Making Policy

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturers: Fiona Nunan, Philip Amis

Making policy is at the heart of government.  It sounds simple, but in reality policy making is a complex process, with competing interests trying to influence the agenda and design of solutions, with those with more power and resources more likely to influence policy.  A wide range of strategies are used by those seeking to influence policy, making it important to understand how a policy process works and which strategies are best to use to gain influence.

The module introduces key concepts associated with policy making processes and aims to provide students with the theoretical ideas and practical examples associated with them.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Critique the main decision-making theories and models of the policy process
  • Apply institutional analysis to policy making situations to explain the roles and interests of institutions
  • Analyse the role of policy communities and policy networks, and critique these approaches
  • Evaluate policy issues in terms of agenda setting and relationship between policy decision and policy implementation
  • Critically evaluate and assess the outcomes of policy decisions
  • Be familiar with key concepts and theories from the policy analysis literature
  • Apply policy analysis concepts and theories to ‘real world’ scenarios
  • Have a deeper understanding of the richness of the policy process
  • Think more rigorously about the ways in which public policies might be formulated
  • Appreciate the difficulties facing those who seek to tackle social problems.


This will be by two 3,000 word assignments.

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.