module specification

GI5007S - 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 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Report 2000 words
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module critically examines the nature of public management at sub-national; national; supranational and international levels. The module explores 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 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 public management aims to:

  • equip students with the analytical and normative concepts required for critical evaluation of public management
  • critically evaluate  alternative public management models and paradigms
  • analyse 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 and a  report. The subject matter will aid the development of critical skills which are transferable to a variety of contexts, thus assisting employability prospects.


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; Public governance 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 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 and public management and examining real-world examples, as well as actors and roles in governance and public management.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical knowledge of alternative models of public management;
  • provide empirically informed analysis with reference to distinct tiers of  governance and systems of public management;
  • evaluate particular examples of public management;
  • present and defend their views and findings clearly and coherently in different 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 written assessment namely a report. 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.
Caramani, D. (ed.) (2014) Comparative Politics, 3rd 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.
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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.
Heffernan, R.  et al. (eds.) (2016) Developments in British Politics Ten, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Heinelt, H. & Kuber, D. (2009) Metropolitan Governance in the Twenty First Century, London: Routledge.
Hill, M. (2012) The Public Policy Process, 6th Edition, Harlow: Pearson.
Hughes, O.E. (2012) Public Management and Administration, 4th edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Knill, C. & Tosun, J. (2012) Public Policy: A New Introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
McConnell, A. (2010) Understanding Policy Success: Rethinking Public Policy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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.
Newman, J. & Clarke J. (2009) Publics, Politics and Power: Remaking the Public in Public Services, London: Sage.
Peters, B.G. (2010) The Politics of Bureaucracy, Sixth Edition, Abingdon: Routledge.
Sobel, A. (ed.) (2009) Challenges of Globalization, London: Routledge.
Wilson, D. & Game, C. (2011) Local Government in the United Kingdom, Fifth Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.