Module code: POL2047

Module Overview

This module will introduce students to the main debates and methods associated with policy analysis. It covers key traditional theoretical concepts used in public policy analysis such as pluralism, elitism as well as more contemporary approaches and developments such as evidence based policy making.

Module provider


Module Leader

EXADAKTYLOS Theofanis (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: M210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module introduces students to some of the key debates and concepts associated with the analysis of public policy.

The course is structured around the following themes:

1.         Introduction

2.         Key concepts in policy analysis

3.         The policy process: theoretical underpinnings 1

4.         The policy process: theoretical underpinnings 2

5.         The development of the policy network approach

6.         Policy formulation and policy implementation

7.         The policy cycle and research practice: what influences policy making?

8.         Methodologies for policy evaluation

9.         Sources of evidence 1: media and policy documents

10.       Sources of evidence 2: introduction to Impact assessment

11.       Drafting policy recommendations


Weekly lectures will cover the topics listed above. Each topic will also be the focus of one of the fortnightly seminars. The seminars will provide an opportunity for students to analyse, in considerable detail, policy document produced by: government departments; political parties; think tanks; and non-governmental organisations.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PLAN FOR PROJECT (1,500 WORDS) 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • An understanding of traditional and/or contemporary theories of public policy

  • The ability to use these theories to analyse contemporary public policy making

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Plan for Project (1,500 words)

  • Final Project (3,000 words)

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback will be given from module leader and peers during seminar discussions and activities around the research plan/projects as well as brief written feedback on planned research questions in the module discussion forum on Surrey Learn.

Module aims

  • Develop students’ understanding of some of the main concepts and key debates
  • Introduce students to some of the main methodologies to analyse public policies
  • Consolidate students’ ability to apply theoretical models to real-life examples, through

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss some of the main concepts and key debates associated with the analysis of KC
002 Apply different methodologies to the analysis of public policies KCPT
003 Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of KCPT
004 Employ relevant research skills to investigate a policy-related area. KCPT
005 Access relevant policy-related datasets and be able to retrieve data from them. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to some of the key concepts in public policy analysis and to enable them to discuss these theories with contemporary case studies of policy areas in preparation for carrying out their own independent research on a piece of public policy.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 11 x 2 hour workshops (including a mixture of lectures and seminar discussions) plus independent study, guided discussions on the VLE and preparation of own individual research projects.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL2047

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Public Affairs MPA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Relations BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.