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Public Policy


Admission requirements

Only Premaster students can take this course.


This pre-master course provides knowledge on policy theory, and on the policy-making cycle, including: agenda-setting, policy formulation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation. This course will shed light on the problems and theories associated with public policy in the field of Public Administration (PA). The literature in this course examines main concepts associated with public policy, and identifies and discusses major authors and scholarly works associated with this field.

Learning objectives

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

  • knowledge about the main concepts, theories and authors in the field of public organisations and public policy,

  • appreciation of the variety of different analytical angles of how public organisations and policy may be examined,

  • the ability to write an effective (short) academic paper that applies a theoretical approach to analyze a real life situation / case study


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

Methods of instruction

The course is based on a combination of lectures, class discussions and some practical exercises. There will be a working group dedicated to writing. This working group is not compulsory.

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

Method of assessment

  • Mid-term paper (25%)

  • Written exam (75%)

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

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

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and earned a mark between 3 and 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

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’.


All assignments will be made available and need to be handed in via Blackboard. The page is available approximately two weeks before the course starts.

Reading list

Howlett, M., Ramesh, M. & Perl, A. (2009) Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles & Policy Subsystems (third edition). Oxford; Oxford University Press.

References to further readings will be published on blackboard.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
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.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Dr. R.L. van der Wal