University of Technology Sydney

15626 Policy in Practice

6cp; block (1 x 3-day, 1 x 2-day) involving five modules
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is one of four core subjects in the Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy (C11263), the Graduate Diploma in Applied Policy (C06121) and the Master of Applied Policy (C04323).

This subject explores the themes of agenda setting, decision making, corruption, transparency and reform across a variety of policy portfolios, enabling participants to build an analytical capacity to identify the theoretical, institutional and domestic factors that confront policymakers on a day-to-day basis at the national and sectoral level.

This subject provides students with a foundation in the values, knowledge and skills needed for policy formulation, strategy, implementation and review. It introduces public policy both as an academic discipline and as a field of practice via opportunities for engagement with representatives from industry, government and the third sector. Based on examples involving practical case studies, students are introduced to demand frameworks and contexts, and invited to explore practical dilemmas that arise when policymakers grapple with these factors across multiple fronts. The subject also involves an explicit focus on concepts and means by which policymakers and academics have attempted to bring order to the policy-making process in what otherwise may seem a chaotic world. Topics include policy cycles, policy processes, and agenda setting. The subject also considers key influences on policy making, such as corruption and the need for both public participation and expert advice.

After undertaking this subject, participants are able to:

  • conceptualise the practical business of making policy within a framework that enables them to track the various influences and demands to which policymakers are subject, and provides a rational process through which they can consider their response
  • understand the major contemporary demands that confront policymakers in the task of responding to social problems and developing policy responses
  • conceptualise the limitations of the policy process and how these might be mitigated, and the process reformed, in the interests of delivering social and political change that satisfies the wider public.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.