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Public Policy


Admission requirements

Only Premaster students can take this course.


This pre-master's course provides basic knowledge on public policy and the process of policy making. It introduces the main policy theories and concepts, including the central idea of the policy-making cycle, which includes the agenda setting, policy formulation, decision making, implementation and evaluation stages. The course discusses various problems of public policy at local, national, European, and global levels in a multi-level system of governance. During the course, we examine concrete societal challenges and how we can design and implement effective public policies to deal with them.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students are expected to have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  • be familiar with the main concepts and theories in the study of public policy and the policy-making process;

  • be able to apply these concepts and theories to the analysis of public policy problems and policy making in a multi-level system of governance;

  • be able to write an analysis of a real-world public policy issue with the help of the public policy theories and concepts introduced in the class.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

The course will be taught through weekly online lectures. The core concepts and theories of this course will be introduced and discussed in the meetings. We will use Kalture Live Rooms for the online meetings, whenever possible. You will receive further instructions how to participate in the online meetings. While attendance of the meetings is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Please make sure you also have read the course material in advance to improve your learning and in-class discussions. The PowerPoint slides for all lectures will be made available on Blackboard after the lectures. These will not be presented beforehand in order to ensure and promote independent study of the material.

Course Load

Total course load is 140 hours (5 x 28)

Hours spend on:

  • Attending lectures and seminar = 15 hours

  • Paper assignment = 40 hours

  • Final exam = 5 hours

  • Self - study = 80 hours

Assessment method

  • Mid-term paper (50%)

  • Written exam (50%)

  • Both the paper and exam need to have a passable grade (5.5)

From 2020-2021 onwards, partial grades will not remain valid after the exam and the resit of the course.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website. Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Brightspace. On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Brightspace.

More information about participation in exams can be found in the Rules & Regulations.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.

Reading list

References to readings will be published on Brightspace.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

From the academic year 2020-2021 Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrollment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Dr. D.D. Toshkov