The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course examines the public policy process within liberal democratic governments and states, with a specific focus on Australia. It begins with an overview of the debates about the nature and scope of public policy, the various conceptual frameworks within which public policy can be interpreted and understood, and the complex relationships between public policy and government. The course highlights the essentially contested nature of the public policy process, and the politicised context within which public policy formulation and administration invariably takes place.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of salient principles of public policy

2. Demonstrate competency in the application of core analytical and critical skills

3. Demonstrate an awareness of diverse policy pathways and processes from idea to implementation

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of public policy in the exercise of power in Australia


Course content may include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following topics:

  • Definitions of 'public policy'
  • Analysis of different models of/approaches to 'public policy'
  • Analysis of government reports/policies
  • Policy Agendas and Processes
  • Policy Instruments
  • Policy Implementation and Evaluation
  • Policy Contexts; Markets and Politics
  • Governance and Government


Students must have successfully completed POLI1010 or POLI1020.This course has similarities to POLI2130. If you have successfully completed POLI2130 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Journal Article Review

Written Assignment: Critique of Report

Written Assignment: Policy Position Paper

Written Assignment: Briefing Paper for a Government Minister

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Integrated Learning Session

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week