Consists of an 18,000-20,000 word dissertation on a subject that reflects your studies.
The Policymaking Process and Comparative Public Policy
This unit offers an introduction to the field of comparative public policy. The course material will consider the aims and methods of comparative inquiry. It will survey a range of theoretical approaches used to make sense of policy processes and outcomes and it will consider the important issues confronting policymakers, with an eye to making sense of variation and convergence in states policies in these areas. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to consider how theories of policy-making fare in explaining real world outcomes and the degree to which comparison yields insights beyond what might be expected from single country studies. Students will be encouraged to consider how they could apply lessons from the case studies to future careers as policymakers.
Social Science Research Methods
This unit covers a broad range of social science research techniques. On completion you will have covered the most widely used research methods in social science and will have had a chance to apply both qualitative and quantitative analytic strategies to the examination of empirical data as well as preparing for your dissertation.
Ethics and Standards in Public Life
This course explores ethics in public services as an applied discipline. It examines the underlying assumptions behind the ethical responsibilities of politicians and public officials in democratic societies and public administration. Examining the recent growth and value of codes of conduct and protection of whistle-blowers, the unit evaluates the impact of privatisation, contracting-out of services, devolved budgeting and performance measurement on standards of behaviour across the public services.
Likely Optional Units
The unit aims to explore the political environment within which the British educational system functions. It will critically examine a number of issues that have affected the development of education policy in the UK since the early 1960s.
Public Administration: Theory and Context
Public services undergo significant shifts in modes of management and delivery to meet sometimes competing pressures of cost, responsiveness and quality. Mixed public, private and civil society delivery and balancing local, regional and central planning has created a mesh of governance arrangements. This unit explores the trajectory of public sector management providing an insight into transnational policy transfer and policy learning. The unit locates current debates on trends in public service design and delivery in the theoretical frameworks of governance networks and public value. This unit will use web conferencing to facilitate international university campus link up with partners in the US.
Contemporary UK Public Service Reform
This unit uses a range of topical case studies to explore the changes that have occurred in the way that public services are being delivered in the UK. The focus of the unit is on the contemporary processes by which public policies are initiated, decided, implemented and evaluated. It considers public sector reform from new managerialism to the Big Society and beyond, looking at the New Right and the Third Way analysis of the public sector and the consequent approaches to reform of public service delivery in the UK.
Emergency and Disaster Planning
This unit will explore the complexities involved in defining disaster and emergency situations, their causes and the range of consequences that can occur from them. It will examine the policy and legislation that governments would need in order to respond to these situations effectively, dealing with different types of communities. It will also examine how emergency services, businesses, local authorities and individuals can plan for and manage disaster and emergency situations.
The EU in Turmoil
Examines both the internal and the external contexts of European integration - the content is divided into smaller thematic blocks designed to cover the following key topics: the structure of European integration (including institutional architecture, major treaties and decision-making structure); the policy portfolio of the European Union (internal and external policies). The unit evaluates how effectively the EU responds to such issues as global terrorism, climate change, financial crisis and immigration.
Housing and Health in the Community
This unit explores the connections between housing policy and provision and health and social care services. With an emphasis on tenant involvement, community engagement and user involvement, the unit investigates the role of service users in governance, service development and delivery in communities. Consideration is given to the impact user engagement has on housing and health provision as well as the economic, social and health outcomes for those living in deprived areas and elsewhere.
International Public Policy Management
Using a case study approach, this unit explores the challenges of global policymaking. Against a backdrop of different frameworks for decision-making, different models of public engagement with policymaking and the capacity of international organisations to shape policy in nation states, the unit analyses the policymaking capacity of international organisations. Policy areas covered include health, the environment, housing, trade and aid.
The placement option allows you to undertake a placement with a partner organisation based in the public or voluntary and community sector. Using an inquiry-based learning framework, you will critically evaluate the work of the placement organisation and develop suggestions for possible improvements in collaboration with colleagues and service users. We will help you source your placement.