POLS440-22S1 (D) Semester One 2022 (Distance)

Principles and Practice of Policy and Governance

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


This course offers advanced theory and practice of policy making and governance in the not-for-profit, public policy and public and private sectors. The first part of the course will provide foundational knowledge of the principles, theories and historical dimensions of policy analysis and governance. The second part of the course will be composed of a series of intensive professional seminars and case studies, providing students with detailed practical insights into the practical world of giving advice and making decisions while working within the context of a political environment constrained by other institutions, time and resources.

This course provides an advanced introduction to the principles and practice of policy analysis and governance and a series of professional seminars to provide insights into the practical world of giving advice and making decisions while working within the context of a political environment constrained by other institutions, time and resources. In the first term, students will examine key theoretical works on policy and governance. In the second term students will develop their understanding of through policy development and governance seminars with practitioners.

Course Aims:

This course aims to provide students from interdisciplinary backgrounds, with a consolidated understanding and overview of the core theories of policy making and the practice of governance in the not-for-profit, public policy and public and private sectors. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to compliment academic scholarship with seminars led by policy makers and those in governance positions from around Canterbury including Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, ChristchurchNZ, ECAN, University leadership, Private Company Board Chairs, and central and local Government officials. These activities will be extended through the teaching involved in the already established field trips in Wellington and Regional UC field centres.

Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this course students will have:
  • Advanced technical and/or theoretical knowledge of the key principles of theories of policy analysis and governance;
  • Understand & evaluate new knowledge and ideas in academic study and the professional practice of decision-making in complex political situations in a number of sectors including the not-for-profit and private sectors and central, regional and local government;
  • demonstrated the ability to identify topics for original research, plan and conduct research, analyse results, and communicate the findings to the satisfaction of subject experts;
  • engaged in self-directed learning and advanced study in historical and theoretical research, analysis, essay writing and preparing policy papers;
  • knowledge of contemporary Māori organisational structures in policy making and will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of bicultural and multicultural respect in their professional practice and in the community.e.g. rūnanga, hapū, iwi, whanau;
  • reflect on the nature of ‘knowledge’ and ‘norms’, in order to better understand the implications for governing in bicultural policy frame and a multi-cultural society;
  • demonstrate intellectual independence, and analytic rigour when giving advice or making decisions in the midst of difficult debates about competing institutional priorities;
  • demonstrate the ability to research, plan, present and implement a professional work related project and demonstrate an understanding of professional expectations and ethics;
  • an understanding of the pathways into a career in policy-making and governance;
  • transition from academic waffle to Policy writing developed;
  • elevator pitch;
  • starting to understand ‘what’s the problem’ is the essential tool.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

Timetable Note

Please be aware that this class is taught through student-led discussion. There will be no lectures, except where a mini presentation on a topic is necessary. Students will need to come prepared to participate and discuss the course readings, material they have gathered of interest, and the politics they have experienced in their day to day lives. Students will be expected to prepare their assigned material with the group for a presentation to the rest of the class.

In weeks 2-11, the third hour will be followed by class discussions. Or there will be a seminar and question and answer session with someone from the public, private, or community sector on the practicalities of some aspect of governance and policy.

In week 12, the class will act as Cabinet to discuss each Cabinet paper.

Course Coordinator

Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Cabinet paper 25% No longer than 10 pages
Ministerial/CEO Brief 25% 2000-2500 words
Weekly reflections Individual reflection after watching a video, listening to a podcast, reading some text etc. Each week on Monday 5pm, from Week 2. Not graded.
Literature summaries 25% 500 words each (wks 2-6, 5% per paper)
Group presentations and class participation 10% 5-10 minute presentation, and lead class in discussions
Final exam 15% 2 long-answer questions

Textbooks / Resources

Students can find all required and supplementary texts for each lecture under the corresponding sections on LEARN.

The POLS440 page holds all the materials necessary for the course for both distance and on campus students, including:
• Posting of course materials, including course outline, course reader and slideshows from lectures.
• Posting of additional material including extra reading, news streams and audio and video links if relevant.
• Discussion forums will be available for asking and answering questions concerning lectures, assessments and current events.
• Major essays will be submitted to Turnitin via Learn.
• Assessment grades will be posted to Learn once marking is complete

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,155.00

* 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 POLS440 Occurrences

  • POLS440-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022
  • POLS440-22S1 (D) Semester One 2022 (Distance)