module specification

GI5007 - Governance and Public Policy (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Governance and Public Policy
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Report 2500 words
Seen Examination 50%   Seen examination
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module critically examines the nature of governance, public policy and public management at sub-national; national; supranational and international levels. It looks in detail at the key elements of policy making; the role of policy makers; the instruments of policy; and how policies are implemented and managed. It explores the nature, extent and influence of globalisation and its relationship with public policy. It analyses the significance of multi-level governance and examines constitutional changes that have occurred in Britain since 1997 such as devolution to the Celtic periphery. It proceeds to outline the development of the European Union and assesses the impact of the supranational tier of governance. It then looks at substantive areas of public policy including immigration, citizenship and identity; economic policy; environment policy; and international policy. It investigates recent developments in public policy. The module proceeds to explore the implementation and management of public policy in contemporary public services and how they are changing.  The pressures for change are elucidated, as are differing forms of service delivery such as decentralisation and contracting. Attempts to improve the quality of public services through initiatives such as Best Value and performance measurement in government are evaluated.  As are mechanisms deployed to engage citizens or service users in the process of service design and delivery.  The module moves on to assess strategic management and New Public Management. It concludes with a critical review of governance, public policy and public management in the twenty first century. Employability will be an ongoing theme throughout the module.

Module aims

This module providing an intermediate examination of governance, public policy and public management aims to:

  • equip students with the analytical and normative concepts required for critical evaluation of public policies and models of governance and management
  • critically evaluate  alternative public policy paradigms and associated policies and models of governance and management
  • analyse the policy process with reference to different levels of governance and systems of management
  • develop the research and communication skills required for effective and informed presentation of knowledge, information and analysis by students in seminars, reports and examinations. The subject matter will aid the development of critical skills which are transferable to a variety of contexts, thus assisting employability prospects.


Governance and Public Policy an overview; Policy Making, Policy Makers and Instruments of Policy; Globalisation and Public Policy; Multi-level governance and Constitutional change; the EU and supranational governance; Immigration, Citizenship and National Identity; Economic policy; Environmental policy; International Policy; Recent Developments in public policy; The context of Public Management; The Public-private debate; Management and Public Services; Decentralisation; Decision making; Government by contract; Performance Management; Citizens and state; Strategic management; New Public Management, Post-managerialism; Governance, Public policy and public management in the twenty-first century: a critical review.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through lectures, workshops and seminars. There will be a blended approach to learning so that contact time with academic staff is complemented by a range of on-line resources, particularly delivered by using Weblearn. As well as exploring the subject matter and concepts of governance, public policy and public management, students will be encouraged to utilise methods applicable to the discipline, and will be given advice to further develop effective written and oral communication skills. Employability is an ongoing theme throughout the module drawing on the transferable and practical skills gained through understanding governance, public policy and public management and examining real-world policy processes, as well as actors and roles in governance, policymaking and public management.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • demonstrate critical knowledge of alternative models of governance, public policy and public management;
  • provide empirically informed analysis of the policy process with reference to distinct tiers of  governance and systems of public management;
  • evaluate particular policies, policy outcomes and policy management;
  • present and defend their views and findings clearly and coherently in different, examination, seminar discussion,and written report contexts.These are key employability skills.

Assessment strategy

This assessment strategy is designed to ensure that learning outcomes can be demonstrated. Formative assessment is via seminar and workshop performance throughout the module, and via a report plan. Summative assessment involves a combination of written assessments namely a report and a seen examination. The timing of assessment deadlines is spread out to facilitate formative feedback in workshops and seminars and on the report plan, and to manage the summative assessment workload for students and staff.


Bevir, M. (2009) Key Concepts in Governance, Los Angeles: Sage [Available as an ebook from the library website].
Bevir, M. (2012) Governance: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bevir, M. & Rhodes, R.A.W. (eds.) (2016) Rethinking Governance, Oxford, Routledge.
Bovaird, T. & Loffler, E. (Eds.) (2015) Public Management and Governance, Third Edition, Abingdon, Routledge.
Cairney, P. (2012) Understanding Public  Policy: Theories and Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Caramani, D. (2011) Comparative Politics, 2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Eliassen, K.A. & Sitter, N. (2008) Understanding Public Management, London: Sage.
Ferlie, E. et al. (2007) The Oxford Handbook of Public Management Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Flinders, M. (2008) Delegated Governance and the British State, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Flynn, N. & Asquer, A. (2016) Public Sector Management, 7th Edition, London: Sage.
Garnett, M. & Lynch, P. (2016) Exploring British Politics, 4th edition, Oxford: Routledge.
Hague, R., Harrop, M. & McCormick, J.  (2016) Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction, 10th edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hajer, M.A. (2009) Authoritative Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Heinelt, H. & Kuber, D. (2009) Metropolitan Governance in the Twenty First Century, London: Routledge.
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Moran, M. (2015) Politics and Governance in the United Kingdom, Third Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Moran M. et al. (2008) The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Sobel, A. (ed.) (2009) Challenges of Globalization, London: Routledge.
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