The course aims to combine rigorous academic study of public policy and implementation with insights from the world of practice and experience. Students may be early ‘high fliers’ in ministries, regional or local levels of policy, government and professional or managerial practice who wish to prepare themselves for choice in future roles as well as deeper specialisation through the dissertation; or they may be good graduates who wish to undertake academic, professional or ‘policy’ careers. The course is overtly designed to maximise the benefits of ‘transfer’ from one group to another.
The course has three key integrative themes: explanations for policy shortcomings, and an analytical and politically-sophisticated approach to policy options; the ‘implementation gap’ (between policy intentions and actual outcomes) both in theory and practice, and different types of explanation for this; and changing relations between the state, professions and (inter-) professional practice.
Course participants will:
* Study the ‘policy process’ both in theory and in practice, nationally and internationally – relating to the countries of the UK and to Europe, with further comparative insight (e.g. from the USA)
* Explore issues of implementation and governance, locally and at ‘street level’
* Analyse changing state/ professional relations
* Acquire a high level ability to understand and commission research, and a wide range of analytical methods of use in both policymaking and policy analysis
* Take a variety of electives, including (by choice) the possibility of intensive comparative study visits and/ or engagement with the European Union. Mentoring and placements may be available to suit course members (students), depending upon their needs and wants