POLS206-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Introduction to Public Policy and Policy Analysis

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course introduces concepts of and approaches to public policy analysis and evaluation. The course examines the interaction of expertise, society, and public policy and clarifies the intricacies of the policy process in light of technological and social change.

How do governments address real-world problems such as climate change, health crises, and social inequity? Public policy broadly refers to government goals, decisions, and actions/inactions made on behalf of the public to address perceived issues, and policy analysis entails examining and evaluating the available options. This course introduces students to public policy and policy analysis, with a brief overview of power and rationality, colonialism, institutions, theories of policy change, citizen participation, policy learning, and more. Over the term we will devote particular focus to Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Australia.

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to

  • understand core concepts and major approaches of public policy and policy analysis;
  • recognise public policy as both an applied field and academic discipline;
  • comprehend how colonialism is interwoven with policy-making;
  • describe the relationships between actors, institutions, and public policy processes;
  • articulate the values and interests that underpin policy views;
  • conduct policy research and issue analysis and write an effective policy brief;
  • apply policy tools and concepts to real-world issues;
  • discern the differences between public policy in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and


Any 15 points at 100 level from HLTH, HSRV, or
POLS, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA, or
the Schedule V of the BCom.

Course Coordinator

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences Head of Department

Course coordinator: Dr Lin Mussell


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Final exam 40%
Mid-term test 21 Mar 2022 25% Short answer and/or essay questions
Policy paper 24 May 2023 35% 2,000 words and a works cited page

Textbooks / Resources

Reading materials will be available on Learn and at the university library. The following textbook will be used in this course:

Cairney, P. (2019). Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues. 2nd Ed. Bloomsbury

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All POLS206 Occurrences

  • POLS206-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023