April to September, starting at 9:00 a.m.

Contact us

Tel: +387 33 975 002

Fax: +387 33 975 030

Download brochure

Get the manual for freshman and prepare
for SSST Entrance Exam.

Download Download here

SSST © 2024 All rights reserved