- Student Records
Programme & Unit Catalogues

SP20005: Making and communicating policy: theories and practices

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: ES 20%, EX 80%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (20%) (ES 20%)
  • Examination (80%) (EX 80%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take SP10001 AND take SP10002
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
This course aims to provide an introduction to:
* theoretical perspectives on governance;
* theoretical perspectives on the mechanics, dynamics and communication of policy;
* the principles and practice of critical policy analysis.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course, students should be able to understand and critically discuss:
* theories of the state and how they relate to different political ideologies
* the relationship between policy making and governance
* the formal, operational and communicative aspects of governance
* the governance of policy systems involving actors, institutions, networks, communications, processes, resources and constraints.
* the classical concept of policy as a process involving interrelated stages
* the major meso-theoretical perspectives in understanding policy formulation, decision making, communication and policy implementation
* the principles of critical policy analysis.


* To think creatively and analytically;
* To communicate an argument;
* To evaluate others' arguments and research;
* To learn independently and be able to assess own learning needs (i.e. identify strengths and improve weaknesses in methods of learning and studying);
* To critically evaluate and assess research and evidence as well as a variety of other information;
* To gather information, data, research and literature from a number of different sources (i.e. library, web-based, archives etc.);
* To select appropriate and relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge;
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding;
* To utilise problem solving skills;
* To analyse and evaluate innovative practices in students' relevant degree discipline;
* To effectively and efficiently apply principles of sociological/social policy analysis within a variety of environments;
* To develop study & learning skills (note taking, avoiding plagiarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing);
* To develop basic information and computing technology skills (word processing, email, using the web to search for information);
* To develop inter-personal and communication skills;
* To develop essay research, preparation and writing skills;
* To be able to construct a bibliography of varying complexity;
* To develop time-management and administrative skills;
* To develop team and group working skills;
* To reflect upon his/her own academic and professional performance and take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development;
* To solve problems in a variety of situations;
* To manage time effectively and respond to changing demands;
* To prioritise workloads, and utilise long- and short-term planning skills.

Lecture programme
Lecture 1: Introduction - What is Policy?
Lecture 2: Critical Policy analysis: What, How and Why?
Lecture 3: Political ideologies
Lecture 4: Theories of the state
Lecture 5: Governance (guest visit from Mr. Jon Poole, BANES Council to give local government perspective)
Lecture 6: Communicative Networks in policy making
Lecture 7: Institutions
Lecture 8: The Formal Dimensions of Governance: Communicative action, Agenda Setting, Policy Formulation and Decision-Making
Lecture 9: The Operational dimensions of Governance: Mechanics and Dynamics of Policy Implementation and Delivery
Lecture 10: Policy planning, think tanks and communicative contest
Lecture 11: Exam Revision
Specific reading per lecture will be provided by the lecturer
The main textbooks recommended for this course are:
* Simon C. (2010), Public Policy Preferences and Outcomes, London: Longman
* Considine, M (2005) Making public policy: institutions, actors, strategies, Cambridge: Polity
* Bochel, C. and Bochel H.M. (2004) The UK Social Policy Process , Palgrave,
* Hudson, J. & Loowe, S. (2004 and subsequent editions) Understanding the Policy Process, Bristol: Policy Press
* Hill, M. (2012), The Public Policy Process New York: Pearson
* Sabatier Paul A. (ed.) (2007) Theories of the policy process, Cambridge, Mass.: Westview.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP20005 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 2)

SP20005 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AYB13 : BA(Hons) French and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AYB12 : BA(Hons) German and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AYB16 : BA(Hons) Italian ab inito and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AYB14 : BA(Hons) Italian and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AFB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AAB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AKB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AYB15 : BA(Hons) Russian ab inito and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AYB17 : BA(Hons) Spanish and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 2)
Department of Psychology Department of Social & Policy Sciences
* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.