1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of POAD9005, POAD9038 has been successfully completed
Course context
Master of Public Administration; Master of Administration (Policy); Master of Public Administration (Management); Master of Public Policy and Management; Graduate Certificate in Public Policy; Graduate Diploma in Public Administration; Public Policy Honours; Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (online pathway)
Topic description
This topic aims to provide you with a deeper understanding of the role and importance of policy analysis for understanding and reform of contemporary public policy. To achieve this, you will examine processes by which policy problems are identified, defined, represented and addressed using both positivist and post-positivist approaches to policy analysis. In the course of this topic you will also investigate the role of values and assumptions in the policy formation process and apply your developing skills in policy analysis to a number of case studies.
Educational aims
This topics aims to develop a deeper understanding of:
  • The role and importance of policy analysis;
  • Contemporary approaches to, and issues in, policy analysis;
  • The relationship between contemporary public policy theory and practice; and
  • Some of the key issues and challenges of applied public policy.
Expected learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this topic will be able to:
  • Identify the role and importance of policy analysis;
  • Communicate the importance of problem identification, definition and representation and demonstrate the way in which problems may be understood, defined and represented in different ways;
  • Critically evaluate the efficacy of positivist and post-positivist approaches to policy analysis;
  • Identify the utility, limitations and implications of statistical/quantitative approaches to policy analysis;
  • Identify and highlight the underlying assumptions, presuppositions and values on which policy initiatives are based;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of stages in the policy formation process;
  • Apply their knowledge of, and skills in, policy analysis to a variety of public policy issues; and
  • Conduct independent research, critically evaluate issues in public policy theory and practice and communicate their analyses and understanding clearly in their written work and other assignments.