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Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS)

Public Policy & Strategy

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This course will enable students to understand and contribute to the process of governmental policy-making, strategic planning and evaluation. Whether in managerial, administrative or political positions, people need to be able to understand the policy process in order to manage it or operate effectively within it. This involves both an understanding of the technical processes of policy and strategy making and of policy evaluation. The course draws on cases and examples from a wide variety of countries and institutions.


Study Guide

You will receive a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings. The unit files are also available to download from the Online Study Centre.


Kristin Morse and Raymond Struyk (2006) Policy Analysis for Effective Development: Strengthening Transition Economies, London, Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc.

The Magenta Book: Guidance Notes for Policy Evaluation and Analysis, published by the United Kingdom government's Chief Social Researcher's Office


You will receive two volumes of Readings, which consist of key articles and chapters, supplementing the main text.

Case Studies - CD

You will also receive a CD containing a number of case studies, including:

  • The reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
  • Roll Back Malaria programme
  • Global Tobacco Reduction Policy
  • Liquor Control Board of Ontario
  • New Zealand Police Strategic Plan
  • Organising Monitoring and Evaluation in Chile, Columbia and Australia
Online Study Centre

You will have access to the OSC, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OSC, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OSC also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The learning outcomes of this course will be:

  • A critical understanding of policy-making processes in a variety of settings
  • The ability to assess whether a proposed policy is likely to be successful
  • Knowledge of international policy-making settings
  • An understanding of how some of the world’s major policy decisions were made
  • Facility with the methods of strategic management used in different types of public sector organisation

Scope and syllabus

Course Content 
Unit 1: The Policy Analysis Model and Alternatives
  • 1.1 The Policy Analysis Model
  • 1.2 Alternative Models
  • 1.3 Conclusions
Unit 2: Stakeholders, Data Collection and Analysis
  • 2.1 Stakeholders
  • 2.2 Data Collection and Analysis
  • 2.3 Conclusions
Unit 3: Implementation: Policy Instruments and Service Provision
  • 3.1 Turning Policies into Practice – Choosing Policy Instruments
  • 3.2 Case Study – Tobacco Control
  • 3.3 Service Procurement and Provision
  • 3.4 Conclusions
Unit 4: Allocating Resources and Assigning Responsibilities
  • 4.1 Implementation – Resource Allocation
  • 4.2 Assigning Government Responsibilities
  • 4.3 Case Study – Resource Allocation and Targeting after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans
  • 4.4 Conclusions
Unit 5: Performance Management and Monitoring
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Performance Management
  • 5.3 Programme Monitoring
  • 5.4 Organising Monitoring and Evaluation in Chile, Columbia and Australia
  • 5.5 An Example – An M&E Operations Manual
  • 5.6 Conclusions
Unit 6: Policy Evaluation
  • 6.1 Types of Evaluation
  • 6.2 Programme Evaluation
  • 6.3 Impact Evaluation
  • 6.4 Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • 6.5 Qualitative Research and Evaluation
  • 6.6 Evaluation Case Studies
  • 6.7 Conclusion
Unit 7: Strategic Planning and Policy
  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 A Brief History of Strategic Management in Business
  • 7.3 Strategic Management in the Public Sector
  • 7.4 Choice of Strategic Planning Approach for the Public Sector
  • 7.5 Case Studies
  • 7.6 Conclusions
Unit 8: Policy Networks and Policy Transfer: Policy in a Globalised World
  • 8.1 Introduction
  • 8.2 Policy Networks
  • 8.3 Policy Transfer
  • 8.4 Case Study – Tobacco Control (Part 3)
  • 8.5 Conclusions

Method of assessment

You will complete two assignments, which will be marked by your course tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 5, and the second assignment at the end of the course, on the Tuesday after Week 8. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Online Study Centre. You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published in April of each year.